Some Answers

fieldsWindy here again – I need to go out across this murky field and collect this good bucket  before it ends up in the back forty.
Previous to leaving for Canada I asked you to ask me your questions so I had lots of material to write about while I was away. But due to that nasty flu (that I am on the mend from now) I was unable to write anything at all but today I have answered some of the questions for you!
This is Part One.
cazinatutu

katechiconi

I’ve often wondered what you eat every day, and what staples you keep in your pantry. I know you eat very seasonally, which is wonderful, but do you mostly only eat what you’ve grown yourself?

Maria Hansen Photography
 How did you start out? What was the first thing you did? The first animals? What kind of structures did you have to start out with, if any? Safe travels!

The first thing I did was clear a car out of the rat house and establish a chicken coop, then my first compost heap and then we dug the first of the gardens. Then I cleared more cars out of the big barn and bought a heifer (Daisy) and a steer,  the manure from both cows and chickens contributed  to the compost feeding the soil and growing the vegetables that in turn fed the chickens and the milking cows starting my first true cycle. 

There were two big buildings here on the property  – the rat house and the barn, full of old cars, wrecked machinery, and a lot of old rubbish. Clearing these two buildings out took years and it is not finished yet.

patrecia upton

A question about what you do and how?  Not a serious question by any means but I would like to know what keeps you going..how do you manage to do it day after day…and stay so cheerful..don’t you ever get pissed off?

I don’t often get pissed off, no, that is not in my nature. I do get very disappointed sometimes. This makes me go very quiet as a rule.  And I can get snappy. But not on the farm. People annoy me more than the farm. But there is no point getting down about it. A positive attitude is so much more fun. I keep going because I have all these animals depending on me for their survival and welfare.  This is my job. I like my job.

Liz Snider

Karen asks,

Milking– are any cows, once calves are born, suitable for milking & how do you decide the breed and specific cow to use as a milker? And the process itself, how do you know when they are done for the day?

Not every cow is suitable as a milk cow on a small farm. When you only have a couple of cows you want the gentlest healthiest creatures possible. That said I find that luck has had a lot to do with my milking cows. I quite simply bought what was available. I did not research a particular breed. I am more interested in the gentleness and calmness of the animal – its responses to loud noises, peoples hands, etc. 

Do you mean ready to be dried up, when you say done for the day?  I can dry the cows up once their production has gone below two gallons, (preferably one and a half) if they are healthy.  Both the cows at the moment are just below two gallons so we are continuing into the winter for a wee while longer. 

oconeemama
Nothing is ever sanitised that is for sure!  Not in a barn. This is why I prefer my animals to be outside. Yes, farming is a smelly business and when they are allowed indoors in the winter it is a very smelly business. The good thing is that in the winter all the animals deposits freeze solid fairly quickly and are easier to clean out.
 
It is part of my every day routine to clean out one pen a day. Rotating through the barns. I can not do anything about the wilderness birds.  Mainly sparrows and starlings and pigeons. I do not mind them feeding out of the bowls.  There is not much for them to eat here in the winter.  The food bowls are kept clean by the animals and the chickens, and are washed on a rotation basis as well.
My dogs don’t roll in poo but the pigs do. The fresher and smellier the better, especially cow pats – they roll in manure like dogs. 
nettyg

I wonder what seeds you start inside, how do you start them?

We have a small glass house attached to the house and start many plants in there in February as soon as the days are long enough.  The tomatoes are always first. Everything else is staggered in after that.
Elizabeth

I don’t market my produce at all – I just have a few families that I feed and of course the restaurant that is opening close by next year but this is still a Plan.  Basically the families I know will invest in an animal then when it is the right size I take it to the slaughter house for them, and they take it from there. 

Do you already have families set up for your up and coming young dairy cows?

Nope. Though I have had no trouble selling calves so far. 

How do you set the price for those little girls?

The price depends on their age and their health and condition and market value.

Do you sell eggs as well?

I could sell as many eggs as I could produce however most of them go to fattening the pigs.

Have you ever explored raising laying chicks of families then selling them as young layers?

Yes. I have thought of doing this. It is a good idea! I really should but I get greedy and want to keep them all myself. Which reminds me I need to order another lot of layers for next spring.

How do you set your prices?

I make them up based on market prices at the time plus the extra cost of my special feeds. 

Do you ever let your piggies into your garden spaces for limited times to “clean things up”?

The pigs are used to turn over the pasture. The chickens are rolled across the old garden plots in their chicken tractors to do that clean up. 

Pat Rousseau

What are your favorite ways to cook chicken and pork… I love your recipes and get inspired to cook when I see others ‘everyday’ meal items.

Nadia

When I first came down here I could not find the foods I wanted to cook. I don’t eat processed foods, I do not like to eat meat or chicken that have been raised in cramped or cruel conditions and I am very dubious about the commercial feeds that these animals are fed. Plus I was very uncomfortable with contributing to these kinds of industries. So I decided that I would either become a vegetarian eating my own vegetables or grow my own meat to supplement the vegetables and remain an omnivore. The little plot of land that my husband owned enabled me to grow my own food. I am a lucky girl.

bread

There are more questions. I have another post underway.  I am looking forward to answering them too, asap!

Have a lovely day.

celi

34 Comments on “Some Answers

  1. Thank you! I hoped you’d be able to find time for all the good questions 🙂 I’m always interested in what other people have in their pantries; mine is getting more and more limited as I cook more and more from scratch and slowly edge refined sugar and processed flours out of my diet.

  2. I copied and pasted all these questions from the comments section – then answered them – something I have done often before but the format has completely screwed up once published this time. I have no idea what has just gone on. I guess you can read some of it. I will be deleting this later this morning after chores. It does not work. Sorry about that. I have never had a post fail so spectacularly before!

  3. thank you for answering my question … so basically you starved the rats out

    • That is my current plan too. I just bought a bunch of metal trash cans this week, with lids that should be “rat proof”. My dog manages to kill 1-2 per night but this year has been ridiculous! I never had a rat problem in the five years I’ve had my farm. With free range chickens and goats I can’t take a chance with poison or traps.

  4. Interesting reading but wondering why on my page some things are squeezed tight to the margin and difficult to read. Anyone else having that problem? Good luck catching the wayward bucket! Health and happiness for 2017 to you and yours, the Farmy and the Fellowship.

    • Yes, in my editing version it is fine but when published it is reading as an ever diminishing comment thread. Very boring!! I am working on fixing it .. or deleting it

      • I had no problem with reading today’s blog post. I enjoyed it very much – as always. And, as always – YOU ARE AMAZING!! You’re one hell of a hard worker, you’re wonderful with your animals and they all love you, you don’t eat processed foods – at all – which alone is so admirable…. and you set out to ‘feed yourselves’ and that’s just what you’ve done. Another thing I always tell you is ‘I don’t know how you do it all’… Plus, you don’t get mean… just quiet… that’s amazing in itself! Happy New Year Cecilia.. from Cecile. ; o )

  5. Very good news that you’re on the mend… good stuff. And thank you for these answered questions; always interesting, what you do and how you do it.
    Best wishes for the new year! ~ Mame 🙂

  6. What a great idea-the questions to answer. Thank you. And so glad you are on the mend. Happy New Year!

  7. thinking of you as I watched the New Year fireworks from NZ Sky Tower. We still about 8 hours to go 🙂 Laura

  8. Pingback: thekitchensgarden — The Big Garden Blog

  9. [J+D] We had some questions but weren’t sure whether they’d be tedious to answer. You’re very generous in your time! It’s great to learn of someone else – many thousands of miles away – who, like us, chooses to eat seasonally according to what the land provides, knowing both plenty and lack, and finding richness whatever the circumstances. Thank you , Celi, for your daily posts: they are a delight!

  10. That was a great read of Q&A – please don’t delete it. Hopefully you can find a way to reformat so that it goes flush left. Maybe copy into a Word document and then copy and paste the whole thing? I have no idea how blogs works, don’t really need to know. Just know that there are a bunch of them I love to read daily – and this one is third on my list!

    Happy New Year for tomorrow morning!
    Chris S in Canada

  11. Sending the Happiest of Happy New Year wishes to you and Our John, and all in the Fellowship of the Farmy Family!!! xoxoxo

  12. That was probably good for us! It gave us a little mental workout! Happy New Year to all!

  13. Thank you for answering the questions very interesting. Happy new year everyone! 💥🎉

  14. Thank you for answering these many interesting questions. You are such a vital person and multi talented. Not to mention just plain fun to read.

  15. Thanks for the Q & A, very interesting and thouht provoking.
    I wish you and yours and all the Fellowship a most Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!!!

  16. This is my opinion about keeping your chickens isolated from wild birds. In commercial facilities this becomes a problem because the birds there have no immunity. Within a couple of generations, your backyard birds (even if they came from a hatchery) will become immune to common things wild birds might carry. Every time there’s an epidemic of some sort, the wild birds get blamed, even though there is scarcely ever a die off of wild birds, and even backyard birds are not affected much.

  17. I had been wondering about how it all got started. Good Q&A. Interesting information. Looking forward to more happy news from the farmy this year. All the best to everyone,

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