Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Went to the Woods...

I have been lazily perusing Thoreau lately, and I came across this quote that I thought I would share.  It is certainly not a full explanation of why we homestead, but it is a beautiful description of one aspect.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and , if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

A Time for Thanksgiving: A Successful First Harvest

Garden Harvest 2

...There is something so naturally human in sticking hands in dirt and sweat dampened hair, stained fingernails and the smell of tomato plants. It is the joy of my oldest daughter pulling up weeds beside me while the youngest dances with dandelions and kittens. It is in cooking a supper consisting of organic food entirely harvested from our own land. It is being grateful for a salary that cannot be counted but, rather, is measureless.  

Read more at Mother Earth News.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankfully Weary

I am going to momentarily break from my hardcore homesteader facade to admit something: I am tired.  I am completely exhausted, utterly depleted, and thankfully weary.  We have had a busy spring, followed by a busy summer, followed by a busy fall.  I had the brilliant (slight sarcasm here), yet necessary idea of building a barn immediately following harvest season.  The free moments in between throwing around hammers and school books have been filled with births, deaths, and breedings. I feel so blessed to live the life that I am, and I am in awe at how God has provided and sustained us this year. We have stored away nearly all the fruit and veggies we will need this winter, there are 22 organic chickens in our freezer, our wood is cut and stacked, our barn is nearly finished, and most of our goats are bred. Now, all I want to do is sit on a couch by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good book. While wearing my classy union suit.  And not get up until March.

Teat Dip: A Natural Approach

When I was younger, I often thought of the many esteemed writing topics that would accumulate in my portfolio. I have to admit, a blog about teat dip was not among them. Yet, teat dip is an important topic for owners of dairy goats. In this world of commercialized dairy, navigating aisles of premixed dip solutions can become quite the frustration. Fortunately, it takes just a few simple ingredients to make a naturally disinfecting solution.

Continue reading this captivating article at Mother Earth News

goat udder

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Dairy Goat Homestead: Our First Breeding Season, Part 1

After purchasing dairy goats, I gave very little thought to breeding season. A dairy goat needs to be bred every year in order to keep producing milk, and I assumed that was a somewhat simple process. Girl goat meets boy goat, girl goat likes boy goat, and in five months little baby goats are running around. Right? Well, so far it has not been that easy. Of the few challenges that I have faced since becoming an owner of dairy goats, this has been perhaps the most frustrating.

Continue reading at Mother Earth News.

fence post