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Showing posts from February, 2020

How About Some Baby Goat Photos?

Daisy's quads. First outing. Four days old. Six-days old Two weeks old Coming soon. How About Some Baby Goat Photos?   © Feb 2020 by  Leigh  at  http://www.5acresandadream.com

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 Permies.com , 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. Clicking image should biggify. Head on over to the Permies Homestea

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

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... A buckling first. Delivery was classic textbook. Second was a little doeling (right), also a textbook delivery. Third was another buckling (right). His head and one leg were tucked behind, so he needed a little help. The last one popped out easily; another buckling (center). That makes Daisy's total to be three boys and one girl. Not my preferred outcome

Our Eventful Rain Event

This week's rain event was one like we'd never experienced before. At morning chores, the bucks were high and dry. Three hours later the buck shelter was flooded. We had to wade out to rescue them. The deepest spot reached the top of my boots. Piles of ants floated by. Dry ground was gone. The boys were standing in six inches of water with their bedding straw floating on top. Fortunately, we have  the buck barn . It's out of the flooding, although it sits in a dip and usually has wet floors when it rains. But it was a better option. Goats hate getting wet, so we had to push and drag them through the flooded area to get them to higher ground. Dan put down pallets and plywood to get them off the damp ground and we gave them plenty of dry hay. There aren't many options for draining the pasture.  Some of it we could channel behind the buck shelter.  Our neighbor's field floods with every extensive rain, so ours will drain off with his. At least some of it. Our rain tota

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. Photo from " The Solar Panels Are Up ." 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. The panel frame is attached to the stand with hinges at the top. The bottom is supported by slotted strut channels and a steel dowel pin pounded into the frame. These are also hinged at the frame. How do we