Saturday, July 7, 2012

last day for questions!

If you have a question about me, the farm, homesteading, livestock or the future of backyard farming in general, ask me a question and I will do my level best to reply right here in the comments!

122 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea. I was wondering about the compost tea you mentioned yesterday.

How do you make it and how are you using it.

Thanks

Anna

July 3, 2012 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger becky said...

what is that recipe you use to make your baked chicken and kale. I was thinking about it today but I can't seem to find the original post

July 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

Alright - questions - I saw the newly painted cart recently. Does this mean you have two pony carts? One for Jasper and one for Merlin? And what is the difference between your cart (carts?) and a meadowbrook?

Cheers, Beth

July 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I am thinking of getting into meat rabbits. I've read Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits, but I wonder, what's your take on the best breeds for meat? Thanks!

July 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

will the bicycle tires be robust enough on your new cart?

July 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

will the bicycle tires on your new cart be robust enough?

July 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous jennifer said...

How many laying hens do you have and what breeds are they? Pros/cons?

What breed did you use for your meat birds?

July 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Colleen Vanderlinden said...

We're planning on getting our first bee hive next spring. Any favorite resources/tips/advice you can share with a beginning beekeeper?

July 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I sent an email but I'll ask here as well. I was curious as to whether you had a webinar for the mandolin?

July 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger dragonwriters said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on being a solo farmer and living alone on the farm.

July 3, 2012 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on being a solo farmer and living alone on the farm.

July 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Gemma said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on being a solo farmer and living alone on the farm.

July 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

Wondering about your chickens these days...do you raise your own chicks and if so, what system do you use to decide the matings?

July 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What skill was the hardest to teach yourself? What skills are able to adequately be learned from a book and which really require a teacher or hands-on experience?

What was your biggest failure and how did it affect how you do things now?

July 3, 2012 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Yarrow said...

i've got a question for you. i'll be in what i think is your general area (staying in Albany NY, and then Brattleboro VT) for a few days this fall. if this is reasonably near, i wonder if you'd be willing to meet up, do a farm tour, etc? i live on a small sustainable farmstead in central new mexico, and, since i farm, i don't get to travel much to see other people's places, see how they do things.

July 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Heather Ann said...

Do the Swedish Flower Hens live up to all the hype surrounding them?

July 3, 2012 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is your favorite author and why?

And when can we expect a book about Merlin?

July 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna-What made you go from being a vegetarian to where you are at now? What has been the hardest change to deal with having your own farm? Would you like to have children some day? Are you religious? Just curious....

July 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love everyone's questions, plus... how many eggs are you getting a week,and are you selling/bartering them. What I really wanna know, it's eating me up.... what is the situation with that visiting lumberjack??? Am I just an old woman with too much time on her hands? Disregard if this is too nosey!!! Beth in Ky.

July 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

From deep in the heart of Louisiana, a question for you. How much gravy does it take to cover an acre of rice?
Happy 4th, Jenna.

July 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

What I have been wondering is do you have to have a tag on your cart or wagon to drive it on the roads up there? And do you have to have any kind of special permit or lisence to drive it on the road there? And does the horse have to be registered with the DMV? Because I've been thinking about this but am going to call around here and find out if there are any laws. Because I live in Ga. and Ga. has some crazy laws about things. Just wondering.

And I had asked about the Freedom Rangers before and haven't seen an answer to that question. You are going to be busy answering all thse questions now.

July 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Here's my first set. I am cleaning out the goat pen today with two friends so replies will come in spurts.

1. Compost tea here is a by product of my worm bin, it is built by a company that specializes in kitchen composting and it is called the Worm Factory 360. It has an actual spigot for pouring out the compost water, called "tea" which is concentrated liquid compost. Here is some more info: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/tea/tea1.htm

2. Becky: here you go!
http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2011/12/kale-booze-and-books.html

3. Yes, I have two pony carts. One for each pony here as Merlin is horse sized and Jasper is smaller. My carts are not meadowbrooks. Meadowbrooks have LARGE wheels and are the original ATV, meant for rides on road or across fields.

4. I suggest Californians, New Zealands, Rexes, Satins and Chins for meat rabbits.

5. Yes. Think about a 250 pound man on a mountain bike! The new cart only needs to pull my own weight! They are plenty strong.

July 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I have followed your blog for a while and have learned a lot but I have wondered something for a while. I am planning to begin raising chickens soon. I remember when you harvested your first few chickens you got sick. What was it that happened?

Thanks.

Steve

July 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Wow, I was just thinking about questioning you this morning, so here goes. When do you begin to prep for the winter? With fruits getting to peak, vegetable bursting to freshness, and herbs at the ready, do you preserve you produce? If so, do you can or freeze produce?

Thanks.

July 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great design for an easy homemade worm bin. Good access to "worm juice" without having to shell out for a storebought unit with a spigot:

http://motherearthnews.com/hands-on-how-to/how-to-set-up-a-simple-vermicomposting-bin-zb0z1206zsan.aspx

July 3, 2012 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

I second Anonymous's question -"what is the situation with that visiting lumberjack???"

July 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - great opportunity. How did you pick the type of sheep you have? We are moving toward having sheep for wool/spinning. How do you deal with having turkeys and chickens (given that blackhead can occur when the two are raised together). How, given your acreage do you rotate pasture so that the goats, sheep and horses get ample grass. How much hay does it take for your animals on a yearly basis. And finally, do you keep the freedom rangers separate from your hens? mehileman@yahoo.com

July 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger mush said...

I want to know what your long term goals are for the farm? Wont you and your animals require more space eventually? Will you stay at your farm and make do, move to a new farm, or purchase land surrounding your present farm? What do you dream about that would make you content in your life? You offered,so im asking! :)

July 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

You might have written about this somewhere else, but what moment/situation/etc. made you want to go from designer-in-the-city to farmer? What was the original inspiration or was this something you always wanted to do? I might have read about this somewhere, but I don't remember. Apparently, my memory is giving out at 35.

Also, I wouldn't normally ask this personal of a question to someone I don't /really/ know online, but I hold a degree in anthropology and with that comes a natural nosiness. What are your current religious/philosophical views and how do they influence your farming?

Thanks for indulging!

July 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Hi Jenna!

I've been reading a lot about raising sheep - mostly for fiber purposes, although I wouldn't rule out meat production as well. I've read the books, have breeds in mind, and am working on the space. Question - how much appx per sheep does it cost to maintain them each year? Or maybe you could summarize for all of them? It's a figure that I really want to be sure of as I begin the venture. What books or advice would you recommend for a beginning shepard?
Thanks!

July 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

My husband & I have a small farmstead & we have a good size flock of chickens. We have been considering taking on another type of farm animal but don't know which way to go with it. We want something that is docile because our small grandkids are here a lot. We would like something that would give us some kind of revenue or something that we can use here (i.e. chickens & eggs). What do you suggest? We're on fixed income so we can't afford to go too far out on a limb right now. Thanks, Jenna ~ we appreciate any help that you can give us.

July 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
My question is as follows:
How do you organize/structure your day so that all of your chores get done? have at least some time for yourself ? and are not completely wiped out exhausted at the end of each day?

I recently got a second horse and a small flock of pullets that are added to my current horse, small flock of hens, hive of bees, pair of guineas, an Irish Wolfhound, 6 raised beds, 2 gardens and a part-time job outside of the home-never mind time for my husband and taking care of our home! I'm having a little trouble fitting everything in and would like to learn from you how you get everything done when you have far more animals than I do!
Thanks Jenna!
Lisa in Maine

July 3, 2012 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

What's your biggest surprise since quitting the corporate world and going to work for yourself?

July 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still have three dogs?

July 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been toying with the idea of Finnsheep, do you know any pros/cons against them? What kind of fence do you keep yours in, I've had goats and I know they don't stay in anything and I have alpacas now and they will stay in a couple strands of electric tape. Would you reccomend woven fence? How old are lambs when you butcher and who primarily buys them, Do you sell them live or do you take them to be butchered and how do you market the meat? Thanks Alot, Erin Guidish in PA

July 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still have three dogs?

July 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

6. I have about 20 laying hens here, but most are this years youngin's and aren't laying yet. I keep a mix of heavy breeds like brahmas and Orpingtons and dual breeds like the Rhode Island Red and Wyandottes. Plus a smattering of fancy Swedish Flower hens. Pros with heavy and dual breeds is you can use them for eggs or meat and they do well in cold weather. Cons are they aren't broody much, so you have to incubate eggs if you watch hatchlings and they tend to be slower around predators.

7. Congrats on your new hive! Look for a local mentor or beeyard or club near you, books are great but nothing beats a local beekeeping club.

8. I don't play the mandolin, sorry! Fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and dulcimer and some guitar.

9. That is a whole new book dragon, but to summarize: I am happy. Work is hard, but it has forced me into a situation to build commmunity and neighbors to help, and when you ask the world to help, it does.

10. See 9

11. See 10

12. Chicks are born here and they are a homebrew of the breeds I have here, since the flock is free range. I am building a breeding pen for the Swedish Flower hens though!

13. Hardest to teach myself was knitting. I needed someone to show me. I learned pre-you tube and I think the videos online now are a HUGE help to new knitters. For me, learning to cook and bake from books was fine and easy, but anything with craft or animals I needed helping hands. Homebrewing and soapmaking I learned with friends, better note takers and chemists than I!

14. They sound like catlike dinosaurs and are all the colors of the rainbow. They are also nice and broody, that instinct hasn't been removed from them yet. I like them very very much.

15. My favorite authors of all time are Kurt Vonnegut and Jack kerouac. For Cat's Cradle and the Dharma Bums, two of the most influencial books on my life and spirit. I love many authors though. And as soon as someone sends me a contract about Merlin, I am writing it! I am trying!


16. A. I changed from a vegetarian to a person who raises their own meat because the more i learned about nature and agriculture I realized it was the most kind and peaceful way to eat. You can read about me and meat, and why I eat it, here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2011/jan/19/vegetarian-animal-cruelty-meat

B. The hardest change was learning that my choice to live this life was easy for me, but hard on others like family and friends who do not get to see me as often as they would like. I wasn't prepared for their emotions, distance, and the drama that ensued.

C. I have no qualms with children, if they come into my life after being in a commited and loving relationship with a man the sun sets and rises behind I'm in.

D. I am very religious, but not a Christian.

17. Right now all of my hens are sitting on eggs. I am only getting 2 a day for myself and hoping for more chicks! And Brett and I are not romantically involved and have not ever been. I wish I knew more myself, Beth.

18. An acre of gravy.

19. To drive Merlin on the road I need the same thing any other farm vehicle would need: an orange triangle that warns people to slow down. No plates needed.

20. I got campylobacter and it was horrible. I got it because I spilled intestinal juices from a chicken who's intestines and gall bladder burst open while removing the guts and didnt wash my hands properly because I was on the phone and puppy gibson was pooing on the floor or something and had I just washed my hands none of that would have ever gotten into my eyes or nose or mouth.

July 3, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

LOL! So what about my question, Jenna?

July 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

starting with 21, I think:

21: JD: I never stop prepping for winter. I already had my furnace checked and cleaned and oil delivered for my hot water. I will have chimney sweeps come and inspect and clean the 2 woodstoves. I already split and stacked firewood and will have 3 more cords delivered. I grow food to preserve and eat in the cold months and always store enough rice, beans, potatoes and canned goods to last the whole winter as well. I'm like that. I freeze berries, meat, some jams, and things I can't can with a pressure canner.

Kira: I third that question

23: I picked blackface and english longwools because I wanted tough, outdoor wool I could make from the blend of those scrappy mountain foraging blackface and the softer english wools like the cotswolds and B.L. I have never had any blackhead, but my birds are never confined. I think free ranging a turkey or two with 20 chickens in an open-air environment is safe. Has been for me.

I have three acres of pasture now and it is split into four sections. since I am down to nine sheep and a pony, it is plenty and I do have to feed hay a lot starting in the fall all through winter. I will need 300 bales this year to get through. I do not separate the freedom rangers from the hens, no.

24. Right now I am happy here, but I do plan on moving to a larger spread some day with a larger flock, serious sheepdogs, and more horses and horse vehicle space! In good time!

25. Missy, i nearly died in Tennessee, falling off a waterfall (okay, I jumped) and it was supposed to be a fun, carefree thing but I almost died when I didn't get enough space from the rocks. I was on a farm in less than 6 months. Life was too short and fragile to wait to be happy.

Missy, as for religion, well, it's complicated. I was raised Catholic, studied Paganism and Buddhism, and they fell aside. Then nature herself became my faith. The seasons, the life and death on the farm, my views on god changed and now I can say I remain unaffiliated to any deity or church. I'm a happy farmer who lives with her animals and farm and likes the original agricultural wheel of holidays very much... They matter to me, and do influence my farming a lot. How I see myself and the animals I raise is not very different. I see us humans as animals, not animals as human. We are sharing the planet for a short time together, and should do so with respect and tradition.

Halloween is hands down the most important day of the year, but a sad one.

July 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Lauren: Sheep costs depend on what you already are set up for as fencing and space for pasture. less pasture means feeding more hay. My 9 sheep eat a bale of hay a day in winter, plus some grain. As a beginner I suggest, above all tech books, HIT BY A FARM by catherine friend about her first year as a shepherd without a clue, it is wonderful. And second, a how-to book called Living With Sheep, by chuck wooster. Those two are MUSTS.

MHF: RABBITS!!! or honeybees!

Lisa: I start my day at 4:45 AM and do all my chores in shifts. Everyone gets morning feed and water, fly spray for the horse, gates opened to new grass, etc etc. It takes me about an hour but I have everything set up for easy work. Feed is in metal bins right by the feeders. Hay has a cart to move it around the farm and I always carry a pocket knife. Water buckets are always filling up. It takes an hour in the morning and an hour at night. Then I write for another hour or so, and then take on the day's appointments, calls, errands, and fun. I am always tired, but never regret it.

kaelak: how easy it is.

Annon: yes, all three are here sleeping in my living room as I type.

July 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Jenna,

1. How do you make the money work out for you? When you had your corporate job, I recall there were times money was very tight and you worried about the mortgage.

Did things get easier, with new sources of income, allowing you to choose self-employment?

2. Did you ever think about renting a room on a temp basis? I ask because I have thought about renting out a room in my house in Albany, and I also thought of renting a room myself in the country -- thinking about it from both sides.

Thanks for welcoming questions!

Kate

July 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Thanks, Jenna!

July 3, 2012 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you use a root cellar for storing your potatoes for winter?

July 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

Thanks for the help, Jenna. Actually, we've talked about doing both and I think you helped us make our decision ~ BOTH IT IS!!!!!

July 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger kate said...

I have another question. Have you or your dogs had any problems with ticks?

July 3, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

There's a local farm with too many bees-a full colony is $300 including hive et al. Is this a fair deal (at this time of year) to add to our homestead? Homestead=two cats, two working dogs, ten 3 month old amerecaunas, three NEW guinea pigs, and three NEW silkies.... Plus us two humans.

Also there's a flock of 15 ewes plus a ram (suffolks-don't know much about them-yet) for $235, and a halflinger mix pony for $500 I am desperately wanting! Apparently she's fast as all get out and great on trails but our lil almost half acre can't hold too much more! (we have a big garden too), my friend has space for the pony.... ;)

July 3, 2012 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Finnsheep: I can't tell you anything about them, but I know they are a smaller breed. They may work with electric tape or rope or wire, but some cheap field fence is always a good bet. they respect fences, like all sheep, but if they get hungry enough and can get out of them, they will, like all sheep!

Kate: so as for money: I only made 450 dollars a week at Orvis working 4 days a week. I made 500 working 5. If I sell two slots at fiddle camp I beat that in a few hours of writing and a weekend at my own farm helping people start their journey into music. I found that following my bliss, my love, and my dream had helped me more than any business plan. I always have just enough, and sometimes a little more, to make it work. Right now I am down to my last few thousand bucks but I am working on a new book deal or two, I hope, and that will keep me going. It will work out, I am certain.

I have no roomates but would consider it for the right person. Not everyone is into a house with pets and a 4:45 wake up call, but the food is BOSS!

Annon: no root cellar, but I have a basement. I would love to dig a cellar though! Brett just suggested it. I suggested he bring a back hoe.

Kate: ticks were HORRID early in the spring/summer. Haven't had one tick bite in weeks nor have the dogs. All of us here have either been on antibiotics for lyme or gone to the doc about it. As common here as the cold.

Rabbit: BUY THE HIVE. As for the flock, if you have the time and hay budget, why not? And as for the pony, I suggest taking a horse-savvy friend with you to look at her and watch her being ridden and ask to ride her as well. See how she feels.

July 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

HI Jenna,
My question is about your cats. How are they doing adjusting to life on the farm? I'm presuming that since you don't post about them much any more that they are great and living large. :) I live vicariously through your posts each day (I was raised on a farm in MN and now reside in suburban Las Vegas as a teacher -- my students cannot fathom my childhood -- LOL). Thanks for keeping my thoughts firmly grounded in hard work ethic and giving me a little taste of my childhood.
Catherine

July 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

George is the real owner of Cold Antler Farm. Just ask him. He was adjusted the moment he waddled into this house. Lilly is slowly getting more and more brave but may end up being an outdoor cat if she can't get over coming into the living area. The dogs have never touched her, she is just shy. George doesn't give a flip about dogs. He just lives without fear. He is my hero.

July 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still have your cats? Did the female ever settle in?

July 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Josh and Haley said...

Hello! Where can I order Barnheart? I would LOVE to read it. I am surely infected. We are building a chicken coop on our small urban lot...but I have dreams of acreage and many flocks. :)

July 3, 2012 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One last question. My husband and I love Washington County and actually looked at property there (even thought about Jon's place) but our accountant thinks we're nuts because of property taxes (hubby's retired and I''m fast headed that way) We are also looking at NH but my heart is really in WA County. Connie (Battenkill Books) said "fire the accountant and follow your heart" How do farmers meet those sometimes unbelievable property taxes and still manage to remain farmers in your state/county? We'd appreciate any insight you have.
mehileman@yahoo.com

July 3, 2012 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger maddie said...

Within the next few years I plan on renting if not owning my own piece of land (an will hopefully slowly become self-sufficient!). I'm curious though what made you choose the area you're in now? Where did you see the land advertised or did someone tell you about it?

July 3, 2012 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Diane in VT said...

Jenna you totally inspire me! Thanks for sharing, especially the parts about religion. It seems somehow taboo to talk about beliefs in our modern age.

My question is a little off-topic but I'm super curious: what is Brett going to grad school for? And what does he do for a "day job" when he's not going to grad school and pounding fence posts?

July 4, 2012 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

A. The whole exit of Marvin and entry of Joseph was always rather mushy, to me. What happened to cause the switch? One day, Marvin was there, the next, it was Joseph!

B. I'm considering keeping either a silkie or 2 or a turkey hen at the goat barn to keep the bug population down. But I worry about them flapping out of the goat's enclosures and ending up in a neighbor's yard. I also wonder about the bug eating efficiency of a couple of silkies vs a turkey hen.
Thoughts?

C) What are the chances of sorting blog posts by topic, not date? It would make searching for specific past items (like the chicken and kale recipe everyone loves to ask about) easier for everyone (including you, probably).
We actually had chicken and kale tonight thanks to this blog post. :)


D) I wouldn't recommend letting Lily be an outdoor cat with the length of coat she has unless you plan on adding DAILY brushing and combing to your ever growing list of farmy chores. Even as indoor cats, Maine Coons are notorious for needing regular grooming. Cats are greasy, by nature and greasy + super thick coat = not so happy coat, nor cat. Add to that, various forms of farmy bracken stuck to the coat, and you have a groomer's nightmare! (I speak from experience...)
Once a week should be fine for regular maintenance of indoor farm kitties, though.

July 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger redbird said...

If you're still answering questions...what's your favorite song to play (on the fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, guitar whatever)?

July 4, 2012 at 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Yarn addict said...

Jenna, I have loved reading your blog and books. What are your favorite homesteading books?

July 4, 2012 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Josh and Haley: You can buy signed copies of Barnheart from battenkillbooks.com just email connie! connie@battenkillbooks.com

on taxes: I don't know why NY state has such a tax stereotype. I pay less than people over the line in Vermont pay? MY 6.5 acres are 2400 in taxes a year. the 90 acre farm for sale in Hebron pays 9,000 and that is without farm status! If you live in a town here, like a sidewalked town, you pay more. If you live in the sticks, less. Life is short, live where you want.

maddie: I couldn't afford VT when I was looking for a farm and realized the USDA haf home loans I could afford through their Rural Dev program. I bought my house with no money down! This was available in Washington County NY and other areas all over, ask local mortgage brokers if they are familiar with it.

Diane: Brett is a professor at Paul Smith and getting his PHD with a focus on the future of community and homesteading.

Paws: Marvin, Sal, and Maude all came from a sheep farm in hebron NY owned by a young family. Marvin was their kids favorite and they wanted him back, so I gave him back and got joseph. They just came and picked him up.

Why do your neighbors care if there's a chicken in a yard? But whatever you get, get at least three and chickens will be better at eating bugs than any turkey.

I don't know how to do that, but there is a search box at the top!

I think Lilly may have a worse haircut, but a better life outside than fearful in a laundry room. I don't care if she looks scrappy.

Redbird: guitar: upward over the mountain. Fiddle: great high mountain. dulcimer: wild mountain thyme banjo: down in the willow gardes

yarn addict: i love personal memoirs. I loved The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, jon katz, The Dirty Life, kristin kimball hit by a farm, catherine friend and the bucolic plague by josh kilmer purcell

July 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous TashaMarie said...

Jenna --

I've been meaning to ask you this anyhow, but I just didn't know how to go about wording it since I don't know when it will happen...but do you think I could possibly do a series of e-mail interviews with you?

My graduate thesis for my Master's in Liberal Studies is focused on the '60s/'70s back-to-the-land/homesteading movement and it's connections to the current movement. I've read two of your books and will be buying all of them this fall as part of my "research." I would love to have the chance to ask you more in-depth questions, though.

I have to admit, as a budding homesteader, some of the questions might be a little self-serving. ;-)

- Tasha Marie

July 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

do you read other blogs?

July 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Tasha. email me and if I don't respond, keep emailing me. we can work something out!

Sam: I read Jon Katz's blog and Firecracker Farm's blog. I check in on kathy harrison and James Howard Kunstler as well - all friends and neighbors.

July 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

let me add Michael Perry to my suggested reading list. COOP is wonderful and so is he. I swoon when I read. literally swoon.

July 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Eric Sipress said...

Hi Jenna, you had that workshop words and wool. Being out in IOwa I just couldn't attend. I have started my own blog and would like to learn more on the development and marketing side of that. Where would be a good source of gaining that knowledge?

July 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Eric, that workshop isn't until December and you can still make it! Besides events like that, I'm not sure how farm-specific other writing/blog promoting workshops there may be, but you don't need to come out here to promote your blog. You can start by writing to homesteading journals and magazines and submitting work, getting it published, make sure your site is on there. Visit other blogs and comment and share your link. guerrilla marketing is what you need.

July 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Jenna-
I submitted this question yesterday and it didn't show up. I realize it's a touchy question so it's completely fine if you don't want to address it in this format. I also realize that it just might not have gone through onto the blog site. All that said, here’s my question:


So if something really happened like Kathy Harrison writes about (energy crunch vs unavailability of gasoline or electricity), could you take care of your animals and yourself for any length of time? I think constantly about the animals I bring onto our property and wonder if I could take care of them if I couldn't get to the feed store for some reason. The thought haunts me.


Thanks,
Elizabeth

July 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, this question post could go on forever!! My question toda-- of your 6.5 acres, how much is currently fenced, how much could be fenced in the future and how much is wooded??? Is there any way you could post a drawing/map of how the farm lays? Plus, about taxes.. in comparison in southern Ky we pay around $300 on 16 acres. In case you feel like relocating some time!!! I really envy the community support you all have in New England. Sustainable farming is very slow to catch on here. So much of the population seems to live on those frozen bricks from the freezer aisle of "Walmarket" that you nuke in the microwave. Beth in Ky.

July 4, 2012 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

Yay for question/answer day! I am not sure how to find your e-mail and will not ask you here for it.

I see Sal is still kicking around and I would love to hear more about him and Jazz and Annie. Is Maude still around and as surly as ever?

Thanks!

July 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this is fun...
I guess my question is; do you still sew at all? And do you still knit? With yarn from your sheep? Would love to see some of your projects. Sara

July 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

Jenna, I have a follow up question that is going to make me sound like a teenage girl, but I'm asking anyway. You said you " wished you knew more" yourself about you and the lumberjack. To me, that sounds like there's an interest. Confirm or deny?

July 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Josh and Haley said...

I have another question! What do you feed your chickens? Or are they completely free range? Thanks!

July 4, 2012 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Yarn Addict said...

Jenna,
Thank you so much for your generosity in answering all the questions! You suggested some great books, mostly farm memoirs, a lot of which I have not yet read but will be sure to now. Do you like Barbara Kingsolver's books, I listened to a really good audio about a fictional goat farmer, I think it was called Prodigal Summer? And I keep meaning to read her book Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. My question to you, which "technical" homesteading, farming, animal care and gardening books do you find most useful? I have just borrowed Backyard homesteading from the library and will probably purchase it...
Thanks again,
Yarn Addict

July 5, 2012 at 1:11 AM  
Anonymous WB said...

Howsabouta strumstick camp?

July 5, 2012 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Elizabeth, if there was ever such an extreme incident as a total economic collapse my animals would not be my main concern. My family would. I would be doing everything in my power to get them up here to the farm, and giving them a list of things they need. When they were safe, the dogs and horses come next in order of import. They would be guarded and fed stores of hay, and when the hay ran out, walked to property unclaimed or wild around the farm to graze. I am lucky here that fields and forest abound. I would have to work out grazing rights with neighbors but on this mountain there is enough hay and feed to cover everyone's horses and sheep. As for things like rabbits or chickens, what I couldn't feed from kitchen scraps and garden foraging would be eaten or traded off to others. Animals of great value and import, like Gibson and Merlin,would have to be pryed from my cold dead hands!

My 6.5 acres is currently half fenced for 2 ponies and 9 sheep. The rest is woods and surrounded by woods on a mountainside holding, so nothing is flat! I will make a drawing, and I see what you are saying about taxes! I pay 200 a month on top of my mortgage in taxes, not at a lump sum at the end of the year so I don't really think about it. But when I look at what the town does with that money, I am okay. My road is always plowed in winter, well maintained in summer. The cops, schools, and general health of the area seems pink and happy. I could live cheaper elsewhere, but I like it here.

Mary: Sal is kicking! Jazz and Annie are older, housedogs, and Jazz is in poor health but gamely clinging on. Annie is a spitfire as always. Maude is doing well, too. Its not that I don't care for these animals because I don't write about them, I just don't write about them as much because they are no longer my main focus here.

Anon: I do sew and knit, but not until winter! My goal this winter is to learn SOCKS!

Abby: You'll just have to wait and see!

josh: my chickens eat whatever they can find and get about ten pounds of layer mash a day to supplement, half of their winter rations! they eat a lot out there in the summer, plus all my kitchen scraps the worms don't eat.

Yarn: I LOVED prodigal summer, and have listened to it several times while farming here, you can get the audio of AVM too and she reads it as well and you will love it. I loved it, anyway. Totally worth downloading on your iphone to listen to in the car or when you are out on a walk.

techincal books, depends on your homestead I guess? But as general books go the Backyard Homestead is wonderful, as is the Farm Animal specific book in that camp. Two books EVERYONE HERE SHOULD OWN is Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and John Seymour's The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it.

WB: capital idea!

July 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hey Jenna-
There's amazing info here! And it's great of you to take the time to answer all the questions. If you're still going I would love to know how you started the research process for you bun baker. I want to figure out if I can convert my existing fireplace (almost entirely decorative, although it does have a functional chimney) into something useful!

July 5, 2012 at 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned somewhere that you weren't prepared for other peoples emotions when you made this life change.

Do you have family(parents/siblngs)that visit the farm? What do they say about the negative comments that you used to recieve on your blog?

Thanks for being inspiring!!
Andrea

July 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

Thanks for your response. I actually do remember reading about your waterfall experience. Interesting story.

I've had a very similar experience religion-wise - raised Southern Baptist/practiced Druidry for years/now consider myself agnostic with a spiritual leaning. The agricultural cycle is deeply important to me as well. I also add a bit of Waldorf nature celebration in there, too.

Halloween is my favorite holiday and Fall my favorite season. However, I find Samhain to be more quietly celebratory than sad, but that is my own experience with the holiday. Thanks again. This has been interesting. :)

July 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger jules said...

I loved Prodigal Summer and The Dirty Life!

July 5, 2012 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Diane: MY research project was based on multi-use and my small space to heat up. My entire home's living space is around 850 square feet. The basement and attic aren't in need of heat. The bunbaker has a smaller box, perfect to add all the comfy I need to heat my living and dining room and a second woodstove heats the mudroom (with the plumbing) and the kitchen. So if you have a small space or just need supplemental heat, it is great. If you want to heat a 3,000 log cabin, not so much.

MIssy: I don't find Samhain the Holiday sad, just nostalgic, sad in a good way.

Andrea: My family has visited the farm several times! I don't think my family reads the comments, though.

Jules: word!

July 7, 2012 at 5:49 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Jenna,
What a great idea. My question is:
What are some of your favorite things as far as grocery, cleaning, personal items?
Do you stay brand loyal?
Thanks and blessings,
Cathy

July 7, 2012 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

What did you ever do with the pork? I'm hoping you decided it wasn't dangerous and are enjoying it.

July 7, 2012 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you were looking into heating options, did you research corn/pellet stove options? If so, what made you ultimately decide to go with a classic wood stove? Thoughts on the different options available?

July 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Cathy: I try to support local businesses around here or my region of the country - so my soap and shampoos and yerba mate come from common sense farm. my animal's grain comes from Blue Seal, and I try to eat from local farms much as possible, specially my own!

But I do love Nutella, Green Mountain Coffee's French Roast, Seven Generation cleaning and paper products, King Arthur Flour, and the occaional Coca Cola with REAL sugar!

Dog lady: I never ate the pork. Didn't feel comfortable with it.

Annon: I did research the pellet stoves. They have the advantage of being easier to install and not needing a chimney, but they do require electricity to run. I don't have a big backup generator, just a small one to run my sump pump in case of a bad storm or emergency. So I wanted a stove that was not dependant on electricity and would heat this home no matter what nature threw at me! I also want to get off the grid a little at a time, and converting to split wood heat meant I could harvest fuel right here in my backyard with an axe and saw without needing a pellet-making device and solar panels on top of the pellet stove.

Also, I love the smell of woodsmoke out of my chimney...and sitting by a roaring fireside indoors.

July 7, 2012 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer I. said...

Hey Jenna. No real question here, just a fan wanting to share something I saw this morning on Yahoo home page that made me think of you.

http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/our-country/kansas-farm-family-creates-funny-educational-parody-lmfao-203056252.html

In case the link doesn't work, you can see the video on YouTube it's called "I'm Farming and I Grow It."


Keep doing what you do. I love reading about your life.

Jennifer

July 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are your favorite canning books? & how many jars do you put up a year? do you go to local u-picks to supplement what you cannot grow at home?

Re: Beehive - Do you make anything out of the beeswax? (apiary down the road sells honey but no beeswax products, I am pondering asking if he has any to sell)

i bet everyone here who cans/knits/sews/homesteads can relate to this one - What is an intelligent, thoughtful, un-nasty response to the comment, "You know you can just buy that at a store, right?" Because my responses are often less than tactful...

Jen

July 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Black Cat Gardening said...

What do you consider to be the most important feature when considering property to purchase?

July 7, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Ever thought about adding Dexter cattle to your mix?

July 7, 2012 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i love the blue book, my canning bible. I put up jams and tomato sauce every year, water bath style. Maybe a doz quarts of each? I get some from my garden, the rest from farmers markets and you picks. I freeze berries and squash and beans


I am learning to make beeswax candles, and using it in soaps and balms!

Whenever someone tells me I can buy it at a store my response is usually you can still breathe air in cage, too.

Black cat: Water. Water. Water. A clean source of running water or a deep well you can get too without electricity is number one. You can build your soil. You can farm something, somehow, be it blackberries or sheep on different land, but water is the number one thing I would consider. My farm has a gravity fed artesian well. It has a stream and a pond.

Jess: I have thought about it, haven't had a cow yet!

July 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna,

My memory might be incorrect, but you are renting the Cold Antler Farm property - or you own it now? If a farm is being rented, does the renter have to consider a possibility of the owner's change of mind? Or there is usually a county ordinance or a clause in the rental contract that allows indefinite use of the land for farming?

Thank you for sharing your exciting adventure and experience with your homsteading always.

Kazuko
DuPont, Washington

July 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Kazuko: I own Cold Antler here in Jackson, but I did not own the previous farm in Vermont, in the town of Sandgate. As far as farmer/landowner agreements go everyone is different, and the only way to be certain is to get it in writing and notarized as a legal document with witnesses. That is my suggestion for any tenant farmers!

July 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger ebwhite said...

Although I have really enjoyed everyone's questions and your answers, I have especially liked your suggestions and those of your readers for good books whether on farming or some fiction. Would you consider making a request to your readers to post their current or favorite books, magazines, etc.? Maybe in the Fall -- my nightstand is full, as is my request list at the local library.
Cheers, Beth

July 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

My question is, why is this the last chance for questions?

July 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Great idea Beth!

seagrrlz, ha! it isn't, just the last day I will instantly respond to them in a post like this. you can ask questions any time, this way I am certain to get to them all!

July 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna - could you perhaps talk about farm exemptions for homesteading with regard to taxes? You mentioned this in a previous post on NY taxes. Haven't fired the accountant yet but he is on the ESA list. Do you have to produce/sell a certain dollar amount to claim an ag exemtion in your county/state? Are you required in WA county to sell a certain dollar amount of farm product (eggs,meat, etc.) or is it just having livestock or is it a certain number of acres or all of the above? Does your CSA of classes count toward such an exemption or must it be something like eggs,meat, wool, etc. Thanks Jenna. We just may yet become WA county residents. mehileman@yahoo.com

July 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

But what did you do with the pork?

July 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna,
How realistic do you think it is for a single woman in her late forties, living an urban lifestyle and carrying about 60 extra pounds of unhealthy weight, to transition to a more rural and sustainable life in the country on her own.
Life got away from me and now I find myself nearing fifty and dreaming of something very different than the life I am living right now.
I don't expect to be raising large animals, but would like to be living much more closely to the land.
If I sold my apartment I would probably come away with about $175k.
Thanks so much, Maria

July 7, 2012 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Jeanna, did you ever fet that Civil War book I sent you about serving with Gen. Grant? If people were to send you books what type would you like to receive?

What is your plan if the money you have right now gets really low, would you go back to working for someone else or figure something else out?

Grace and Peace,

John

July 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna. I remember reading that you were going to offer a fiber csa. How did that work out, and do you still do it every year? About how much processed fiber or wool do you get from each sheep? Thanks. BK

July 7, 2012 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna, Thanks for the response regarding the heating wood stove vs. pellet/corn...

I thought of another question that I don't think has been mentioned yet... Did you or do you ever feel uncomfortable or spread-too-thin by sharing your personal life here on the blog or in your books? I am sure many people agree with me that it is great for us to have sooo much of your very valuable knowledge at our fingertips. (I love it!) But how do you feel about it?

Thanks for sharing so much with us all!

Brandi

July 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Maria, if you want to do it go ahead. I'm in my mid 60's and I have a large garden, turkeys, chickens and meat rabbits. You may not be able to have it all happen at once and you will probably need to work but you can realize your dream in a few years. Washington County NY, northern VT and NH, and Downeast Maine are good choices for beginning your self sufficiency.

July 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, What are your future plans for the woodlot area? Do you have deadfall wood now? Will it produce enough firewood yearly for your needs? Are you growing marketable hardwoods? Do you plan on clearing parts for more pasture? Here in the bad winter weather, cows will choose a cedar thicket over an open barn door!! Do you have any evergreens? Do you own & can you run a chainsaw? Have you ever used wooden posts from CAF for fencing? Beth in Ky.

July 7, 2012 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Maria,
I'm going to jump in here myself and say that your age doesn't matter. While I'm about a decade younger than you, I moved from urban Portland, OR 6 years ago to a small town about 90 miles south or Portland. I live on the edge of that small town (not quite rural but close) and I have since created my own micro-farm complete with many raised veggie beds, fiber rabbits, hens, and most recently two dairy goats. It's not quite my ideal - I'm still hoping for 2 or more acres in the next 2-4 years - but it's a step in the right direction. While I can't speak for Jenna I'd imagine she'd say "just start and the rest will follow." Small steps are still steps. And you know, the weight will drop off when you're doing something you love! Good luck! Jenna's whole blog is behind you!

July 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna,
Do you ever feel guilty that you're not spending more time with your dogs? With all you do both on and off farm, I imagine time is short and you'd always like to give more attention to your dogs, sheep, or even yourself. Do you feel guilty that you can't always spread yourself around evenly to all those lives you care for and if yes, how do you manage it?

July 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger maddie said...

Hey Jenna, no questions just wanted to share some praise. I'm reading The Dirty Life right now - I love how honest Kristin Kimball is about the tough work, the arguments, and yet at the same time the nostalgia and wanting to make it work. Excellent recommendation! The Backyard Homestead was the first agri related book I bought and I'll never regret it!

Excellent question about what to look for when purchasing land and I really like your answer. You can grow crops/animals on almost all types of terrain. There's always an option. Funnily enough it's never really occurred to me that way.

If I may I would also like to suggest "Trafficking in Sheep" and "Goat Song". They both involve leaving the city (either completely or only seasonally), community, and animals. Both memoirs.

July 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Doglady: composted it. But trust me, there's more waste tonight coming out of your supermarket's dumpster than this farm.

Maria: GO FOR IT.

JT: I got the book and adore it, thank you. All gifts and kindnesses from friends are welcome.

I have no plan B about this working out. I just know it will work out. Having a plan B is allowing myself to fall back. When Cortez came to the new world, he burned his ships too.

BK: I do it every year! And I expect around 100 skeins this year from the flock. Ashley English gave me the idea!


Brandi, I don't feel spread thin here because I only share what I am comfortable sharing. Very little of my story is on this blog, just the farm stuff. Relationships, family, heartache, politics, religion, health matters...all of that is mine. I won't answer or write about things I am not comfortable writing about or seem combative on this blog.


Kira, I am constantly with my dogs. Gibson has never spent more than 6 hours away from me in his life. Jazz and Annie are with me, too. Just because I don't write about my life with the dogs as much as other things going on, doesn't mean they aren't as much a part of my life. My pack is my family in this house.

Also, Guilt is a useless emotion. I do not feel it about anything. Responsibility and regret, those things are useful, you learn from them. But guilt is a waste of the soul. Also, my animals do not need even care. Meat rabbits and chickens will never get the care of Merlin or Gibson, they are not as important. This farm is not a democracy of import.

thanks maddie! And I know Brad and Donna from goatsong, I see them from time to time, they live near me. loved that book!

July 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

How did you keep critters from foraging in the composted pork? I've buried deceased chickens and rabbits and my dogs dig them out.
I am well aware of the waste from supermarkets but that wasn't the question.

July 7, 2012 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

your interest in this is baffling.

My dogs aren't allowed to dig in the compost piles and the chickens can't dig that deep. Siberians are not allowed to run loose on my farm, they can run in an open fenced run, but not loose. ever. see here
http://www.shca.org/shcahp2b.htm

Gibson was told no, he stays away. he's good like that.

July 7, 2012 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you approach your former landlord about keeping animals? My husband and I want to get some chickens (four or so). So far my landlord has been very easygoing, but do you have any suggestions, other than getting the agreement in writing, on getting the landlord to agree in the first place?

How would you recommend a person create a blog similar to yours, about homesteading adventures, and make it a source of income?

Where do you get all your ideas for various workshops and such? You are very creative!

Thank you for this blog. It means more to me than you know.
- Kelley in Montana

July 7, 2012 at 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How or where is Brett getting his Phd w/ that focus?? We r Knoxvillians.....livin on 5 acres- love your blog- keep it up girl!!!

July 7, 2012 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Coco said...

This is great Jenna. Thank you.

First question - I anticipate moving to a country place in a year or so and am trying to improve my physical shape so I don´t simply die of muscle aches when the time comes. Can you offer any general tips on what physical activity to prepare for most? Lifting, endurance, flexibility, grip strength, etc.

And second (this may be one to throw open to your audience) we´ll be looking for sources for off-farm income. Are there any rural/small town businesses that seem to be holding up pretty well during the recession? I fear that boutique products will be losing their appeal as people continue reducing their disposable income.

Thanks again!

July 8, 2012 at 5:37 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I was thinking of Coyotes and Racoons as getting into compost with meat. The dog comment was my experience with my dogs who keep the aforementioned opportunists away from here.

July 8, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Karen L. said...

Oh no, I am a day late with a question but I'll ask it anyway. Have you ever considered doing a cookbook or are all your recipes in your other books? A lot of the food you mention on your blog sounds so good especially the crockpot food.

July 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not get to the link where you discuss being a vegetarian at one time. Thanks

July 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you to Jenna and the commenters who answered my question about how doable making the transition would be- I appreciate the generosity of all who chimed in with opinions.
I'm also hoping to borrow Coco's idea of getting myself ready for the physical activity.
And yes, Kira, I think you're right about the weight coming off when I'm doing something that makes me happy- which sitting behind a computer 9 hours a day most certainly does not!
Thanks Jenna- your generosity in sharing this experience gives me a blueprint of sorts to move toward my own happiness.- Maria

July 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Regret is an equally useless emotion :)

July 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Kelley: I asked before I rented about the dogs and animals, and they were okay with it. If you are worried they won't be you have two choices. A. Ask and explain logically that these animals will be in a confined space and not loose and you will be responsible for any grass replanting or damage they will do. Offer to pay a small fee on top of your rent to house them even, like an extra few dollars a month. Ordo what I would do: Get the chickens and apologize for not asking with free eggs. Chances are if they see your animals well taken care of, clean, and not ruining their lawn they won't mind them. If you make a big deal out of asking about them, it will seem like a bigger deal than it is. Just have a backup plan if they don't like them, like a chicken sitter or farmer to take them so the chickens have a plan B home.

I think anyone who wants to create a blog should. They are free and fun. Some might be great sources of advertising your farm's produce, animal sales, and news with friends and family. Some grow readerships large enough to support ads.

Workshop ideas are based entirely on what I am excited to teach!

****

Thanks koxvillians, I miss that town so much. Is the Tomato Head still chuggin' along? I have to decline anwsering about brett because I don't know, and I don't know what he wants me to share about him here.

****

RUN COCO, RUN!

endurance training is what you need. cardio and weights. Start out with jillian michaels 30 day shred program it is just 20 minutes a day and only needs 3 or 5 pound weights to start. You stick with that for just 4 weeks and you will be a new woman. ready to farm! and RUN!

As for business, I think there is always a need to be filled and maybe your need is something that helps people better manage their food or money or time, something that aids people instead of treat them. Think about things other farms aren't like running a budgeting workshop and home cooking classes at a community kitchen. teach skills or trade them with people you know. Just focus on a need that isn't being filled that makes life easier and you are set.

****
Karen I want to do a cookbook so bad! most recipes and ideas here are my own, unless stated. what i REALLY want to do is a chicken or rabbit cookbook that teaches you chick to bbq, how to raise, slaughter, butcher, and cook your own animals from babe to plate. So far no one seems to think that is a good idea.

****
Annon here is the link again. copy and paste it into your web browser.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2011/jan/19/vegetarian-animal-cruelty-meat

Maria - I will address your question in an upcoming blog post!

H: I disagree, at least for me. Regret means you are taking responsibility for a mistake, for hurting someone, or somesuch. You don't dwell on regret, you move past it and learn from it. I find that useful as a lesson. Guilt is other people's regret being forced onto you. It is a form of abuse to your own soul and others.

July 8, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

How old do New Zealand Whites have to be to breed them and do you eat your own rabbits? Who kills them?

July 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Woman Seeking Center said...

Jenna I for one would love to see you create such a series of cookbooks (Babe to BBQ, lol) They'd be added to my bookshelf!

Having your full series of instructions and insights on the entire process inclusive in one book would (I think) be wonderful.

Likely too late for questions - but just in case not ~ bees are on the slate for next year here. Is there an 'ideal' or minimum number of hive(s) to begin with in your experience?

Thanks for the Q/A - you've shared so much wonderful info with all of us....

July 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Woman Seeking Center said...

Jenna I for one would love to see you create such a series of cookbooks (Babe to BBQ, lol) They'd be added to my bookshelf!

Having your full series of instructions and insights on the entire process inclusive in one book would (I think) be wonderful.

Likely too late for questions - but just in case not ~ bees are on the slate for next year here. Is there an 'ideal' or minimum number of hive(s) to begin with in your experience?

Thanks for the Q/A - you've shared so much wonderful info with all of us....

July 8, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE the all-inclusive cookbook idea! I would definitely buy the series!

You could sell them at your workshops, so people could take notes in them afterwards, or just have them as a reminder with your voice in their heads. :)

July 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Pooh Overalls said...

Hey, Jenna... You could eBook the bunnies-to-BBQ book and sell them directly on your site. Ours is an alternative lifestyle and I'm not sure I can see a mainstream publisher ever taking a chance on it, despite the need for something like it in the community. We are DIYers anyway...


Also, how about a lamb cam? My kids loved the Monday video and would love to see more, even for a low subscription fee. Ditto, how-to webinars.

July 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll throw this out to any farmers looking for a source of income - just a trend I've noticed that there seems to be a huge lack of quality rabbit meat producers for high end dog and cat food - I work at a fancy pet food boutique and that protein is by far the most popular and we NEVER have enough - the manufacturers are constantly running into shortages. Causes all kinds of issues with our customers. I have no idea who you'd contact to offer your produce, but the brands that we carry that I'm referring to are Nature's Variety and Primal Frozen Raw. Just a thought for anyone who'd want to follow up with them!

July 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Jenna, your cookbook idea is AWESOME! I could really use a book like that. Write it and a publisher shall come :)
-Jaime

July 9, 2012 at 2:40 AM  

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