Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Fine Irish Day

The Cottage sits on a tall hill, surrounded on all sides with fields that stretch away to mountain ridges on the north and south. Today the air is heavy with moisture, the day is a lovely silver gray and the mountain ridges are cloaked with mist. An excellent day for a big bowl of oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, a fresh baked biscuit, a cup of hot tea and a good book :)
Today I ...
got some laundry done and ready to hang out in the morning
got most of the weeks bread baked
got some sweets baked
got the weeks meats out of the freezer to thaw
getting ready wash my hair inside because it's to cold for the outdoor shower and I have a couple of interviews in town tomorrow
in the process of filling fill 2 tea orders
worked on things to add to the Farmers Market ben
may sew a skirt to sell, if I have time this evening.

Over the weekend we worked getting some fence put up along the cottage side of the pond field so that the goats can graze and browse freely. Thankfully both our last goats do both, graze and browse. Most of our other goats would browse only. With them now freely in the pond field I'm not having to buy alfalfa. I'm keeping track of milk production but so far it hasn't gone down with the lack of alfalfa. If they continue to thrive I will stop feeding alfalfa in the growing season. (Might have to stop all together because of GMO alfalfa). I'm going to try and find a scythe, as soon as finances allow, so that we can cut and dry the grasses for winter feed and I'll be saving alfalfa money to stock more for winter. I plan to eventually try to grow oats in the pond field for food and feed but by that time, hopefully we'll have the north field cleaned up and enclosed in two sections, for rotating. I've been reading about permaculture, which turns out is a name for my thoughts about farming :)

The garden bed hasn't gone well. First the string broke, which we just replaced last spring. Then the very nice guy at the hardware store gave us a string way to short. We didn't have the gasoline to make the almost 60 miles round trip back to exchange it, so we cut and used the broken string, which was several inches longer than the new string. Finally Nik got to tilling and the front belt broke! So a bit more waiting. We may have to get out with shovels, hoe and pitch fork, we dug the gardens for years that way until i got this tiller, which i love!

I've planned out a very big garden area with part a medicinal garden and part a food garden. Of course there will be some of each on both sides :) But because of time for the year i have decided to just get the medicinal side ready and plant food there. I already intended to plant medicinals all around the house, so I'll just plant more that way and have a little less volume of each herb until next year. Except for a huge patch of Echinacea and a few other things. Also, I will find places on the property that would be more natural habitats for some foods and medicinals and plant them there.

Last Sunday we had a Trade Gathering here, a get-together and potluck centered on trade and barter. It was an excellent day! I traded quite a few seeds and herbs (and money for the Buffs) and got several new additions to the homestead. We got ....
15 Buff pullets (hoping 1 or 2 are roos)
2 fawn Runner drakes
1 chocolate Runner drake, I named Ravi. He and our Lily bonded instantly and are always together now.
1 fawn Runner hen
1 Araucana roo (a true rumpless Araucana)
2 Freedom Ranger chicks (they're specifically meat chicks - more on them another time)
Buckeye seeds
Pussy Willow twigs, which have already started rooting

It's looking more and more like a Homestead Cottage :)

 15 Buff Orpington Pullets, good eggs and hopefully good eat'n  :)
The self sufficient plan is to not have to buy chickens ever again,
tho I will trade here and there to keep the lines healthy.
I also hope to eventually have enough to eat and maybe sell or trade.

 Clan of the Duck
There are now 3 males and 2 females.
Besides producing the best eggs for baking, I hope to raise Runners and sell or trade enough each year to help out a bit.

 Very happy ducks  :)


The 2 huge Freedom Ranger chicks.
They're in a much larger area now, this was just from the first day here.
If I can figure out what they're crossed with i might consider raising them for meat but right now i have issues with how much they cost to buy and then raise. These two may end uop being the most expensive chickens we've ever eaten.


Shell said...

Freedom Rangers take longer to grow out, because they're a slow growing 'breed'... however like the name suggests, they're excellent at free-ranging. Pasture raised chicken is cheap, healthier and generally very low maintenance.

I wish we had a trade/barter meetup here!!! Lucky!

June said...

Juli, I love your blogs it is so good to hear an see how wonderful you an Nik are doing at your new farm,maybe so time I can come up to one of your trade gatherings I would really like to meet you an see your place.

the wild magnolia said...

Your farm and barnyard true life stories are always a treat for me!

Thank you for sharing all!