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Comments in the moderation queue: 129

View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

Cordy --- No mosquito problems to speak of. Of course, we do have low to moderate mosquito levels already because we live beside a swamp.... But I don't think the wetland bred any because water soaks in pretty quickly over the summer due to the cattails. There's seldom enough standing water even in the winter for ice to form, although our ground does freeze sometimes.
Comment by anna Fri Dec 19 18:45:46 2014
So interesting. Thanks for the follow-up! Do you have problems with mosquitoes breeding in the wetland? And does it get cold enough where you are that the wetland freezes over?
Comment by Cordy Fri Dec 19 14:30:43 2014
Rae --- We didn't think much of the cattail flowers when we tried them, but haven't tried the roots and shoots. I was looking forward to trying lotus nuts, but Lucy broke the flower off before the seed head could mature. Drat! Maybe next year.
Comment by anna Fri Dec 19 13:08:45 2014

How were the cattail flowers? I've also read you can eat the roots and shoots.

Are the lotus nuts good? What do they taste like?

Comment by Rae Fri Dec 19 09:51:21 2014
Sometimes it is the simplistic of solutions that we can not see.
Comment by Kathleen Fri Dec 19 06:43:56 2014
I can’t suggest something which is not useful so my suggestion for my pond was Pond Pro and I did not repent after having this from last eight years. To know more please visit
Comment by Joan Fri Dec 19 03:24:38 2014

I got a good chuckle from Mark's comment about Alvin the chipmunk!

I have developed an intense dislike for chipmunks. We have been renovating an old house that had been unlived in for several years, and the chipmunks had moved in and made it theirs during that time. They defended their home turf with aggression and fury, they are not friendly little beasts when they are defending territory. It took three years with the live trap to finally defeat them and win our turf. They still make attempts, but so far we have been able to keep them from reentering. So your picture and comment hit home!

Comment by Maggie Turner Wed Dec 17 17:46:11 2014
Don't worry about growing tomatoes in your waterlogged soil. Tomatoes love water; it's the lack of water that's the problem. Back in the 1970s I was working for a commercial hydoponic greenhouse and the tomatoes we grew were more like softballs than what you see in the store. They were so big and juicy they fell off the vines when they were still green and huge. So long as the PH levels and the right nutrients are in the soil, they'll just go crazy with the extra water.
Comment by Nayan Wed Dec 17 13:24:06 2014
Thank you for this post. I too have wondered whether my goats are pregnant or not ... (I had to resort to google translator to write this)
Comment by Tia Wed Dec 17 10:13:55 2014
Jake --- Mark left out some essential details, sounds like. We weren't drying the mushrooms to store them dried; we were drying them because, in our wet climate, mushrooms often come out of the woods waterlogged. While they're edible when cooked wet, the flavor is drastically improved by popping them into the food dehydrator at 135 for an hour or so. At that point, they look just like fresh mushrooms, but perhaps a tiny bit shriveled, and cook up to perfection! But, since I was writing and not paying attention to the dehydrator, this batch instead went past that stage and into fully dried --- not as tasty.
Comment by anna Wed Dec 17 09:58:35 2014

@Kathleen: Why not use a bucket of water to rinse the potatoes in? The contents of said bucket can then go back into the garden. Much easier than changing your plumbing. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Dec 17 05:48:21 2014
What do you look for in a dried mushroom to tell if it's too dry? We've dried lots of morels in the past, all the way until they wouldn't get any drier. Some were a little crunchy, others quite leathery, but they were always great on pizzas and in soups. Never thought that a mushroom could be too dry!
Comment by Jake Wed Dec 17 00:42:37 2014

Former City Girl here! But we just built a house on semi-rural 2.65 acre plot w/ a 1/4 acre crawdad field adjacent to a 7 acre stock pond. (Yes, I plan on trapping and eating some of the crayfish-they make special traps for that.) But my comment is about what to GROW there. I have done some research (talking to locals) and they recommend growing sweet potatoes and melons there. Logic being that the abundant water appeals to those crops and the crops grow in a season where the water table will likely be lower. (Lower so the plants don't drown.) I, like you, don't want to see the land lay unused. Best of luck with yours.

Comment by Barbee Tue Dec 16 17:31:11 2014

It's pretty easy to tell if your girl is preggers! Stick a buck near her and see what he does. But you dont have a buck. So have a look at her udder. at this stage it should be full size, just not filled with milk, if shes pregnant. She will grow a beard if she has had kids before. I have 4 breeds, and they all grow beards while pregnant, then mostly lose them after kidding. Along those lines; they get belly swirls if they are pregnant. Right in front of their back legs, low on the belly, the hair will get a very noticeable swirl.

As for breeding your little girl, she looks in very good shape, so she could be bred imo. What size shes lacking, she'll put on with her pregnacy growth spurt. The sooner you breed them the easier it actually is for them to kid. The longer you wait; they tend to fill out less. Which causes the problems.

Comment by T Tue Dec 16 08:37:53 2014

Anna, I read this blog post ( this morning and thought of you. Thanks for a great blog! We do not have a homestead yet but are working intentionally every day to get there. Your blog keeps me excited during the wait!

Comment by Erin Tue Dec 16 06:53:18 2014
Any historic stuff ever? Civil war? Even if not metal Indian or mastadon?
Comment by jim Mon Dec 15 22:47:11 2014

I love putting colored Christmas lights in windows. Some windows I'll frame in lights, some get lights strung up in designs like stars or trees, and some I'll just zig-zag the lights across. I love the colors, brightness, and cheer the lights bring, inside and out, without taking up precious floor space.

We also move furniture around to put up a small tree that is decorated with ornaments collected from various trips and life events. It's rather cluttered, but since it's only for a few weeks it is worth it I think. I love how decorating, and un-decorating, the tree is like a trip through memory lane. Every ornament is a reminder of something positive we've experienced. If we didn't have room for a tree I think I'd just hang the ornaments from the strings of lights in the windows!

Comment by Rae Mon Dec 15 21:08:00 2014
Tee --- Apparently the song was made up in 1943, based loosely on an English nursery rhyme with different words: I like your folk legend, but I suspect that came after the fact rather than beforehand!
Comment by anna Mon Dec 15 18:28:37 2014
Jim --- This contraption is meant to deal with snakes who sometimes come back day after day to eat the eggs in our chickens' nest boxes. We figure, if we can catch the offending snake, we can relocate it and thus solve the lost-egg problem without any loss of life.
Comment by anna Mon Dec 15 18:24:48 2014
I was washing dirt off potatoes in the kitchen sink and wishing at the time I had a system where the water went to the garden rather than the treatment plant. I like your system. I wonder, do you ever get a foul smell from stagnant water? Do you send big chunks down the "drain" and do you do anything to winterize your system?
Comment by Kathleen Mon Dec 15 16:34:56 2014
I would love to read a longer review of the product, if you have more to say. I've been thinking of getting my dad a metal detector. Seems like the kind of thing he'd get a kick out of.
Comment by Heather Mon Dec 15 09:47:33 2014

My guess would be that you'll find plenty (especially around the location of the old house and the barn) But probably not what you're looking for!

Were there any civil war actions around there? That could yield interesting finds.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Dec 14 16:37:15 2014
Anna, I just read this article on goats and happiness on NPR. I thought immediately of you:
Comment by Rena Sun Dec 14 15:48:10 2014
I can so identify, our big porch goes across the front and around the side and we keep dragging projects up there to work on. Great clean up job.
Comment by Teresa Lee Sun Dec 14 10:51:44 2014

Thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes! It wasn't actually my birthday though --- just a pre-birthday bash in preparation for my actual birthday Thursday. But I'll take all of your happy thoughts and bank them for later in the week. :-)

jen --- Bags of leaves are totally the best birthday present ever. :-)

Comment by anna Sun Dec 14 10:21:27 2014
What a thoughtful mama! And happy birthday. I think I recall your mom collecting some bags of biomass from around town for you guys in the past too. Very nice!
Comment by jen g Sun Dec 14 10:11:30 2014

Happy birthday, just a bit late.

Leaves make a great gift. My job takes me into many neighborhoods around town. I'm able to liberate a pickup load of bagged leaves most days this time is year. Along with the weekly load of cardboard from work i have been able to kill mulch almost 1000 sq ft for next years food forest. This is after 4 ft diameter mulch around 14 existing fruit trees and 10 berry plants. We still have at least another month of leaf fall to come. A shame I can't use company truck to gather on weekends. LOL

I love you blog,keep writing and I will keep learning.

Comment by tom Sun Dec 14 09:55:19 2014
What do you do with any snakes caught?
Comment by Jim Sun Dec 14 08:36:18 2014

It must be a special one: 12-13-14!

Hope it was great!

Comment by Jake Sun Dec 14 00:37:16 2014

I wish for a big porch, and a barn, and a neighbor like Kayla! Happy Birthday, Anna!

Comment by Kaat Sat Dec 13 18:28:24 2014
As the Beatles sang: "Happy Birthday to you!"
Comment by Nayan Sat Dec 13 17:24:52 2014
Sure we can tackle the barn! I'm sure it's not as bad as you think. Have a great weekend.
Comment by kayla Sat Dec 13 14:00:48 2014

i wish i had a barn..... someday....

Comment by Elizabeth Sat Dec 13 12:05:25 2014

I know the ditty, but I also learned a rhyme when I was a child... Does eat oats and goats eat oats, but little lambs eat ivy. I spent some time in the NC mountains and the person that taught me the rhyme said it was to remind folks not to let their livestock eat mountain laurel which is also called ivy. Just wondered about your title.

Comment by Tee Sat Dec 13 09:56:16 2014
Oh goodness! Here it goes! First you're chopping their food for them, and then you're making them sweaters for winter! That's what my goats have done to me. Beware! They have a way of making you go out of your way to please them.
Comment by Roberta Fri Dec 12 23:07:36 2014

Hi all, I can't find the recent post about your still too damp forest garden. But reading the following article made me think of your struggles with that area of your property. Maybe this will give you some ideas:

Also, what have you thought of tall hugelculture mounds?

Comment by Terry Fri Dec 12 21:48:09 2014
I've had my Pampered Chef chopper for over 6 years now and it has done a great job even through the canning season. Use it to your hearts content.
Comment by mona Fri Dec 12 16:56:14 2014
Me, too.
Comment by TERRY Fri Dec 12 13:24:15 2014
I have had that same chopper for over five years, and it's still going strong! We call it the hoppy chopper.
Comment by Bubbles Fri Dec 12 12:19:03 2014
I went to tha same bridge late at night with my ex and two friends and we walked down to tha chimney and didn't see or hear anything but when we got back up to tha road we started cussing tha old woman and all of a sudden tha headlights on our car started blinking
Comment by mommy of two-year Fri Dec 12 02:29:08 2014