The Survival Buzz #187: Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer

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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz.  As you know, I have embarked upon a grand adventure (aka “The Road Trip”) so to keep my sanity and attempt to relax a bit, I have invited my friend Daisy Luther to share her preps this week. She lives on a small farm and does lots of things that I only dream of, such as raise chickens and goats.

So with that introduction, I turn you over to Daisy, who, by the way, is also known as The Organic Prepper.

Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer | Backdoor Survival

The Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer

Hi, Backdoor Survival readers!

I can’t tell you how excited I was when Gaye asked me to share with you some of our new adventures in preparedness. My daughter and intrepid sidekick, Rosie, and I have recently set out on a journey to begin producing some of our own food. We have a tendency to throw ourselves into changes of lifestyle just for the sheer learning experience of it. We’ve lived in a cabin in the North Woods of Ontario, Canada; we’ve moved across the continent with the contents of a small trailer, and now that we’ve found ourselves in farm country, we’re trying something new yet again.

tenderfoot

[ten-der-foot]

noun
1. a raw, inexperienced person; novice.
2. a newcomer to the ranching and mining regions of the western U.S.,unused to hardships.

Tenderfoot. That’s us.

This summer, we rented a little piece of farmland and decided to try our hands at raising animals. So far, we have 11 chickens of various ages, 12 ducklings, and a couple of goats. The goal is to raise these animals for eggs and milk. They were going to also be for meat, but (Tenderfoot Mistake #1) I named them all and now I don’t think I’ll be able to eat them. Could you really eat a chicken named Gertrude who hops up on your lap, hoping for a treat?

Well, imagine my shock last week when I realized that Cora, one of our goats, seemed to have a little something extra on board.

Something extra, like a full udder and a suddenly bulging tummy. After copious amounts of Googling and Youtubing, it appears that Cora is pregnant!  Since we have no daddy goats here on the farm, she was clearly impregnated a minimum of 2 months ago at her former home. So, sometime within the next 3 months, we should have kids.  What a wonderful surprise!

It’s harvest season, and although our personal harvest isn’t that large (Tenderfoot Mistake #2 – the deer ate our first, unprotected garden in one hedonistic evening) we’re doing lots of preserving from other people’s farms. In fact, I worked out a barter with a friend who loves gardening and hates preserving. I’ve been up to my elbows in glorious tomatoes, making tomato basil soup, hot sauce, and ketchup. With the next batch, we’ll be making salsa and marinara sauce.

We both planted a new type of tomato this year called Amish Paste, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. With a quick blanch, the thin skins slide right off the oblong fruit.  There is far less prep work with these tomatoes than others that I’ve worked with, and practically no waste from the core.

Of course, when you live in an area surrounded by towering forests, there’s a dark side to all of that natural beauty. Hundreds of thousands of acres of Northern California are on fire. This week, we had to keep the animals in the barn because there was so much smoke and floating ash in the air. However, we’re the lucky ones. More than a thousand homes were burned to the ground as fire swept through small rural towns and farms.

Please keep these victims in your thoughts as they struggle to deal with the massive natural disaster.

Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to getting to know all of you.  Please leave a little note in the comments to tell me about what you’ve done to become more self-reliant and better prepared this week.

I’ll keep you posted on Baby Goat Watch 2015. Talk to you next week!

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The Final Word

I would like to thank Daisy for stepping in and helping me out this week.  Whereas the two of us are quite different, we both share a passion for simple things, real food that is well prepared, frugality, and, of course, being ready for whatever disruptive event may pass our way.

Since I did not do a darn thing to prep this week, I will need you to fill in the blanks.  What did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic:  I have been using New Skin for years.  It is an antiseptic, invisible, flexible, and waterproof.  It works.

Super Glue  – The Original: This is the original Super Glue brand.  This works a lot like the liquid bandage above in that you apply it to the wound and when it’s dry, it will hold the cut together. Also check out Krazy Glue or Gorilla Brand Super Glue.

First Voice Self-Adherent Stretch Bandage (Pack of 10):  I first learned about self-adhesive bandages when my dog came home from the vet such a bandage wrapped around his leg.  A light went off telling me I needed to add some to my first-aid kit.  And so I did.  This is a fantastic price and rivals the price at the farm supply.

Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.

Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.

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Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival:  Whether you are miles from help or immersed in an urban disaster situation, every second counts during a medical emergency. This book will help you take quick, effective action to stabilize the situation. One of the best things about this book (other than the information, of course) is it’s size.  It is small enough to keep in your bug-out-bag and also in your first aid kit.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals exclusively.  They are high quality yet reasonably priced.  In addition, there are no membership fees and a distributor relationship is not necessary to get best pricing. Interested in checking them out? Backdoor Survival readers get a 10% discount by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout!

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Comments

The Survival Buzz #187: Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer — 11 Comments

  1. Thanks for filling in and sharing Tenderfoot! We have recently started with chickens, 11 hens and 1 rooster. Lots of eggs and haven’t named them so want to learn to butcher them for meat some day. Sounds like you got a big bonus with kids on the way! I would love a couple goats for milk and cheese one day too. Any favorite book on starting to keep goats you’d recommend? It was really nice to hear about your homestead and animals.

    • Hi Carol! I’ve actually been doing most of my goat research on the internet. Plus, I’m very fortunate to live near lots of homesteader-types who are very generous with their information. Thus far, the things I have learned about goats are pretty simple. You need to think like a goat and figure out what might appeal to them as a tasty snack. For example, we had some people’s horses boarded here temporarily, and I had a large wheeled trash container of their food so I could just scoop it out for them. I caught my younger goat head first with her legs in the air. She had somehow gotten the lid off and climbed right in. Plastic is also pretty tasty if you’re a goat. Everything has to be kept put away for their own safety if you let them wander like I do. And second, the friendlier you make them, the easier your life will be. Ours are very easy to handle because they trust us. However I’ve been to other farms where it’s like a wrestling match to get their goats to do anything. And finally, secure fencing is a must! They need at least 5 feet with nothing nearby for them to climb on to get over the fence. Otherwise, you’ll find them in your neighbor’s garden. (Cough.) Thanks for the warm welcome 🙂

  2. Thanks Daisy for sharing your experiences. What you have done is something I would like to do, but living where we are, can’t do it. But I can dream and look and read.

    Would love some chickens and goats – but having been a city person my entire life, it would be a very very steep learning curve – at least for me. And one that would have to be approached with a plethora of information gathered from other more experienced- Gaye – I recall George Ure once saying – if you don’t have any challenges in your life – get some goats!

    • Nothing to raising chickens; you can do it…easily. Unless you intend to let them free-range, start by building a fenced in chicken yard. On one end, enclose it with a tin roof and wire gates you so you can close them in to protect from weather and predators at night if that’s a problem where you are. Include nesting boxes; you can find lots of examples on the internet. Next get your chicks and feed at a local feed store. They’ll start laying at about 4 months old. All they need is food, water, shelter. They’ll also eat just about any leftover food scraps you have. It’s simple, anyone can do it.

  3. Daisy, occasionally you can get a goat that produces milk without getting pregnant. One of our goats is like that. Miss Sunshine was giving nearly 2 quarts a day all summer. She’s slacked off to about a half a quart now.

  4. This week I stuffed a rather large and fluffy Winter sleeping bag into a compression bag for the first time. I usually use the ‘old school’ type sleeping bags, so straddling a sleeping bag like I was riding a horse was new to me. Maybe I did it wrong and there’s an easier way?
    The compression bag seems stressed, too, like it’s not going to last very long. I’ve been looking for a bit looser bag as a backup but I’ve not found anything available locally that’s a good fit. The best fit I found was a dry cleaners bag.

  5. a friend just last night commented on the dangers of compressing a sleeping bag too much for too long. Better a larger bag than too much compression. Where to find a larger bag…if you are a quilter or know one…find the ugliest and med-weight piece of fabric that you have in your stash and make your own. It’s nothing more than an oversized pillowcase. For a cord to draw the top closed, use the selvage edge that you so carefully cut off before using material. It’s nearly indestructible. BTW I save all my selvage edges and use them whenever I need to tie something together and at the moment a piece of white selvage is being used for a shoelace in one of my running shoes.

  6. Thanks for that info, Joyce Mcdonald. I had to look up the meaning of the word, selvage. Your comment got me to thinking I have to change a few things. Damaging lofting properties wasn’t exactly on my radar. A person might think that because the sleeping bag manufacturer ships the bags inside the compression bags that that is a good way to store them. I re-packed my sleeping bag again, it really was a bit of a chore sitting on it while rotating it bit by bit to get it to fit inside the compression bag. I would not want to have to do that on a regular basis or while I’m in a hurry or while it’s freezing cold or raining or such like.
    I was thinking about using an overly long duffel bag and lap the extra end length over the end and secure it with a nylon strap to the opposite end, basically forming a second handle. However; that makes it look valuable and maybe worth stealing. A quilt bag type deal might look like something no thief would think about taking, perhaps? But quilt material isn’t water resistant and gets heavy when wet. I wonder if a quilt can be made out of nylon bag material, or a combination of both? … I think I may need to make friends with a quilter.

  7. Was doing some reading,.. (RE: quilters) I Never would have guessed this:

    comment by hoopster @bladeforums, ‘In Ray Jardines book “Beyond backpacking” He prefers a camping quilt to sleeping bags for a number of reasons.” …

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