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Old 10-17-2012, 07:26 AM   #31
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

So I'm kind of excited that DH and I have actually came up with a different plan to get back to the country. We have been looking for quite some time for an acreage but the problem is that some farm ground around here has been selling for in upwords of $10,000 an acre--which is out of my price range. So we are instead going to look at timberland with a water source which is much more affordable and do everything piece by piece. We have been digging out of debt for the last 5 years and after this week our vehicles will officially be paid off--happy dance--so we will take that money and start putting it directly to that fund. We are hoping to take our time and keep everything as off the grid as possible....exciting to think about for me.

raisingcropsandbabies--I have days where I still get overwhelmed trying to HS 3 with the youngest tagging along and we are still trying to find our "groove" for this year, but if you take it one day at a time it will be fine I have no doubts you'll be fine HSing 4!

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:24 PM   #32
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

My Sweet Seven- Oh that is exciting! And sounds like the smart way to go! Yay for paying off vehicles!

Debt is so frustrating. We were debt-free until 3 months ago... gotta love medical bills (how we went into debt the first time!) and van repairs. If all goes according to my plan, by March, we will be debt-free again. Knock on wood.

Well, Captain Obvious's therapy schedule is exhausting... being gone 6-7 hours everyday with the kids and coming home and feeding everyone and bed time... DH is going to take C.O. tomorrow so I have one day at home. Metalhead and Baby Girl are sick, so I'm not quite sure who got the wrong end of the deal on that one!
The plan is to freezer cook with any ounce of spare time tomorrow. 3-Cheese Baked Spaghetti x4, Cheesy Beefy Rice x3, Granola batches x3, and WW Pizza Crusts x3. A friend is coming over Friday morning (before therapy) to help me fold laundry and diapers! Without family around to help me, friends are golden! We had breakfast suppers on M and T and we ate out tonight and I feel soooo gross now.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:19 PM   #33
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

I'm freezer cooking tonite and tomorrow. Got enough stuff on our shopping trip today to make meals fro at least 2 weeks (and if my family of 6 didn't eat like the whoel Dugger family, I'd have a few months worth. I guess that's what I get for having active kids, all 4 little grils eat like teenage boys! They out eat even DH most meals (and he's a 300lb guy with a big appetite, my kids are range from scary scrawny (the biggest eater) to skinny but buff).

Glad school is done for the week! It's been a busy week and my house has suffered for it.

Hoping to hear back form one of my applications I put in a few weeks ago. I'm anxious to get a per diem job just to get out and maybe make a little money whole I'm at it (I'm going thru yarn withdrawls. I'm knitting my mom a sweater but she wanted crappy cheap acrylic I want a few sweaters out of yummy wool for me, I have yet in my whole 6 years of knitting made anything for myself). Plus I'd like to get out of debt. I figure with anything I make 50% to debt, 20% to savings, 10% to charity and the other 20% divided between me and hubs for our hobbies. I can dream right?
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:47 AM   #34
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

Aiyana- Did you hear back on jobs yet?

After doing this intense therapy program with my oldest and being gone 6-7 hours everyday with the kids... I have to say KUDOS to ye working mamas! I honestly am in awe about how you do it all. In order to feed the kids REAL food (with snacks of energy balls, ww muffins, etc), I spent yesterday baking and preparing for this week. I made a batch of freezer meals because by the time we get home around supper time, I am sooo tired. Now 4 meals this week are taken care of. Then I baked granola and muffins for breakfasts... Didn't manage to work out at all last week and so on.
This week I'm more prepared and so hopefully the next 5 days will run more smoothly. I miss being at home, making cheeses, and being the farmwife and mama. Can't wait for 3 more weeks! We are blessed to be a part of the program and can't wait to see results!

Not much happening on the farm. DH is fixing some equipment, needs to fix fence (always), taking care of livestock, and bush-hogging the hills. The farm always looks so pretty and clean when that happens!

Okay, all 4 kids need their noses wiped... Have a great day ladies! Anyone growing a winter garden? I just saw a friend and she has the whole tarp thing going and everything. She is doing bok choy, cabbage, and a few other things that can grow in cold weather. Apparently growing a winter garden is more based on light? Very interesting (didn't think you could grow things in the snow!... she said it tends to go dormant in december then picks back up in late jan!).
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:15 AM   #35
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

Raisingcropsandbabies: wrangling the kids is slowing down a little. DD#3 only goes to speech once a month now and if he's availiable DH likes to take her (if I have to take her it means taking all 4 and waiting in the van by the office door while she has her appointment. Though last week she wanted me to take her so DH stayed with the other 3, he needed his sleep anyway and YDD and Dh were napping when I left. Since it was just me waiting I asked if it was ok if I took a walk (very small town clinic with speech and physical therapy in the walk out basement area, I know everyone there and pratically the whole town) so I jogged until I couldn't stand the chest pain anymore (non cardiac related I have spinal issues) and then walked back to the clinic and then around the clinic for the entire hour, was great.)

I have not heard back from any of my applications yet. I know the nurse manager of the ER is interested but it takes months to get thru the red tape enough to get an interview. They are short staffed and really need a per diem or two, that's where I'm really hoping to work. I need the faster pace, the nursing home just makes me antsy after wake up is done. My mom works there and I had applied for the posted job on the medical surgical unit but they took my app down to the ER because I have previous training as an EMT (I get all my info thru my mom. The nurse manager has cornered her a couple of times to get info on me I guess). But like I said, it takes a ton of time to get past the red tape in the hiring process at the Hospital.

I wouldn't be working a full time or even steadily, just filling in when needed, maybe a day or two a week at the most. But it'll be good to get out and working again!
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:20 AM   #36
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

On the winter garden note, I'm not doing it this year. I will be next year. I have a portable garage we are converting to a green house, I just didn't have the motivation or the $$ to finish it this year.

But it's totally possible even in the colder climates, you just have to keep it protected from the wind and snow. Check out 'The four season harvest' by Elliot Coleman I borrowed it from the library a while ago and my 'local' co-op held a tour of his gardens (I knew he lived in Maine I just thought it was further south, I guess he's actually relativly local).
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #37
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

Hey Can I join in? We have 17 acres and just built a home out here - it's half woods and half pasture that we just planted. When we bought the property a few years ago it was all corn fields. We have 5 turkeys (Happy Thanksgiving!), 20some hens (layers) and 1 roo, 2 livestock guardian dogs (Maremmas), 3 horses (soon to be 2, hopefully this weekend), and will be getting a beef steer soon! I work out of the home 3 days a week (as an OT) and am homeschooling my oldest Kindy (5 in nov), and also have a 3yo dd who tags along and a 5mo ds who is busy, busy, busy!! Oh, and I'm a wanna-be-gardener, lol. Its awesome to find other mamas in a similar boat!
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #38
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

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Hey Can I join in? We have 17 acres and just built a home out here - it's half woods and half pasture that we just planted. When we bought the property a few years ago it was all corn fields. We have 5 turkeys (Happy Thanksgiving!), 20some hens (layers) and 1 roo, 2 livestock guardian dogs (Maremmas), 3 horses (soon to be 2, hopefully this weekend), and will be getting a beef steer soon! I work out of the home 3 days a week (as an OT) and am homeschooling my oldest Kindy (5 in nov), and also have a 3yo dd who tags along and a 5mo ds who is busy, busy, busy!! Oh, and I'm a wanna-be-gardener, lol. Its awesome to find other mamas in a similar boat!
Hi! Are turkies that much more different to raise than meat chickens? I want to try them next year (we made our meaties portable pen tall enough to house turkies). Any tips? And how do you like your dogs? Those are farm dog breed, yes? We have border collies, but someday would like to try another breed. We raise sheep and cattle, but the dogs are not trained as much as I'd like around the sheep. We also raise crops and have a milk cow, meat chickens (just butchered last week... hallelujah!), and layers.

Oh, I love OTs! My son has been seeing them since he was 3 weeks old. Now he is doing an intense therapy program and he sees one everyday! haha. I have the utmost respect for your profession and I thank you for all the hard work you do to change people's lives for the better.

How are you adjusting to the third baby? I have 4 kiddos, 5 and under and I feel like the third kiddo was my biggest adjustment... like I was busy, busy all the time! I remember wanting to garden more 2 years ago, but that third baby took all my energy. Last year he was like 1 and I was able to start gardening better (I was preggo with #4 so I just did small) and then this year was more "for real" haha. My motto is one new thing at a time! Baby included!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:04 PM   #39
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

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Hi! Are turkies that much more different to raise than meat chickens? I want to try them next year (we made our meaties portable pen tall enough to house turkies). Any tips? And how do you like your dogs? Those are farm dog breed, yes? We have border collies, but someday would like to try another breed. We raise sheep and cattle, but the dogs are not trained as much as I'd like around the sheep. We also raise crops and have a milk cow, meat chickens (just butchered last week... hallelujah!), and layers.

Oh, I love OTs! My son has been seeing them since he was 3 weeks old. Now he is doing an intense therapy program and he sees one everyday! haha. I have the utmost respect for your profession and I thank you for all the hard work you do to change people's lives for the better.

How are you adjusting to the third baby? I have 4 kiddos, 5 and under and I feel like the third kiddo was my biggest adjustment... like I was busy, busy all the time! I remember wanting to garden more 2 years ago, but that third baby took all my energy. Last year he was like 1 and I was able to start gardening better (I was preggo with #4 so I just did small) and then this year was more "for real" haha. My motto is one new thing at a time! Baby included!
(first, let me apologize for this long, drawn out answer!!) We haven't raised meat chickens yet, it was on the list but for a few years we were stopping by our property 2x/day for feeding and then with building this past year, there just hasn't been time! (do you have any tips for butchering? we need to butcher some stewing hens, 2 ducks, and 3 turkeys soon!)
This is the 2nd year trying turkeys. Our first year, last year, we had 6 poults and 12 chicks and something (I think a combination of a raccoon and neighborhood dog) came by and got all of them. We decided we couldn't have any more babies out here until we were living here or had something to keep predators away. We looked at electric fencing, but we didn't have electricity, lol. We did/do have some solar panels that power the horses fence, but it's such a mess and I hated to pen them in (we free range) and I don't like having electric fences around with the kids. So I researched LGDs, our livestock guarding dogs, and came across Maremmas as they are similar to Great Pyr, but less "recreationally" bred in the US and are supposed to wander less/be better with kids/be less territorial. I contacted a breeder in the UP and we coordinated and now have 2 LGD, 2yo brother and 1.5yo sister from different breedings. It's been a work in progress, but we sure do depend on them alot. (we have 2 house dogs - one hunting breed, one herding...but they'd be on the "predator", not "protector" list with the chickens, lol). We haven't lost many poultry since getting them, we think maybe 1 poult and 2 chicks this year, and the dogs are penned up near the barn most of the time (they do wander sometimes if not being watched). Punzi, the younger girl, went through an adolescent "playing" spree with the chickens and we lost a few to her. It's fairly normal, and with some time and trial and error training she is out of that phase now. They do bark some at night, but I know they are keeping us and the farm safe! I would get LGD again, they are such a relief to have.
Sorry, I got totally off topic! We have 5 Bourbon Red turkeys, 2 toms and 3 hens. They are ok; I can't figure out if they are just super curious or stupid or both. My daughters have to carry sticks outside when they play because they get a little too close, and their gobble gobble peckpeck is a bit intimidating. They are memory makers; when we first moved out here they would peek in our windows in the morning or roost on our vehicles. Lately they've gotten a bit territorial against wild turkeys that come across our land - its hilarious to watch! I'm sure we aren't raising them to be the most efficient meat animals, I don't really have many tips on that as ours are 100% free range, but it's been fun and I can't wait for Thanksgiving!
Oh my goodness, I want a milk cow so bad! Maybe when ds is a little older. The transition from 2-3 was actually ok, he was such a good baby...(he still is, but I'd love for him to sleep through the night like his sisters did!) How did your garden go this year? I want to garden, but the only year I've done all right was the first year I tried! I got the Vegetable Gardeners Bible last year for Christmas and am reading it to prep for this year. I love that book!
I totally need to borrow your motto, if that's ok I tend to throw new things in with eachother and see what come out on top
Thanks for the kind words about OTs, I really enjoy it. I worked private peds therapy for while, and good for you for seeking out programs and outpatient for your son! Are you doing ok with the constraint induced? I bet it's hard to watch
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:26 AM   #40
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

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(first, let me apologize for this long, drawn out answer!!) We haven't raised meat chickens yet, it was on the list but for a few years we were stopping by our property 2x/day for feeding and then with building this past year, there just hasn't been time! (do you have any tips for butchering? we need to butcher some stewing hens, 2 ducks, and 3 turkeys soon!)
This is the 2nd year trying turkeys. Our first year, last year, we had 6 poults and 12 chicks and something (I think a combination of a raccoon and neighborhood dog) came by and got all of them. We decided we couldn't have any more babies out here until we were living here or had something to keep predators away. We looked at electric fencing, but we didn't have electricity, lol.
Sorry, I got totally off topic! We have 5 Bourbon Red turkeys, 2 toms and 3 hens. They are ok; I can't figure out if they are just super curious or stupid or both. My daughters have to carry sticks outside when they play because they get a little too close, and their gobble gobble peckpeck is a bit intimidating. They are memory makers; when we first moved out here they would peek in our windows in the morning or roost on our vehicles. Lately they've gotten a bit territorial against wild turkeys that come across our land - its hilarious to watch! I'm sure we aren't raising them to be the most efficient meat animals, I don't really have many tips on that as ours are 100% free range, but it's been fun and I can't wait for Thanksgiving!
Oh my goodness, I want a milk cow so bad! Maybe when ds is a little older. The transition from 2-3 was actually ok, he was such a good baby...(he still is, but I'd love for him to sleep through the night like his sisters did!) How did your garden go this year? I want to garden, but the only year I've done all right was the first year I tried! I got the Vegetable Gardeners Bible last year for Christmas and am reading it to prep for this year. I love that book!
I totally need to borrow your motto, if that's ok I tend to throw new things in with eachother and see what come out on top
Thanks for the kind words about OTs, I really enjoy it. I worked private peds therapy for while, and good for you for seeking out programs and outpatient for your son! Are you doing ok with the constraint induced? I bet it's hard to watch
Do you have an EZ-Plucker? If I were going to butcher chickens/turkies consistently I would look into owning or borrowing/renting one. That would be my tip! haha. Hand plucking can be a little tedious (getting all the tiny feathers off, that is). No clue about turkies, but I imagine you'd have to have a very large pot to dunk those into! Some ladies on here use the cone method, others the axe. We just cut off the head. We only did a few ourselves and then took the rest to a poultry butchering place near us (a Mennonite couple own it and use the cone method and are very clean). They only charge 2.25 to butcher, process, and bag it and since DH was busy with crops during that time, we felt it was worth it! We butcher our cow ourselves and DH prefers that to butchering chickens. haha.
I had to laugh at the image of a sweet little girl beating a giant turkey off with a big stick! We were too worried about barn cats and the like getting our meaties so we had a portable pen we moved 2x a day. Plus the Cornish X are sooo stupid and need protection from the rainand everything. Next year I want to switch to Freedom Rangers (a more "normal" meat bird). I hear they are much heartier.
How wonderful you will feel at Thanksgiving! I'm jealous in a nice way!

Yes, our milk cows are very nice to have (we have 2 jerseys right now and one just had a heifer). This year was the year of learning how to make dairy products! (that was my new to-do this year. ) It's nice to have an unlimited supply of butter, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream,, mozzerella, and milk. Cows are amazing. I wish DH would let me start milking once a day (and he the other time), but he wants to wait to teach me until our youngest is 3 yrs. old (then all the kids could wait in the milk parlor... DH used to have a bunch of dairy cows, but sold most and upped the number of angus... anyway, so we have a dairy barn). Now the issue is figuring out if she'll be our last baby so I know if in another 2 years I'll get to help! It's his bribe to me to lean me over to the "being done" stage. haha.

Garden did better than last year, but definitely could use improvement (which was the goal). We went on vacation during the hottest/dryest) spell of the year and our green bean plants died a terrible death. I didn't manage to can much of them. We are fairly basic in our garden (nothing exotic). Tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, rhubarb, some strawberries, beans, corn, etc. I was able to can tons of zucchini, tomatoes, and then peaches/apples from the orchard near us... next year, I need to improve on green beans (the kids eat tons of them), pumpkins, and potatoes.

Constraint is intense. When we go back to regular OT, Aquatic therapy, and gymnastics it will feel like a vacation! And yes, it is kind of hard to see and so much work. He was my traumatic homebirth and thus injury and this time (esp. last week) triggered a lot of emotions for me. The other 3 were c-sections and they are all healthy and I feel so blessed by that! We go to one children's hospital for therapies and another for his specialists. We are blessed to have 2 great places in our state!

I better get. I need to talk to DH about digging out our hog cauldrons to clean for rendering fat into lard before he takes off on the farm for the rest of the day.

Oh, is your house finished? Are you decorating? I imagine that is hard to do with 3 littl ones!

Oh, I Homeschool my oldest as well! He is 5... we use My Father's World. Nice and relaxed! We took a break for this month because RIghty is out of use. The other kids are 4,2-1/2, and 1.
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