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Homesteading and Simple Living Comments

Comments in the moderation queue: 5

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.

Hope she feels better soon, she's such a cutie. Those ears!
Comment by Another Julie Wed Jun 29 19:39:41 2016
Thank you for this info.. I have done exactly the same thing... Been waiting patiently for months and was just blown away to discover monster sized mushrooms and like yourself wondered if maybe the wood chip had been invaded.. Am so exited the sheer size and number is incredible :)))
Comment by Anonymous Wed Jun 29 16:30:20 2016
Found a caterpillar at work in a veggie patch and have put it in a tub at home, it's been it pupa form for a month now, looked it up beforehand and I believe it to be an Angle Shade. But won't know for.. Who knows how long.
Comment by C Stace Wed Jun 29 00:48:29 2016
Didn't know that the goats needed copper. Heard a lot about selenium, and the deficiencies in the North East, but hadn't ever heard about copper. Interesting.
Comment by Jean Henry Tue Jun 28 19:55:22 2016
Kayla --- Thanks for asking! Unfortunately, she's still very much the same. :-/ But I did figure out how to use a syringe to squirt a yogurt/milk mixture down her throat, so hopefully we'll start seeing progress by tomorrow....
Comment by anna Tue Jun 28 13:27:31 2016
How is she feeling today? Hope she is back to her old self!
Comment by Kayla Tue Jun 28 11:16:58 2016

A few thoughts on manure as fertilizer: N is excreted from animal bodies via urine, not feces. Herbivorous manure contains only the little bit of N not absorbed from the low N, plant source of the feed. My compost pile, made mostly of horse manure and urine-soaked bedding, consistently tests out no better than "adequate N" on those cheapo 5-point scale test kits.

Using manure transfers nutrients from the hay plot to your garden plot but can never bring N values above "adequate." Leaving manure in the field of its origin doesn't improve the nutrient content of the field, but merely delays its degradation.

The main advantage of manure as fertilizer (particularly horse manure) is in it's physical properties: improving "carbon content" (really "fiber") in the soil. That fiber allows more small air pockets in the soil, improving moisture holding capability, better habitat for microorganisms and allowing better access of the roots to water, minerals and N.

It gets hot enough in the horse manure compost pile to turn the pine shaving bedding to ash. I use that compost to start seeds indoors each year resulting in great germination rates and have no problems with volunteer weeds or fungus.

Comment by doc Tue Jun 28 05:43:54 2016

I completely understand what Anna is saying- lots of folk with a few horses in the area, buying local hay which is 99% grass from fields that get little if any chemicals on them, who just give the poo away to who ever wants it.

If you need any more I can get you piles of it in Wise!

Comment by Eric Mon Jun 27 21:22:00 2016

Hi,

It sounds like this book 'should' become a pdf?

John

Comment by John Mon Jun 27 18:00:08 2016

Back in the 1970s, John Seymour (an Englishman, I think) wrote a book called "Guide to Self Sufficiency", of which I have a very much used and loved copy. The first page of the book says the following: "The only way that the homesteader can farm his piece of land as well and intensively as possible is to institute some variant of what was called "High Farming" in Europe in the last century. (19th Century, not 20th). Many early settlers practiced a carefully worked out balance between animals and plants, whereby each fed the other: the plants feeding the animals directly, the animals feeding the soil with their manure and the land feeding the plants."

Notice that the animals "feed" the soil with their manure. Even where I live, the dairy farmer down the road takes the manure from his cattle and plows it back into the various plots he has where he grows either grass or corn for silage.

This book is a complete how-to guide for any homesteader. I think it's been out of print since the 1980s, but if an individual is serious about homesteading, this is the manual to get if you can find it. I've used mine so much that I've actually pulled the pages apart and stuck them in plastic sheets so they would be preserved.

Comment by Nayan Mon Jun 27 12:47:01 2016

I have everything I need to start the self sufficiency process and it is truly all I study and plan for. My wife won't leave California for our Minnesota property and I completely understand because we have 3 granddaughters and they are her life and she is from cal. However, I have to do it to be fulfilled. I know it won't be easy so any advice from all of you that have been doing this is appreciated. I believe I'm in better than average shape for being 51 and I fear if I don't do it soon, I will always regret it. Wish me luck !!

Comment by Bob Sun Jun 26 22:10:20 2016

Mark,

Congratulations on getting Anna to accept a new chair. You deserve a medal of honor for that!!! Love you both.

Comment by Sheila Sun Jun 26 21:01:53 2016

First of all, I have a problem with Ancestry.com's attempt to do a DNA test. That organization is owned by the Mormon church and they're really more interested in getting as many people "baptized" sureptitiously into their "Church" than anything else. You might remember the flak a few years back about their secretly baptizing Holocaust victims. Secondly, there's really no objective way to evaluate DNA results like this. I refer you to this article by the American Society of Human Genetics regarding same: http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/11/geneticists-sound-note-of-caution-over-dna-ancestry-testing/

Now, that's not to say that paying a small fee for these types of tests can't be done for amusement purposes, but I'd take the results with a grain of salt.

Comment by Nayan Sun Jun 26 13:48:58 2016

It's a pity that the results are so unspecific. The results basically says that your mother's recent ancestors are from somewhere in Europe.

If the test provides that information, you could look up the haplogroups she belongs to on eupedia. If you know both the Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups, you might get a better idea where her paternal and maternal ancestors possibly came from. For instance one map shows the distribution of haplogroups in different regions . And you can look up how prevalent y-DNA haplogroups and mtDNA haplogroups are by country.

It seems pretty much settled that if you look back far enough, our ancestors came from East-Africa. Exactly when homo sapiens spread out from Africa, in how many waves and by which route is not clear at the moment.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jun 26 13:47:51 2016
Fascinating!
Comment by Nita Sun Jun 26 12:31:15 2016

Mom and Nayan --- I think both of you are interested in the how of the DNA test. Obviously, people do move around and intermarry, but we're more clannish than you might think. As with any type of evolution, the island effect means that groups that rarely interbreed tend to end up with different features --- for example, the straight dark hair that's common in Asia versus the blond hair of the typical person from Scandinavia.

Ancestry.com took a bunch of DNA samples (3,000) from 26 different regions to determine which markers show up in certain populations but not in others. Then they look for those markers in folks' DNA. Obviously, it's not perfect, but it's a fun start.

Comment by anna Sun Jun 26 10:20:20 2016

Also try:

www.motherearthnews.com/.../killer-compost-herbicide-contamination-zl0z1211zkin....

Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:53:21 2016

From:http://www.growyourown.info/page164.html

  1. Take small samples from various parts of your manure heap, mix them together in a pot and then combine them with the same quantity of your soil.
  2. Put the mixture into a 15 cm pot or similar and plant up with broad beans seeds. This quick growing broad leaved crop is particularly and obviously susceptible to aminopyralid contamination.
  3. Plant up another 15 cm pot of your garden soil with broad beans at the same time as a control. Do not stand the pots on the same tray, otherwise the aminopyralid will contaminate the control pot.
  4. Place the pots in a sheltered position, such as a cloche, cold frame or greenhouse to get quick growth of the beans, especially if testing in the Autumn or Spring.
  5. Compare the leaves and growth of the test pot and the control pot. If the leaves of the growing seedlings become distorted and unnatural, as shown in the photo on the right, then assume aminopyralid contamination, and do not add the manure to your soil.
Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:50:39 2016
It seems that growing some broad beans (fava beans?) in it is a good test. They are very sensitive to this sort of contamination.
Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:42:48 2016

Interesting DNA analysis. BBC News noted that Celts were not a distinct genetic group but more of a culture. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31905764

People seem to think that humans stayed in one place for generations and never moved around. Not true! Ancient peoples moved around a lot more than we moderns give them credit. After all, humans evolved in Africa and now we're spread out around the globe and trying to move to other planets. That's gotta be the ultimate "move" of them all. :)

Comment by Nayan Sun Jun 26 08:58:58 2016

Very neat, to think of ages ago and changes in people's lifestyles and locations. Now I want to learn more about European history! But can you explain a bit about trace elements, and also about DNA in general? that is, how it is that some DNA is specifically Scandinavian, for ex? I guess that means that every Scandinavian person has some similar DNA, but why did it become differentiated, in the first place?y

Comment by adrianne Sun Jun 26 08:21:33 2016
Both of my neighbor's basswood trees are also in bloom this year. I can't remember last time they were. Must have been the milder winter. Glad your bees are enjoying the bounty.
Comment by Kris Sat Jun 25 17:13:55 2016

Thanks to all the folks who warned about herbicide and other contaminants in the horse feed. I was unaware of that.

Also around here in NE TN, we can get a dumpload of manure for $50.

Comment by Nayan Sat Jun 25 15:23:19 2016

I love cooking outside in the summer. Keeps the house cool, uses local renewable energy, and imparts that great grilled flavor into everything. (Minus the latter if you use a solar oven instead.)

I don't know if you guys feel like you need to become more self-sufficient, but it definitely helps suburban homesteaders like me scratch that itch, too. :-)

Comment by Jake Sat Jun 25 11:49:36 2016
Please please make sure he wasn't feeding his horses treated feed. Some brands have an herbicide that passes through the horse's digestive system and is deposited on the field to kill weeds. It will poison your gardens. I don't use horse manure for composting for that reason as many horse owners don't know what is in their feed.
Comment by Craig Sat Jun 25 09:20:20 2016
Do you get problems with aminopyralid contamination in your area? Here in the UK you have to be very careful where the horse feed and bedding is coming from, and what the pasture has been sprayed with.
Comment by Peter Sat Jun 25 09:13:19 2016
Could only deliver to our parking area.
Comment by mark Sat Jun 25 08:24:35 2016
How close to the homestead did he deliver???
Comment by Tom Fri Jun 24 18:47:37 2016
At last--Now I can re-tape my screen windows that fall out, since your new tape is waterproof! Where did you get it?
Comment by adrianne Fri Jun 24 08:42:06 2016
Our adult son planted garlic at the corners of our veggie patch last year to repel the critters, but he moved out this past Winter into his own place. I have never grown garlic, so I didn't know what to do. So, thanks with the info.
Comment by Jean Henry Fri Jun 24 08:27:32 2016
I've known many bucks, usually dam-raised like yours is, to be very nice goats. They just need to be handled firmly and respectfully. With the good supervision you are enacting, which is key, I really don't think you'll have a problem.
Comment by Another Julie Thu Jun 23 19:28:48 2016
I have never tasted a wild pawpaw that I liked (all from central NC) and most I thought nasty because of a strong and bitter aftertaste. That being said,however, pawpaw is my favorite fruit and there is no comparison between a good named variety and wild pawpaws I have tried. Good varieties are shenandoah, susquehanna, potomac, wabash, rappahannock, nc-1 and overleese. You should try and get a taste of one of these. But I notice that you like acid in your fruit so you may not like any pawpaw as they have no acid. They are mostly sweet with an assertive tropical flavor. They remind me most of a blend of banana, mango, pineapple, and vanilla though the flavor varies slightly between varieties. And some have texture like avocado.
Comment by Derek Morris Thu Jun 23 16:54:40 2016

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments! To answer a few questions: Punkin is supposed to become a neighbor's new stud, so we can't band him. We'd planned to give him to said neighbor in lieu of weaning him here, but the neighbor has health problems and can't take him yet. I suspect Julie might be right and Aurora wouldn't get pregnant so early...but it's hard to be 100% sure. This comment (plus scare stories elsewhere on the internet) certainly seem to suggest I'd rather be safe then sorry.

That said, after less than a day of tethering, I realized that one of our pastures is Fort Knox enough to keep Punkin in. So I put him there and his mother and sister in the adjoining pasture so they can talk through the cattle panel. They're still not thrilled, but are much happier than when truly separated.

Comment by anna Thu Jun 23 12:35:55 2016

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments! To answer a few questions: Punkin is supposed to become a neighbor's new stud, so we can't band him. We'd planned to give him to said neighbor in lieu of weaning him here, but the neighbor has health problems and can't take him yet. I suspect Julie might be right and Aurora wouldn't get pregnant so early...but it's hard to be 100% sure. This comment (plus scare stories elsewhere on the internet) certainly seem to suggest I'd rather be safe then sorry.

That said, after less than a day of tethering, I realized that one of our pastures is Fort Knox enough to keep Punkin in. So I put him there and his mother and sister in the adjoining pasture so they can talk through the cattle panel. They're still not thrilled, but are much happier than when truly separated.

Comment by anna Thu Jun 23 12:35:17 2016
Punkin is supposed to become a neighbor's new stud, so we can't band him. We'd planned to give him to said neighbor in lieu of weaning him here, but the neighbor has health problems and can't take him yet. So we're forced to wean him to prevent the troubles you mentioned. :-/
Comment by anna Thu Jun 23 12:33:02 2016
Some goats only go into heat in the fall but Nigerian Dwarfs definitely go into heat all year. I have raised Nigerian Dwarfs for a long time and they are very consistent. It's one of the reasons I love that breed. It's easy to get milk year round. Also, separating a goat is one of the meanest things you can do to them. They are very social and need to be with at least one other one. In my opinion you should keep more goats. They are much happier in groups. More goats doesn't have to mean more work. We let our goats forage for all their food and we only feed the moms when we milk them. They are healthy, fat and happy.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Jun 23 10:35:15 2016
Did I miss why you want to keep him intact? Are you planning on breeding him? We band our males right away unless they are going to be breeders. Banding is easy and from my experience pretty much painless. Solves all the problems. Intact males stink, are disgusting, they are too aggressive to the goats and will get that way with you. We have had the nicest bottle fed males turn into mean, attack everyone adults. If they are banded they stay nice forever, never stink, etc. Having banded males around is nice in case you have to separate another one for some reason (like a breeder). You can put them together to have a friend to be with. I'm sure you've found how social goats are. They will also help you know when the females are going into heat sooner than you can notice in case you want to breed that female. It really is easy for young ones like that to get other young ones pregnant and their moms. We have experienced both and in both cases it ended badly. The mom's babies weren't born healthy and died shortly after. The young goat that got pregnant too early didn't have hips big enough for the babies to fit through and I would rather not get into the sad details but both the mom and the babies died. It was the worst experience that I have ever had with animals.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Jun 23 09:43:16 2016

Hy,

we are doing cable cars as well as Monoracks. No problem to ship them to the United States. Please check the link below for more info.

https://www.doppelmayr.com/en/products/monorack/

or contact me by mail. alex.baumgartner@garaventa.com

best regards, Alex

Comment by alex Thu Jun 23 02:39:51 2016

Those two sure are cuties! It's unlikely he could get your doeling pregnant because she won't even start coming into heat until mid fall at the earliest. But I know how annoying it can be, our 5 week old buckling thinks humping is the funnest game ever!

Comment by Another Julie Wed Jun 22 18:19:52 2016
We used to love our Saanens. They actually taught our kids how to balance when they were little, so that horse back riding was a cinch. ;) But, now on our 3 acres in a village, we are sneaking chickens, but I don't think that we could get away with goats. Especially since we all know what great escape artists they are, and our farmer neighbors might not appreciate rogue goats in their corn crops. :) Loved your story. Brought me back.
Comment by Jean Henry Wed Jun 22 06:53:44 2016