Monday, June 27, 2011


Our LaMancha is in milk, and is on a once a day schedule.  The previous owner milked all her goats in the morning, so we are maintaining that schedule.  So far we're getting at least a quart a day and yesterday we got more.  Also I'm getting better at milking.  I milked goats a time or two as a kid, so I understand the process and how to do it, it's now just a matter of doing it regularly to get good at it.

The only thing I think I'd change in our whole goat experience thus far is to get an experienced goat that had kidded before and understood the process of standing still during milking.  Our goat is not full milking table trained, and she's a kicker.  Right now either one of the kids or my wife is holds the goats hind legs, I'm hoping that as time goes by the goat will calm down and get more used to standing still during the milking process.  Getting faster as I and others get used to milking will also help.

By the way the milk from our goat is YUMMMMYYYYY!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Got our Goats

After a crazy couple of days we got the 2 goats that I wrote about the other day.  After my wife called me at work we started brainstorming what the best material for fencing is.  We had talked previously, about building fencing with pallets, when we talked about doing this though I envisioned having plenty of time to be choosy about the pallets, and having time to collect prime good quality pallets that are in good condition.  Even though we didn't have the kind of time we wanted we decided to build with pallets anyway.  The total project price was probably 50% of the cost that wire fencing would be.

The look of the pallet fencing is pretty rustic, but it gets the job done and pallets are usually readily available.  I even recently heard that pallets were available from a hardware store for free, you just have to load them.  I haven't checked this out, but you can bet I'm going to.  Heck even if I have to take pallets apart and make picket fence panels out of them, it will be worth it.

Knowing how to reuse, recycle and use up is an important part of preparedness.  Previous generations of Americans, did this or many times they did without.  Anyway back to the goats....

The LaMancha's name is Fifi and the Alpine goats name is Rain, although that might get changed.  We got about a quart of milk from Fifi this morning and can probably get more as we get proficient with the milking process.  Below are some pictures of the goat pen, the assembly of the pen and the goats...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting Goats

There I was at work, minding my own business working hard when my cell phone rings.  It's my wife telling me that someone we know is selling a lamancha/nubian mix doe in milk, she's also willing to sell us a 3 month old kid doe.  We don't have a pen put up, we don't have a shade put up.  We priced fencing and looked at the cash on hand and decided to get creative.  I went and got some T-posts after work then I drove over and got some free pallets from a feed store in town... not enough to build the whole pen but enough to get started.  I'm going to have to buy some pallets from the same place, but in the end it's going to cost me less than half what non-climb woven wire fencing would have cost.  Tomorrow I'll pick up the pallets and start assembling the goat pen.  Hopefully I can work it so it looks decent and does the job of keeping the goats in.  I'll post pictures once we get the two goats.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Between deliveries

For the last 3 days we've been moving panels and delivering them about 40 miles away to Sierra Vista.  Tonight we got a break, and celebrated both my daughters and mothers birthdays.  Boy did we have a spread.  We had a pork roast slow cooked in the crock pot, grilled corn, grilled zucchini, couse-couse, and for desert we had both strawberry and double chocolate chip ice cream.  Man can my wife cook!!!  We had a good time with my son and daughter, wife, my brother and both of my parents.  It was a nice break.

Tomorrow my wife and I are delivering a minimum of 2500 lbs of hay to feed the livestock, first we have to find the feedstore with the best price and then drive over and load the hay.  I can see tomorrow being a long day, but I'm hoping we'll be home before dark. I guess if we're home before bed time I'll be good with that.

More on the Monument Fire

Every day this weekend we've delivered horse panels to the Sierra Vista Riding Club to be used for pens for livestock that were evacuated due to the Monument Fire in Southern Arizona, so not a lot of homesteading projects got done.  The people affected by this fire need all the prayer they can get.  My prayer is that God holds them up and strengthens them in this time of need.  It's also that inspite of the difficulty they currently have they are drawn closer to God.  

Below is a copy of an email my wife sent last night after we got home from delivering our last load, the email is to the pastor of the church we attend.

Hi Pastor Steve,
I thought I would share a few of the things we learned tonight when we dropped off the panels. The guy we talked to said he thought they had about 300 horses, goats, chickens, donkeys, mules, parrots. The people working there are exhausted. The guy told us his son is one of the fire fighter and he received a text from him today that said "all hell was breaking loose". Not what a parent wants to hear. He said that the fire went like 3 miles in an hour and that it was crazy around there today. They have had people come in crying. A horse came in there with burns. One lady had came there one day with her five horse. She was allowed to go home and then had to leave her home again.....this time she could only get three of her horses out. He had heard stories from people who couldn't get their horses  out in time, one couldn't get their horses out because a friend had borrow their trailer. And one who's horse turned and ran into the fire. He also said that the fire planes had been dumping slurry on part of the town today. Hard day in Sierra Vista today.
Just wanted to share with you what we learned....I know you know so many of these people. Our heart breaks for them and what they are going thru.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Monument Fire Evacuations and the Rural Community

To date the Monument Fire has burned about 18,000 acres of southern Arizona.  The area is mainly rural and has burned about 50 structures, 40 of them are houses.  There are currently a lot of people evacuated from their homes because of how close the fire is.  Being in a rural area means a lot of livestock and other farm animals have had to be evacuated as well.  The rural communities are coming together to help these folks house horses and ponies of those evacuated.  My family and I delivered 17 horse panels to the Sierra Vista Horse club tonight.  We got home about 25 minutes ago, at the time we delivered the panels there were 193 horses there, and more coming.  We're going to deliver more panels tomorrow, hopefully about 40, but they're going to more.  In addition to the 193 horses there at the facility in Sierra Vista they have horse housed at the Sonoita fair grounds and also at a private pasture near Tombstone.  People and businesses are donating hay to feed all these animals as the evacuee's were unable to load everything needed when they were evacuated.

If you're in southern Arizona and can help out in this endeavor give me a call, shoot me an email or yell really loud...

God Bless!!! oh yeah, please say a prayer for the people evacuated, the firemen and for the fire to be beat back.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Desert Broom, Cement and the Garden

I have been remiss in posting over the last several days.  It all stems from trying to get ready for a craft fair that we went to on Saturday.  You see last week I was trying to get as many pens as possible done, and spending a lot of time in the garden or in the shop, so the thing that had to suffer was the blogging.  So here's a bit of an update.

Last Thursday night we grilled zucchini, I think I posted about that.  For that grilling I think we pulled seven zucchini from the garden.  Then Saturday I pulled two more from the garden, well last night we pulled eight out of the garden.  I think we're going to slice and fry some of them and slice and grill others of them.  We are probably going to end up drying a whole bunch of zucchini in the excalibur this season (again).  The cucumber plants have really taken off and are growing.  I need to get the support up for them to grow on.  The tomato's are growing, although not putting off a lot of tomato's yet and now that the hot weather has set in I'm not sure we're going to get many until September.  Although I might get surprised. (praying for the tomato harvest)

Yesterday we went to scope out a new farmers market, at which to sell our pen's and cutting boards.  It didn't look promising.  I'm still ruminating on whether to branch out to this one or not.  There we only ten vendors there and not many shoppers so not too much activity going on.  Once we got home from that we spent most of the afternoon in the house, as it was 100 degrees outside and the sun was intense, so it was pretty relaxing.

In the evening we went out work on another detail to Jake's fort.  It's gonna have a chin up bar connected to it.  To do that we had to dig a short pole out that was cemented in place next to it.   My wife and son had both worked on it last week while I was at work, and found it.... daunting.  I took a sledge hammer and crow bar and was able to break the cement away from the post and pull it out then pull the cement out in chunks. So that is done until I get cement to put the new, longer post in place.

With that done we started in on removing a desert broom stump.  I took the sledge hammer and crow bar and started breaking chunks off.  It worked pretty well until the head of the sledge hammer came off.  So now I have two things to stop at the hardware store for.  A sledge hammer handle and a bag of cement.

That's the update for now... sorry for no pics.

God Bless!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Friend Plans a Pod Cast

A friend of mine is starting a pod cast, click the LINK to see what he has to say on his blog.  The blog  is a second amendment loving, freedom loving place and I expect the pod cast to be similar, check it out.

Grilled Zucchini

I never spell zucchini right so if I have it wrong in the article just pretend it's spelled right.   Two evenings ago after work my wife and I were in the garden and we looked at the zucchini's on the vine, they weren't quite ready, overnight someone must have replaced the vegetables, because yesterday my wife harvested seven fully grown zucchini's.  On my way home from work I had to stop at my parents to print business cards for our business and then and skeedaddled on home knowing those zucchini and my wife were waiting on me.  You see I love fried zucchini, seasoned just right then fried to a nice golden brown, however there's a better way to cook it.  If you slice the zucchini then brush on some EVOO and season it (I use montreal or canadian steak seasoning) then throw it on your grill it is a great treat.  During the summer we eat this all the time, and when I grill it I have to harvest and grill extra because I love eating it right off the grill.  Grill this up as a side for a nice steak or london broil cooked on the grill and you've got a meal fit for a king.  Be sure to leave the zucchini on the grill long enough for the sugars to caramelize and enjoy!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthdays and D-Day

Not my birthday, my daughters.  She's 22 today time flies, yesterday she was in diapers and I was putting her big girl panties on her backwards (my wife and daughter still laugh at that).  She's grown now and in college and doing well, but I will always remember her as my little girl.

Today is also the anniversary for D-Day.  The day that launched our major involvement in the war in Europe during WWII.  A lot of men fought and died on this day, but with America's involvement in the war the Allied forces were on the path to the inevitable... the defeat of the Axis.  I pray for America today that the people have the resolve of their forefathers.  We need it now more than ever.

On the homestead, the grapes are coming back after being eaten back to the vine by the chickens.  The garden is extremely dry even with the layers of mulch we've put over the soil.  I'm glad we put the soaker hose under the mulch it helps a lot.  Luckily this is the first week where temperatures have been over 100 degrees for multiple days in a row.  I'm hoping for an early monsoon season, but that's probably unrealistic.  Well it's bed time...

God bless!  Remember He provided salvation, all you have to do is trust in Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Americans view of the Future

I never watch mainstream news on TV and don't normally read mainstream media articles, but this headline caught my eye: More Americans Think Economy Will Never Recover

A basic summary is that most Americans think it's going to be a long time before the economy and consumer spending is back to where it was pre-recession.  Some going so far as saying their spending will never be like it was before.

It seems people have a pretty poor outlook for the future, I find that sad.  My wife and I are among those who say we will never spend the same as we did in the past.  That doesn't mean we have a less comfortable life, in fact, in the last 3 years we have started eating healthier, better and less processed foods than ever before.  We have fundamentally transformed (thanks BIG O) our spending.  We have taken steps to produce our own food and be sustainable, and we'll continue working to be as self reliant as possible in that area.  All in all life is looking pretty good.  So the way I look at it, maybe this isn't a bad thing, maybe people will get back to the barter and/or trade among each other instead of going to the big stores.

There's a lot to be said for the barter system when items, time and possibly currency is being traded.  I believe it's more sustainable than a straight currency trade system.  Granted not everyone has the ability to trade time or knowledge, however those who don't have time or knowledge have the goods or extra items to trade.  I think we need to get back to that kind of system, but I also think we have to remind people that they can trade other things besides money.

God Bless!!! Remember He controls history.