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.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fine Irish Days 9.15.12

For the last two days there has been a wonderful, almost constant rain here. We’re surrounded by misty fog that closes us away, like a cave or secret grotto. I had forgotten what so much green looks like. We’re enveloped by emeralds and peridot again, and there’s food and medicine everywhere I look.

Green is the color of The Mother, North, Boreas (the north wind), winter, the heart chakra, healing, prosperity, balance, stability, abundance, growth, sustenance, birth, death, rebirth, life. It is represented by the Oak and Stag. North is feminine.

Someone once said that a person could never go hungry in the Ozarks because there are so many wild edibles. This summer proved them wrong. Any place, no matter how lush and fertile, can become barren very quickly. People, mostly four legged but two legged also, have been very hungry this year in the Ozarks. Hay was/is truckled in from elsewhere. We had almost no green.

My sister and brotherinlaw have gotten an RV. They have good, safe shelter now. It was harder than I expected, so many people are looking for the something similar for the similar reasons. People have been emailing me to say they or their loved one lost their homes, job, etc …  If we find a dwelling after my sister finds, one please let them know. Asking about frugal, self sufficient, off grid living. Many jujus for everyone!

Pepper and Elf (sister and brotherinlaw) are down at the other end of the orchard. I think we’ve figured out a system to give them running water (gravity). They have limited electricity from a drop cord. And they have propane heat and hot water when they get it working. Their indoor shower should work on the gravity flow method.

In the last two they're ahead of us, we still don't have hot water or an indoor bath.

It's not easy for me, I'm Not a people person - I could live happily on a deserted island. But we're making it work. Things are as they should be.

Now we’re all working toward winter preparations. Firewood is at the top of the list, as is an L-something approved wood stove. Our pantry is still very meager compared to before the move but it’s starting to get built back up and with the rain we should have a good fall harvest of wildlings to add to it.

One of my best stocking up tips is to never leave a store without at least one can of food in hand. Something you like, even if it’s one tiny can of black olives.

Financially things are tight, as always. But nearly as tight as last year at this time. My herb gardens are gone for the year, so I have no extra for my business, which is in hibernation for now. But I’m doing well with the hammocks and it’s helping tremendously.

Nik has been working hard on the stonehouse (my studio/workshop) to get it cleaned out and make room for the hammock jug so that I can work inside. I need s space 8x12 ft for it, it’s pretty big. But then I can work inside out of the rain and have heat this winter. It should be finished this weekend and I’m looking forward to it! It will be tight but I will also be moving my art supplies out there and make it for painting, jujus dolls and other creating.

I’m going to move my sewing machine and table into the main part of the house so that the back can be closed off for winter. We’ll use that space for storage.

We have pot belly piglets and rabbits to sell/trade/barter. I’ve also pretty much decided to sell the doelings this year.

The most recent business deal was trading 3 rabbits for a Katahdin ewe lamb. They’re hair sheep which can be eaten and milked. There was a mix up and we got a ram instead of a ewe but that will be worked out soon. This is our first experience with sheep, the little ram lamb is very quiet and sweet.

I’ve been researching and reading about using the hair and that’s the plan for this one. We name Her Ivy, after our goat Ivy that we lost last year. We’re calling this little ram Ivan.

I had forgotten how high they can jump, it’s quite amazing. They pop straight up like cats. This one is very sweet and so calm but it smells like a buck goat and pees on itself the same as well.

Things are going along, never easy but what kind of life would we have if they were.

The horses are doing very well. Ajax would have a saddle on, if I had one. Anya is looking wonderful and healthy but Ajax is still very scrawny and having a hard time putting on weight, which is slightly worrisome so late in the year. But with the rain the grasses are growing so they’ll have that boon and I take Ajax out to eat other places while he’s learning as well. I can touch all his feet and lift one without much fuss.

I’m trying to find a farrier to do their hooves and hope to have Ajax ready for them when I do find one. Finding one isn’t to hard, finding one who is local or making a shared trip so not to have to pay huge mileage fees is much more difficult. Hoof tools are up on the list of needs. Once they’re trimmed properly for barefoot (wild horse) I can likely keep them that way. I can at least keep them trimmed enough, when I have tools again. I thought I still had a hoof rasp but haven’t been able to find it.

Nemo is still chained during the day. So far all anti-car chasing lessons have failed. We’re in the process of fencing the entire property in with a wooden pallet fence but that will take some time and a lot more pallets.

Speaking of pallet fencing … I’m using a wide V pattern because we have very few fence posts and nothing can be allotted to them at the moment. The V makes them sturdy and freestanding. They’re wired together and are pretty sturdy as is. Posts can be added later for extra stability if needed.

I loath barbed wire but we’re going to use what we have to fence off an area in our woods for the grazing/browsing animals so that the pond field can rest and have time to grow up a bit. We may still be able to cut and put back a little hay from it next year as well.

The wooded area will have a glad surrounded on all sides by thick trees, protected from harsh and cold winds with shelter from the hot sun.

For now I’m off to make egg sandwiches.


the wild magnolia said...

It is good you can help where it needed. Doing what you are able to do.

For the life you love there is a sacrifice of some things and a abundance of others.

Knitted Home said...

I wonder if you could collect/shear the hair sheep to sell as roving or spin it to sell in skeins? I'm sure it would call a pretty price due to increasing demand.