Monday, May 30, 2011

Nest Surprise

How's this for a nice how do ya do? Looks like the boy has a new pet! This egg stealing snake got discovered in mid sneak and made a pretty good escape effort but alas, caught in the end. Could this be what is running my hens off their nests? Maybe one a little bit bigger...

UPDATE- not a king snake. This beauty is a Rat Snake!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Killer Veges?

Killer Cucumber' Bug From Spain Hits Britain

When are people going to wake up and learn where e coli comes from? E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. So, in order for it to get in or on your your meat and vegetables, they have to be contaminated with it. In other words, covered in crap! Or, handled by a person who can't wash their hands after they crap.

Water sources can also be contaminated via raw sewage or animal waste being dumped into the water source. Nice huh?

So, in short, if you'd like to avoid picking up some nasty bug that will really ruin your day, know where your food comes from! Buy local produce from someone that knows how to grow it and if you can, butcher for yourself!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wore out and Sore

The wore out and sore came from my brilliant idea to check out the Herrin Festa Italiana. Every year, Memorial weekend, there's this big,seriously hyped street carnival on steroids. In all the years I've lived
here, I have never attended. This year, my son wanted to see a couple of the rock bands scheduled to appear. So, instead of driving him up there, dropping him off and driving back late at night to pick him up,
I had the brilliant idea that hubster and I would enjoy the festival during the concert. Silly me for thinking that it was actually some sort of "Italian" festival. The great Italian food was a line of carnival stands with the same food you find at any street carnival only double the prices. The great italian heritage booths were just cheap carny junk. After 40 minutes of trying to walk thru masses of poorly behaved people, we just headed out of it and found a nice little bikers bar with a 3 man blues band playing. The music was nice and the bar was not crowded so we had the chance to enjoy ourselves. We won't be doing the Herrin Festa ever again. Not our kind of thing.

My lonely drakes swimming in the root cellar pond. Shadow and Charcoal enjoyed a little shade for their nap as well.

I'm trying something new to the garden this year. I had decent luck last year growing peanuts in a tire as an experiment. This year I'm trying a row of them in the main garden. They haven't sprouted yet, pictures if/when they do.

Hubster went fishing with his Dad this morning and came home a little while ago. He flopped on the couch and since he didn't say anything about it, after about an hour, I asked him about the fishing. Guess what's been leaking all over the front floorboard of my truck for the last hour?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Waiting for the Break

Today was a damage assessment day for the garden. Some weed control as well. While I was out there working diligently, Lucky was behind me eating the tops off my peppers and beans! Lucky killed 5 pepper plants and a dozen or so beans. He has figured out how to get around the fence and is now tied up on a long rope in the barn lot. I need the goat pen finished.

The cornmeal corn is up, the kidney beans are up (hey Scifi, did I say Friday? LOL)

So far, the worst of the nasty storms has missed the farm but there's another headed this way that might get us. I'm ready for a break in the weather so I can get hay cut! I'm down to 8 days of hay left and I am really uncomfortable with cutting it so close. No rain last year and the drowning we'd endured so far this year makes for some jangled nerves.

Ah, to be a kitten living in our farmhouse! This one is looking much better, still has a bit of the eye ick and runny nose but is finally starting to gain some weight. She's making herself at home all over the furniture...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping and eye on the sky

We've been ducking the severe storms for the last couple of days. Lots of wind, some heavy rains and plenty of lightning. We have fared much better than others tho and we should all say a prayer for the people in Joplin, Sedalia and the other cities that have been wiped out by tornadoes since Sunday.

In between the rains, 100' of fence got put up and the tractor helped to clear off some of the downed trees in the way. Still 350' to go but the money isn't there. At $1.34 a foot, I'm quite a bit short of finishing. The cow can not be turned out until it's done since she can't seem to stay put like the goats and horses do.

Speaking of the cow, the third round of antibiotics did not work. Now we have another quarter acting up. There's no swelling in it but the milk is curdling in the fridge over night. It seems I will need to wean the calf with the moon sign and get rid of the cow. It appears that nice Amish man sold me his problem.

Most of the garden is in, hanging on thru the rough weather. Looks like I lost 5 tobacco plants and 4 Roma tomatoes. Everything else appears to be fighting thru it all. The cornmeal corn is up and the kidney beans should be up by the weekend. The sweet corn is going well in the one patch and just planted in the other. The taters will need hilled in the next day or so.

Off to do morning chores.....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Same old Thang

No cool pictures today, been too dirty to play with the camera. Had a bit of aggravation Thursday while turning the half muddy garden over. The pull cord assembly on the 3 year old tiller broke. It's a Sears so forget about a service department or repair. Ordered the part via the phone from the warehouse in Kentucky, they told me there's just one pull cord assembly in the US, it's in Memphis. Of course, according to them, that part almost never breaks, almost. Well, hello, mine is broke! Middle of this coming week for the part to arrive via the mail, I'm not holding my breath. Hubster came home yesterday and made it work for me, tilled up the last of what I needed and the garden is more or less planted. Sweet corn, meal corn, pumpkins, 2 types of squash, 3 types of hot pepper, sweet peppers, carrots, radish, cucumber, 2 types of tomato, tobacco, onions, garlic and my kidney beans. A sprinkle of rain yesterday wasn't enough to suit me so I watered this morning for seed germination. Everything is still kind of looking transplant shocked but it will all come around and get growing soon. This coming week I will be working on the front garden spot for the other tomatoes, more onions and garlic and a few specialty items I'm working on.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Post- Benefits of "Greener" Self Sufficiency

This guest post is presented here by Ryan Halston. Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, with a Bachelors in English. Welcome Ryan and thank you!

The Benefits of “Greener” Self Sufficiency

Going green and beginning on the path to self sustenance can seem like an incredibly intimidating project. However even with just a few subtle changes and no need to rebuild your home, or drop completely off of the power grid, one can see the wealth of benefits that can come along with a self sufficient lifestyle. Growing your own fruits and vegetables in a garden and changing the type of light bulbs you use to inspecting and ensuring that your home is properly insulated are just a few in a multitude of ways anyone can start on the path to self sufficiency.

At first glance it would seem that changing out the light bulbs in your home would be the easiest of the examples I listed, and that speculation isn’t too far off. Replacing incandescent lighting with more energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED lighting is a great way to reducing your energy dependence. Energy efficient lighting can save you around $110 per year, and almost never need replacement, not to mention save a ton of carbon dioxide. Just make sure to be careful of the mercury content in fluorescent lighting if you do decide to change them over.

Another incredibly easy way to improve self sufficiency is to start your own garden and compost. Not only can this process help in the reduction of food miles, it helps reduce the dependency of having to buy your fruits and vegetables, as well as providing you with the freshest and most affordable product possible. You control every part of the product from the seed to the actual produce, and this process can save you some money cutting out the middle-man as well. Before beginning gardening however, make sure to have soil tests performed to minimize the possibility of lead contaminated soils.

One of the biggest sources of power grid dependency is heating and cooling, thus making insulation one of the most important changes that you can make in both going greener and becoming more self sufficient, and for multiple reasons. Many utility companies will inspect your home’s insulation for free along with the regular services they offer, and it is wise to do this to insure energy is being maximized and being used efficiently. A house that is properly cam save you thousands on power expenses, but more importantly can inform you if your house has been insulated with asbestos, a deadly toxin used throughout the 1970’s. Asbestos still exists in many older homes and has been known to link to diseases like leukemia, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. These diseases are incredibly fatal and can be directly link to asbestos exposure, so at the sake of both your health and your wallet, this is one of the most benefits of engaging in green and self sufficient living.

Though met with more recent criticism, the benefits of a self sufficient, green lifestyle are apparent, and even something like these three small steps can set you off in the right direction. Without much work you can start living in a nice clean house, breathing healthy air, living off of your own greens, and keep a lot more of that green in your wallet as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Middle of May Ramblings

It rained all weekend on me. But, the college kid graduated with 2 degrees Friday night and the camera batteries went dead on me. Great Mom, glad ya checked those lithium batteries, LOL.

It stopped raining early this morning so perhaps this afternoon I can get some of the chicken prison built. I have 8 banty fledglings waiting to be out in the sunshine so I really do need to get something done on it.

The horses are loose grazing around the farm with the cow. So far, even the thoroughbred is behaving better than the cow is. I'm running very low on hay now and the 4 days this week I could cut have overnight temperatures below my drying cut off. So, I need to make it until the middle of next week at least before I can cut anything. It's just too important to let it mold.

I'm pleased to announce the red potatoes are growing despite the chickens digging them up a half dozen times.

The barn swallows are back! They're busy gathering chicken and duck feathers for their nests. I really enjoy their antics and they are such beautiful birds.

Speaking of ducks, I have no hens left. Just 6 drakes, go figure. Guess my duckling days are over for a while. I haven't a clue what happened, they just disappeared.

All the seedlings are still alive despite the kittens beating the life half out of them every night. I'm hoping to get them out in the dirt by Thursday. This has got to be the longest I have even had to wait to get the gardens going. It makes me a bit nervous since it's my food source. I look at it as lost production. I just hope Mother nature gives it back to me on the end side of the growing season.

I've been medicating the sick kittens with the antibiotic filled cows milk. It creates a mess with the kittens digestion but their snotty eyes and runny noses are clearing up. I'll take a kitten mess if it makes them healthy again.

Speaking of cows milk, I've got 6 more days of dumping milk before i can safely keep it to use. This round of antibiotics better clear up the infection. The poor cows butt looks like a pin cushion!

How about that baby bunnie? That thing is 3 weeks old and is one of an original litter of 14. One by one that lousy Californian doe threw the kits out and let them die. She just kept this one, obnoxiously fat one. He is so fat, he can't hold himself up on his legs. I think he will be in the soup pot pretty quickly followed by his Momma. She's not a really good doe anyway.

Well, off to do an animal head count.......

Thursday, May 12, 2011


12 days gone in May already and I still don't have anything planted. Well, I did have some things planted but the garden killers ruined it all. They don't know it yet but their prison is coming. I've looked at 100's of pictures of chicken houses, chicken tractors, coops, runs, you name it and I've got an idea in my head of what I'm going to build. I even know, finally, where I'm going to put it! Now that's a big step, LOL.

The boy put the tiller together for me this morning. We're using clevis pins to replace the sheer pins it seems you can only get online thru Sears. Hmmm, why can't they order them? Not willing to wait 10 business days for 2 sheer pins to come in the mail (remember the priority mail box with the stevia?) I improvised. It worked, I have the garden tilled. I've been kind of half waiting for the neighbor to make the rounds with the big tiller but I'm done waiting. I made the first pass thru the more muddy than I'd like it to be garden and it's drying nicely. Another pass this afternoon and stuff is getting planted! This crazy spring has me a bit riled up since I don't have any future food in the making yet. I can hardly stand the thought of not having something to eat so when it's all growing, I'll be able to relax...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh my Aching Back

I've been pretty busy around here. Working on cleaning up all the tree branches and push mowing where it's still swampy from all the rain. I built a fence/gate across the driveway today to keep Daisy calf in. The cattle dog ran her out into the road yesterday. We can't be having that! Popped a sheer pin on the tiller trying to work up the mud so it would dry out quicker.

I've collected several different ideas for a chicken house design, I'm going to build one this weekend to keep the chickens penned up for a while. They are destroying everything I plant this year and I just can't tolerate that.

It's supposed to rain all weekend, I hope I can get some time in between the rain drops to get the chicken house assembled....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Farm Life in a wet May

What a nice day it's been. Still a bit breezy and colder than I'd like it to be but still a nice day. Goober got some grazing time today. I left the lead on her, wasn't sure I'd be able to catch her easy but it turns out, she comes right to me and follows me around. Well, after the run around, buck, kick and act stupid phase anyway.

Had to spend around 20 minutes catching a wayward bunnie too. My old rabbit hutch is about done for. The tiny escapee gave us a run for our money but I won in the end and the squirmy bunnie is back with the pack. Those tiny little buggers can move pretty quick and they're hard to hold on to without squishing them. They're palm size now and growing quick.

Got the culture collected from Goober this morning and dropped off at the vet. Maybe if we figure out exactly which bacteria she has, we can eliminate it for good and I can quit using that cow as a pin cushion.

I saw a couple tractors up and down the road today. Maybe my fellow farmers are going to try to mud some corn in on a few of the higher ground fields. I might try to turn some ground over tomorrow to help it dry out quicker. We'll see......

Another Slap to Food Freedom

Yes, one more slap in the face of American Freedom. We are well on the way to a New World Order and a socialist Utopia. FDA claims power to seize food without evidence of contamination. Yep, you read that right, the government doesn't feel that they need a reason to usurp your rights to eat what ever you choose. They're going to do it at the point of a gun whenever they choose. The bold type in the article is links and at the very bottom is the new FDA rules the government will be implementing on us very soon. Excerpt from the article:

"On May 4th, the FDA stated:

Previously, the FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence that a food product presented was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

Beginning July, the FDA will be able to detain food products that it has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace. The products will be kept out of the marketplace while the agency determines whether an enforcement action such as seizure or federal injunction against distribution of the product in commerce, is necessary."

The push to poison us with scientifically engineered and genetically modified food is constant. Monsanto's desire to control our entire food supply is in full steam ahead mode. If anyone doesn't eat the manufactured poison they spew, those people will be subject to persecution and prosecution.

Hmmm, this flares up the rebel streak in me. This makes me want to go plant tomatoes in the city flower pots and throw indian corn seed around. Just the blatant audacity of our politicians makes me want to kill a steroid and antibiotic free rooster for supper and make an extra loaf of home ground wheat bread every day. The only way to stop this stupidity is to stop consuming. Quit buying their poison food. Stop putting money in Monsanto's pocket by growing your own food. If you can't grow it for yourself, buy it from someone local that does. Be a part of the solution.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Still Got Sun

Another bright, sunny day, too bad it's not so warm. Since I couldn't do any planting yesterday (way too muddy) I picked thru the scrap pile and devised myself a simple little goat feeder in an attempt to keep the goats from wasting so much hay. Next one I build, I will make a little more space between the feeder and the hay rack but this one is doing what I needed it to do. I finished it up late afternoon, cleaned the goat stall, put it in there just in time to do evening chores. Worked out pretty good.

This morning was nice, chores went off easy. I like it when chores go off easy! I grilled up some pieces of steak I've had marinading in the fridge and the boy scrambled this mornings eggs. Yum, now I need a nap! LOL

The main garden spot is a slop hole. Mid shin deep in mud. I did get a couple tires planted tho, did a bit of mowing since it looks like a jungle out there. I planted some red potatoes, another tire with rutgers tomatoes, one with bell peppers and another with the zuccs. While I was prepping my tires, Lucky goat ate my strawberry plants! Hmmm, that will put him on the BBQ list if he's not careful...

The goat shed and pen are still on hold, there's not much in the savings envelope. That's not surprising tho, it's not like anybody else has any money laying around. At least I'm not the lone ranger.

The flooding down here is going to put a serious hurt on the farming. Hundreds of thousands of acres are under water. The wheat that was growing is flooded and there will not be a planting of corn in some places and possibly no beans either. I can't even begin to speculate what the loss will do to the commodities market let alone the availability of the lost crops in our food chain. While I have the luxury of simply mudding my corn and beans in and feeding myself, large scale farms that make a living on the market do not have that option. For those who don't know, the levee at Cairo Illinois was blown open night before last to save the town at the expense of 130,000 acres of farm land down stream. Plus the 100,000 acres (at least) in southern Illinois already flooded. It's not just a little standing water, it's a couple feet worth of water. The Big Muddy river rose 7' over night on Saturday. There are areas down here that I have never seen water standing in before and they have a few feet of water covering them. It is heart breaking to see. So, say a prayer for a quick dry out down here, we need it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sun at Last!

Woohoooo, the rain is over!

There's a slight chance of thunderstorms on Thursday and again on Saturday but after that, looks like I'll be cutting hay! That is a very good thing because I am just about out. The sick cow eats more than I had anticipated ;) The constant gray days really dampen a persons mood. Everywhere around us is flooded, roads, farmland, peoples homes and businesses. In the 17 years I've been living here, I have never seen it this bad. Even areas on high ground are seeing flooding in their low lying spots. There just isn't anywhere for the water to go and more keeps coming from upriver. I need 3 or 4 days of a good breeze, a roll over in the mud to help dry it more and I'll be setting the kidney beans out. Hubsters mud patch of sweet corn is actually hanging in there, despite the slop and cold over night temperatures.

LOL, I read an article over at Alex Jones Prison Planet this morning, talking about how some stuffed shirt scientists have decided to create a new disorder. It's called orthorexia nervosa and people that choose to eat healthy food are afflicted with this new brain disorder. ROFL There's a link in Alex's article to the natural news report on the subject. Talk about a crock of bullscat there, I'm mental and I need to be medicated because I won't eat commercially produced poison. LOL While they're at it, they better call the FBI and the FDA because I consume raw milk products! I need to be lined up right next to the Amish man the government is prosecuting for providing clean food for people. Even better than that tho, a UN food advisor thinks we should all eat insects! I think he should just have at it because there is no way in hell anyone is going to force me to eat bugs or commercial food.

Anyhooo, an internet friend of mine was kind enough to send me a stevia plant. He mailed in on the 26th of April from Maryland, priority mail. It arrived here on May 2nd, dead as a doorknob. Gee thanks usps for such a good job. The tracking number shows they sent it to Anchorage, Alaska. Nice, real nice. So much for the 2-3 day delivery.

Okay, I'm off to go play in the mud......