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Showing posts from July, 2015

Goats?

I have gone back and forth on if I wanted goats or not, there were many pluses and a few minus I had to figure either a way around or a way to accept it, basically this is what I came up with.  On the plus side goats produce more milk then cattle for what the ingest, basically you get more output for less input.  Goats are also very forage friendly, in other words they will get most of their substance from foraging, in most cases they prefer it.  Goats also eat though underbrush and can help clear it, basically getting usage out of land that would not be used other wise for their substance.  Goats are another multipurpose animal both producing meat and dairy.  Unlike cattle goats also typically produce multiple births and the mature faster.  An a interesting side note which I did not realize until I started doing more research, goat milk also has kind of a niche market due to it being more tolerable to digest for those with stomach issues.

Now for the down sides or reasons to potenti…

Thoughts, Motivations, Mission and Vision

Thoughts, Motivations, Mission and Vision

This post is a little different then any of my others and maybe it should have been the post that started it all.  I am very driven, when I set my mind to something I go all in, the longer the odds the more I like it and to more people tell me I am in over my head the more determined I get to prove them wrong.   I know this endeavor will be no different.  This could not be any further out of my "comfort zone" to what I am used to doing but at the same time I find myself researching it every free moment I get and the desire to do it gets stronger and stronger the more challenges I run into.

While I would not consider myself ultra-green, I do think we should do what we can to maintain natures balance and do what we can to have as little impact as is practical.  To me this means balancing the impact to the land with the needs to provide sustenance while at the same time getting as much out of the land as it can efficiently produce and e…

Nut Trees

Nut Trees

Black Walnut
Well for Nut Trees I do not have near as many options as with the fruit trees but I really want some nut tress as they are a valuable source of healthy fats as well as a different source of protein.  The most common nut in the portion of Minnesota we will be in appears to be black walnut.  Black Walnut can be a difficult tree as the tree gives off a chemical that can be poisonous to various other plants and forages such as alfalfa, apple trees and pear trees. This toxicity can extent up to 80 feet from the tree when it is full grown.  With this in mind we will probably plant the trees on the property line along one of the pastures, we will probably plant about 6 of these trees.  The nuts will be mostly for human consumption and some for the pigs and chickens.  Pigs seem to love them and they do give the pork a little nuttier flavor however if you give them too much it can change the composition of the fat in the animal.  We do need to find different varieties in…

Barn

The Barn..

There is probably no part of the homestead that has taken as much of my time and thoughts as the barn, I have sketched numerous ideas, went back and forth over a prefabbed steel barn versus a Pole type barn went form one to two story to one again and if I wanted earthen floors or cement, finally I just had to sit down and figure out what exactly did I want this barn to accomplish? I came up with the following.

1.  Want a large central area where I can put machinery for storage, so need about a 12x12 sliding or swing type door on one end.
2, Want an area on the east side that will serve as the main chicken coop area, the nesting boxes will open into the main hall of the barn.
3.  Want another  area on the east side that will serve as a cold weather/farrowing area for the hogs, this area will be able to be spit into two pens.
4.  Want a area on the west side that will serve as a work area/Butcher area- Want a concrete floor in this area.
5.  A  foot area for non hay feed stor…