Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Raining... Again

Ok, really I am just a little tired of the rain. The garden is now officially way behind. Seeds that were planted a couple weeks ago are probably rotten because there is no sign of them. The onions look like they are beginning to rot before they even get started. I have a foot of mulch in the pathways and I am still splashing water when I walk through there. Now, the septic tank is beginning to grumble because the ground around the field lines is saturated. Really, did we need a whole years rainfall within a month's period of time?! Ok, I guess I have gotten my grumbling off my chest now. The good news is that I have done some things that I was putting off so that I could go play in the dirt. I have made and milled lots of soap and I am finally getting the goat fat that I had in the freezer rendered so that I can make more soap. My goal is to get all the soap made and all the fat rendered and out of the freezer. The laundry is caught up and put away and the taxes are almost finished. I probably will finish those today along with the soap. Tonight I get to catch chickens and clip their wings. They are devastating what is in my garden. yesterday morning I had turnip greens...yesterday afternoon I had turnip stems. Yep, in just a few hours they got in and stripped the turnip greens of anything leafy and they started nibbling on roots that were poking out of the ground. I really hate chickens and if they didn't provide me food for next to nothing then I would butcher every last one of them. However, right now I am getting between 8 and 9 eggs a day and that certainly helps if nothing else than to feed the dogs and pigs. Speaking of pigs, I think I might be about done with pigs. It doesn't matter how well we repair the fence they get out. Only two of them mind you, the other one never gets out. you can leave the gate wide open and he is content to stay put. Also, with small pigs it takes considerably longer for them to get to any size worth butchering and by then they are tough. I want pork chops and ribs that melt off the bone when you cook them. I don't want pork loin that is harder to chew than jerky. We just butchered a sow that was just under 2 years old. She was a good size and we got about 35-40 lbs of meat off of her. We ground every last bit of it because the loin that we cooked was too tough to chew. The ribs we cooked needed tyrannosaurus rex teeth to pull the meat off the bone. The other ribs will go to the dogs, maybe they will have better luck. The one thing I did like was the amount of lard that I got off of her....over 2 gallons after rendering. So, I am debating on whether or not to go back to larger hogs that grow out faster (but eat you out of house and home for 6 months) or stick with the little pigs and just butcher younger and smaller. I have two breeders now though that right at a year old would only yield maybe 15 lbs. of meat and that is being generous. I might keep the pair of little ones to produce lard and dog food and just raise a large hog or two for us. I don't know, definitely a dilemma. The little pigs cost very little to feed. They don't get much grain at all. They mostly live off kitchen scraps and garden gleanings. They get extra eggs also and a little milk thrown in now and again. But they are much harder to fence in because they chew their way through a fence and can make just enough of an opening to squeeze their little bodies out of. The problem is that now they are heading onto my neighbors land in their daily wanderings and for those of you that have read my blog for any length of time you know that I don't need anymore problems with any of my neighbors. Pigs rooting their way through their manicured yards would definitely create some tension. Oh, well I am sure that I will come up with a solution to this issue soon. My little sow still has not has piglets yet even though she looks like she is pregnant. If I don't have piglets soon then I probably will sell her and the little boar. She is so sweet that I don't think I could butcher her. Then I will repair the fences and start looking for feeder pigs. I could always raise one for us and sell the other one. That might be an idea. So blessings from the farm and here is hoping that you all have a sunny, clear day! Kat

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