Gardens, Goats and Guns
How self sufficient are you? What do you have growing in your garden right now? What do you plan to add next year? Do you can your fruits and veggies? How many of us avidly hunt or grow our own meat... chickens, cows, rabbits? Does anyone here make their own butter, cheese, yogurt or soap? Got any web sites, books or tips to share with other COTHers? Times are tough... share... :)
It is made by a friend of a friend and is wonderful! I have a veggie garden but I don't can. I'd love to learn. I couldn't kill my own meat but if I had room I'd love to keep laying hens and a milk cow. I'm nostalgic for a time that was old fashioned before I was born!
It's probably a good thing I don't know how to shoot a firearm right now or there might be 20+ dead goats. I cannot figure out how or where they are getting out.
And the stinkers know when I am watching. I can do chores for hours and they stay in their field. If I go in the house for 15 minutes they are OUT.
And yes they stink. Rut is early this year
We have 2 goats that get milked, and several chickens that lay eggs... as well as an herb garden, and will be doing a vegetable garden next year. ... I am thinking about maybe picking up a beef cow?? Does anyone know how cost-effective this is? I only know a couple people who have done it.
I make my own laundry detergent and soap. I have eight chickens growing up to lay eggs. I haven't done a garden yet because honestly getting the horse parts of the farm set up (we've been on the farm just over a year) hasn't given me that much extra time! However, some of my neighbors have been very generous with their gardens and I have canned a lot of pickles and done some different things with pears. Once I get some fencing projects finished I will be getting some dairy goats for milk to drink and turn into cheese, yogurt and soap! We also have plans for cattle and I would like to raise a hog or two for our own use in the future.
I have a lot of plans!
Well, the fact that I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about by the title of your post says a lot, right? :D
We also call it "beans, bullets, and bandages," but it amounts to the same.
We are really good on the food/water front - I can and have a garden, and I probably have 3 months worth of food saved up. I just ordered a really nice 55 gallon water storage barrel, and we keep 7 gallons on top of that in smaller containers.
I have to say, I'm not sure what to do about the fact I have a horse. They keep a lot of extra hay stored up where he is boarded in a nice secure wood hay barn, but other than that I'm not sure.
Has anyone else had a vision of their area being completely devastated and riding out of the area on your horse? I'm not going to leave him, that's for sure!
:D My fellow boarders think I'm nuts.
lots of guns- too many to list :)
freezer full of deer meat from husband
tomatoes- reds, yellows ,greens and purples
two new bantam chicks that we hope to get eggs from
i can't do meat animals as i fall in love too easily and would become a hoarder so my brother (chef) buys whole hogs from a local farmer and makes ham, bacon and sausage for the family
thinking about doing a rain barrel/water collections system soon
Oh, my 3 of my 4 favorite subjects!
Garden went to hell in a handbasket as my back gave out.
BUT - I did manage to put away a decent amount of Silver Queen. I've got 2 bushels of tomatoes to process - but am waiting for the help to arrive. (Mr. JSwan)
By October 30th I'm all set. Got a side of beef, pork in the freezer, along with a good supply of venison and chicken. All from the farm.
I draw the line at a milk goat/cow. I buy my milk from a local farmer. Though I do love goat cheese so maybe one day......
The pumpkin patch has outgrown its space and grew over the fence and into a pasture. Hopefully I'll have a nice load of pumpkins. Mmmm... pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin.....
We're pretty self sufficient here. Not off the grid hairy legs hold off the gov't for weeks type of self sufficient though.:lol:
Not self sufficient, but getting there.
Our tomatos are growing nicely and our cucumbers have taken over the world. EBTW and I have been making pickles and canning tomatos, also buying the large bushels from the farmer's market and smoking and canning those (thank you, sainted COTHer, for that idea). We also have cantaloupe, peppers, and herbs growing.
We have three chickens for eggs, with two currently laying.
The chickens planted their own garden this year. They have tomatos and cantaloupes growing.
Most of our food is made from scratch. The more I make from scratch, the less I like the taste of things that are made out of a box. I attempted box beans and rice a few months ago on a whim and even the "low sodium" version was so salty I made up my own. Most of our bread and our sweets are made from scratch.
Sometimes we have some issues with the garden, like when we turn our back for a second:
We make some of our own cheese, any time we can talk someone in Pennsylvania into bringing us a gallon of raw milk. You can't buy it in a store here and unfortunately, I can't buy a cow share because I just don't need multiple gallons of raw milk - one gallon is usually enough. Any PA COTHers coming through NOVA in the next few weeks? I'll bake you cookies if you bring me some milk.
Trixie - my neighbor sells cow shares and has some customers up your way. If you're interested I can give you his number and maybe you can split a share with someone local to you.
Your garden is fabulous, by the way. Too bad your county fair doesn't have a zucchini race - that one was a doozy!