"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Third Son

Well it has happened.

Today I have a new title.

I am now the mother of three adult sons(and of course one lovely daughter).

My third son, who in blog land is known as Third, turns 18 today!! Yay.

We had him 18 years ago in a little village in Germany.

His name means blessing.

He is 9 months and 10 days younger than his Second brother.

He is four years younger than the oldest brother.

He is two years older than his baby sister.

He is an incredible young man.

He has a job that he works 60 hours a week and after his first paycheck bought himself his first car...last Monday. Actually he bought himself a Toyota Truck, and he paid cash!

I confess I love this man, and he makes me ever so proud to be his mom. I look forward to seeing what he does as he continues on in his life as the world is at his fingertips.

Happy Birthday Third Blessing

Love
Dad, Mom, First, Second and Fourth

Yes we all woke him up early this morning with a birthday serenade. It would have sounded better if any one of the farm family could carry a tune...but it was still well consistent! At lunch we are taking him a cake at work and lunch. Tonight his dad is taking us all out to dinner.

Photos to follow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Double Nickel Farm Test Answers

1. Approximately how many eggs can you expect from a mature hen in 7 days?
One approximately every 24 hours...sunlight is important as well as inclement weather.

2. What is a male goat called? How about the female?
A male is a buck and a female a doe.

3. What is a male sheep called? How about the female?
A ram and ewe.

4. Can you hard boil fresh eggs? Do you find the ease of peeling when they are fresh a bonus?
Yes you can hard boil fresh eggs...BUT I kind of set this question up, as it is very difficult to peel a fresh hard boiled egg. It is best to have the eggs in the fridge for about 2 weeks then to boil. Kind of lets you have an idea about store bought eggs now doesn't it? Although I do not have the link here, I have written before about how old eggs can be in the grocery store. Seems like near 4 months is okay.

5. How do you wash wool sheared from a sheep?
Carefully in cold water and I prefer Dawn dish soap. Do NOT scrunch the wool or it will shrink.

6. Can pumpkins thrive in New Mexico? Is there a secret about the desert and squash?
Yes!!! The Mesquite make a natural barrier and allow the pumpkins or squash to climb up and grow while protecting them from critters. Plant at the base of a Mesquite and water and enjoy! It is an incredible sight to have 20lb pumpkin growing 6 feet high among thorns!

7. What can you make with Mesquite Beans? Or do with Mesquite beans?
A coffee...or dry the bean and grind it and make a flour to make bread or tortillas. In addition the sheep and goats love the dry bean and so you can collect the beans and use to feed. Oh and if you crush the beans you can feed them to the poultry~ amazing what is under our noses.

8. How do you raise a duck in a desert climate?
Carefully!! Kidding, it is very easy to raise a duck in the desert climate. Provide a place for them to swim such as a kiddie pool as they mate best in water. Make sure you pick up as many of the Mesquite thorns are up as they have web feet.

9. What is the diet of a duck?
They love greens, grain, and any slops that come from the house...collect leaves from people in town and watch the ducks have a great day.

10. What is an easy way to identify the sex of a duck?
Look at the tail feathers of the male. The tail feathers make a little loop for a male!

11. What do chickens need to sleep at night? Ducks? Turkeys? Geese?
Chickens do best so I say need a perch at night. A simple home spun ladder works best. Ducks and geese like a ground nest and on the farm rarely sleep in the same place, except the geese during January-March. Turkeys perch high! One of our turkeys likes to sleep on our house roof!

12. Do geese lay eggs year round?
No, only from January through Marchish.

13. How do you milk a goat?
gentle but firm. It is easiest to milk a goat if you start when the doe is young and have her allow you to pet her and have her comfortable with you touching her all over. Then when she has a kid and you wean the kid, you take over and milk twice a day.

14. How do you make a simple cheese from goat milk?
Long and short by using a rennet tablet you can make a cheese that is ready to eat if you start around 8pm, by breakfast. Cheese making is far easier than many realize!

15. What do goats eat?
EVERYTHING! I really was amazed at this, as it can't really be true, right? Well it is true!

16. The care of a hoof of a sheep as well as a goat is critical, how do you care for their hooves?
We learned by googling on line and then watching a few tutorials. It is so important to maintain their hooves and clipping their hooves and keeping them clean is just like people are with nail clippers. It is awkward at first but you learn that the animal does not feel any pain, just like you don't when you clip your fingernails. In case you clip to close- Betadine is a great item in the hoof kit!

17. What do you feed a lamb or kid that has been abandoned by their mother?
Well the feed stores sell over the counter nutritional supplements. But I suggest freezing goat milk and so you can defrost mommas milk for the babes. We crossed goat milk for lambs, and I made a formula out of condensed milk with a touch of dark Karo syrup. All work well.

18. What do you feed a pig?
Lots all day long. We ended up going to the local grocery and buying a box of slops for a dollar a day and feeding him that. He loved all of our table slops but what we did not know at first was to add liquid to his food. The pig snorted all the liquid first then ate the food. Rarely did we see him drink water from his bucket. Oh and for the record uncracked eggs were his treat and he would squeal when he would find one!

19. How do you keep the flies down on the barns, pens and coops of the farm animals?
A clear two liter soda bottle cut the top off about four inches from top, invert and duct tape on. Then add a piece of raw meat and hang near the pen. The bottle opening allows for the flies to get in the bottle but they can't seem to figure out how to get out. Another way is to mist the critter with a vinegar water solution. Be careful though as cows love that smell...

20. Describe how to begin a compost pile and the steps it takes before it ends up in your garden.
Be sure to have an established place first and then start by dumping food waste manure or what ever biodegradable on the pile. Water often and after about a month it is ready to use in a garden....as long as you have been watering and turning with blade.

21. For a fire, could you make a firestarter from a toilet paper roll and lint from the dryer? If so how?
Yes, take a bit of Vasoline and use a butter knife and spread inside an empty tp roll. When finished stuff dryer lint in. This is a wonderful fire starter!

22. Using products in the kitchen can you describe what can be used instead of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo?
Baking soda can be used as your shampoo then use vinegar as a rinse. For toothpaste baking soda, and use apple cider vinegar as a rinse...this is powerful and invigorating. For deodorant use coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch- fantastic and low cost. Now these are simple and not in detail recipes. I have posted before all three of these.

23. Once again using the kitchen as your base, what can you use as a window cleaner? Or to deodorize the carpets?
I use three main products to clean my home. Vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. For the windows a solution of water and vinegar is perfect. Baking soda sprinkled on a carpet then vacuumed deodorizes the carpet.

24. Can you make laundry soap that is with three ingredients and costs pennies, but more importantly is safe for you and the environment?
Yep! Baking soda cooked changes it into a what is called washing soda, to which you add a bar of Fels Naphta(or Zote Soap) and Borax. You then use about 2 tablespoons per wash...oh and add 1 cup of vinegar per wash and your fabric softener is taken care of. Fluffy towels and static free are all as a result of vinegar. ps who doesn't want to save all that money that is spent on laundry products?

25. What is gray~water and how can gray~water benefit a farm?
Gray water is the water that is used, say bath water, dish sink water etc. If you use natural cleaning products then your gray water is NOT toxic to plants and you can water plants outside with used or gray water.

26. Do you know how to hand wash a load of laundry? Describe the steps.
Sort, find stained clothes, prescrub. Soak in a five gallon bucket with a hint of homemade laundry soap. Using a plunger work the bucket up and down to agitate. Wring out clothes. Next step put in a five gallon bucket of water to rinse. Agitate again to work out soap. Then use a wringer or a top part of a mop bucket and squeeze water out. Sometimes two people can twist out water. Hang on clothes line!

27. Do you know how much food and water you need to survive one week of an emergency situation? List what you need, then mark the items that you actually have on hand.
This depends on how many people are in your home. I live on a minimum of 1 gallon per person of water a day not counting for bathing, hygiene etc. Food also is dependable. Food to survive and food to comfort in times of crises are far different. I suggest having some snacks and foods that are easy to prepare and comfort as well as food for long term storage. Make a list and work to have a weeks worth at home(believe me, I think you should have a minimum of six months on hand).

28. If you are coming down with a cold do you know what herbs could reduce pain or sickness?
Yes, there are, and I am not a licensed doctor so I recommend that you look into natural healing books...I have written about this one too.

29. Your power is out and you have two freezers full of food...and it seems like power will be out a long while, do you know how to preserve the food so it will not spoil? Describe what needs to be done.You can easily smoke the meat, dry the meats, as well as dry the frozen foods such as veggies etc. Pickling is an option as well as cooking it and making crumbles or canning it.

30. Do you know how to use a water bath canner, pressure canner, dehydrator, solar drying methods, chainsaw, woodstove, firepit and to be honest life with out being connected? If so jot down which ones you know how to use and what you would do if you were not connected to the world for a week? What would fill your time? Yes I know how to use them all and as I have been on this journey I have come to appreciate that home prepared foods are much more nutritious and delicious, and learning how to put up the garden is not only a benefit to us financially as well as for our health.If I had to disconnect from the world, I would fill my time here on the farm maintaining the animals taking care of my family, reading, writing, playing games with the kids and enjoying my mountain views. Take a moment and unplug today...you will be amazed at what is under your nose!

There you go. These are my answers as to what has worked for us. We were not trained as farmers or do we profess to be experts. What we claim is that we have lived this life and our training is based on hands on experience through trial and error. Nothing prepared us for the first chicken we got and we basically dove in without realizing it does take a lot of hard work and more determination to succeed in this life.

I pray that you take the time to set up a prep list on what to do in case of an emergency.

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Double Nickel Farm Test

1. Approximately how many eggs can you expect from a mature hen in 7 days?

2. What is a male goat called? How about the female?

3. What is a male sheep called? How about the female?

4. Can you hard boil fresh eggs? Do you find the ease of peeling when they are fresh a bonus?

5. How do you wash wool sheared from a sheep?

6. Can pumpkins thrive in New Mexico? Is there a secret about the desert and squash?

7. What can you make with Mesquite Beans? Or do with Mesquite beans?

8. How do you raise a duck in a desert climate?

9. What is the diet of a duck?

10. What is an easy way to identify the sex of a duck?

11. What do chickens need to sleep at night? Ducks? Turkeys? Geese?

12. Do geese lay eggs year round?

13. How do you milk a goat?

14. How do you make a simple cheese from goat milk?

15. What do goats eat?

16. The care of a hoof of a sheep as well as a goat is critical, how do you care for their hooves?

17. What do you feed a lamb or kid that has been abandoned by their mother?

18. What do you feed a pig?

19. How do you keep the flies down on the barns, pens and coops of the farm animals?

20. Describe how to begin a compost pile and the steps it takes before it ends up in your garden.

21. For a fire, could you make a firestarter from a toilet paper roll and lint from the dryer? If so how?

22. Using products in the kitchen can you describe what can be used instead of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo?

23. Once again using the kitchen as your base, what can you use as a window cleaner? Or to deodorize the carpets?

24. Can you make laundry soap that is with three ingredients and costs pennies, but more importantly is safe for you and the environment?

25. What is gray~water and how can gray~water benefit a farm?

26. Do you know how to hand wash a load of laundry? Describe the steps.

27. Do you know how much food and water you need to survive one week of an emergency situation? List what you need, then mark the items that you actually have on hand.

28. If you are coming down with a cold do you know what herbs could reduce pain or sickness?

29. Your power is out and you have two freezers full of food...and it seems like power will be out a long while, do you know how to preserve the food so it will not spoil? Describe what needs to be done.

30. Do you know how to use a water bath canner, pressure canner, dehydrator, solar drying methods, chainsaw, woodstove, firepit and to be honest life with out being connected? If so jot down which ones you know how to use and what you would do if you were not connected to the world for a week? What would fill your time?

In my world these skills are important. As an American I am quite able to live as most do, as I did that for a very long time. After Japan and the catastrophic events that have unfolded there, I was pondering if folks here understood that in a catastrophe help and support may not arrive for a long time, and that making do- would be something that you may have to do. I promise you that the Japanese people are seeing this play out and it is real. If we had something of that magnitude hit us, it would be a while to be able to cover so much land and help out. Perhaps learning a few skills could make all of us better at accepting and adapting. In no means do I believe that you need to do what I have done, but the skills I have learned here on the farm are transferable in any situation and definitely make me more able to get through if a crises arises.

I hope that you take a few measures to ensure that in a crises you are prepared. The time to find out what you need is NOT when a crises occurs!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Coming to New Mexico


Yes our oldest son is coming home this week!!!

I wrote about his homecoming here and how some of us were able to welcome him home to Fort Drum, but this week Bill will be coming home to see us in New Mexico!!

I can't wait! I can't wait to make some home cooked meals and sit and visit with him here where he can sleep and relax. I look forward to playing games, watching movies, and to be honest seeing my children together again.

This week is a milestone week for the farm family. I will have three adult sons after Thursday!!


Here is my second son age 18. This weekend he has spent in Wildland Firefighter Certification Training.
({photo removed by humble wife})
My third son...turns 18 this Thursday. He has been working a full time job for a month(since he has finished school) and just bought his first vehicle. I am so happy to see my sons together and will update this photo with my Third with his new to him truck-

Oh and when my oldest gets here I can update the group photo of the goofs
They sure have my heart...I love these cuties so much and can't believe how fast time has gone by.
This is a photo from 1996 inUtah...I still can't believe how quick they have grown. And for the record it is not a typo for the ages of my second and third sons. The Third son was a preemie(as well as the 1st and 4th child) and was born 9 months and 10 days after the Second son!!

I am looking forward to having a lovely week and hope all of you do the same!
Jennifer

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tamales Today

A simple Saturday began with me washing off the corn husks for tamales. I washed them, then soaked them in water to make them more pliable.

Then I made the masa...I made masa, with the cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, lard and salt. I forgot to take photos at this point because I needed to prep the tamales.



I then prepared the remainder of the brisket meat I cooked the other day. I added some salsa and let it come to a slow boil then took it off the heat and filled the cornhusks.

Here are the first few as I was preparing the tamales, but I got a bit sidetracked watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...and forgot to take a pre-steaming photo.


Tamales steaming on the stove!
Oh and what goes well with tamales? Spanish rice and salsa! Well I am off to enjoy my Saturday midday meal. Have a lovely weekend!
Jennifer

Saturday Photo


This is the Double Nickel Farm Dining room looking off to the school room.
Most times the table is filled and activity is surrounding it. The other day a calm happened and I thought I would take a photo. The table is painted with each state or country where a family member was born.

It also has two Bible verses running down the center:

It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

But the fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, longsufferiing, gentleness, meekness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23


Friday, April 1, 2011

Simple Life

As I have shared previously, everything is assessed that is here on the farm for its value or purpose. When our clothes wear out, and I can not mend them anymore, I still do not throw them away. I make house rags, farm rags, or braided rope...



Old clothes re-purposed- I cut the clothing into about a 1 inch strips then sew them together, then braid them! Why?
Then measure (for this style) For what?


For rugs. Each one is different! Lainey the cat thinks that I have set up some sort of beds for her to try!
Each one unique and far from perfection!
All because a few years ago, I thought, I wonder if I can make a rug?

So I did, and through trial and error(and a few clothespins to hold the braid)

I did!

I love braided rugs. When we moved to the farm, I tore out all of the carpeting as it was beyond hope. I then painted the sub floor and plan someday to have wood floors throughout. At this point we have one room complete! While I wait, I watch for large area rugs to adorn the floors. I love braided area rugs, and so far have 2 9x12, 1 6x9, and one 8' round braided rug all for the price of antiquing, second hand shopping and patience! As I love the way the braided rugs look I wanted more for every area of the house. To make my farm vision a reality I have had to learn new skills for indoor and out and these new skills make me appreciate my simple life all the more.