I'm really, really enjoying my Winter's rest this year. I'm in a post-bazaar, post-holiday, pre-Spring-freakout land of unscheduled bliss. Knitting what I want, as fast or slow as I want = heaven.
I'm also doing a lot more reading since I'm not on a production knitting regimen. Presently, my reading list is mostly made up of farm research material - garden layout, info on organically raising honeybees and pig pen design - I'm a real wild card!
At the moment, I'm mildly obsessed with learning every last thing I can about pig nutrition. I want to take advantage of the food waste streams available around us, like imperfect produce from farmers markets and grocery stores, and bakery outlet surplus, and possibly other food sources - foraged fruits/nuts/greens/grains/etc., that are considered sub-par for us humans, and possibly restaurant trimmings/leavings, within limits. I'm so jazzed about the possibility of raising some fantastic pork on a shoestring budget that I've gone slightly manic in my research and information gathering stage. I was up 'til 5 am googling "organic pig diet formulation". I may need help...
As my facebook friends now know well, every few months I land a bread windfall from one of our local bakery outlets. Look at what $20 can get you -
This is about 20% more than I usually get for my $20. They had quite a bit extra following the holidays. This was a really nice quality batch too, not a lot of donuts or garlic bread, which are both pretty useless to us in terms of critter food unless we want our eggs and milk to taste like deep fried onions. :P
Obviously, this is way more than our 17 (or so) chickens and 9 goats could handle, so we give some away to fellow farming friends, freeze some and dehydrate some. I have about 50 pounds worth of dehydrated bread and buns already, which I'll sock away for a rainy day for the goats' goatmeal or for eventually using for pig slops. I've had my dehydrator going 24/7 since I brought this haul home, and I feel like I still haven't made much of a dent. I must work faster than the mold can!
I'm also looking forward to using the packaging to make more "plarn" for my knitting experiments. At a minimum, I plan to wring every last penny out of this $20 investment and keep a few hundred pounds of plastic-encased organic material from ending up in a landfill. The fabulous goats milk, eggs and home raised pork will take a little more time to be realized, but the legwork I'm doing now will pay off deliciously...eventually.