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Old 03-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #21
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

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Originally Posted by AJH1544 View Post
Those of you who have a milk cow, do you drink raw milk? How long does it stay good for? Does it taste different than pasteurized? How much do you get off one or two cows?
Yes, we drink it raw... It should stay good for 10 days, but we like to drink it within 5 (which always happens). The nice thing is that when it does get a little old, you can make it into something else! Yes, it tastes much different than store-bought milk... storebought seems absolutely tasteless in comparision. As far as milk, it varies per cow and per breed. 4-8 gallons.

ctj101502- I use Ricki's Ricotta recipe from their mozzerella/ricotta kit. The only thing I do differently is that I don't let it drain that much. Then I keep it in the fridge for 5-7 days and it becomes the texture of storebought. If you have it right away, the curds are a bit dryer.
Some Raising Pigs books I've read had good info in them: "Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs" and "The Complete Guide to Raising Pigs". I think you are "supposed" to have at least 2 as they grow better with a buddy. They eat grain and protein and scraps. We grow our own corn so we will grind their feed and the mix in hog forty (protein supplement). Scraps will be their bonus. How long to take to get to butchering weight (optimum being 220-240) varies per breed.

RJ6Mommy- "chick overload" sounds really cute. We will be on lamb overload soon... usually get 146 lambs... not sure if I'm ready for full swing lambing season. I think I like calving season better, as they don't seem to need as much help and supervision! Not sure if it's the same for chicks or not. We only have Cordale and Dorset sheep... I wish we could get a few more breeds, but DH says no way. haha.
How do you keep all those schedules straight? Growing up, there were 12-14 of us kids (including foster siblings) and my parents would only let us be in one thing just because of all the driving and it had to be approved by them. Thankfully, it was mostly church stuff and for the boys baseball so it was all at the same time usually. I have 4 kids who are still young, but am tempted to start that already.
How do you like the kids being in 4-H. My oldest is only 5 so he was a few years before we get there.

Okay, need to sanitize the milkers then clean up kids. They have been helping me and it's a slushy/manure mess outside so it just adds to my laundry everyday. At least they are getting the experience and work ethic training... right? right?!?!?! haha. Gotta hang onto that thought when I scrub carseats with cow crap all over them...

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Old 03-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #22
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

Love 4-h I did it when I was a kid but it is overwhelming at times. All the meetings and extra stuff that goes with it. It would be less overwhelming if my son was not such a hardcore athlete. He plays every sport so meeting conflict. Then during baseball my other kids play to so right now we have three different teams so 5 different practices and 5 differents game times when games start. Once football season starts it is hard because football is five days a week. I have trouble doing it all because my husband is in the car business so his schedule varies and if he is not here it is me with all six kids trying to be in 4 places at once. I still have to have dinner on the table and showers done before the kids 8 oclock bedtime. If we they are not in bed 6am comes early for animal chores. I do not have any special way to keep it all organized I just remember and have it on my calander if I may forget. I just do it all for the kids and een though they do not appreciate it later on they will thank me when they are big basketball stars or become farmers someday. We tried dance once and girl scouts for the girls but it was hard if they all do not do most of the same things. It makes it easy since this small town we moved to does not have a dance studio and we just did not get back into girl scouts when we moved.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:11 AM   #23
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

Rcb; I use a recipe from a vegan cookbook I have, very tasty, but I destroyed my blender (very old and very cheap) making it this time since I made my own tahini. I also make roasted, seasoned chick peas as a snack from the same cookbook. I may not be a vegan but I have several vegan cookbook for healthy recipes, some I add meat to, others I use as side dishes or just as vegan dish (which makes ODD happy as she's huge on animal welfare and doesn't want them killed to feed her )

Almost have my laundry room back from being a temporary green house, the seedlings are doing well in the basement under the grow lights.

We're expecting another snowstorm just want spring here! I have a bad case of spring fever. I think to take my mind off of it I'll go to the Y this morning and stop by moms for coffee.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:53 PM   #24
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

AJH- Depends on what kind of cows you get in terms of how much. A Jersey will give you 3-5 gallons a day. A holstein will give you 7-9 gallons a day.

Aiyana- I feel way behind if even the northern most mamas have their seedlings going already

RCB- Change of plans, we ended up keeping two bands of sheep. So we are still sheep herders after all. Looking forward to lambing.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #25
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

doublinup, I have an old portable garage we've converted to a green house with raised beds inside, my seedlings are going in there (the ones I've started right now), I wanted them to be nice big plants when I plant them late April. I'll start the stuff for the garden in early April since I won't be planting them until Memorial Day.

Seriously considering meat birds, or maybe geese? Or maybe a pig if I can get one for a decent price. I have to be careful of when things will need to be butchered (and with my spending) until september since we're going on vacation in august.

Speaking of August, I'll be getting done at work August 1st (i'm upset my nurse manager isn't even hiring for my position and not even thinking about it. It typically takes 2 months after hire to get oriented, he really should think about advertising the position and interviewing). I'll still be on the per diem list to fill in when people are sick or on vacation but nothing set. The money I make right now mostly goes to debt and the vacation (I get 25% of my income put in my 'farm and friends' fund tho. I used a bunch of it for a date with DH the other nite, with 4 kids babysitters are expensive $10/hr so we don't usually go out, unless I have the funds. The rest is going to the other half of my nuc colony and the beehive/supplies), I take one paycheck a month (I get paid twice a month) and put it on our credit card and the other in the savings. Though my next paycheck will get sent to the State of Maine IRS, we owe $410 in state taxes).

Can't wait for warmer weather, tired of the $600/month fuel bill too!

RJ6Mommy: man, I thought I wanted to collapse after 12.5 hours in the ER (it was two very busy 12 hour shifts but still), but I think i'd die if I had your schedule, I'd never get to see DH. We're lucky because he works shift work and I'm only part time so we get days off together or at least a few hours most days of the week. I have 4 girls but my oldest is the only one in sports and she only does soccer which is a fall sport. Nest year DD#2 will be starting sports as well so it'll get a little crazier.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:22 AM   #26
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

An article about Sedgwick Maine delaring food soverenty, a bit long but a worthwhile read:

Sedgwick, Maine has done what no other town in the United States has done. The town unanimously passed an ordinance giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes raw milk, locally slaughtered meats, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s also a decided bucking of state and federal laws.

From David Gumpert’s coverage:

This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.

What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It’s all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. “Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.” Imagine that–buyer and seller can agree to cut out the lawyers. That’s almost un-American, isn’t it?

I applaud the residents of Sedgwick for making such a bold stand. Three other Maine towns are also slotted to vote on a similar ordinance in the coming weeks.

I wonder, though, about how enforceable such a law is if the state or federal government chose to challenge it. In response to a similar question, Edwin Shank (of Your Family Cow) commented on Gumpert’s post:

I’m not one of the “lawyers here” but my observation is that when the local law chooses to prohibit more than the rest of the state, nation or organization they will usually get by with it. It is when local law moves to allow more latitude that the trouble starts.

For example, I can imagine that if a county in PA would take a Humbolt CA position on raw milk, the state would take an it’s-up-to-them position. But if local law in an area moved to allow raw butter, cream, kefir & yogurt… I’m sure it would not get to first base.

Still, I say Kudos to the fine folks of Sedgwick Maine. Their common sense bravery warms the heart of every awake American. If nothing else, their move will bring the ridiculousness of the situation to the consciousness of another percent or so of Americans. One American at a time the tipping point will be reached.

Deborah Evans, one of the citizens of Sedgwick also commented:

The problem with your question is that nobody really knows the answer. In Maine, there are maybe ten or so “citizen-initiated rights-based” ordinances like ours, passed in various towns in recent years, on a variety of issues. For instance, Montville passed an ordinance forbidding the planting of GMO’s several years ago. ME’s Dept of Ag wrote them a letter saying they could not do that according to some legal point, whereupon Montville’s counsel wrote back that they could do it because of a different point of law. As far as we know, that was that.

Also, Maine has “home rule” for its towns in the statutes. The Maine Municipal Association published “Municipal Home Rule: Grassroots Democracy or A Symbolic Gesture,” (from Maine Townsman, January 1983) by Michael L. Starn, Editor. In this article, he writes:

Municipal home rule in Maine is both constitutional and legislative. The constitutional provision can be found in the Constitution of the State of Maine, Art. VII, Pt.2, 1, and was adopted in public referendum in 1969. The amendment reads:
“The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.”

Our Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance states:
(1) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption. . . .
(2) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the products are prepared for, consumed or sold at a community social event.”

Therefore, we the radicals who concocted this mutinous act of infamy believe that according to the Home Rule provisions of our State Constitution, the citizens of Sedgwick have the right to enact an ordinance that is “local and municipal in character.”

David posted a link to our ordinance template so please feel free to read it over as I think some of your questions will be answered there. Having founded our legal position in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the State of Maine, we feel that if a challenge is posed it can only be resolved in a court of higher authority.

The Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the Alliance for Democracy have all aided us in our efforts to construct this ordinance over the last year. We have had the civics lesson of our lives – and it all started with a few of us sitting around a farmhouse kitchen table, having been gobsmacked by our Dept of Ag over a “new interpretation” of the 1,000-bird processing exemption..

Regardless of the outcome when all the votes are counted, Sedgwick and the other three towns have stood up and taken a stand on what matters in our communities. We know of several other towns who are just waiting to see how this goes before they jump in the game. Our State Legislators and Senator are very excited about this as it gives them a mandate to begin to make the changes at the state level. Right now there are three bills in the Legislature’s Ag Committee that address our issues at the state level, largely because our issues are everyone’s issues when you get right down to it. If citizens in enough towns in enough states stand up and take a stand on their local food system based on their inalienable right to produce and choose the food they eat, the Fed might have to listen! What a concept.

As a country the majority of us have become politically lazy and complacent. If we want change we must take up the tools of the democracy bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers, organize, and get the ball rolling.

If anybody thinks real change happens any other way, look at our history: Long before our Constitution was amended, individuals and small groups of outspoken people put their lives on the line to end slavery, to allow women the right to vote, to end racial discrimination, etc. Look at the struggles to legalize something as basic as the right to home school your own children. Real change comes from the people. Period.

So, Kudos to the fine citizens of Sedgwick, Maine. May you inspire many other municipalities to follow suit!
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:48 AM   #27
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

Last Friday I picked up for Lilac Rabbits for my 4 older kids' show rabbits. They are so docile im glad I choose them. They are also on the watch list for endangered breeds. These are going to be easy for 4-h showmanship.
Sunday DH learned to make a milk stand for the goats and completed one and will build the other this week.
Also Sunday we picked up to Boer goats for two of my kids' market goats for fair. They are so sweet and cute it may be hard to let them go.
Came home to one of the new ewes having babies in the pasture. Both are rams again so now we have 4 pure southdown rams and one more to lamb. Hoping for girls so we can carry on the registered purebred. The rams will go in the freezer unless I come across someone close wanting a breeding Ram.
Had to breed two of our California rabbits again so the kids will have meat pens for fair, not that I do not already have 30 baby Californians but they have to be under 70 days old for fair.
I am happy Basketball ends this weekend and we can be down to just Baseball and Softball for sports right now. That will cut practices to only four days a week plus whenever games are.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #28
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

Hi Everyone! Just thought I'd jump in too. I grew up on a farm, and live in the boonies again. It's just me, my husband, our little girl, two female dogs, one female cat. I hope to start gardening again this spring/summer. It may take a bit of work for me to get some beds put in though. We help some family friends of ours that raise goats at their ranch whenever we get the chance and are looking forward to getting back into homesteading!
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:11 AM   #29
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Re: March Farm/Homesteading Chatter

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Old 03-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #30
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Hi Y'all, how's it going? We are good. Super busy with plants starting, the pigs, and chicks are coming early next week. Trying to get ready! Plus clean the house and homeschool. We went to visit my brother in Chicago last weekend, it was fun to get away and see him, but now I'm feeling like I need to catch up!
Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hi!
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