Tuesday, July 23, 2013

School is starting back, you say?

A lot of homesteading pages are discussing school starting back after summer vacation. I know many, many homesteading parents homeschool - mostly in the traditional sense.

 I seem to try my best to not do things the typical way, though. We believe in a natural approach to learning. We believe folks should consider the  un-school approach

But. . .what is un-schooling? The process of allowing children to learn from their world, using real life events to teach everything. . .allowing the child's strengths to guide what they learn. Normal events in a day are lessons. Life has lessons, natural interest creates lessons, learning, self guided.

It is well wrapped up in the Oscar Wilde quote:  “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

I hated traditional school as a child and teenager. My mother was a free, artsy type that did not force me to go, and I lived in an area - ha - that didn't enforce attendance back then. I stayed home more often than not, and I stopped going entirely at 15. It was a wonder then, when I went to college that I outperformed all of the "traditionally schooled" students time and time again, right? Not really.

Perhaps that time to learn what I had an interest in on my own and to actually learn about real life is the MAIN reason I am here doing what I do now, the way I do it. . .and I would have it no other way. So, that is what we do here. . .we are fortunate that I can be home with the boys and understand many parents aren't afforded that luxury. I'm very glad because our oldest son, particularly, did not thrive in the traditional classroom at all, and I shudder to think how his confidence would have suffered and his unorthodox but natural abilities would have been ruined in the process. I come from a LONG line of teachers/principal/professors on both my father's and mother's side of the family, so call me the black sheep, if you will :)

And for me, personally, I prefer to shape a life of learning that the children do not need a vacation from :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Horse rescue on the farm

A moment there on the hill earlier. . .

Brushing Rowan, Blake looking over my shoulder wondering if she was next. . .

I held Rowan's little nose, a nose cover in scabs and bleeding a little over a month ago. . . 

and I had to leave the hill and come down here. . .

Stop it, soul. . .

They are not mine and those moments are not for me but for their people out there searching for each of them, even if they do not yet know it. . .to give them a happily ever after. If I have too many of those moments, letting them go is too hard, and let go, I must ALWAYS do.

I'm a halfway house, and so that others have a chance, that is all I will ever be to these horses. . .

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Horse trainers

Trainers, Trainers. . .lol . . .

Any chance I could get a train in the Oh, WV or Ky area to make a deal with my on putting my 5 year old Arab mare undersaddle? What I can offer is enough cash to cover feeding for 60 days and to barter services for your training time and care - I can offer photos sessions (seniors, equine, weddings, family, etc) by me (I'm not 1/2 bad, either - haha - you can look up Pix by Tinia on FB) or/and Heating and Cooling services from my dear farming fellow. I love my dear girl and it is high time she got training I never had money or time for because of the rescue work that monopolizes my entire being all of the time. Anyone, Anyone?

Real milk is Raw and safe

"The reviewer, Nadine Ijaz, MSc, demonstrated how inappropriate evidence has long been mistakenly used to affirm the "myth" that raw milk is a high-risk food, as it was in the 1930s. Today, green leafy vegetables are the most frequent cause of food-borne illness in the United States. "


The Comedy of a goat

Now what movie does this remind you of from the 1980's?

Well grown dairy goat kids

Raising well grown, healthy goats kids is one of the things most new goat folks find difficult. The two main issues are not controlling coccidia in kids and not leaving them on milk long enough.
Never wean buck and doe kids before 16 weeks (I do not wean before 24 weeks). Always either run fecals monthly and treat coccidia (which you will need to do monthly) or raise on prevetion (what I do) and treat with baycox or dimethox every 14-21 days.

Your kids will be healthy and you will not have stunted kids with rough coats and chronic diarrhea.

Free people really do not ask. . .

Free people really do not ask. . .
We live in a county where the government dictates what we eat, How much we pay to lease land that should be ours yearly, where and when our kids attend school, our health care matters, what
rights we have when single or married. . .whether we can have chickens in our backyards. . .whether we can co-own a cow. . .whether we can collect water from the sky. . .
I should not have to agree with you, I should be able to vocalize my disagreement and hold whatever views I chose. I should be able to try to persuade you of my beliefs,
and you should be able to do the same.
We should be able to be friends during this time. Not calling each other "bigots" (misused almost
constantly today) when views do not align perfectly or at all.
I believe in our collective right to do anything we wish that does not directly harm another person or
clearly abuse a living being with blatant cruelty.
I do not have to accept anything.
Neither do you.
I can decide within my own heart what is wrong or right and proceed in my own life upholding that belief.
I should be able to disagree and scream against what I do not
believe in, despise and fight against what is repugnant to me, and you should be able to do the same.
We should be able to be proactive for our causes, our beliefs and be activists.
We do not need to respect opinions we find immoral.
I hold that you and I do not have to be politically or socially correct. . .
I believe in freedom.
It is a right none of us have truly ever known, but it is vital we still be demanding it, working to gain it.
I do not agree with more than I care to mention, but I believe feverishly in your right the believe and live as you would live as long as you do not directly cause obvious injury to other people (first world problems excluded).
If things are as I've long believed, we answer for choices, good and bad. . .in the end. If we make the wrong ones or stayed silent when we knew to speak up, we answer for
that, as well.
The government is not who we, me or you, should answer to for personal matters, life choices or the like.
There is something far higher to give account to, and Uncle Sam isn't him.
Who you marry, what type of milk you drink, whether you have chickens in the backyard and a garden
in the front, whether you want to order an extra large soda, whether you want to send your kids to public school. . .those are THINGS THAT are your concern.
They are not mine.
Mine ARE NEVER Yours.
I may have opinions on them. I will share them,
but you do not have to abide by my thoughts, and we surely should not be subject to a government's view on those (and many other) matters.
To end, during a time where the division grows daily. . .I'll quote something I've shared so many times before,
"When the boot is on your throat, it matters little if it is a right or
When must come to a point where we realize, the political party system exists largely to keep people from being united. We are a dangerous people united. Keeping us divided is the way they win.
And we keep letting them win.

The Beautiful Miniature Jerseys of the farm

Silver Fox Rabbits

We have been raising Silver Fox Rabbits for nearly two years now

I must say I feel rabbits are a very functional part of a diverse homestead!

Silver Fox were a critically endangered breed when we began raising them.

GMO funding

Something worth being aware of

Making Butter and Buttermilk

Simple to make

We culture the cream for 24 hours
Scoop it off of the milk and put it in the fridge for a day
and then put it in the food processor for about 2 minutes - 

“I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference.” 
― Ellen Goodman

Weaning goat kids

Note: Please do not wean your bottle baby doe and buck kids at 6-10 weeks old. Ideally, 16-24 weeks (Personally I do 24 weeks) is best. They would never naturally wean themselves so early, and there are good reasons why. A forage/hay/grain diet cannot fill their nutritional needs at this age - the fat content is far too low. You will leave them vulnerable to higher coccidia and worm loads and have smaller growth all around by weaning too young, as well. You will have no chance of the kid reaching its optimal size by fall breeding time. Kids should weigh 80lbs by 6 months old. Keep that in mind if you're raising full size dairy goats. 60 oz a day, whole cow's milk or goat's milk - no replacer



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington