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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sun!, Life & Little Banty Hens

Today is incredible! The sun is out and glorious, and has been long missed. There's a wonderful laundry wind and the cicadas serenade us as we go about our chores. Difficult to call them chores when you're living the life you love.

The day started with this most excellent quote, sent to me by a friend. It will stay with me the rest of my days.

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails"

To call this a laundry day is an understatement. I haven't done laundry, except for two tiny loads, in ages. Everything needs washing, but I have plenty of line and am using the electric washing machine so it's going along quickly and it's supposed to be sunny for a few days at least. Sunny and almost 90, so everything is still odd but we can adjust quickly.

So far the Cottage is easy to heat and keep cool. We still need to get the woodstove hooked up for winter. On hot days we just keep everything closed up until evening and it feels like we have an a/c on inside. The cottage came with 3 ceiling fans as well, which help tremendously. And the ceilings are high enough to add one to each bedroom as well. I've missed having ceiling fans, they are wonderful things. At the Burrow I could touch the ceiling fully, standing flat footed on the floor. I would consider ceiling fans a good use of solar power (when we get it). I also want to see about adding one to the stone house for circulating air for the drying herbs and curing soaps etc ...

My computer crashed last week and, altho I was able to save everything to disc, I lost everything completely. All the pictures I've taken since we moved, all my lists and lists of lists, all my recipes, all my creative ideas, all my business stuff. I checked and rechecked the disc before reformatting, all was fine and the information accessible. Now it's saying that the disc is full but needs to be formatted and will lose all the information if formatted. Crazy things. So I'm starting over with that too.

The poor apple trees are pretty much lost. They survived so much but could not survive a goat escape. The goats got our and Ivy broke one completely off and broke off the top of the other. The little so and so. I'm still trying to save them tho, so we'll see.

Something is eating the blueberry and I haven't figured out what yet. Not chickens or goats, some sort of insect. All that's left are twigs but it seems otherwise ok and I think it will be saved (again).

A friend is going to be giving us 2 persimmon trees soon, so we'll have those to add to the tiny orchard :)

And the wild raspberries are covered in berries! and wonderful leaves!. I'm hoping we have enough for plenty of food, medicine and extra to sell and share.

Almost all the tomatoes and some of the peppers I started have been lost. I had them out in a little greenhouse to prepare for planting and I guess because the temperature fluctuated so drastically that it was to much for some of them. Thank the Mother, one of almost every kind of tomato lived and most of the peppers. The cayenne already have little fruit growing :) I believe I have one of each ...
Tennessee Surprise
English Rose

I had used all my seed of those to start them this year (I didn't save seed properly last year) and then I gave and traded all my other tom seeds away. Gaia must have known and sheltered those few just for us :)

Yesterday I was blessed to trade herbs and tea for 4 tiny banty hens. We call them little banshees because they gripe a lot and sound so different. I thought I knew how small banties are but I was wrong. These are fully grown, around 1 year or so, and smaller than our Buff pullets who are around 2 months. These are beauties and they look very much like the wilder ancestors. But these are very sweet and calm. Incredibly they're already laying as well, usually hens won't lay for a bit when things change. I was also surprised at the egg size, they are a lot smaller than our large dual purpose eggs but not nearly as small as I expected them to be. And the hens themselves are quite heavy for their size and i think they would make some fine food.

little banty eggs next to our regular eggs

Also yesterday a woman at the market gave us a bunch of newspapers to use in the garden, and 6 gallon wine jugs. She also added some half gallon canning jars and told me to pay when I could! I barely know the woman at all and how very kind of her. I prefer not to do business that way at all but she had Nik load them into the Blazer without me realizing it and Nik didn't know about them. Then another guy gave me some plants for some things I had given him. It wasn't really a trade because I was just giving them to him. It was a wonderful and bountiful day :)

The 4 new kittens are doing well tho one has an injured ear. I think Olive, being inexperienced, tried to pick it up and almost severed it's ear. The kit is doing very well tho now and is healing nicely. We've named them ... Fireweed (the only boy - i think), Jewel, LuLu and Jet. Jet is the one with the hurt ear so we also call her One Ear because I was afraid she might lose it completely.

Olive's kittens

And now it's back to work. I need to get some bread to rising, laundry in and supper done before it's milking time.


the wild magnolia said...

This was a nice catch up post. So glad you can trade for items, it is a win win.

Hope you find what is eating your blueberries.

Cute kitties!

Hope the sunshine hangs around awhile. Good luck with your computer too!

Happy Sunday.

Rivenfae said...

Sorry to hear about your computer troubles, my boyfriend Silver suggests having someone else try your disk and see if the info is still on it.

Akannie said...

What a lovely posting...I live in the country as well, and though not as ambitious as you, we do quite a bit on our little piece of dirt.
Hope you get the computer stuff squared away--that can be so frustrating.

Knitted Home said...

The kittens are just too cute! I can't wait to have a little kitten live with me again (we lost my 19 yr old cat in January this year). Glad it was such a bountiful day :)