When you have animals on you homestead you will have losses. That is a statement of fact. How to deal with a lose? My family are struggling with that now. We lost one of our goats Jackie this weekend. It’s hard to understand how something like this can happen. We have had losses before in the way of rabbits and chickens, but never a goat before. Jackie had a runny nose one evening, and over night turned into pneumonia that killed her. In a matter of a few hours of noticing she had that runny nose, she was gone. In some ways I feel like a failure. In others I feel a bit angry because of the plans we had for her are now gone. The price that we bought her is nothing compared to the plans. My wife and I were already discussing her and our bucks kids, and milking her for cheese. Now back to the starting board. It’s difficult to think of her in a business since because I really care nothing for the money we paid for her. Or the money it takes to feed her and house her. She was more than that. She was our future. The time we can never get back. Jackie was also such a good goat. I was really looking forward to taking care of her for a long time. Also, having to explain to are children about Jackie dying was also rough. Our youngest is to young to know, but our eldest took it hard. But to think of it my wife took it harder than anyone. As we now look to forge ahead looking for replacements, we bare the lose of her. Even though we will replace Jackie, we will never forget her. Bye Jackie.
Where did my family’s journey to personal liberty start? Well from the beginning. Seven years ago my wife and I both had good jobs, that we had just gotten, where we doubled our income. What was the first thing we did. Bought a new car! DUMB! DUMB! Then we did an even dumber thing, we took a week vacation to Hawaii. This vacation was all on credit of course. When the vacation was over and the smoke cleared we realized our card were maxed and little money in the bank. I still remember that feeling the worry trying to figure out what to do. Our solution take a personal line of credit at the bank. DUMB! See a pattern here. Then the greatest thing that has ever happened to my wife and me, the birth of our first daughter. Lucky we planned ahead and had a medical flex spending account, so when she was born my girl was already paid for ;). We had a family now and we realized we made more money, twice than before, and still were no better off. We still could not live through a month without credit. My wife and I stat down and said to each other this has to change. Of course we floundered around on how to get rid of all this debit, never making much traction. We were given Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover and that gave us direction. We plugged away at our debit paying off what we could. After six year and two daughter we are mostly got our debit paid off. Paying off $65,000 was the most difficult thing we have ever done. We still have a little to go, but a very small fraction than before. We are now doing well enough that a few years ago my wife was able to quit her job. A job that she hated, and now she raises and schools our beautiful daughters. Even though our income was cut in half we can handle it now. And happier for it also! If you are in debit get out! It can be done. It can be done! IT CAN BE DONE! I worked two jobs to pay our debit down, and repaired computer on the side on top of that. IT CAN BE DONE!
May the Blessings of Liberty be upon you!
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Farming on a small scale can be done by using the principles of Permaculture. Permaculture is a system of design that applies ethics. These techniques are scale-able, works on fractions of an acre to hundreds of acres. Our cities and suburbs are literary a desert with maybe only grass and a few ornamental trees. Why plant a Bartlett pear when you can plant a tree that bears fruit. There are many techniques to employ. Use the vertical space when on small plots. Using poly culture you can plant many plants in one space that complement each other, such as garlic basil and tomatoes. Garlic and basil protect the tomatoes from pests.
Here are examples of using vertical spaces.
Pallets can be stacked and used to plant into. Pot secured to post of patio, or five gallon buckets to plant potatoes. Design is only limited by the creativity of the designer. Raised beds is also a good design for small spaces. I like the herb spiral and key hole beds.
The key hole bed allows you to maximize space, and you can reach every spot in the bed in the 360 degrees. Herb spiral is a bed the stack many functions. It allows for micro climates by which direction faces the sun and etc. It also employs vertical spacing. In addition when planting trees choose the dwarf verities to maximize space. You can even have live stock if local codes allow. Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature breed of dairy goats, and a small flock of chickens would go fine in the urban setting. I would not recommend rooster though. He can be noisy, and is not really needed for eggs unless you want to hatch your own. Mushrooms can be grown in the shady spots of your plot.
A small plot of land doesn’t have to a hindrance, in fact its easier to start up. You have more of a local clientele base available. Less travel to reach that base. And enjoy the urban life and have your homestead get away in the same location.
May the Blessings of Liberty be upon you.
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What’s one of the major traits that successful people have? They are all big dreamers. Do you dare to dream big dreams? I dream of supporting my family while still at home, and ditching the 9-5 daily grind. I just had a two week stay-cation and it spoiled me. Swimming with my girls, getting work around the homestead finished, and sleeping late (7 am) was really relaxing. Now that I have to go back to work, my dreams of owning my own business and making a living from my land are calling to me. I have the plans complete. Now it’s a matter of patience, and letting my goals mature. It’s very tough for me to be patience I want it all done and completed now! Success is not over night. I have heard several successful people speak on overnight success. Successful people were asked how did you become an overnight success. Their responses were, “Well it took me twenty years to be an overnight success.” Keys to success: 1. Dream big dreams. 2. Make a plan to achieve that dream and put it into writing 3. Set realistic time line to achieve the dream. 4. Failure is a part of the process, just don’t give up. 5. Focus, keep your sights set on your dream. There will be doubters including you. Don’t listen! Starting a business is tough, but have a plan and stick with it. Don’t look to government make things happen for yourself. You can do it! We can do it! And it’s not some empty promise from a suit in Washington D.C. with their “Yes we can.” Good old fashion hard work, and self-determination.
May the Blessings of Liberty be upon you!
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In many ways we are freer now than ever before, but in other ways are free no longer. How did we lose our freedoms? The answer is bit by bit by bit. In the name of safety we got the Patriot Act and TSA groping us. NSA snooping on everything we do. Federal, State, and Local governments steal more and more of our hard earned money. The main weapon in the arsenal of the Government is division. Divide and conquer. We citizens are divided in every way possible. Rich versus poor, black versus white, Democrat versus Republican the list goes on and on. The problem with politics is in the name itself. Poly meaning “many” and tics “nasty blood suckers”. What to do we do about this. Like anything the solution is simple. Simple but hard we do not allow ourselves to be divided any longer. Many people, me included, never even talk to our neighbors anymore. We are divided all the way down to the local levels. I really don’t know my neighbors. In addition grow your own food. What person does not eat? Create enough surpluses to give to neighbors. Have cook outs, or play dates. I had the thought of running grapes or kiwi on my mail box for our mail carrier to enjoy. I’ve recently coached my local children’s baseball team. Get involved!!!! Feed the hungry!!!! Tell Government bullies we don’t freaking need you anymore. We got this thanks, but no thanks. Build local economies. Whites, blacks, rich, poor, Democrat, or Republican we are all Americans. More than Americans we are all humans. Care for each other so the powerful cannot exploit them. Many acts of kindness add up to a whole lot of good for the world. Government I don’t need you. We don’t need you. We got this. Move along we don’t need you. Self-reliance is freedom, but spread the word. Words are power us it!
May Blessings of Liberty be upon you!
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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
But have we ever followed the Constitution? I would say no. On the news and internet you see people crying that Government is not following the Constitution. I ask you again have they ever? Establish Justice but for nearly half of the United States existences one man could own another. And until fifty years ago those people whose ancestors were slaves were not treated under the law as equal. Native Americans were lied to, cheated to, and stolen from what about justice then. We are a good nation, but are we the nation that was promised? We are connected to each other as never before in the history of mankind, but are we freer? In some ways yes and some ways no. Slavery still exists today. Voluntary slavery we are shackled to the slave master called debit and consumerism. We, a Nation and as people, are enslaved with debit that we can never pay for. Our children and grandchildren will be shackled with the debit that our Government is racking up now. We sit idly by watching tv losing ourselves to the problem that lie before us. Government enslaves us with that debit, and banks enslave us with debit. We enslave us with debit. But we can change ourselves. We can get out of debit. Until a major shift in the American people we cannot change Government. Get out of debit! Get out of debit! Get out of debit. Please free yourselves from slavery of debit. Increase your freedom. It can be done. Dave Ramsey has people call into his show every day screaming “We’re debit free!!!!!!!!” It can be done. Write a budget stick to it.
Blessings of Liberty be on to you!
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If you have any animal on your homestead, then rotational grazing is for you. Since I have goats and chickens I will discuss rotational grazing of these animals. Firstly rotational grazing is a technique to preserve you land, so your animal will not destroy it. Even if you only have just a few animals, they will tax the land that they are on until they compact and erode the soil. Bad soil is obviously bad for your animal and your land. I will employ a paddock shift system for my goats and my livestock guardian dog. I am currently purchasing the electric fencing and movable post for the paddock. But more on why to rotate your livestock I have observed that my goats and dog (especially the dog) are damaging the landscape with in their pen. I did not think they would tear the ground as fast as they have. The pen they are in now was to be expanded at a later date, but money wise the portable electric is more cost effective and gives me more options on how I want to move my animals. How fodder crops will play into this. I currently have two areas where I plan to plant fodder crops for my goats. I will plant a mixture of annual and perennial grain and legumes. This will be polycultured meaning many plants together. First crop is cowpea. Cowpea is used in Permaculture as a cover crop because of its hardiness and is a nitrogen fixer. Next is Lucerne. Lucerne is a legume and is also a nitrogen fixer, but is a perennial where cowpea is an annual. Lastly I will plant sorghum and oats. Both are annual grains. I planted oats this year and the goats loved it. I just didn’t plant enough because it was mainly an experiment to see how easy it was to grow oats in Georgia. I plan to run my goats paddock through the crops followed by my chickens in their chicken tractors moving each every day or two.
Again any tips or questions please leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To many people, the idea of homeschooling their children is frightening and overwhelming. To be honest, I felt that way at first. I was afraid that I would not be able to teach my children all they needed to know to be successful in life. I was afraid that they would miss their friends. And to be perfectly honest, I was afraid of being judged by friends, family, and society as a whole. But you know what I decided? I would “get over it” by researching, observing, and praying for courage. Over the past several months, I have found a Christian based co-op that offers a weekly class for my children, field trips, and parent support groups and classes. I have observed a class and met some really nice people. I also found a great free online curriculum (Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool) that I think is going to be a lot of fun with crafts and projects that will help me teach them so much more than they will learn in a traditional school environment. I am still a little nervous, but I am actually more excited now. Since this is my first year homeschooling, I know I still have a lot to learn and I will try to share most of those lessons learned with you. I would love to hear about your family’s homeschooling journey as well so leave me a comment below or email @ email@example.com.
A few updates from the homestead. First off we got a new member of the homesteading family. Squealer is a pot belly pig. He was given to us and has become a member of the family. Though not for food he is teaching us a thing or two about raising pigs. We received him in a trade and my two girls fell in love with him. He is very young, so he is not weaned yet. I really was not expecting the sausage smell of his breath. I was thinking more along the lines of puppy smell. Secondly, the tomato plants that sprang up around the homestead thanks to the chickens have started to produce tomatoes. Permaculture never ceases to amaze me, nothing better than free tomatoes and didn’t have to so any work for them other than picking them. Also, many of the apple and pomegranate seeds planted into the food forest are now seedlings. I’m very excited about that.
Our first attempt at butchering chickens went very well. After butchering our own chickens, it makes me appreciate all the work our ancestors went through just to put food on the table. A few hours of work and I looked at my wife and said, “All this we and we got just enough wings for an order of hot wings.” A few lessons learned: 1. Time the raising of the chicks to when the time comes to butcher it’s not so hot. I sweated the same butchering a few chickens as I did hiking four mile in the mountains. Wait till fall to butcher would have been much better on us. We raised a dual purpose bird, and I think we need to raise meat birds for processing instead. The carcasses were on the small side. Not too small, but could have been better. Team work is defiantly the key. My wife was much better at the eviscerating the chicken than I was, and I dispatched and plucked the birds. Her smaller hands fit into the body cavity much better than mine, while my stringer hands were better at plucking. Now I can’t wait to taste the fruits of our labor.
Again any questions or tips leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The time has come to process the meat birds. I plan keeping four females and a male. I will be processing nine birds tomorrow. I will be using a homemade killing cone to do the deed. Killing cones can be made out of milk or vinegar jugs. Cut the bottom off, so the chicken can slide in head first. The jug cradles the bird and will not be as stressed. I hope to film a few, after all this is called Freedom Farm TV (slow and steady). What I will need is to set up my stations. One station I have at one of the fence post with a hook on it. Another station with a pot and a camping stove to pluck the birds. Lastly the cleaning station is where the bird will be removed of its organs and cleaned. I have a two Rubbermade bins set up for this. I have cared for these birds since they were days old, and it will hard to see them go but I look forward to tasting a bird raised in a Permaculture manner. These birds were not feed any GMO feed just oats that I either soaked or sprouted and what they could forage in their tractor. Tomorrow will surely be busy.
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