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, January 15, 2012

Goals, Plans Dreams & Baby Buns

((((((((((((( Ozark Weather )))))))))))) A few days ago the high here was 28 (wind chill was painful). Today, as yesterday, was in the mid 50's and tomorrow is to be 63 and thunderstorms. Of course some of it is part of the changes but some of it is just the lovely wild Ozarks.
Warm or cold, it's been a very windy winter, excellent for keeping up with the laundry. I also still find a fair amount of wild greens and salad makings plus i still have spinach and celery for use in the garden.

And speaking of gardens :) :) I have been doing a great deal of planning. herb gardens, vegetable gardens, kitchen garden, fruit & nut orchard, grain plantings .... So much to plant, so much more room to plant in.

I'm going to be planting both traditionally and naturally (permaculture). I've always used both ways but much less on the natural planting. This year I can do more and consider ways to continually go that way.

I have a huge seed inventory, many saved myself, many traded or given as gifts, a few bought at Bakers over the summer. I'm going to concentrate on getting what we need and want planted, saving seed this year will be very important and the known wants and needs are at the top of the list. But I will also have plenty of room to experiment more and plan on a specific Experimental Garden.

Also, one of the few things i got planted last year were tomatoes. I just planted them in holes in the yard, with that, the flooding, the heat and everything else that effected them over the summer i was able to find a couple that really seem to do best here. I will be starting those types for sure but still try others to see. My beloved Gypsies did the very best :)

I'm taking inventory of all my seeds and am about 3/4 through. I'm so very thankful to have so many. I won't be planting all of them, except for the herbs. But I'm going to try and fit in as much as possible to at least get a couple of plants for seed saving. We'll see how much i actually do get done tho.

Along with food for us I'm also planning to grow animal feed in the way of bamboo, chia, sunflowers, two grains and Jerusalem Artichokes. I've been researching this for a few years now. These things will feed the herbivores (on top of their normal graze, browse, rooting and scratching) and the herbivores will feed the carnivores. Everyone here will eat from the garden as well in the form of normal garden scraps, and grains and grasses for the carnivores too. I've recently read that chia seeds are a very good thing for dogs and cats and important for specific properties.

I'm also hoping to get a pectin tree or two going this year. I had not heard of them but a friend has some and explained that they can be used exactly as fruit pectin. I've been looking into pectin alternatives for a while and might have a couple of others as well.

Aside from garden plans I have a long list of 2012 goals a some things on that list are ...

a good graingrinder
an inverter to convert battery/solar to house
a good crosscut saw

rebuild the rabbit tractor
Pallet deck for my outdoor laundry area, it can get very muddy there.
gray water pond
Clean the main pond out a bit and see about adding some catfish.
Clean and prepare the cistern and add gutter for a rain spout to it. I've been collecting gutter bits all year.
Build a wood shed from the pallets
Build a new wellhouse from the pallets
Get a horse :)
working outdoor kitchen
outdoor laundry area
outdoor dinning etc.
get the bathtub inside
pond field fenced completely with pallets
working greenhouse built
move dog pen
get a horse
enlarge the colony
start work on a second colony
barn stalls finished (goat stall must be ready by March)
redo henhouse again
fence in as much as possible
make larger forest pig pasture
divide and fence forest acres
field horse shelter in addition to barn stall
fence in garden areas to keep cretins out

There is so much to do and I am so happy to be able to be doing them. And to be able to dream of more to come.

Now, to the baby buns :) We lost the first litter (4 babies) because I didn't move them. But the second litter (also 4 babies) has thrived and done wonderfully! They're fat little wonderful things. We're keeping at least one and maybe two, the other two are already sold and will go to their new homes in about 3 more weeks. Interestingly, both litters were 2 white and 2 black. All 4 of these are girls.

I am fairly certain I'll continue to raise rabbits. It's a very enjoyable thing, their energy alone is worth the time. It's a very healing energy. And the thought of always having a few babies around is pelasing  :)

My original idea was to raise them for meat, sales and fertilizer. Meat honestly being the main. It will be difficult but I think that I will eventually be able to turn some into meat for Nik and the dogs and cats. I may or may not be able to eat them, I actually have never cared for rabbit.

My greater self sustaining plan is to grow enough to feed us and the herbivores and in turn the herbivores will feed us and the carnivores, which in turn will protect us and help ensure the circle continues.

I'm hoping pigs will be a part of that as well. They are fun creatures and very useful for tilling and turning the soil. But that same usefulness can be very destructive and they eat more than the larger animals. Hopefully we can get through the winter and have piglets to have some pork and sale/trade enough to make keeping them worth it. If we can get through the next several months then I hope to be able to plant enough to supplement the food they need on top of their foraging. And fencing in a larger forest pasture for them. We'll see. Right now they are adorable creatures who mainly just eat, and eat, and eat *-*   I love them but I have to be mindful of the balance.

.............................................................Walnut & Mr Pig

Thistle is very pregnant, than The Mother! There's still a danger of loss but very hopefully, come March, we'll have at least 2 more Wild Moon Goats. There's a small chance she will have triplets, Thunder, the father, was a triplet. But I only feel 2 wicks in the womb. I'm also hoping for all doelings, of course. But we'll be so thankful for how ever many healthy babies she has. And so thankful to have milk again!!!!

Very soon I'm hoping to buy or trade for more chickens. We need more layers a variety to keep a healthy flock at all times. A couple of Buffs have gone broody recently and soon, hopefully, we'll have a some Wild Moon chicks. The poultry I intend to get are the same ones we've always kept. or, in the case of the turkeys, tried to keep. My poultry list is ...

Buff Orpingtons - meat, eggs, easy to keep and good brooders
Rhode Island Reds - meat, eggs, heavy layers, winter/summer, easy to keep
Barred Plymoth Rocks - meat, eggs, heavy layers, winter/summer, easy to keep
Delawares - meat, eggs, good layers, easy to keep

Indian Runner ducks - entertainment, best eggs for baking, good layers, easy to keep

Royal Palm Turkeys - meat, small size, hearty if they like to adult

The goals, plans and dreams I come up with :) Incredibly, I actually do manage to achieve most of them. And, altho the work can be hard, I truly do love this life. There is a great power in doing for yourself and making do with what you have.

When Nik was younger and we were caring for all the feral cats at the Burrow, Nik named me The Alien Monkey Queen. He surmised that the wild kittens were actually alien monkeys because of their crazy antics. That carried on and I have become Queen of Wild Moon Cottage. It is a very fine thing, to be sure :)

And now I'm off to check the current batch of salve, more antibiotic salve. The a batch of muscle rub.


Marrissa said...

Wow you are so busy! Those little rabbits are just the cutest! Good luck with your seed collecting, a mission that I have started this season. Big waves from the Garden x

CopperCreeker said...

i always enjoy visiting your blog. i have one problem with you.
:0) you don't post enough and i miss visiting. i wait with anticipation for each visit.
Blessings :0)

Mother's Moon said...

crazy weather indeed... nothing is as cute as a baby bunny... :-)

JoyceAnn said...

Sounds like you are busy with making plans. I have lots of plans running through my head too , really need to put them on paper , so I don't forget. I can't wait to get back in the garden and have fresh veggies overflowing in the kitchen. The bunnies are mighty cute , I'm planning to raise some meat rabbits this year too.

Be Blessed