April Garden Month

usually in this desert we don’t have spring days in Feb and March and we can get a cold snap as late as July but generally don’t really start planting in the ground till at least may. Even seedlings indoors will struggle thru the nights in March. This year is different we have cool nights and warm days and it all started in Feb. Yes a couple of nights still dip in the teens but no single digit nights. I am biting at the bit to start my garden. I know a lot of my plants won’t arrive till late April or may but am thinking starting this yea, going to try and find away to garden Feb-Oct ever year.

Some of you think I know a lot about gardening and raising animals, let me tell you I don’t it has all been trail and error. Sure I grew up around animals and my parents and grandparents always had a garden but that is not the same as knowing how to admen soil, when to plant and what to plant where and which love sun and which shade etc….. I did grow a garden if you call it that in Ohio was more throw seeds in dirt and water. LOL not that simple but I didn’t do a lot to my garden in Ohio. It had good soil and I could water with a hose and faucet and who cared if water ran into the street and not on garden.

So learning to garden in a dry drought land where I haul water and ever drop must go to plants. the soil is not the rich dark lovely gold that I am use to, it is clay and sand that turns to cement when wet. I read the book square foot gardening wonderful for Ohio where only had small flower beds and a hidden corner to grow in but here have 40 acres and a family of 6 to feed not just subsidize. I remember grandpas acre garden so know a garden can be large and feed a family. another thing unexpected out here is the wind, sounds wonderfully cooling, it’s not blows up to 100 miles an hour blows the clay people call bug dust everywhere and if put topsoil down it is gone in heartbeat. it will even rip plants out of the ground.

What I have learned to do in this area is first wind break the plants. we did this with rocks found around the place, believe me everyone will let you take rocks if you ask.WP_20140610_005 WP_20140610_004 WP_20140610_10_39_00_SmartShoot

Next I did a bit of gardening with little water research and found a wonderful site that is totally free called http://www.backtoedenfilm.com which lead me to start out with what tried next. I can’t get wood chips 120 miles into the desert so use straw as covering. Next we got horse pop from friend who was happy to give us to trailers full. Then another friend that run goat farm said could have their goat mature we layered in 3 bales of straw and added all the different types of mature from our own animals. The boys mowed lawns and we added grass clippings, we tried klyzene power and sulfur water from the hot springs to soak it all in. turning the soil only one or two times a year to make such al that goodness was getting deep enough to grow in. then we layered it again 4 inches thick and super soaked with suffer water. we let all this sit and compost for the winter, although the total composting time was closer to a year for most of it.

We will be using a pvc pipe drip system to water with and again it will be sulfur water from the hot springs near us (all the sulfur is suppose to help with the high alkane we have here). I am hoping to begin putting in the cold weather plans in March early April if at all possible.

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The pathways from garden to barn are being graveled so if get any rain we won’t had to deal with the mud again this year. We don’t get much rain but the clay when wet can stick you to the spot and is huge mess to clean up after.

Again rocks are free that line the pathways and gravel is free from a hole we were digging the first year. The only hard part of this is that two disabled people hauling heavey gravel in buckets and wheel barral is taking alot of time and it has to be at least 2 inches thick. So pathways only have about 1 inch of gravel so far and is slow going.

Another problem face when gardening out here is the sun! people say oh that shouldn’t be problem gardens love sun but the sun here cooks all the plants so we are working on away to give the plants the hours of the sunlight they need but help shade the plants during the hottest part of the day in the summer.

Which lead me to research what is call a food forest and took a little from both ideas I had researched because they seem to work together well so plan to planted a peacan tree in middle back part of my first garden put the most sun loving plants in the front and those plants like broccoli, califlower and lettce I planted closer to the tree, I also planted the climbing spinach so could climb the tree. I am planting corn, cucmeber and cabbage along back fence and putting the berries I got for free along side walls. filling in the rest of garden with the other plants and herbs. As this is a test garden this year I am trying to have a large varity of plants we love planted in to see how well it goes. I may end up having to transplant things out to different areas but like always telling people this is a gaint experiment living here and will find away.

Life in the high desert can be very changlling yet I do believe that if I learn enough about the different ways of using water and fixing soil that I can make an osias out of this place.

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Rabbits

Rabbits

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The first fall here we got our rabbits and brought them home to cages we had made for them. each in individual cages installed against the wind and shaded from the heat. They lasted well thru that first Aug. and into fall, even thru a rather rough winter. The following spring was rather cold and we lost four litters to the cold. We tried breeding again but again cold nights and then we were into summer and it came with heat as high as 114F I kept my rabbits misted and shaded but it wasn’t enough as one after another was dying on us. finally we were down to the last rabbit and took it out of the cage and turned it loose with the chickens below on the ground. He was able to get water out of chicken water fine and he loved using the turkey nesting box as a borrow although did dig out a couple of times only to return when dogs chased him. Finally one day when free ranging chicken we allowed him to free range as he was last one we had. He made a borrow for day time in the hay bin and had to be careful not to hit him when feeding goats but every night like the chickens he would return to the yard. He seemed so much happier and as July and Aug hit were afraid would lose him too but no he just kept hanging on. Finally winter hit and one day noticed he was digging out in the free ranging field and then disappeared. Thought well a coyote must of got him as wasn’t coming in with chickens anymore. When to our surprise one night early in March as weather here started warming up he all of sudden came back in with the chickens one night. This began my thinking rabbits natural live closer to ground and in colonies and I started thinking about how I could raise rabbits in a more natural way. Did some online research and yes a few people raise rabbits this way. So got to thinking rabbits need a place in barn that isn’t individual cages will keep those for sick or hurt rabbits but want to try to raise my meat rabbits with the best life possible till time to process for the table like I do with all my other animals. Daughter holding peanut our one rabbit that survived our first attempt. think as I learn will try colony raising.

Balance pt3

When I sit and thinking of balance I begin to see how God made all things in balance. we see how water balances itself thru the water cycle, we learn about the life cycle and it’s balancing act and even within the garden I have found there is balance if done the natural way. We have balance all around us. night and day, rain and sunshine, love and hate, fear and joy, war and peace and light and darkness everything as balance. There is a time for everything! Part of the problem is that for one reason or another we try to eliminate one side of the balance. we don’t embrace both sides.

What would a life in prefect balance with itself and the world around it look like? Makes me think of my excersie of a prefect day. I remember that there was no rain on it and yet I don’t like a totally sunshine day as it gets to hot and bright for me to enjoy totally. The scales of balance are in consent motion, the peace and quiet of the morning moves into the noise of children waking neither is bad but can we learn to enjoy both. I know for myself to sit quietly with God alone has taken years to become comfortable with. I have told you before of the fear of love when so many fear pain or death can’t we come to place where we can relax into each moment as it comes. Is it possible for us to live a life, be totally in it and feel the balance as it moves making our life’s balanced?

birds

I know may people will said can’t raise more than one type of bird on same land, I have never had a problem with this. I raise chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese all in own places but on same farm. I will eventually raise quail, dove and pheasant, maybe even peacocks as well. I love poultry and it is a main stay of our diet but can get boring if eating only one kind. Plus if your eating fresh it tastes far better than the bland stuff they call chicken or turkey from the store. All my birds free range as much of the time as I can. They each have a house to go to for protection at night and all of them are trained when called to go to right houses. They all have nesting boxes and roosting poles I have made out of branches made from cleaning up yards. boxes are made from left over wood and wood found at dump.

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We raise chicken for eggs as it takes to long and to many to feed my family and they don’t reproduce fast enough for meat. I begin with about 6 chicks a year that I purchase still working on which kind like the best so have large variety. To start our chicks out we have a piece of a trailer trailer known as a popout that was removed from a trailer. It costed us 25 dollars at a yard sale and we wired across the front. This sits inside our barn and keeps the babies separate from flock. When they first come home it is in a special tub that keeps them warm for the first couple of weeks, we have to heat lamps that run off battery that give added warmed. As they grow and start to hop and fly they escape the tub till all are out in our mini coop. At around eight weeks old they move into a chicken tractor and are allowed out in the field with our grown flock. This helps them and older ones to get use to each other. At about three months they will be introduced to large coop and begin their lives of free ranged chicken. We made the large coop of pallets that were given to us and we have several laying boxes in it for the egg laying. We do installation it in the winter with cardboard to help the birds stay warmer. If our hens sit on the nest and have chicks we allow mom and babies to stay together unless we have to move both to mini coop to protect from crows.

like goats we give our chickens toys to play with, although they are much simpler. One of the best is a large pile of composting stray food items and such anything that draws the bugs to them. Another wonderful toy is pieces of rotting wood very soon they figure out how to turn them over and find their treats. In the winter when they are staying inside longer and getting bore I place a couple of store toys filled with treats, this seems to stop the fighting.

My Turkeys are treated much like my chickens but are raised for the holidays as well as for their eggs. They think they are goats and play with the goats.

My Ducks have a pond and I must admit they are more pets than anything else I do use their eggs for baking but have never found a drake to go with my hens so when they are finish being apart of barn may not get any more. I do have a child’s pool turn to p0nd for them. They think they are chickens.

Geese are one of those animals that didn’t plan on raising but ended up with 6 as a friend needed someone to take her babies as the larger ones might of killed them. wonderful eggs but terrible animals to raise, they are extremely messy in their pond and fight with all other birds. They hate people and just about any other animal. I am still learning how best to take care of and raise my geese in the best life I know how to give them without interfering with the rest of the barn. I have to keep my geese separate from all other birds because they fight so much and haven’t found away to make them happy yet.

I hope to add peacocks, quail and pheasant as wild birds later. My birds cost me the most in feed right now but learning how to make my own feed and hoping that when I get a well and the pasture grown out that this cost will decrease. I have found that the more they free range the less food I need to provide for them.chicken water

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mess free feeder and no more worry about leaving on vacation this feeder holds my flocks one months worth of feed although don’t use unless leaving or during winter as when free ranging they need to look for food more and this is for those times when they can’t.

Goats

5e2537d2fee9ad099d18ade53446b29eBefore you all think I know what I am doing I want to let you know that although I grew up around animals and helped milk, butcher and feed and water them I know very little about the actual feed that each takes and housing them right. So I am learning as I add each to my barn and finding better ways to make my animals happy as I go. We get all our babies from a dairy that doesn’t want them so starting goats cost nothing. We do have to buy kid formula and nipples but nipples can be used over and over. Feeding stand will be build out of left over wood or wood found at dump. This begins our journey into raising babies.

I get all my babies in the spring from a dairy that doesn’t want the babies at a week old sometimes as many as 20 at a time. This has worked out for us as we learn how to sell and trade them anywhere from 4 months old to a year. Lots of ranchers in area like to trade hay for their little weed eaters, some like to buy for meat and others want as pets or even milk goats. They have grown on me but still don’t like their milk, cheese, or meat, yet my family does and they do make a wonderful just in case animal and in mean time my potions can go to the pigs which I love. So this over time we learned to use feed and to leash train the babies.

Funny thing is that goats are so much like toddlers they are great as long as don’t get bored so this year we are attempting to try a few of the following ideas as we find out which work.

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As early as a month old goats start wanting to escape and run jump and play on everything so this gives them something fun to do as long as far enough away from fences that can’t jump over.

Yes we finally have a couple of our breeders finally kidding and so it is time to introduce our goats to one more toy that is only at the special time of milking only 🙂

Most of them like coming and getting treats from the milking stand. another way we give treats is in an empty milk jug that has been washed and dryed and filled with grain. they toss and throw it around knocking the grain out of it to get to thier treats this can last hours or mintues depending on how many attack it at a time. some times i do this to servel 1 lt bottles at a time which gives all of them a chance to share, no worries of any left over as turkeys come in behind them and clean up.

11092120_700790186710701_7795093764533446499_nThese are the things I have learned about goats and raising them so far more pictures to come later.

purpose pt2

All my life i been an extremist, or at least I call it that. If and when I go for something I go all the way, If I get angry I let it fly , If I love then I love deeply (part of the reason why small talk is so hard for me), When I study I search deep for answers and when life is good it is very good. I also go to the other side of things when I hurt I sink to depths of bitterness that is ugly, when and if I hate it is despise, when I get lost it becomes hopelessness and when life is bad all I think about is death.

I tell you the above so you might understand my confusion when I set quietly and listen to the depths of my being searching for my purpose. Yes people have told me to list my gifts, callings and talents and I will then find my purpose thru this. I have done this and will do it again here for you all but that list didn’t put words to my purpose for me. I believe they are a result of my purpose , so I sit quietly with my soul and I hear an echo but it is so soft I am unsure of what it is saying. My mind screams I want to know just tell me and I struggle to get back to that quiet place.

So I will list some of my gifts, callings and talents…

1. To teach

2. To love (not the normal love but the love of a person weather known or unknown that makes you feel and share their joy and pain)

3. discernment- both on a spiritual level and on an everyday type of way( I can feel the world around me often causing me to withdraw within myself)

4. creativity-

5. giving- of myself, time and money (learning a lot on this)

6. healing- I do fight against this one because so many people have judged it as evil

7. visions and dreams- These are both night time and daytime and often hide this gift as I know I see things others can’t or don’t and often sited as nuts or crazy for it.

8. organizing and planning- to the point of driving people crazy with it

9. to see how things effect or work with other things( like how one animal can affect soil, water and fed people and another animal)

10. I can feel the workings of my body and work with the ways it functions, when something is wrong or injured I can tell you where and what but not so much in medical terms ( has made my doctors think I am crazy till can prove it to them)

The truth is I hide most of my gifts, callings and talents as many people are afraid of me because of them. I am learning that I can live in these gifts and not to care if others can’t handle them. This list isn’t a completely list because sharing things so long kept secret is overwhelming me a bit I truly do want to live a open clear life before people but I also don’t want to scare you all off with the fear that comes with seeing someone so naked before you. I do understand that fear I feel it myself but strongly believe part of the problem today in the world is that we hide who we really are, afraid of being judged by those round us. True we can say I am who I am like it or not” but the fear remains that we are different and it takes a life time to come to the point or realization that none of us are the same even if we try with all our hearts to be the same. Sometimes it’s hard to celebrate differences but that is where we need to be.

take a moment with me, relax, breath, Remember we are special in who we are. Settle back into that peace of who you are and the contentment of you are YOU and NO! one can take that way from you. Return with me to that quiet place where your heart and soul are free to speak freely. I can here the echoes within my soul again now but this time I believe I can make out what is being said. B..a..l..a..n…c…e, B…al…an..ce, Balance!

Really? My purpose is Balance? What does that mean?

I hope you will stay with me thru my learning what the above means as I journey thru to my purpose!

jounery in pictures

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WP_20131113_007This garden rock wall working on different sections taken us a year to get this far on it but helps a lot against the high winds get here. Also the gravel pathway don’t get a lot of rain but when do everything turns to mud.

WP_20140610_002Beginning of solar shower always talking about no recent pictures of it finished yet

WP_20140615_013WP_20140615_012WP_20140615_0102014 Father’s Day get together with a taste of rattlesnake.

WP_20150301_003WP_20150301_008WP_20150301_006WP_20150301_011  Some pictures of the work being done on the  barn.

WP_20141221_001 2014 Christmas tree enjoyed a tree made of sage brush so much in 2013 talked family into letting me do again this year, as long as promise real tree in 2015.

That’s all can get to post at the moment but I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of our life.

Bardyard

I declare March barn yard month. th1WEEOD3TStyle of barn like to build, imagine pallets as walls and middle with a gate on both ends.
At the moment we have 3 turkeys, 9 goats (think 4 are pregnant), 6 chickens, 6 geese(never wanted but friend needed to get rid of),2 ducks, 9 chicken chicks 2 dogs, and 2 cats. We have a wish list for animals like everything else. Here’s the wish list
Goats 3 (2 female 1 male) all nieborhors babies are given to us so we raise and sell and trade more goats than ever wanted.
Rabbits ( 4 female 2 bucks) have but didn’t have right barn to protect so will get new once barn finished and can keep at right temp.
chickens- building our flock up 6 chicks a year till have 100 free ranged)
Turkeys (10 hens min 1 tom) would like to eventually build a large flock but we eat at holidays.
ducks (4-6) love eggs for baking
Cow (1 milk 1 meat)
Pigs (3-4) may try breeding later
Bees (4 hives) in orchard or berry field not barn
Quail (50 to start would run wild)
Pheants (50 to start would run wild)

Barn is built out of free pallets, free tin roofing (for helping a friend) and the wire and post brought. Top of barn is only built to allow the heat to escape in summer and the pallets are lined with cardboard in winter to keep warm. We live were summers can be high as 114F and winters can be as low as -30F so we have to be prepared to face both extremes. The Openings where there are gates in winter have barn rugs/ traps that cover them. The middle has enough of an opening that can burn a burn barrel for add heat if had too. We hope to complete the bottom 2 sides this year. As you have seen in pictures and videos the bottom right stalls and pens are completed. 2016 We hope to finish the top of the barn. We are also hoping to complete pasture this year but till have well can’t get the cows as not enough water to handle them. This Spring we expect 9-20 baby goats to be coming our way and have really luck out this year as we have been able to sell, and trade a lot of last years goats for hay and cash. We hope to be adding piglets into the barn this year as we get more and more done on it. We are a very unusual barn and keep all goats billy and nanny’s together which helps the smell greatly. So far none of our billy’s have ever gotten that nasty billy smell to them this way but we end up with all females getting pregnant too. May have to change this when we start milking. We have been majorly blessed in that haven’t had any coyote or big cat problems at all. Our barn yard cost about 75 dollars a month in feed, of course that raises when have lots of babies but then can trade them for hay or sell which helps keep the barn going. Many people ask in the summer for the different kinds of eggs we have and that helps with the cost of scratch and other bird feed. I am hoping the pigs will be as easy on the budget as the other animals have been. We do manage so far to raise a lot of our meat, and eggs. Hoping soon to add milk and it’s by products to the list, even if it is goat not cow. We have so far found that raising the different kinds of animals we are have paid for themselves and even help pay for the extra materials to build their housing.
I understand that raising your own meat isn’t for everyone and that it is hard to love something and still put it on the table when it comes time too. We figure that this way we both know what we are eating, and we know the animals are being given the best life we know how to give them till such time. I figure my free ranged turkeys are getting a wonderful year of love and care before becoming Christmas dinner, rather than being keep in a small pen and not experiencing the love of the people who will be eating them. As a child growing up this was a very difficult idea for me to understand and even now I spend time talking and thanking each of my animals for the blessing they will one day provide for us. Yes I could just go to a store and buy my meat preprocessed and wrapped but really it’s the same as buying a tomato or growing one I much rather have my own sun grown and ripen tomato than the bland ones from the store. I have even began to hate Nov- Feb. when the birds aren’t laying. The taste of store eggs vs fresh are totally two different things, even if both are called eggs. I am excited to learn to make fresh butter, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and even soap all from my own barn.
Add this to my gardens, orchard and berry fields. Get a well drilled and then I don’t see anything standing in the way of our dream!
Take a moment today and think hard what are your dreams? I know not everyone’s dreams are the same, I would never be happy living in a mansion or owning a boat but maybe you would. What steps can you take today to move you closer to your dream? As for me I am going back down to the barn yarn and building some more of the walls today. I hope you find a touch of your dream in each day as I do!

welcome to march

If you all were with me last year you will remember last year I discovered I wanted to LIVE, not just survive. I didn’t get to share a lot of last years discoveries and lessons are my laptop broke but thru the year I started looking for a purpose to my life. Not the kind of purpose that we all have but the purpose deep within me, that purpose that ensured my survival thru the rough times, that purpose that kept pushing forward when all I wanted was to die. Yes I know on the Grant side of things God has a purpose for me and that is to worship and sever Him and that should be enough right? But deep within me I feel something more and in the last year I still can’t put it into words. My sister was face booking these courses that she is looking into and one of them was called sacred purpose. You all know we are on an extremely tight budget right now but really was praying that maybe for my birthday this year I could get this course. Then I was given it even after offering to pay for it what a truly wonderful blessing. I began listening to it March 2nd and will be studying thru out the month and on into the year this year I will understand my soul and it’s purpose.
That being said I want to let you all know where I am starting from in my understanding.
I am a spiritual being that encompasses my heart, mind, body and soul. I believe that my soul is the breath of God that makes me in His image. To truly be who I was meant to be I must find away to balance all the parts of me. I also know that I am meant to love deeply and express that love to the world around me.welcome
If you remember in the pass I have referred to that inner being as “Lady” I have dealt with the Emotions and learned to allow myself to have them and accept that emotions are neither good or bad they are just a healthy part of me like breathing. I have learned to start treating my body better and taking care of my health( now true this is a hard one for me but am getting there) I have learned to make the study of the Word and other brain games to strengthen my mind both spiritually and in knowledge and wisdom.(Like with most muscles this one has to be in a forever training and strengthening mode or it becomes weak). I also have a full understanding that each of these parts of me need to be in balance with each other. I add spirit to this group as well.
I only have a very vag idea or understand of my soul “Lady” to me she is so full of light like have said in the pass more often than not she terrifies me. She is pure energy, light, love. All those things scare me but like I quote all the time “feel the fear and do it anyways. So starting this month join me while I brave a closer look at my soul and reveal it to you.

God’s Love Feb reviewed

What a month! We start it out the same as every month with the usual chores and bills to do and then in the middle of that find out a deaf girl has moved out to our area. She is broken down and really messed up her car. We also find out that like us, when we first moved out here, she isn’t on the right land. We agree to take her in and help her find the right land. Then we are given an SUV the next morning van breaks down. two days later Mike is hurt working on the property and God intervenes helping us out once again. Johnathan begins to fall in love. Finally get back to first of month chores only to come home to a friend leaving us a special winter harden blood orange tree as a gift. I finally attempt to turn my garden soil and get over 2/3s of it done in two days even with my bad back and hips ( ya a lot of pain as I write this but still I was able to do it so worth the pain) We have been so blessed. Then take William to work and SUV breaks down but minor problem and less than 25 dollars to fix so again blessed.(yes it broke down again, but know that God gave it to us for a reason and will solve the new problem like before) We have a few days to finish up the month and would say no biggie but this month just keeps getting better and better so maybe will have to edit and add to this post if anything big happens again but for now Feb is wrapping up as a month of Love and blessing in our life’s. The weather here has been so lovely that we have been able to do work on the property and are looking forward to March. I ordered 103 dollars worth of garden plants today and received 10 gifts of my choice equaling to around 80 dollars so once again feel blessed. We have managed to clean up the barn area mark out the floor plan and even get some of the bottom roll of pallets up, again the weather is super cold at night but the days have been amazing for a Nevada winter. We have been bless with visitors, we live so far out and away from almost everyone that visitors are extra special to us. We are all learning or relearning sign launage so we can talk with Tony while she stays with us. We also have had a huge adventure in learning to deal with her many animals on property as well as our own. Life lesson this month is learning to see what maybe looked upon as a rough spot for its blessings.
I learned a lot of life lessons this month, but more important is the God lesson of Choosing Love and forgiveness. I have found that as God teaches me this new lesson in His word that I find it uncomfortable to talk of another in a bad light (gossip has always bothered me but now it is even things that aren’t really gossip) I can’t help but think I don’t know that persons story, experiences or hardships so how can I fault them in any way for doing something that I wouldn’t do. I also have found that by using and learning forgiveness that I am freer to be me than ever before. I don’t have as much bitterness, hatred, or even pain when I let go of the hurts I felt another may of caused and Choose to Love. I begin to see people the way God sees them and that frees them as well to me themselves. I have learned this month to let go of some of the fear of love I have been living with and to accept that love I have so craved all my life. So this has literally been a month of love for me.
Our plans for the first week of March is to get the tires and move the mobile home to property that was given to us. (3 bdrm). Restock up on chicken chicks and turkey chicks, The usual chores and bill paying now that we have a towing vehicle again to get pallets to build barn with and coops. I am hoping to get the garden turned once more in march (this is done by hand with pitch fork so take a lot out of us cause the clay is like cement till mix well.) It is beginning to become mixed and turning into lovely black gold soil. We also plan on going to the big cat recuse for Tony’s birthday and throwing a party BBQ for mine so another full and exciting month here on the property.