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Hello from Upstate New York Empty Hello from Upstate New York

Post by backtotheland on Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:56 am

Hi, my name is Donna and I have been searching for a Christian Homesteading forum.

I guess I can't be considered a "homesteader" anymore since I don't have a farm anymore but I am still striving to live a simple life and be as frugal as I can. I want to grow a garden this year for fresh vegetables for the summer and for larger quantities I will go to the local farmer's market for veggies to can.

I spin my own wool and still have five bags full from the sheep I used to have. I also had goats and chickens and boy do I miss the fresh goat milk and eggs. I have found a source for goats milk for soap making and I can also get farm fresh eggs from them.

I just moved into my house in October after months of looking for a place. It is an old church, built in 1897, which has been converted into a house. I don't have a lot of land but I feel very at home here.

I had been looking for a church to attend that was smaller and noticed that there was one up the street from me. I had tried to call them but couldn't get an answer. I went to a spinning guild meeting a couple of weeks ago and mentioned I was glad to be living in a church and if I could find one to attend I'd be happy. One of the girls there mentioned the one up the street and said that the pastor there had been the pastor at my new home when it was a church and said she would get the information on times of services, etc. She called me later that afternoon and gave me all the information so I went the next day which was Sunday and was very glad I did. They were very welcoming and were actually expecting me because the girl from the spinning guild had called her friend whose daughter goes to this church.

I'm really glad I found this site.

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Post by 7dawn on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:36 am

Hi Donna,

Welcome to our little corner of the internet. It has been a bit slow lately but we have been getting some new members, so we are hoping that things will pick up again. Feel free to jump in and share what you know or ask what you don't.

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Post by backtotheland on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:41 am

Thanks for the welcome Dawn. I'm looking forward to learning and sharing. I'm a firm believer in the fact that we all need one another and if we all share and care about each other we can change the world.

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Post by Sonshine on Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:18 am

Hi Donna,
We're glad you joined us. I'm fairly new to homesteading. We live on 2 acres of land in middle Georgia. We have chickens and goats. I haven't milked the goats yet, but have 2 pregnant does that are due in the beginning of Feb. I'm looking forward to that fresh goat milk. I love getting fresh eggs. I figure once we start milking I'm going to try my hand at making goat milk soap, so I'll probably have tons of questions for those in this forum who have made it before.

I hope you enjoy being a part of our little group. As Dawn said, it's been kind of slow, in fact I thought about closing it down, but as long as God keeps sending folks this way, we'll be here.


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Post by nannie16 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:26 am

Hello, Donna, I am not sure but I think I was the last new member before you. I love this forum, so many nice people who are willing to answer your questions and be a friend. I just happened to luck up on this site and am I glad I did!
We live in Mississippi, hubby and I. We have a small (mini) farm. We raise cows, hogs, chickens and 1 Amish work horse. We love living a quiet, peaceful life. Nothing like it. Enjoy the posts and let us know what you know!
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Post by backtotheland on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:01 pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome.

Sonshine, you will have a ball milking. That was my favorite time of day. I never bred my goats and I think that may be part of why I decided to give up the farm, which now looking back was not the brightest thing I've ever done.

Nannie16, you are absolutely right about living a quiet life. I keep trying but friends and family seem to think I need excitement in my life. They just don't seem to understand that I like my life. I am in the process of selling my Halflinger/Percheron cross. He is a wonderful horse but I just can't afford the $365 to board him anymore. I will miss him terribly but it will be better for him to be with someone who will use him for more than a lawn ornament.

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Post by Sonshine on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:02 am

I am looking forward to the milking. I have never milked before, but the lady we bought our goats from let me try my hand with one of hers. She even let my son, Tyler try it. I was amazed at how calm her goats were. I'm hoping ours will be as patient with me when I start milking them. They are all very sweet and love to be petted.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by 7dawn on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:07 am

haha! I want pictures! tongue

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Post by Sonshine on Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:16 am

Pictures??? Nope, you gotta come to Georgia to help. Smile

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
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Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by nannie16 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:06 am

Well, good luck milking the goat, I am sure it will be fun. Hopefull tomorrow I may get my first goat. We have cows, pigs, chickens, a horse, cats, dogs, but no goat! We want to get a boer goat, so when we go to the stockyard tomorrow to sale some pigs, I may be able to get my goat. Silly, eh? I love my animals, they all have their own personalities!
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Post by Sonshine on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:36 am

Goats are alot of fun. They do have their own personalities. I enjoy my chickens, but not as much as my goats. I've wanted to get some pigs, but not sure if my neighbors would care too much for that. Everyone in my neighborhood has about 2 acres of land, so we live pretty close together. They have been ok with my chickens and goats though. Smile

Let us know if you get your goat. Smile

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by nannie16 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:44 am

I don't want to get my hopes up and then we are unable to get one, but I am excited at the possibility! lol We have 15.5 acres, and we have the only house on our road. Most of our neighbors do not live out here, they have camps on the river, so they only come now and then. Believe it or not, one of them sent word that if my husband does not get rid of the hogs, there was gonna be trouble. Such a joy to have neighbors like that, eh? Oh, well, wonder what he will have to say when we get a goat? lol
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Post by Sonshine on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:41 pm

As long as there's no kind of laws against hogs then I would worry about it. Goats, as long as you keep their area clean, don't create too much of a smell. At least mine haven't. One thing I have been told though is not to get just one, because they are such social animals. I would love to have more land, but feel blessed to have our small spread. Being in the military it hasn't been easy to find land at most of the bases we have been stationed at. So this is great for us.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by backtotheland on Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:09 am

Yes, definitely get more than one goat, they are heard animals and like to be together. I had four at one time and was milking two.

Sonshine, have your goats been milked before? If not it might not hurt for you to start putting them on the milking stand and handling their udders so they get used to the feel of it. You have ND's right? I was thinking about it but now that I'm here I realize that I don't have enough land. Oh well, at least I found a source for goat milk, for soap that is.

Neighbors can be trying at times can't they. If they don't live there why would he care if you have hogs? I took care of a friends animals once in exchange for them boarding my horse and I loved all the animals, EXCEPT the pigs. They scared me to death. Of course it didn't help that a farmer friend of mine told me to be careful around them because if I fell down they would start chewing on me. Well, wouldn't you know, I got stuck in the muck trying to feed them once and started screaming bloody murder (Funnest Home Videos moment if you can picture this old gray haired lady stuck in the pig pen). My daughter came flying around the corner of the barn and saw the big boar (about 2,000 pounds) headed straight for me. I thought for sure I was a goner. All he was coming over to do was let me lean on him so I could get unstuck. He was a sweetie really. Now the sows, well they were a whole other story, especially if they had babies. Mean things. Anyway, as long as you keep them contained and you don't have thousands of them and the law says you can have them I wouldn't worry to much but I would keep an eye on the hogs. People can be really evil sometimes.

I'm thinking of getting some angora rabbits for the fiber and if I did breed them I would sell the babies to 4-H kids and other handspinners and the ones I couldn't sell, well I have a friend who raises meat rabbits and I'm sure he would come and get them and butcher them for me. At least I think I could but I'm such a softee I would probably have thousands before too long.

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Post by nannie16 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:15 am

Well, everyone, we got a goat today! She is a boer goat, expecting babies anytime. I am tickled pink! She is very good natured, you can even pet her, we talked to the previous owner before we bought it. Found one of our young pigs dead today, but I think it was a natural death. We sold sold eight hogs today. I don't have any rabbits, but I love to cook it. You know they do breed and have babies on a regular basis, eh? I heard their manure makes good garden furtilize, and worm beds.
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Post by nannie16 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:17 am

good grief...fertilize...........lol
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Post by Sonshine on Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:09 am

backtotheland,
If I'm not mistaken, the lady we bought the goats from told us that Cookie had been milked before, but this is Butterscotch's first time kidding. I'll make sure to start getting them up on the milking stand and letting them eat grain up there while I mess around with the udders. Thanks for the tip. As for pigs, when I was 15 my parents moved to Alabama from Illinois. They got a sow that was pregnant. Me, being a city girl, treated those piglets like puppies and they reacted about the same. They use to follow me around every where I went. When it came time to butcher them I was devastated. Pigs can be such sweet animals.

Nannie, congratulations on getting your goat. You'll have to post pics so we can see her.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by nannie16 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:58 am

I have never gotten emotional about a pig, but when I was in high school my uncle and I raised a set of bummer lambs. They slaughtered mine when I was gone, and served it for supper, then told me about it. I GOT SICK!

I will have to find out how to post pics.....but when I do I will!
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Post by backtotheland on Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:37 pm

I had no idea that bunnies had to be bred on a regular basis. Maybe I'll rethink this and just get male bunnies. I wonder if you can neuter a bunny.

Their manure is wonderful fertilizer because it can be put right on the garden without having to go to the compost pile first.

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Post by 7dawn on Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:07 pm

If I got a goat I would want one of those tipping goats. I love to watch them when they show them on tv and they just fall over and play dead! I would probably want a milk goat too. Wouldn't drink the stuff but could make soap out of it.

If we ever get out from underneath this house, my hope in the next couple of years, I pray the Lord opens a way for us to get a place on some land. I may try and get some chickens while we are here. If we can get the side yard set up and the home owners association lets us, I would definitely get chickens for fresh eggs. Round Rock allows chickens to be kept on property in town, so we might be able to.

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Post by backtotheland on Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:24 pm

I've been toying with the idea of about six laying hens. I think I have enough room and the coop wouldn't be that expensive. I pay about $3.50 a dozen for farm fresh eggs but I haven't checked with the gentlemen at Church who has them. I have a real problem eating a store bought egg, and I know it's probably all in my head but I just can't seem to get by it.

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Post by 7dawn on Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:47 pm

Store bought eggs are all I have ever eaten, so it doesn't bother me too much, but with the cost of groceries going up it would be nice to have fresh eggs so I don't have to worry about that! We pay about 2.14 for 18 eggs right now. They keep going up. >.<

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Post by Sonshine on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:16 am

Dawn, I've never heard them called tipping goats, I've always heard of them as being fainting goats. I do think it would be fun to have some of them. Smile As for goat milk, I didn't try any because I don't like milk, but Joe and Ty said it tasted just like cows milk.

The eggs are one of the things I love the best about having our own hens. We were going to butcher all our chickens and start fresh in the spring, but our hens started laying again. I think they got scared when we butchered the roosters and figured they'd better start earning their keep. LOL But for awhile they weren't laying and I had to buy some eggs for the first time in 3 years. Boy, could I tell the difference. Glad the girls started laying again.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
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Post by backtotheland on Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:09 pm

Sonshine, they might have stopped laying if they were molting or when the days started getting shorter. That is why those big corporate egg farms use artificial light. A few of the people I know do too but I never did because I figured that the shorter days were God's way of giving the hens a rest from laying eggs.

My goat milk tasted just like cow's milk to me too. I have friends who have goats and their milk isn't that good. I think a lot of it has to do with the cleanliness when milking. I always washed their teats before and after milking. always put a "skin softener" on the teats after I finished milking and immediately took the milk into the house and it went right in an ice bath and them immediately after that it went into sterilized jars into the fridge. I've watched these folks milk and they don't wash their hands or the goats teats before they milk. Of course, they usually just use the goat milk for any of their other critters that need milk like bummer lambs or calves. They also believe in not using dairy products. I think they follow the Old Testament because they celebrate the Sabbath on Friday night. Anyway, just a thought on your chickens.

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Post by Sonshine on Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:04 am

I wasn't sure if it was because the hens were getting old. I'm not sure how long they lay for. Ours are over 3 years old. But, they have started back up, not as many, but plenty enough for me to do my holiday baking and for us to eat. Smile

I agree with the goat milk. It could also be because the bucks are too close. I had heard that it will have a goaty taste if the bucks are around. Of course, I don't have any first hand experience with this yet, so just going by what I had heard.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
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