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!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Roundup: Hunting, Harvest, and Preparing for Winter

November always equals insanity.  It's close to the end of the year, the holidays are nearly upon us, I have way too much work as a publisher to get done, and it's hunting season.  Basically, my life is a disaster.  My critters figured this out too.  So, here are some of the happenings around the homestead.

Molting Chickens

My chickens stopped laying.  One week I was pulling in dozens of eggs, and now, nada.  They've decided it's time to molt which means no eggs.  So, the dogs are getting the older eggs and I'm eying the chickens to see who goes to freezer camp.


Disastrous Incubation

My last hatch was back in October and it ended in disaster.  We had 3 chicks and 3 turkey poults hatch and NONE lived longer than a week even with a new Brinsea brooder.  No idea why.  Perhaps they had coccidia. I think I'll try again in the spring when I can keep the guys outside.



You know it's November when we're scurrying after critters.  Most of the hunting has been painful because they're the wrong species, the wrong sex, or the wrong game unit.  All of it means a load of frustration.  Still, if we're going to fill our freezer, we've got to continue looking.



I'm normally okay with whatever the weather brings.  Only we've been stupidly warm in the 50s and 60s.  Now it has poured buckets and we're supposed to have a low of -9F later this week.  No, you can't make this up.



At least my husband was on the ball and got a whole bunch of wood cut and split.  We still need a lot more split, but at least we have enough firewood for the winter, if nothing else.


We have a new goat pen! After we placed Rocket, we split the horse pen and now the goat and Sid the llama has half the pen plus a portion of the inside of the barn.  Now, everyone can get out of the weather.


Scarlet the Horse


Scarlet doesn't seem lonely in the slightest. In fact, she's relieved Rocket is gone.  (Go figure!)  So, she keeps an eye on Sid and the goats but acts like a happy horse.



Next Week: Look for our new carnival!  I'll be doing a round up of some of the homestead, sustainable, local, gardening, farm, hunting, and food blogs I like.  Comment below and I'll check out your blog for Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First Frost

A surprise doeling
Bolt and Frost
Bolt was looking thinner and thinner. Despite multiple wormings, extra food, and putting her into a pen to gain weight. With both her and Blaze failing to have healthy kids, we were seriously thinking of putting them into freezer camp. Our reasons were practical. Being Boer mixes, they tended to consume a lot of food. They were no good for milking because they carried double teats on each side and didn’t produce as much milk as my dairy goats. So, with Bolt failing to conceive this year and Blaze having a stillborn, we both decided to write off the Boers as a learning experience.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rude Goats

Bucks with horns like this one can be pretty dangerous.
The other day I went to see some bucks for sale.  I have two of Oreo's daughters that I'm keeping, which means I have to find a new buck to breed them to get milk from them.  This will be Oreo's third rut, which means he maybe has two more good years.

I looked around and found a possible buck.  He was even a LaMancha.  So, we went to look at him  with the thought of getting him.

He was huge and in rut.  Yes, Oreo is in rut, too, but not like this.  This buck had his horns and swung them around at me when he was annoyed.  He came across as what I would consider a dangerous goat -- if there can be such a thing.  It wasn't the bucky behavior -- it was the lack of respect for humans.

What made his behavior worse was that there were at least five other intact bucks running around loose along with several does in season.  Of course, the people didn't think that the younger bucks could breed their does (Oh, yes they can!) and the younger bucks were sure trying to.  I guess they didn't believe in wethering bucks that they wouldn't use for breeding.

My husband now looks at Oreo in a different light.  By comparison, Oreo is a gentleman.  Sure, he's bucky, but then, that's what he is.  And I'm not concerned that he's going to hurt me.

I was interested in one of her younger bucks, but they haven't called me back, so it may be just as well.

Honey Wine or My Foray into Mead

Honey BeesWay back when, I made mead. I think it was back with Leif Erickson or some guy by that name. Of course, back then we had rotary phones, the Internet existed as ARPANET (look it up), and I was on the cutting edge when it came to computer development. I also stumbled across a USENET post for how to make mead.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Cat Calls

Cat Calls

photo by Sgarton from www.morguefile.comLast night we heard chirping. Loud chirping we’ve never heard before in all our time living in the mountains. Loud enough to hear over the TV and over the fans as they worked toward cooling down the house. My husband muted the TV and turned off the fan. Sure enough, something was chirping out there. But what?

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