Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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Josie woke me Monday morning complaining about the grass Popsicles.

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We had our first snow….actually unusual for Maryland on Sunday, October 17.

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The chicken yard is very, very mucky after 4 days of non stop rain…I guess it did stop long enough to snow!

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Room for one more?

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Finally some thawed green grass!

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The barnyard needs more rock.

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A lone Cleome survived the killing frost.

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One faithful friend remembering another….

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Boomer’s final resting place, surrounded by life giving herbs.

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Ugly!

I know it’s not nice, but Jenny Hen is down right ugly!  She’s the oldest gal at nearly 4.  She’s on tenure now and thinks it’s her job to sit on anything that doesn’t move.  She sat on a bunch of golf balls for nearly 3 weeks!

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She’s molting and is walking around nearly butt naked!  I realized the other day, that if I don’t start culling out my old ladies I’ll soon have a petting zoo and I don’t think Honey would be too big on that.  I ought to do Jenny Hen in now while she’s naked, then I won’t have as many feathers to pluck.

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A face only a mama could love.

The new pullets ought to start laying next month.  Fingers crossed.  Our egg ration has been 1-2 eggs a day for quite some time. I’ve been dreaming of deviled eggs, eggs a la golden rod, egg salad…..anything with golden eggs.

I was looking for Annie’s egg today.  She usually lays it in the new hen house.  As I rounded the corner, I was chitter chattering to myself about goodness knows what….and I didn’t expect to catch her sitting on the nest….well, I startled her to death, and she squawked.  She jumped up and nearly scarred me to death.  I screamed, she screamed and then I laughed.  She gave me a working over about it too.  I heard about that for at least a half an hour….I sure didn’t mean to disturb her.  Heavens knows we need that second egg.

I’ve only named the two Silver Laced Wyandottes.  I ordered 5 of everything, but lost nearly half…so I’m only left with two Wyandottes.  They are Wyonna and Naomi Judd.

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I’ve got 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Australorps, 2 Barred Rocks and 4 Rhode Island Reds.  Since they’ve hardly developed personalities yet, I haven’t given most of them names yet.

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It’s lookin very rednecky and I need to get it cleaned up a bit.  But heck they love climbing and roosting all of the stuff.  The Buffys are really cute.  My gates need some repairs before winter settles in.  If we get iced like last year, the gate might fall clean off it’s hinges….or rather electric ties.

Raising chicks has been so easy.  My friend Carol told me it was but I didn’t believe her…ok Carol, it is easy.  I’m ready for some meat birds next spring!  But I’m gonna have to get some help with the butchering…I really do hate that job of slitting their throats.  A turkey would be a great adventure too.  Heck I pay a small fortune for a pastured organic turkey.

Now if we could only get some of our own fresh milk and these girls would really be eating in style.  Clabber for everyone.  All in God’s good time.

More Bang For Your Buck

Who wouldn’t like to know that the food they are buying or growing is providing the ultimate nutritional value? Who wouldn’t want to know that their food is worth the price they are paying? I would.

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I just purchased a refractometer. It was very reasonably priced and will be a way for me to measure the nutrients not only in the food I buy, but also the food I grow for my family and my cows.

You might remember that when I was on a Pasture Walk last week, I asked the “soil expert” if he could explain Brix. And his response was simply that brix is measuring a plants sugar. What he didn’t say possibly because he didn’t know any better is that sugar is only one component of brix.

Brix simply is the “level of the crop correlated with its nutrient-density; brix is a valuable measurement in determining the nutritional value of the crop”. Rex Harrill explained in an interview posted for the Weston A Price Foundation how simple it can be to test our own food for brix. Using a refractometer you squeeze a few drops from the crop being tested onto the prism and “when the drops fall on the prism, you close the cover plate to spread it out and then look through the viewing end of the instrument where you will see an etched scale generally calibrated in 0-30 or 0-32 degrees Brix. Just as a pencil appears bent when placed in a beaker of water, the light passing through the plant juice droplet is bent so that a clear line is shown against the scaled background. The amount of bending is directly related to the richness of the plant juice (richer juice bends the light more).”

Rex Harrill continues to explain the work of Dr. Carey A. Reams:

“The genius of Reams-style farming is that he devised a way to calculate the energy released when various fertilizers worked their way down to equilibrium. For instance, Reams didn’t suggest that his clients simply scatter so many pounds (or so many tons) of ammonium sulfate on an acre of land. Reams taught his students how to calculate the energy that would be given up by a single molecule of ammonium and then determine exactly how many pounds of that, or any other fertilizer, to apply. In conventional farming fertilizer excesses are generally wasted and ultimately go off the land into the ground water, while shortages create a limited crop yield. Reams-style farming not only creates superior output, it is also very economical because any fertilizer applied is used by the plants, not lost. Dr. Dan Skow is probably the best known teacher currently explaining this desperately needed scientific aspect of agriculture to students around the country.”

He goes on to say; “Brix is a measure of energy. A high-Brix plant emits a far superior energetic electromagnetic spectrum than a low-Brix specimen. Insects “see” in this range and they “attack” plants with the weakest emanations. When the grower finally understands that all that talk about how healthy plants “resist” insects is really another way of saying that the strongest plants don’t attract insects in the first place, they are on the road to understanding Reams agriculture. A refractometer is merely a way for us to see by proxy what insects see with their eyes.”

I’m anxious to receive my refractometer that I bought on ebay. I found an organic farmer about an hour from our home who sells certified organic grains and hays. He gave me a bale of Orchard Grass Hay for my girls to taste. I thought I’d need a lesson on picking out good hay by sight, but once I got home and compared this new hay to the old hay I purchased…..well, it was a no brainer. The evidence was obvious to me. When I walked into his barn, my nose came alive with the fresh smell of hay. It smelled green.

The refractometer will tell me if his hay is all that it’s meant to be.  It will also tell me if my bovine girls will be getting nourishment this winter from his organic hay.  Dr Nelson Arden, DVM explains that nutrition is everything.  He says, “Poor intake of energy (and protein) always leaves the animals in poor shape to fight off any problem, be it metabolic (the prolapse) or infectious (the mastitis and salmonella infections.)

As One who has followed the Weston A Price diet for almost 3 yrs, I’ve often used the term “nutrient dense”.  Using a refractometer is a sure way to measure if my food is indeed nutrient dense.  Rex Harrill goes on to explain that low brix food will be tasteless and watery and those with high brix will be robust and flavorful.  His site gives lots of charts for you to know what the brix measurement should be on the foods you eat.  He was asked in the interview if one could measure brix in milk and meat.  He replied that milk of course could be measured because of it’s liquid state, but meat…..well, why not measure the brix in the pasture to determine the nutrient density of the grass the cows are eating. Because the pasture with the highest brix reading will produce highly nutrient dense meat and milk.

I believe that Dr Nelson Arden, DVM got it right….

Nutrition is everything!

Good Medicine

It’s been a very rough week for me.  And I am reminded how much I need to laugh.

If you knew me, you’d know that I love to smile.  It’s a family trait that I passed to my children.  They both have beautiful big and gregarious smiles!

Laughter is good medicine! Prov 15:13

Thanks to Carf on Flickr.com for a great photo!

Thanks to Carf on Flickr.com for a great photo!

Crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:5

I am reminded repeatedly in Scripture that laughter and joy are good for me. That crying and grieving dry up the bones. Honey calls me, “My Joy”. I love that!

I usually am…that is joyful. I have so much to be thankful for and joy is an overflow of thankfulness.

Life certainly has it’s hard places and in them I must always remember that “The Joy of The Lord is My Strength”. Nehemiah 8:10

I cannot depend ever on what I can see around me. It will always fail me. Life is hard, but God is good.

ALL THE TIME!

Thanks to Ardumpln 1s Photostream on Flickr.com

Thanks to Ardumpln 1's Photostream on Flickr.com

“Laughter does not mean you are ignoring pain, living in denial, or just not aware of the troubles around you..For me, laughter is how we take a much-needed break from the heartache, such that when we turn to face it again, it has by some miracle grown smaller in size and intensity, if not disappeared altogether.” Liz Curtis Higgs (Only Angels Can Wing It)

When Honey and I are overcome with grief or just plain feeling sorry for ourselves, we like to keep it in perspective……we always count our blessings and that begins with Ben & Becca, a roof that doesn’t leak, lights that come on, food in our frig, eggs in our coop, cows in our pasture, shoes on our feet, a shower with water, a toilet that flushes, a house that’s paid for, clothes on our back, land that grows food, a car that runs no matter how old it is……………many more than I have room or time to think of……and most of all………. LOVE that is abundant.



My Vit D Mantra!

My Vit D mantra is take Cod Liver Oil, take CLO, take CLO, take CLO!

I read this article on The Conspiracy of Silence About Swine Flu (I know a weird title….?), extremely important that I wanted to share it with you. I also wrote a post on the importance of Vit D a few months ago, that specifically tied Vit D deficiency to pain and fatigue. Here is a whole list of reasons to increase your Vit D intake NOW…..don’t wait until you start to feel sick. It’s usually too late by that point.

I’ve asked myself for years now, “why do we get so sick in the winter?”

I’ve come up with a few of my own unscientific reasons, although they’ve been proven to be true. One is the lack of Vit D from sunshine. Another is the increase in the amount of sugar during the holidays. Sugar increases the insulin levels in the body which in turn depresses the immune system.

“Vitamin D is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight. Season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis in the skin, and it is important for individuals with limited sun exposure to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet.” reference: Wikipedia

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, 1 Tbs. (15 mL) provides 1,360 IU (one IU equals 25 ng)
  • Fatty fish species, such as:
    • Herring, 85 g (3 ounces (oz)) provides 1383 IU
    • Catfish, 85 g (3 oz) provides 425 IU
    • Salmon, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz]) provides 360 IU
    • Mackerel, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz]), 345 IU
    • Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 50 g (1.75 oz), 250 IU
    • Tuna, canned in oil, 85 g (3 oz), 200 IU
    • Eel, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz), 200 IU
  • A whole egg, provides 20 IU (esp eat lots of yolks)
  • Beef liver, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz), provides 15 IU
  • RAW MILK!

And don’t forget a few years ago when it was the Avian Flu, it was recommended to consume the juice from sauerkraut. Not the vinegar kind you find in the grocery. But the kind I posted on a couple days ago; fermented sauerkraut. It’s loaded with another vital nutrient, Vit C!

Now back to the article on The Conspiracy of Silence About Swine Flu. Frankly, I believe that the government today is not our friend. Unfortunately I’ve found out the hard way through my own battle with a very political disease, that this is true. Is there a conspiracy? I don’t know about that. But I believe that this administration will take advantage of any crisis! Not my words but theirs! Here is Rahm Emmanuel, the Presidents Cheif of Staff. So, do they want to stay silent and not give you a simple prescription to warding off The Swine Flu? You decide. In my opinion, it would be the perfect crisis to force through the Health Care Bill, which I am in opposition to. I do believe that some kind of reform is needed, but not this Bill! (I warn you, it is a PDF and is over 1,000 pages ….pleasant reading!)

For me and my house, we will consume CLO, get as much unobstructed sunshine as possible, and eat nutrient dense foods! We will NOT get vaccinated! We will continue to build our immune system, do what we can and leave the rest to God. That’s all we can do.

Curious Henrietta!

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The new little chicks are enjoying freedom at last!  And Sunday night was the first night (other than the tornado storm night) that they ALL were in the coop at bedtime!  It’s not fun chasing little hens around in the dark!!!  Honey watches me from the kitchen and just laughs!!!  It’s a good thing I love him so much!

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Henrietta, my curious hen runs to greet me when I visit the chicken yard and if she could talk….this is what she’d say…..”well, it’s a pretty hot one today, and did you know that Jenny Hen hasn’t gotten off that nest for weeks, what does she think is going to hatch from that wooden egg, did you see all those new little ladies, they say they are replacements for the old ladies, what old ladies???, and did you see how nice their new house is, I mean, what’s up with that, and I had to go in and try out the new nesting boxes, did you hear me, I told the whole neighborhood that I loved laying my eggs in this new house! and did you see how little those girls are, I mean, they won’t lay you an egg for at least another 3 months…at least! and by the way, why do they get such a nice new house….what did they ever do for you???, and can I have some more bread, not the brown stuff, I like the white one better, and how come that cow over there gets all the apple treats this year, we were here first, and by the way, where did they come from anyway…….and………….and….and….”

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(caught in the act….she makes herself right at home)

I think Henrietta talks none stop all day long. She is always poking her head in to see what I’m doing. She is so curious! And to think, she was my sisters worst nightmare of a hen! Not anymore…she is just a curious busy body!

I love you Henrietta Hen!

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Moving Day

Yesterday was moving day for our little chickies.

This is their new home.  A much nicer place than the old ladies big girls got, but that’s the breaks.  The old ladies caught word that the peeps were moving in and they began laying again.  Honestly I wasn’t sharpening my hatchet!

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So much room to spread out and even take little flights of fancy!

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All their little feathers are coming in and they look so cute.  I got the coop fenced in today with 1″ chicken wire and cut an opening into the yard where the old ladies big girls live.  I even made them a little play pen where they can play in a few days prior to being released to the big pen.  They have to get big enough to not squeeze through the 2″ wire that I used in the old ladies big girls yard.