Monday, September 14, 2015

Getting Ready for Winter: Preserving Food, Part 1

I’m really not a fan of summer. Summer in Western Montana means long hot days without rain, wildfires, and the inevitable smoke. So, everything is drought-stressed, including me and my critters. Even so, there are some bright spots to the summer — that is the potential to get apples, plums, pears, and elderberries for free or darn near free either from wild trees or from people who just don’t want bears in their yards, eating their windfall fruit.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Honey of a Mess

 The mead is working
Boy did I screw up - or did I? I started my first batch of mead after all these years back in October-November. You all may remember my post about the mead. Well, I had trouble with getting the damn thing to start. I tried adding more yeast, I tried energizer, I tried damn near everything...and no bubbles out the airlock.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome Wingnut

Early this morning, Blaze delivered her kid. I was pretty sure she would deliver some time in the wee hours of the morning. She had showed all the signs of imminent labor, including discharge. So I wasn't surprised when I saw Blaze with her kid at about 3 o'clock in the morning. The doeling was wet and shivering in the cold.

Getting Her Warmed Up

It was around freezing, which isn't that cold around here, but it can be deadly for newborn kid. I had put towels in the barn for the just the purpose of getting a kid dried off in the expectation of Blaze's kidding, but they just weren't enough. So the little doeling got a ride on the ATV to the house. I used up about five towels to get the little shivering thing dry and put a space heater on her for a while so she could warm up.

I was take a risk doing this. There's a chance that the mother will reject the kid after I take the kid away even for short while. But, there's a bigger chance of the kid dying of hypothermia, which kind of trumps everything.

The doeling was so cold that she would barely suck my finger. So, I took her away from mom, while hearing Blaze's protests. When I got the little doeling back to mom, she had a strong sucking response and she was ready to nurse.

Trying to Figure It Out

Newborn kids have the instinctive need to nurse, but they're not particularly equipped with roadmap. As a result, the little doeling was trying to nurse anywhere but the udder. What's more, they don't necessarily want you to show them where it is. So after much struggles, I managed to get her to drink a bit. I then left mom with the kid and went back to the house. By the time I got inside, it was 6 o'clock. I stumbled to bed, knowing at least the doeling was in good hands (hooves?) with her mother.

Her Name

Unlike my other Lamancha crosses, the little doeling has these huge helicopter ears. Her mother, Blaze, is a Boer cross, and has the drop ears of a Boer. Lamancha goats are often called "earless." They actually do have ears, but they're just very tiny. This girl is bucking the trend of my herd as every baby goat this year was born with Lamancha ears.

My husband came in from feeding the critters in the barn and told me that her name is "Wingnut." Her ears are so big that I had a hard time arguing against the name. I'll be taking pictures of little Wingnut and put them on the blog soon. She is, adorable, of course.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Underwear Gnomes and Turkeys

Wild turkeys
It’s hunting season, which means that my and my husband’s lives go on hold for 5 weeks to try to fill our freezer. Actually it goes on longer than that when you count in upland bird season, fall bear, and anything else we care to look for when it comes to meat.

Despite the reports of great hunting, we we’ve been struggling to get all our tags filled. Yes, we got our two antlerless tags filled, and occasionally managed a wayward grouse, but everywhere we’ve went, we’d run into the wrong species, sex, or the wrong unit to hunt the critters.
That’s why when we ran into the Tom turkeys, we were surprised.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Processing a Deer

This year, we decided to process our own game meat. We did it largely because the cost of game processing has gone up and after dealing with one hefty bill, we decided that we would butcher our own deer should we have the chance to get another one this hunting season.

Luck would have it that a rather large buck did wander into our sights and my husband took him with one shot. The shot destroyed the buck’s lungs and broke the spine, so by the time we got there, the buck was dead. So, I had to figure out how to process the deer after we got him home.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs

I'm going to try a new feature this month and see how it goes.  I'm calling it "Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs."  I figure this gives me a good chance at taking a look at all the blogs I really want to see and posting those I think are worth looking at.  So, without further ado, here are a roundup of blogs that I think are worthwhile.

A Mindful Carnivore: Tovar Cerulli's Quest for the Answer, Does Hunting Make Us Human?

If you're into sustainability, you'll make less of a carbon footprint and have a sustainable resource if you hunt. So, when Tovar Cerrulli, the vegetarian turned hunter, put up his blog post, "Does hunting make us human?”: A collection to savor,  I knew I had to check it out.  He links to some very profound pieces about hunting.  Even if you disagree with hunting, read these pieces.  You may find them enlightening.

Maya Made: All that Glimmers IS Gold

Maya has been doing her holiday magic and comes up with awesome crafts.  In All that Glimmers IS Gold, she literally paints feathers, rocks, and leaves with gold.  Pretty cool.

Ethical Foods: How to Plan an Eco-Conscious Holiday Feast

 Ethical Foods has a great article on how to plan an eco-conscious holiday feast.  No, I've not gone all silly on you.  I still love my meat, and I'm not into vegetarianism, although I do like vegetable dishes. They're mostly talking sustainable.  Which means eating local.  I'm all for eating seasonal and local, which is why this article slips into my list of blog posts.

Recipe of the Week: Sourdough Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

One of my fellow bloggers on Mother Earth News came up with this yummy sounding recipe.  If you try it before I have a chance to make it,  let me know how it turned out.

How do you like Sustainable Me?  Should I continue this weekly or monthly?  Do you know of any blogs you think are worth mentioning?  Let me know and if I find something I enjoy, I'll share it with everyone!