Let's talk about meat, dairy, eggs, hunting, and cooking on the homestead

baymule

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You have a good program going with your goats. I am impressed. 80 acres across the road would be a challenge but you could handle it. You have it figured out with your pigs too.

I have lived without AC before and acclimated to it. In this double wide, it would be pretty awful. I think I’d be under the porch with the dogs.
 

frustratedearthmother

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One of my 'pie in the sky' plans for retirement was to go over to that 80 acres every day with a cart and some loppers to cut browse to supplement the goats. It sounded like such a good idea. But, with my newly found allergy to the 'ivy's that's not likely to happen! If it were necessary though - I'd figure something out! Easiest way would just be to turn 'em loose over there and let 'em do their thing.

The neighbor on the other side of me has let her 2 acres grow up but she's got no perimeter fence. However, years ago before we replaced our fences the goats would slip over to her side and be home every day at feeding time (and several times during the day for water). That might be an option also.
 

Britesea

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I have lived without AC before and acclimated to it. In this double wide, it would be pretty awful. I think I’d be under the porch with the dogs.
We have planted a bunch of sunflowers along the southern wall of the house to shade it from the hot sun in summer. I've been told doing this can reduce the inside temps by as much as 10 degrees which can make a serious difference in the comfort factor. I also want to put a window on the north side of the house (which currently only has a tiny clerestory window in one bedroom) because that is where our afternoon breeze comes from. The north side of the property is heavily shaded, which further cools the breeze before it hits the house, and gives us a cool breeze going through the entire house before it exits on the south side. Shade cloth awnings will be built along the western wall (living room and bedroom) to cut the heat from the afternoon sun. Overall, I think this will really help to make our house more comfortable even without the use of air conditioning or electric fans. Other than that, I guess we'll just have to suck it up, like our ancestors did. In the Mediterranean, and other warm climates, the siesta is a traditional way to deal with the heat. They get up at dawn and work until about noon; then knock off for about 4 hours- they nap, drink cool drinks in the shade, etc. This is also when they eat the largest meal. Then they go back to work until it's too dark to see- 9pm-ish, eat a light meal, and hit the sack around 10 or 11, when it's finally cooled down enough to fall asleep.
 

Hinotori

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Humans really do best in small groups to trade around for what they need. Total self sufficiency is actully unnatural for us.

I have my ameraucana and easter egger chickens which actually do pretty well foraging here even if they aren't the best at it. It's just good meadowland beside marsh and pond. Lots of plant variety and small mammals and insects for protein. The silkies do not survive foraging as they are too predator vulnerable and won't come out of the rain that soaks through silkied feathers.

I actually need a few goats or sheep of the more browsing types. I could support them year round with just pasture. Grass grows here slowly even in winter. The blackberries don't even drop their leaves for winter. I like goat milk and meat.

We get a lot of blacktail deer and Roosevelt elk here. The water really draws them in come summer and early autumn. Just have to sit outside and wait for dusk to get one. There are also beaver, geese, and many different duck species.

We have access to water even if it would need boiled. Rainwater is plentiful and easy to collect most of the year here. I'm not sure if getting a hand pump for the well is worth the effort as it's over a 100 feet deep.

We have a nice wood stove for heat. I've also cooked on it when needed.

The year we lost power for 5 days in winter proved that we could do fine. I constantly had snow and ice melting for animals and washing. I had one of those camping showers that I'd fill with warm water then we'd take it into the tub. We didn't flush the toilet as much because I had to melt the water for that, too. It's a very old septic so is gravity fed. No issues like with the new ones that require electricity to run pumps.

Now loosing power sucks if you have an electric freezer. Generator only gives you so much time and it's best to get canning or drying if power isn't coming back.
 

BarredBuff

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I love all of the comments on this thread!! It is always good to think, discuss and plan!

Have any of you all given much thought to security? Not just "I have guns and ammo" either.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Yes, I keep bringing up the idea with hubby that we need to have all of our neighbor's phone numbers, and even have a meeting with neighbors regarding neighborhood security, and looking out for each other. He thinks I'm jumping ahead of the situation. Me... not so much! When TSHTF, that's not the time to be "getting to know" your neighbors. I am oh so thankful that I live where I do. On a little dead end road, out in the boonies. The whole neighborhood uses my road for walking. And, since the whole Covid stupid started, I've gotten to "visit" with a lot of neighbors. Selling eggs is also a help in that regard.
 

frustratedearthmother

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There's strength in numbers. I'm with the others who think it's all about the relationships you have with family/friends/neighbors. Those of us who are well prepared would very likely be a target.

I also live on a dead end road with hard working neighbors for the most part. We would help each other with anything we could. But do you trust them with your life? Most of my neighbors - yes! One person in particular - nope. I think he would be one of those who would try to take what he wants instead of work for what he gets. He's an ex-marine, well-armed, but definitely has character flaws. Like - he's the guy you don't leave alone with children. Documented and fact with the court record to prove it. Scary weird kind of guy. In a SHTF situation - if I saw him walking toward my house I'd have protection in my hand.

There's no doubt in my head that my dogs would be a force to be reckoned with. But, they could be taken out in a heartbeat by a bullet or even poison. :( Fences are a good deterrent - but could fall to the first person with bolt cutters. Electronic surveillance? Would it function without power or at least a large bank of batteries, I don't know.

I try to be aware of my surroundings, but I don't lose sleep worrying about these things. I'm more of a "if it happens I'll deal with it" person. Hope I never have to!
 

Britesea

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I've been working on security for a while here. First, I don't want to look like an obvious fortress, because that signals that there might be something worth stealing. I learned that from a woman I used to clean house for; she and her husband either owned or managed almost every branch of a certain fast food chain in Santa Clara County-- we are talking very, very wealthy. But her house just looked like a normal suburban house in any neighborhood. It wasn't huge, it didn't scream LOOK AT ME!!! But once you entered the house, it was immediately obvious they were rich (that was where I first saw a piece of genuine Capodimonte porcelain).
Anyway, we have a sturdy chain link fence, with locked gates. I am working on planting thorny bushes all along the fence- things like roses, gooseberries, and hawthorns. Our LGD patrols the area regularly. All of this is designed to slow invaders down long enough for us to grab our guns etc. The front door is steel, with anti-kick hardware. Soon the backdoor will be the same. Next on our list will be double paned windows with security film, since windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your property. If I ever have the money to do it, I would also like to re-side our house with something that is flame resistant also (we already have a metal roof).

We are also working on getting to know our neighbors better. It's difficult because most of them we rarely see. Walking to the post office regularly is helping, and I've been offering free eggs occasionally when we can talk to someone. Amazing what a little gift can do to make people friendlier! I figure it will also make them more tolerant of our roosters, lol.
 
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