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Posts by farmer mama

I love hearing everyone's stories! Such a cool thread! We bought our 11 acres 4 years ago. We built a strawbale, off grid, active and passive solar house, completely by ourselves (with a few friends help). We raise goats for milk and meat, chickens, ducks for eggs and meat, bees, and we are getting two pigs next month. We grow a big garden and have probably around 30 fruit trees with plenty of room for more. This year we have been selling produce, berries, flowers,...
Sheesh, you're such a hippie. Hope your back feels better soon.
Aubrey!: I wonder if we've chatted on the same threads here before! I almost never post here due to lack of time to actually participate, but this forum is my favorite.
I don't have a computer at home (haven't dug the internet lines yet) so I am not on MDC much anymore, but I did want to send a link to our homesteading blog if anyone is interested. We have started it as a way to connect with our farmers market customers but have some photos of our strawbale house project. Thanks! http://folkwaysfarm.blogspot.com
LOL. I love the fiasco farm site but you are right about the kidding. Although it is funny because at my last kidding, my third timer who always just had her babies alone with no problem, really did get stuck. And here I am, with my mantras about how birth is normal and a supporter of unassisted births (human and animal), and I have to reach in and shift the kid!
My goats prefer brush to pasture, like a pp poster said; they only need a small amount of pasture if you bring in their feed. I freshen my does once a year although I think some goat mamas here have goats still milking two years in. I make goat butter but as it is naturally homogenized, I use a cream separator from www.hoeggargoatsupply.com.
I think it is feasible. In the book The Woodland House, Ben Law has his strawbales butted up against a stick framed wall with a moisture barrier and then milled siding. It isn't a retrofit though. I would be very cautious about condensation. Have you considered doing the interior walls straw-clay (packing clay slip coated straw into forms) or wattle and daub (woven sticks) with earthen plasters? You can also apply earthen plasters over dry wall.
I've done the newborn with farm chores. I haven't had surgery in there to mix things up, but I would make sure you had a good sling or wrap, and I just strapped my newborn to me while I milked and fed the animals. I don't know what your comfort levels are, but I often also enlisted my kids help so the oldest would sit with my napping baby while I quickly ran out and did what was essential, and then save the heavy duty stuff for when my dp was around.
Just to second every one else, I did a wrap or sling with a very young baby, but as soon as ds had enough head control so I could put him on my back I used a babyhawk (like a mei tei). With all the bending over I had to do with gardening, shoveling, milking, etc being able to put ds securley on my back was a life saver. I could probably cart wheel in the babyhawk with out him falling out, LOL. I also used a wrap as a hammock in while I gardening next to him.
I LOVE Sharon Astyk's blog! So many good ideas. It is funny to look at my post from so long ago. We have followed through on just about all our plans ( no biodesiel truck though), our strawbale house is done except for finish work (we have lived in it for about a year), the land and gardens are coming along, animals are well, and I have been buying my food in a bulk drop off so we have a good amount of staples stored. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. DH's job...
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