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Homestead Update 5/28/2017

28 May

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I looked out our back door last week and watched a red fox stroll across the yard. The family of Foxes have been around so long my dogs in the pen don’t even bother barking at them anymore unless they come really close to the pen. But if I want to see a Red Fox up close and personal, I can just go visit my niece who recently BOUGHT a Fox Kit to raise in the house. Are you kidding me!? She has another small house dog and I told her when that Fox is grown, he will probably kill that small dog one day. Some people, Huh?

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I have been in the fields working all week and I came upon this large tortoise easing across the field.

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I also encountered this 4 foot long Speckled King Snake. I let him live and go on his way; he is a good snake!

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I was sitting in my truck one morning, waiting for my employees to come in for work, when I looked up and saw three deer wandering around in our front yard. I am really lucky to be able to go out to work and encounter so much wildlife.

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I found this patch of Dewberries on the edge of one of the fields I check. When we were children, we would pick these berries, put them in a bowl with sugar and cream and have a real treat. We would put so much sugar on them, when we ate a spoonful it would crunch because we used so much sugar! These berries in my hand were so sweet you didn’t need to put any sugar on them. And speaking of sugar, I have been mixing sugar water to feed to my honey bees. I have captured and transferred 7 bee swarms this Spring and I have two more traps with bees waiting for me to bring them in. I hope to do that this week. I’ll keep you updated. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 9/11/16

11 Sep

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Just a quick post to let you know how things are going around here. I looked out of the back door recently and I saw 9 turkeys grazing across the yard. I finished planting the deer browse and turnip green patch in the back in anticipation of the 80% chance of rain the weathermen were promising. After I hurried to get it all planted, we only got 1/10 of an inch of rain so the seeds will just lay there until we get some decent rain.

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I started feeding bees with a community feeder. I hope to install the individual no-drown feeders in each hive tomorrow.

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I encountered this grain truck as I was making my rounds this week. The truck came around the corner of this intersection and the trailer full of corn collapsed. I bet the driver said “Darn”!

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I also encountered these pigs feeding in the edge of one of the cotton fields I check. After I took this picture, I chased them back to their pen where they belonged!

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I also saw this Mini-Mansion that had burned during the past week. It reminded me to check my fire extinguishers when I got home. You always need to be prepared for fire safety. Keep prepping everyone.

9-11

No, I didn’t forget this was the 15th anniversary of the attack on 9-11. I have been watching the lip service the politicians have been giving this event over the weekend and I have been disgusted beyond words. I don’t know exactly what needs to be done with these terrorist; there is not one, easy solution. We might be able to stop the big organized attacks, but there is no way to stop all of the lone wolf attacks, so I guess we will just have to learn to live with those. We should have left Saddam in charge over there, he kept those people in Iraq under control. They were too afraid of what he would do to them to start any bull. Maybe we need to take a lesson from him? God bless America!

Goats!

26 Mar

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I was in Tractor Supply last week and two young ladies were pushing this shopping cart with a baby goat in it. His name is Albert, and he is three weeks old. He is one of a set of triplets and the Nanny refused to feed him so now he is a bottle baby. It’s hard to tell from the picture but he is wearing a diaper. I’ll bet most of you have never seen a goat wearing a diaper have you? The girls said he rides around in the truck with them everywhere they go. I assume they realize that someday when Albert matures he won’t be able to ride in the truck anymore. When he matures he will develop that special Billy Goat fragrance that the lady goats find so intoxicating, but us humans gag at the stench! Oh well, I hope they enjoy his company while they can. Someday I will have goats here on the homestead, but for now I will just have to read about them on other peoples blogs. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 1-31-16

31 Jan

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I am under my Doctor’s order to walk for 30-45 minutes every day. I don’t like exercise walking and I never have. It always seems like a colossal waste of time. The whole time I am walking I am thinking about all the other things I could be doing with my time. So, I decided since I HAD to walk, I would at least walk through the woods on the back of the homestead. I was walking down a deer trail and I saw this fresh buck rub on this cedar tree. I’ve always heard the larger the rub, the larger the buck. Well, this one must be a trophy because that small tree is between 3-4 inches in diameter.

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We are having some strange weather now. Last week the temperatures were in the teens with snow on the ground. Today the high was 74 degrees! I decided to replace this culvert that washed out a couple of months ago. The culvert ended up hung between two trees. I drug it back to where it needed to go.

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I placed it where I wanted it and covered it with some of the dirt I bought last summer.

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Last week I had to remove snow from the entrances of my bee hives. Today I noticed bees flying around all four of my hives. I lifted the tops and poured dry sugar on top of the inner covers. I hope they have enough honey to finish the winter, but if they don’t maybe they will eat that sugar.

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I finally took down this pressed fiber swarm trap out of a tree on the front of the homestead. I hate to admit it has been hanging there still, as it should have been removed the first of July. But surprisingly, the weather hasn’t affected it, and it seemed none the worse for being out in the weather for that long. I guess these traps are sturdier than I thought.

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This is a big pile of limbs, brush, and sapling trees that I cut down in the last two years. I noticed the pile was much smaller from settling down. I decided to use the front end loader on my Kubota to push the pile into a smaller concentrated pile. As I did, I saw a lot of nice compost underneath the pile. I was surprised those limbs were breaking down so quickly. I am not going to add any fresh limbs on the pile, I will just keep turning it over every so often. Maybe I will have some good compost I can use in the garden in a couple of years. So until next week, keep prepping everyone!

Living Nativity Scene With Farm Animals

20 Dec

One of the local churches has a Living Nativity Scene and they include some live farm animals. These animals are actually petting zoo animals.

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I liked this cute, little baby donkey.

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How about a miniature horse? If you look closely at the woman taking pictures, you will see she only has one leg. She whips around on those crutches so well I know she has been that way for some time. It should remind us all to count our blessings, especially at this time of the year.

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There were a couple of cows, several goats, a llama, and a miniature camel.

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There were a couple of sheep.

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Not to mention a pot-belly pig. Now, I don’t think they had a pig at the original Nativity since Jews don’t eat pork because they consider them to be unclean. If they think pigs are nasty, I guess they have never raised chickens. Chickens will eat anything! Here is our Christmas tune for this evening. Enjoy! ONLY 4 MORE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS. YOU BETTER GET READY!

Homestead Update 12/13/2015

13 Dec

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There hasn’t been much activity around the homestead the past two weeks. I did manage to put up this Rubbermaid Accu-track rack system for hanging up weed eaters and garden tools. I got tired of having all of my garden tools leaning in a big pile in the corner of my workshop. Invariably, anytime I wanted a particular tool, it would be all the way in the back of the stack and I would have to move every other tool to reach what I wanted to use. These tracks have sliding holders for quick adjustment and they feel nice and sturdy.

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These are some runaway goats I encountered back in October. I was driving down a turnrow of a field I check each week and I saw some animals way towards the other side of the field. At first I thought they were small deer and as I got closer I realized they were goats. I had seen some farm animals at a house I pass that is about 1/2 of a mile from this field so as I was leaving I stopped at that house. I told them if they were missing some goats, I knew where they were. He said those goats came from a house about a mile further down the road. They had been missing for 2 months but no one had been able to catch them. He told me the owner said if anyone could catch them they could keep the goats. HUMMM! I wonder if I could take some t-posts and cattle panels and make some sort of trap? I bet I could come up with something if I could get motivated enough.

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The man I was talking to had these cattle behind his house. I think that black one is just about ready to go to the freezer isn’t it?

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I have an update on Little Bubba. The day after my first post of him, I was telling my neighbor about him. He replied “I have been seeing some mice around my house and my granddaughter has been asking for a cat. How about I take him to my house?” He took him home the next day and now he spends most of the day inside the house and sleeps out under the carport at night. He just settled right in over there so he has a good home after all. Keep prepping everyone!

Fall Folklore Fest 2015

18 Oct

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Sweet Thing and I attended the Fall Folklore Fest yesterday. They had exhibitors demonstrating some old timey skills such as blacksmithing, broom making, candle making, pottery making, and other pioneer skills.

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This was a man plowing a field with a brace of mules. And yes I am old, but this skill was before my time!

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This woman was plowing with another brace of mules. That was a hard way to plow, but people have been farming like that for hundreds of years.

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You could take a ride on a mule drawn covered wagon.

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Some of the kids were having fun shelling corn.

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You could also pay $2 and milk a goat. I should have paid my money and tried it, I have never milked a goat! That goat just stood there so nice and easy, she had probably been milked many, many times.

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There were square dancers doing their thing.

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There was some pickin’ and grinnin’ on the front porch of and old log cabin which had been moved and restored at this museum.

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There were big displays of pumpkins and gourds.

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They even had a place where you could try your hand at picking cotton. Uh, not for me thanks, I’m trying to stay out of the cotton fields for a while! The weather was perfect for a festival, with a lot of interesting things to see and do. Keep prepping everyone!