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Month: March 2014

Substitute Mama Goat Adapts Quickly

As mentioned in the previous post, we brought in a substitute milker because our first doe wouldn’t let me handle her or the babies near her. Substitute milker, temporarily and affectionately nicknamed “Mama”, was allowing the baby bucks to nurse for a couple minutes at a time on her own by Day 2. On Day 3, I saw her standing beside the pet carrier where we locked up the babies at night, impatiently waiting to take care of them. Read more

Meet Our Newest Friends on the Homestead

Who knew that acquiring new animals could be so emotionally taxing?  We purchased two three month old Nubian doelings last month, with the expectation of acquiring 2-4 more goats soon after. Car troubles and life delayed us a bit, but now we’re back on track.

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Time For the Guineas to Shine

Our special guests from Austin arrived last week just in time for tick season! I hadn’t realized the ticks were even out yet until their children and ours managed to find them all on the forested slopes on the other side of the creek. Read more

Future Deer Hedge or Natural Nuisance?

Nothing says Nature’s wisdom like a sweet smelling citrus built like a prison wall.

I happend upon a hardy citrus plant that functions as a 2 ft wide and 6 ft tall barbed wire hedge. This plant is being used by some homesteaders and permaculture types as deer repellent fencing for their gardens. It delivers a delicious citrus aroma and yields a bitter fruit that can be preserved/frozen and made into desserts like key lime pie. Read more

Diggin’ Holes with Michaeli

By Steve Michaelis

The Good Lord looking down with pleasure on work gettin done at the ‘Potamus Homestead.

Out of their future garden we extracted a substantial metal post along with its absurdly over-poured concrete reinforcement. It once supported one of those huge-motha satellite dishes…. Read more

Food Forest Beginnings

Wouldn’t it be nice to gather an endless supply of food with minimum effort? Wouldn’t it be great if harvest was the most difficult part of your food growing process? Well, to some extent it can be. As Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture, and Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens, have demonstrated, permaculturists and regrarians are currently nurturing food forests large enough to feed entire villages. These forests provide nuts, fruits, seeds, flour, coffee, sustainable building materials, wood for burning, animal feed, and much more. Read more

Ginger the Bird Hunter

Of the four barn kitties that arrived unannounced last summer, Ginger has been far and away the most interesting. We thought Ginger was a female, hence the name. But turns out he is not. But he actually comes when called, so the name stuck. Read more

Solar Powered Electrofence Unfazed by Winter

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I was concerned about whether or not ice would inhibit the conversion of sunrays to electricity. But this solar array handles ice like a pro. Even though it was difficult to remove the clamp from the fence at feeding time, it was definitely working because I shocked myself in the process.

That’s what I get for trying to rush through my chores in the cold.

Winter’s Not Through With Us Yet

Heather and I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of absolute silence. The sound machine and the clock were off. Winter’s latest storm had knocked out our electricity. I allowed myself to go back to sleep to see if the lights would return by morning. Read more

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