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Farm Life

''Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.''
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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:31 pm

It’s been a busy week here on the farm. Not even sure where to start. Had loads of fun after my last post last week. We had moved the boys feeder back by the fence so I wouldn’t have to go inside the fence to feed every time, thinking Raven couldn’t jump that high anymore. A reasonable assumption, since he hadn’t tried to jump up there in a long time, and still didn’t after we moved it back by the fence.

Then we moved Crispy and Raven over to two separate pens next to each other, each with the does we had planned on breeding them with. Besides beating each other up through the fence, Raven completely trashed the fence panel by the gates between the two pens. And then, to my complete surprise, jumped over the fence! We spent a couple days trying to keep him in there. He was interested in the two does who had just recently arrived, and was determined to at least be next to them. I dug out the accumulated poop/hay by the gate, thinking that might help. Then my husband screwed in a couple pieces of wood, to hopefully block his escape. When that didn’t work, we attached a piece of metal shelving up to make the fence taller there. He just found another place to jump. That stinker had me jumping for a couple days. So then we spent several hours putting up 50 feet of 3 foot high fencing all around the pen he is normally in, moved the feeder back away from the fence again, and put him and Crispy back in their original pen. Whoever got bred, great! Whoever didn’t, well, too bad. I’m not doing that anymore!

The sad part of my previous week is Hermie. I put an ad up to try and find a home for him/her, and not one response. I had hoped I would never have to do it again, but ended up loading Hermie in the car and taking her/him to a woman who sells people’s unwanted animals to an auction. This kind of thing hurts. But if I’m going to feed the other two all winter, when I already have more than I should, I just can’t feed another goat whose chances of getting a good home are almost nil. I guess it’s a good business these days, as she had a lot of animals and told me that a goat she used to only get around $7 for is now going for a $150! Lots of people moving in that eat goat : (

And, apparently, a considerable number of people get them, probably when they are cute and little, and then realize how much work it actually is, and want to get rid of them. While we were there, waiting for her to come out, a group had brought some chickens. We found out fairly quickly why they were there, as we watched while they started taking them out of the cage they were in, one by one, and proceeded to smack each one several times in the head with a big stick, while someone held them by the legs upside down. Even if I was going to raise and slaughter my own chickens, I would not do it that way. People are so stupid and completely unaware sometimes.

I know I’m not a paragon of perfection, but even with the little bit of chicken I do eat, I am very aware of the life that was given, and do not take it for granted. If we don’t think people should be treated like animals, then maybe we should think about the way we do treat those of the animal kingdoms. They do feel, and they do experience terror and fear. At least the native peoples that I know of perceive the spiritual implications of taking a life, any life. It makes me think of the dog meat festival they have in China every year. I sincerely hope we can bring back a more honorable way of living here, with all our relations, and at least show more respect for what is given. I even thank the plant kingdom when I eat fruits, grains, and vegetables. From my understanding, everything is sacred, even the ground I walk upon.

But I do realize that we are not a homogenous group. It is not a judgement, just my observations. I have grown a ton since I was a child, and have many understandings that have grown slowly over time. I realize now that the energy of violence without awareness of how that works and radiates out is simply not understood by most. Compassion must be lived, not beat into someone. That is the only way, as far as I know.

The other thing we accomplished just yesterday is some major repairs to a couple of the goat shelters. We did have to replace the roof on one of them, because, as it was pointed out to me last year, OSB does not weather well if not appropriately covered. This particular barn did not even have a tarp on it last year, and the OSB was shot. And we’re tarping it again this year, but at least everyone has a decent shelter that is dry and mold free. I picked up a couple more dog houses this last summer too, so even with the extra goats everyone will be able to get out of the weather, and have several options. Which is good, because goats can be kind of mean to each other sometimes. And Firefly is queen bully. I had them all out together, all 11 does, and four kids, and took them for a good long walk to forage while there is still something left to forage. They all did quite well together, and, as always, were quite happy to be out.

Plus, I am very happy to report that even though Coco’s sister (we renamed her Celeste, since her previous name, Sister, was too confusing) that I got back had never been on a milk stand before, did get up there with a little persuasion, and not exactly happily let me trim her hooves while eating grain. She actually did quite well, which means with not too much effort she will indeed end up being a good milker. If I could somehow manifest a few more solar panels and batteries, a freezer, and a milk machine (I don’t want much, do I : ) I would just keep her and start some serious cheese production. Perhaps not likely, but never say never! I really do want to get away from buying processed cheese, as I know more than I want to about what goes on before it gets to the supermarket all orange, packaged, and perfect looking. A nice root cellar would be great too, while I’m dreaming big, LOL! (Oh yeah, and the big semi underground greenhouse)

Oh, and one last thing, before I forget. So, as anyone reading here knows, we went to court a month ago over an assault situation from almost a year ago, and the guy (who was found guilty of assaulting us) went for sentencing two days ago. The prosecutor recommended 90 days, and it used to be that the judge generally went with the prosecutors suggested sentence. Not any more. Our mouths gaped open when we found out the guy got only 3 days!!! After all the crap he pulled, not taking any plea bargains, the cost of a jury trial, walking out of court with a made up health emergency for which he did not even provide any proof of, he got three days! And he is not a first time offender either. The woman who works for the prosecutors office as a advocate for the victims said it’s a new trend and all the judges seem to be giving out very light sentences, to the frustration of the prosecutors. What a deal!

Okay, now I’m really done. Have an awesome day everyone, wherever you are. Even if we live more than once, it’s the only time we live this particular life and experience. Might as well make it the best we can with what we’ve got.

And thank you Fred and Steven! I do so appreciate a little commentary now and then. I never watched the Truman show, but totally get what you are saying. Strange strange world out there, and it’s getting stranger by the day.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:26 pm

Every morning it’s getting darker and darker when the alarm goes off. I admit, I’m a light lover and have trouble with the dark gloomy days of winter. At least we’re having a bit of an Indian summer, with some consecutive beautiful sunny warm, but not hot, days. Perfect outdoor working weather.

Unfortunately, I kind of hurt myself a few days ago. My husband made a stand for the larger generator, to get it off the ground and moved it so as to make the smaller generator easier to access. I helped him lift it onto the new stand he made and now my shoulders, neck, and lower back are all out of whack. And, wanting to stay that way. I’ve been trying not to do much to irritate it, which is actually hard to do with our current lifestyle. We’re hoping to get a nice cord of red fir from the folks we gave the horse trailer to back this last spring. It needed a lot of work we didn’t have time for anyway. But we’re still trying to gather up as much dead and/or down trees as we can, which helps get the fire going, and keep it going when mixed with the red fir. Some of the pieces left over from last year have some serious knots in them, and even after half a dozen whacks don’t want to split. That’s when you get the chainsaw out, and say to heck with that!

We got a lot done this last week, but still have a lot more to do. At least we’re sort of ready for winter weather should it sneak up on us. I keep seeing different predictions about what to expect this winter season. Some say it’s going to be less snow and not as cold, then I’ve heard it’s going to be the worst in ten years. Maybe they figure if they make enough predictions, one of them will be right. It’s kind of like the daily weather. I’ve seen where they try to cover their bases and basically say some sun, some clouds, and possible rain, with a range of possible temperatures. I know the farmers this year had a heck of a time with knowing when to cut their hay, as it was all over the place, and very hard to predict. I have my own theories on that, but won’t go into it here. I would say, in general, we’re in a period of less certainty about much of anything.

We were so pleased with ourselves after putting up the extra fencing for Raven, that I couldn’t hardly believe it when some friends came out and we took all the girls for a walk down by the boys pens. The one and only spot we didn’t add fencing to, right behind their shelter, he managed to jump out. And even when we added a piece to cover that area, he made it out again over the gate, which wasn’t quite as high. We finally had to add some spare pieces of OSB to the back of the shelter, so he couldn’t get up there and clear the fence anymore. He is a wily one. Our guests got a kick out of it though, as he ran all excited around the girls, snorting and carrying on like he does. He got a pretty good gash over his left eye in one of his escape attempts. A little closer and it might not have been a good outcome. I would definitely say this goat “got our goat”!

In fact, it’s kind of funny to think about all those sayings related to farm animals. Goats really are kind of raunchy when it comes to their sex life. In fact, the girls will even try to act like bucks during the mating season. And Nigerian Dwarfs can actually mate year round. Speaking of sex and farm animals, I have an appointment for Thomas, the male kitten we got a few months ago. His sister can wait a bit, but he’s going in to get neutered next week. He is about twice the size of his sister, and he is going to be huge when full grown. But what a baby! He meows really loud, and is far more demanding when he wants attention than any of the girls. Don’t want him to fully realize he’s a male and start spraying on everything though. Then he would have to be an outside cat.

My husband saw something that surprised him a few days ago. He saw Zoey, our female Manx we got about a year ago, catch two consecutive mice, and gave one to each of the kittens! That surprised the heck out of me. And, they ate them! The little female, Katniss, growled up a storm when her brother came over to try and take it from her. She was having none of it. I’m quite happy that they will help keep the population of rodents under control. Now if I could just get them to go after gophers. I’m going to have to dig up the walnut tree I planted and dig a deep hole lined with something they can’t chew through, otherwise it’s a goner. It went from flourishing in a container, to hardly growing at all once I put it in the ground. My neighbor said just take a pitchfork and keep stabbing the ground around their tunnels. I guess you can try to flood them out, too. I remember going with my brother when I was a kid to check the gopher traps he used to set at the entrances to their tunnels out in the alfalfa fields. It was kind of gruesome, but effective. Think I’ll just go with putting a cage of some sorts in the holes before I plant. They are destructive little buggers.

We’re already starting to have a little trouble finding hay, which isn’t a good sign. I’m determined next year to sell enough goats to buy several ton of hay before they sell it off to corporate farms from far away. The same farmers I used to buy from all year long are getting bought out before the summer is even over. And many are raising their prices accordingly. Just another thing to squeeze out the little guy. I did find out about a gardening club of sorts, that meets throughout the spring, summer, and early fall, that helps create a supportive network of small farmers trying to grow most of their own food. I found out the lady I always see out tending her garden at the end of our road, is a friend of a friend who told me about this group, and she’s going to arrange a meeting. There is a growing group of likeminded people, who may not have anything else in common, except for a love of gardening and eating healthy, and becoming more self reliant. And I’m totally up for that! I’m happy to see awareness of the damage that has been done, and still is being done, by corporations such as Monsanto is finally coming into full bloom. I’ve been beating that drum for almost 10 years now, so it’s about damn time!

Our 13 year old diabetic cat who is not doing very well just knocked my half full cup of coffee on the floor, so I guess that’s my signal to quit and get to work. I love her dearly, but it’s getting harder to regulate her insulin. Too much and she has seizures, too little and she starts loosing weight and gets kind of wobbly, and wants to be in my lap 100% of the time. It’s been four years since she was diagnosed, and did really well until recently. It’s very hard to see her struggle, and know that eventually there will be nothing more I can do. That’s the one thing about farm life, and life in general, is the finiteness of it all, that’s hard to deal with. In spirit we live indefinitely, but when we come into the physical it seems there is an expiration date. Coming to terms with that is continuous. All I can do is the best I’m capable of, with as much awareness and personal responsibility as I can muster, and, of course, most importantly, with as much love and compassion as possible, and then just let it go. For all our efforts to control, some things are just out of our control.

With so much love for all life, as I know all too well how hard is it at times just to be here, and be fully present with the way things are, the good, the bad, and the sometimes downright ugly. There is great beauty, though, and even in loss we can let our lights shine.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby LostNFound » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:35 am

" Now if I could just get them to go after gophers. I’m going to have to dig up the walnut tree I planted and dig a deep hole lined with something they can’t chew through, otherwise it’s a goner. It went from flourishing in a container, to hardly growing at all once I put it in the ground. My neighbor said just take a pitchfork and keep stabbing the ground around their tunnels. I guess you can try to flood them out, too. I remember going with my brother when I was a kid to check the gopher traps he used to set at the entrances to their tunnels out in the alfalfa fields. It was kind of gruesome, but effective. Think I’ll just go with putting a cage of some sorts in the holes before I plant. They are destructive little buggers."

Yes, the destructive little "bastards" These stinking critters will destroy anything and create an area that can be dangerous to walk around in. I tried so many different ways to get rid of them. I finally managed to move them to an area that is less walked on and does not have any trees or garden type plants that we would rather not have destroyed. My next move is to go there and do what I finally did to get them to move. I went and purchased a special gopher pellet that they like to eat that kills them. I started putting a small cup of these in the open hole and covering the hole up. Found out that where you see the little mounds of dirt is a hole that is no longer used so when I searched around I found the open holes with no dirt piled up. When I dumped the pellets in them and covered them, I did not see anymore holes and mounds of dirt. I did smell the dead bodies awhile later and that served to keep any others from digging in that particular area. Mostly they eat these pellets and die underground and that is fine by me.

Now here is another idea that my honey came up with. She said we should paint a picture of the gopher on a piece of plywood or something and lay it close to the holes so it can be seen from the air. We have Red tail hawks and eagles that fly around our property alot and I suspect they find plenty of food because there are lots of these nasty little rodents around. So anyway, a good picture of the food and words with an arrow pointing to the hole, the words in big black letters stating FREE FOOD should do the trick. The other nice bird we have that eats these things is the road runners and we make friends with them and even talk to them when they come up to our patio in the summer. So we tell them where the free food is and by gosh and by golly I have seen them perusing the areas where the snarks live.

By the way, Water does not work well because of how they build there tunnels. However, I have run them to other places and perhaps made them either sick or dead by dumping straight Clorox and even vinegar into the open holes. Have a neighbor that bought into the bombs and got rid of the one he had.Those can be fun if your into blowing things up. LOL. Just a few ideas and methods to try for the farm girl. Oh and the pitchfork idea is a hit and miss idea that I did try. A Pellet gun is another but one has to be very patient. Maybe a .22, Hell I even thought about a shotgun but I am in an area where there is too many people. So that was out.

GOPHERS, THE BAIN OF ALL OF US. Not much bigger than a mouse, sort of between a rat and a mouse but diggers they are.

stay warm
Steven


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