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Showing posts from February, 2020

How About Some Baby Goat Photos?

5 Acres & A Dream The Book GIVEAWAY!

It's been ages since I've done a giveaway! Are you game? For this one, I'm partnering with, and I'll be giving away not one, but four copies of 5 Acres & A Dream The Book!

The giveaway will run from today (Feb. 17) through Friday, Feb. 21st. It is open to members of Permies Forums, who will be hosting the event. But it's free to join, and I promise your membership will be well worth it. If you haven't visited before, click here to go and check it out.

Here's how you enter for a chance to win one of those four copies:
First register to join, here. All that's required is your email address, a real sounding name, and a password. That's it.To enter the giveaway, you need to do two things.Sign up for the Daily-ish Email. In "My Profile" go to "Email Preferences" and tic the Daily-ish Email box. Hit "Submit" at the bottom of the page.Head on over to the Permies Homesteading Forum and join in! You can do that by c…

Book Review: A Soil Owner's Manual

About a year and a half ago, I enthusiastically started a series of blog posts on soil building. Dan and I had just found several video series by regenerative farmer Gabe Brown and agronomist Ray Archuleta. That was the beginning of a completely new phase of homesteading for us because it offered solutions to problems we were having. Since that time I've gleaned more bits and pieces of information, but it wasn't until now that I've finally been able to connect all the dots and see the big picture. And this is the book that did that for me.

A Soil Owner's Manual; How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health by Jon Stika

It's not a very big book, only 88 pages, but it lays out the principles of improving soil health and their application clearly, logically, and to the point. No fluff, just facts.
Chapter 1: What is Soil Health and Why Should I Care?
As a lifelong organic gardener, I thought I had a handle on soil health. What I didn't realize was that, even though organic g…

Kidding Has Commenced!

Daisy was due to kid next Friday, but on Sunday I found her looking like she was in the first stages of labor. Into the kidding stall she went.

For goats, it's a challenge to tell about early labor since they don't announce, "I'm having contractions!" It's up to the goatkeeper to figure it out. Clues include suddenly full udder, discharge (especially blood-tinged), separating herself from the others, unwillingness to leave the barn, standing in one place, shifting weight, and looking like she's concentrating. Her tail rises with each contraction. Daisy showed all these signs. A couple of hours later...

That makes Daisy's total to be three boys and one girl. Not my preferred outcome, but I'm glad they're all healthy. Daisy is an excellent mother and a heavy producer, so I have no doubt she'll be able to feed them all.

The next day...

I was very glad she kidded during the day. Makes it warmer and easier.

Next due date is March 1st.

Kidding Has Com…

Our Eventful Rain Event

Our rain total was 5.5 inches. By the next morning there were only a couple of small puddles left in the pasture. The wind was blowing strong and cold, and the temperature had dropped 30 degrees.

We've had areas around the homestead collect a lot of water, but we've never had the pasture flood like that before! The wet straw will be spread out on bare spots in the pas

Adjusting Our Solar Panels

My "Solar Power Day" blog post was lengthy long enough as it was. However, there was one more thing I wanted to show you—one last thing we did when we finally got our system up and running—how we adjust the angle of our solar panels to take advantage of the seasonal position of the sun.

Originally, we talked about putting our solar panels on the roof. Now I'm glad we didn't. Rooftop panels are fixed, but by putting the panels on a rack on the ground, they can be made adjustable. High-tech tracking systems are available, or adjustments can be made manually, like ours.

You may recall that Dan made the rack for our solar panel array.

He spent a lot of time thinking how to make it adjustable. Here's what he did.

How do we know what angle to adjust the panel array to? With a nifty idea we got from Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook; simply glue a nail to one of the solar panels. In our case, we glued it to the 50-watt panel we use for our portable battery rechargin…