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Adventures in Babysitting

My mind was somewhere else as I backed up the car until I heard CRRRRUUUUNNNCH!!!

We managed without a nanny for six months. It was a frustrating season for mom and dad. Our pod was completed, but we couldn’t find an opportunity to use it until we hired some help.

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As Our Time With Dairy Goats Ends, Their Story’s Just Beginning

We were waiting for our new babysitter to arrive for a trial day. I went out front to fix the sign that had fallen down where the links connect. The goats came meandering around the deck toward me to see what I was getting into.

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Dear Vegans, About Not Killing Animals…

The textbook definition of a vegan is “A person who chooses not to eat meat or use animal products (like dairy or milk soap).” Often, the motivation behind this lifestyle choice is the quality and longevity of life for all animals.

Without meat and animal products, vegans typically eat A LOT of soy based products because it’s relatively high in protein within the plant kingdom.

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Some Steps Toward Self-Reliance Feel Like Walking in Circles

Milk and eggs. Two things we know we can get on our homestead. Two important life-sustaining items. Except… chickens and goats don’t just thrive on their own. Maybe with a fully functioning, robust permaculture design, we might have the natural food stuffs the animals require for optimal health and production. Until then, they rely on outside sources for food.

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What Ways Do You Winterize Your Life?

After a week-long entrepreneurial mastermind in October, we returned home pumped up and ready to take on Winter. We had a handful of actionable task to jump into immediately, which always helps one make progress.

We threw ourselves into ditch digging and internet cable connecting and are now operating out of our pod on a little hill behind our house. It has a beautiful view and gives us a wall of sunshine to brighten our day.

Now that the pod is finished, we’re on to complete the website redesign we started earlier this year. So excited. It’s going to be like stepping into a more comfortable and natural skin.

So for us, this particular winter is more about the blog and less about the steading. In an ideal world we’d tackle both, but right now we’re like Ethan Hawke in Training Day, hanging onto the choke hold until we get one of the two men down.

Weather Means Change

For most parts of the country, overnight temps are reaching the freeze point. That means change has come. Hoop houses and green houses may need adjusting, chickens may need additional bedding, and livestock generally need more calories catered.

We keep it simple on the blogstead, not because we’re expert minimalists or conservationists, but because running a digital business and homeschooling analog children takes a lot of time. There’s only so much “we” to go around.
I mentioned that we’re winterizing the chicken dome, and I’d like to hear what you’re doing to prepare your home, animals, or land for winter this year.

Are you growing crops? Anticipating furbabies? Taking a much needed break? Catching up on business projects while the land rests?

Whatever it is that you do, I want to hear about it. I hope you’ll click to reply.

First Freeze and the Chicken Dome

Winter weather snuck up on me this year. It’s apparently going to dip down to 27 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. In the normal course of things, this isn’t a problem. This year, however, we have exposed chickens at play.

I was so busy working on strategy for a new newsletter subscription offer that I let the day slip by without realizing tonight could potentially be dangerous to the chickens still in our dome.

In case you’re wondering why we still have chickens IN our dome, let me reassure you, it is strictly for strategic and deeply purposeful reasons. Okay, I lied. The blog side of #blogsteading has been primary this past week or so, what with digging a trench and running internet cable to our new pod. I haven’t had time to slaughter the rest of our broilers yet this season.

So a little late, I found this quote on the Zip Tie Domes website:

To winterize your dome, just put a tarp or plastic sheet over it, then put hay down on the ground. When the hay gets dirty, move the dome. (By moving the dome year round, it makes it very hard for the dome to harbor mites or other pests, which is common problem for all other chicken coops.)

Tomorrow, we’ll pull some plastic from the shed and cover most of the sides so the birds will stay nice and cozy. And with the ground getting colder, it’s time to consider hanging some perches for the birds to get off the ground. Zip Tie Domes recommends adding hay as ground cover and leaving the dome in place until the hay needs to be replaced. That sounds fine, at first, except this dome is in our yard, and I’m pretty sure neither Heather nor I want to see poopy hay circles dotting the landscape outside our bedroom window.

To be continued…

How to Build a Chicken Coop Door in Nine Easy Steps

Two years ago, I built a chicken coop inside the barn. It was my first project on the new property. The design was simple, and the only way in or out was a human-sized door.

The one thing missing? A chicken-sized door… Since chickens ARE the intended residents. Action must be taken, folks. Preparations must be made.  Read more

What’s So Wrong With Idealism?

For the past year and a half, I’ve been overly apologetic when I explain our homestead to first time visitors. I play it down a lot, because I’m seeing all the unrealized potential that I was expecting to have achieved by now.

There are good reasons, naturally. My health took a noticeable nose dive since 2012, which is saying a lot considering the challenges I’d already been facing for the better part of a decade. Still, I hate to be that guy who was once-upon-a-time going to do something exciting and different but is now just a guy with a bunch of land that just sits there.  Read more

American Sniper Shames Me at Homesteading

As I watched the parade of cars drive down the Texas streets, I cried a few tears. How pointless. A man who risked so much and survived so many possible deaths lost his life taken to a fellow veteran on American soil! The tragedy. Read more

Is Your Vision Worth Keeping? Then Don’t Let it Go

I just laid my journal back down on the desk. All it takes is 5-10 minutes to relieve the pressure building up on the inside. Today’s pressure goes back to personal vision. Read more

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