Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've Got One Sexy Chicken!

A few weeks ago, a local author named David Toht came by to take some pictures of our animals for a backyard homesteading book that he's written, due out this December.

He got my name from my cousin who lives up the road just a piece, who's family raises goats and honeybees. David was looking for Americauna/Aracauna chickens and LaMancha goats. Bingo!

So we welcomed him over to photograph our critters, on the condition that I could photograph him, photographing our critters. Here he is at work-

He seemed especially fond of our girl, Rosie the Ameracauna Hen.

Ro-Ro in the snow, November 2010.

He also took lots of pics of Chardy-girl, and those gorgeous blue eyes of hers.

As I said, the book is due to be published in December of this year. I can't wait to see if any of our supermodels made the cut!

If you're interested in pre-ordering a copy of the book, or just checking it out, please click through the following handy-dandy link. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grow Your Own Challenge - The Rules

I've read and pondered and researched and thought over the guidelines of this Farmer-feed-thyself challenge that we're gearing up for, and I've whittled things down a bit. Here's where we stand now on the rules and details-

*We still haven't picked a hard and fast date to start, but with the weather we're having (another no-grow spring), I'm thinking that we'll have to wait until August before the garden is giving us much of anything. So for now, let's say August 1st.

*We have massively refined our allowances. We will include -
*Coffee (fair trade, organic)
*Oil for cooking (domestic, organic)
*Seasonings/Spices (organic, fair trade)

*What is fair game -
*Anything hunted, caught, foraged, grown or otherwise produced by ourselves.
*Honey, if I can find someone to barter with. I'm not optimistic. :(

*What we anticipate eating -
*Goats Milk/cheese/butter
*Salmon/crab/clams caught/foraged by Bill & I
*Fruits & veggies from the garden
*Foraged berries, mushrooms, greens, etc.
*Our canned jams & jellies from last summer
*Our homemade beer & wine
*Hopefully, our own apple cider & rhubarb wine vinegar

I just know that the things that are going to kick my butt are the minimal dairy and the almost complete lack of carbs and sugar. I am going to be one bitchy sloth the first few days of this challenge, you can count on that!

I have a feeling that my great goat milking motivator will be that morning cup of joe. I have to have cream in my coffee, ergo, I'll have to milk at least once a day for my wake-up cup. This is the aspect of this challenge that intimidates me the most. Milking has not gone well so far, and the ladies are producing less now than the last time I tried milking. This could be rough.

Is there anything that I'm overlooking here? Do these guidelines sound pretty reasonable? I'm excited and nervous as hell to try this feeding myself thing. Cheer me on, friends. I need all of the forward momentum I can get!