Outdoor Lamp

Ok, first off I have to say that I love my husband to death. It was so dark in between our houses (we stay in a travel trailer out front of the main house that my daughter stays in) that I get a bit scared of stepping on something when I go between the two houses after dark. When I talk about stepping on something, I mean something like a rattle snake or a tarantula. Talk about traumatizing. I don’t want to go through that. I enough issues without adding to them. So what has he done to make me love him so much?

He made a light to go in between the two houses that I can see without a flash light (since I can never find one when I need one!). Apparently he’s been collecting the stuff to do this for a couple months now, but it didn’t cost him anything but time.

Yes, I know it’s not the prettiest thing, but I have been telling him for years, that I need functional, not pretty. I don’t care how something looks as long as it works when it’s supposed to work.

And this one does!

He used an axle for the post, a tire for the base (lord knows we have a lot of them laying around here), a globe from another light fixture that no longer worked, a daylight sensor and an extension cord for power. So this light only comes on once the sun goes down and it shuts off when the sun comes up in the morning.

 

Just proof that what many would consider junk can be brought back to life with a new use.

I would love to see what you have used that others would call junk to make something useful. Leave a comment and let me know what you are doing.

Have a great day!

Renee

Ways to Make Money on the Farm

So one of the things I got asked quite often is how do you make money on your farm or your homestead. There’s actually several ways that this can be done. The most common is by selling your surplus this could be eggs animals or produce out of your garden.

The other way as by using what your animals provide you to make other items such as soap moisturizer Cheese and other Dairy items. These are probably the most common ways to make money on your farm.The next ideas are to get creative. You can make all kinds of stuff out of most peoples trash. If you know how to weld you can use any scrap metal and make different things towel holders paper towel holders toilet paper holders magazine racks you can come up with so many different things that you can make out of scrap metal.

If you can crochet you can do blankets or scarves or hats or beanies or dolls any number of things that can be done with yarn. Or if you’d like woodworking you could do something with that you could make signs you could make wreaths to hang on the door.

 

There are really so many different ways that you could make money on your farm. A little hard work and a lot of creativity can bring quite a bit of money in.  Still it may not be enough to live on but it can be a big help in the long run.

 

Have a great day!

Renee

Pork Jerky from Home Raised Pork

So when you are providing your own food you have to have ways to preserve them it. One way to do this is through dehydration. With dehydration you’re using low heat to remove all the moisture from whatever food item you have placed in your dehydrator.

 

Aaron was able to find a recipe for a sweet and spicy pork jerky that’s done in the dehydrator. I don’t know where he got the recipe from so if it’s yours let me know so I can give you credit for it. Because he cannot remember where it came from may have been online may have been our neighbors. But it’s very simple and you probably have most of the stuff in your house already.

 

To make the marinade, in a sauce pan you’re going to put:

1 Pork tenderloin – sliced

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce,

1/3 cup soy sauce,

1/4 cup brown sugar,

2 tablespoons of chili paste,

3 cloves of garlic crushed,

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper corns (it said to use hole but I used crushed anyways and it worked just fine.)

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

and one lime juiced.

 

Once you have everything in a saucepan you’re gonna bring it up to a simmer and cook it for about 5 or 10 minutes or until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Then you’re gonna remove it from heat and let it cool completely. Place the pork, in I used a Ziploc bag, and pour the marinade over the Pork. Then pop it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, place the pork pieces in the your dehydrator at 160. The recipe said for about 4 hours, but with my dehydrator it took closer to 8 hours to get it the right dryness for our tastes so I would start checking it around the 4 hour mark.

The recipe says it’s sweet and spicy, but I think it turned out to be more of a teriyaki flavor. However, it was really good.  The flavor was just right and it’s not spicy at all in my opinion. The finished product is pictured below.

To store it, place it in an air tight container and it will last for a long time. Several months at least. If it lasts that long. I finished ours around 7pm and by morning there wasn’t anything left. 

Have a great day!

Renee

Summer Babies

So we’ve had issues having babies in the winter time so we changed our breeding to later in the year so that we have spring or summer babies instead of winter.

This year it appears that we have two pregnant goats and a pregnant cow. We are so excited about the new babies that should be arriving in the next couple of months. And can’t wait for them to get here.

When we were having babies in the winter we kept losing them because it was too cold. I don’t have room in my house to bring life stock inside so they had to stay outside and the only heat source I have for them are the heat lamps. I am not willing to risk of fire so we don’t use those other than for the baby chicks.

So the only other option was to start having the babies later in the year. So this July everyone is due. And I can’t wait to see all the babies that will be here on the farm.

 

Have a great day!

 

Renee

Outdoor Kitchen

So, we have decided on the next project here and I have to say that I am so very excited because I have wanted this for a long time now. I am finally going to get my outdoor kitchen! Aarron has started putting stuff together so that we can get moving on this project next (once he finishes the car he is working on now).

The area needs a lot of work, but it shouldn’t take too long because it is such a small area. The kitchen will be two sides of the area. The side behind where the above photo was taken and to right of where the photo above was taken. The kitchen will be against the fence lines in that area. The middle area will have a dinning area. Basically a table and chairs that we can use to eat at in the summer time.

One stove and the sink will be on this side of the area so that they are easy to get to and easy to use. This will likely be our camp stove that is wrought iron so it will weather very well. The sink is going to be a bathroom sink to start with simply because right now, that is what we have.

 

 

However, the back part of this little yard is going to be my favorite part. I am having a pond put in. I say that I will be paying someone to dig the hole, but that will be Aarron. We have everything I believe that we need to put the pond in and get it up and running. There will a rock waterfall on one end and fish. We’re thinking tilapia, but not really sure yet so that is a work in progress at the moment.

I can’t wait to update you with the progress on this as it comes together. I hope you will like it just as much as I do. I would love to know if there is something in this area that I may be missing. Leave a comment below and let me know if you can think of anything.

Have a great day!

Renee

Processing the pig

This weekend the main job on the table was the processing of a pig. We do this with our neighbor and provide him half a pig for helping with the processing. This tends to work well for both of us so it’s how we do things here.

 

I’m not going into the butchering of the actual pig because I can imagine some squeamish people out there, so I will only be going into the actual processing of the meat. In this way I can keep this more about the process and not where it came from. I do have to say thought that I love knowing what is going into my food. I get to control what the pigs eat and how they are cared for. I try my hardest to give them the best life I am to able to give them before there time comes to go into the freezer.

Once the meat comes into the house, this is what it looks like. Aarron and the neighbor debone the whole thing so I don’t have to deal with any bones. It’s strictly meat and fat. So the first thing that needs to be done is separating all the different sections so that we can trim them down and bag them to go in the freezer. We have to decide what we are going to use each cut for before it goes into the freezer so that we know what needs to happen next.

This was a fairly small pig so there isn’t a lot but for the size of him, it’s really not a bad amount of meat. Of course a couple of these bags in the door are fat so I will process those down and can them later when I have more time. I also still need to wrap all of these in freezer paper to help protect them since I ran out of the vacuum sealer bags about a quarter of the way though this.

But this is all fresh meat that tastes so much better than anything you can get from the store. I was recommend trying to find someone near you that sells fresh meat. You will never want to buy anything from the store again. This I promise you.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

New Fence for the Back Yard

I have been wanting to let my chickens free range again for a while now but the goats would not leave the chicken feed alone, so we had to come up with something to keep them out. Aarron decided he would put a fence up between the goats and the chicken coop.

 

Aarron is wonderful at getting scrap from people around here that are getting rid of things. He got these panels and tubing from around the area and made them so that they would work to put a fence up in the back yard to keep the goats separate from the chickens but allowing the chickens to free range.

 

He had to repair the panels that he got from a neighbor but after putting in a bit of work on them, they are ready to move to the back to create the fence. He also made the gate from a pool fence gate and attached it to some poles to make the gate to get between the yards.

Aarron got the fence all put together last night and as you can see it still needs some work because the goats figured out very early that they can crawl under the fence. lol. So there will be a little more tweeking to make the fence work the way we want it to.

We need to add another pole to the bottom of the fence or add a smaller mesh of some kind to the bottom. Either way, it’s going to take another day or two to make sure the goats can’t get to the chicken feed. However, we are on the way.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

5 Things I’m Greatful For

Today’s post will be short and sweet because I’m still sick with COVID.

1. I’m thankful that this COVID is mild compared to the other variants because I don’t think I would have survived any of the others. This one has been bad, but could have been much worse.

2. I’m thankful for the home that my Dad made sure we had after his passing last year.

3. I’m thankful for this lifestyle that we have chosen to live because it helps us to be better people and to be able to help others sometimes.

4. I’m thankful for the opportunity to raise these animals and give them the best life possible.

5. I’m thankful for our neighbors that have helped us so much on this journey.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

What Do People Incorrectly Assume About You

People all over tend to assume things about others even if they don’t know them or their situation. We get this a lot here because we live in a small town. We tend to have a lot of stuff in our yard because Aarron builds everything we need. We don’t have the money to go and buy things all the time so when he gets things from different people it tends to sit in the yard until it’s needed.

As an example, he built the milk stand in the picture above from scrap wood that we had around the property. Nothing for this stand was purchased. The wood had been left over from other projects that Aarron had done on the farm here and he used the scraps to build the milk stand that I needed to be able to easily milk the goats. Granted it’s not as nice as some of the milk stands you can find on the market, but it works and it does exactly what I need it to do every day. Plus I have been using it for well over 2 years now and it’s still holding up strong.

Aarron has also built all the pens we have in the yard for the animals. He has done this out of different things we have gotten from other people in the area. When someone is throwing away items from their homes, Aarron picks the stuff up for free and uses it around the farm when we need something. He is also collecting parts for a solar system for the house.

So I know that some of our neighbors probably look at our yard and feel it’s just junk all over the place, but they have no idea what my husband can do with this stuff. I love that he can build just about anything from what we have here on the property.

Have a great day!

Renee

Trailer Repurpose

Aarron got a 5th wheel trailer frame from someone and has decided what he is going to do with it. He plans on making it a car trailer so that we can transport vehicles if needed or just about anything else we may need to haul somewhere.

The trailer itself is going to have a flat bed that can be used for hauling just about anything we need to haul. He is going to make removable sides for the trailer so that we can also use it to move the animals should we have to do that as well. He plans to make it as multi-purpose as possible so that it can be use for anything we may need to use it for.

When he got it, it was only a metal frame. He is putting down 2×4 on the floor and will be reinforcing it with something else I believe. He talks about what he is going to do with on  my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzG61Bzo2v-D7g3mSd2g0Q. It should be the most recent video on my list.

We haven’t had any way to transport animals at all so it will nice once this is done. I can’t wait to be able to use it. Right now the only trailer we have available is a small one, about 1/4 the size of what this will be. Have you ever done anything like this? I would love to see what you have done.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

Adversity

I know that we have all faced adversity at one time or another and we are no different. We have actually been having a very hard time of things of late since late last year. I think this has been the hardest thing for me to go though and I don’t feel as though I am doing a very good job with it as this began over a year ago now and I am still trying to deal with it the best I can.

On October 29th of 2020 my Dad passed away in our home. This was exactly what he wanted. We have been here with my Dad for the last 7 years because my brothers and sisters didn’t want him to live alone any longer. My husband and I were able to move out here with him and for that I am so very thankful. I got to spend the last 7 years here with my Dad where he wanted to be. I love that I was able to do this for him. I would not trade anything that happened during those 7 years for anything. I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my Dad.

On the night that he passed, I was the one who found him. To say this was traumatic would be putting it lightly. My Dad was the backbone of our place here and I miss him every day. It seems like things have been so much harder now that he is gone. I keep going because I know that he wouldn’t want me to quit, but I tell you it would be so easy at this point.

I keep going because I know that is what he would have wanted. I just wish that things would get easier because it has been so hard this year.

 

What Do I Do?

So today we are supposed to tell you what we do. Well, I run our homestead and sell different products that we make here. Mostly we sell the animals to others who are wanting to either raise or show the animals in like 4-H or FFA. I like to know that my animals are going to a place where they will be cherished and even spoiled (even if they will become meat in the freezer at a later date). I want to know that these animals will be cared for in the manner they become accustomed to here.

This is simply because I believe that animals should be well cared for no matter what their purpose is. I know that I can’t always protect these animals once they leave but I do try to make sure they have a good life for the time they are alive because they deserve it.

We also sell different products that we produce here such as milk, cheeses and vegetables out of our garden. If we have anything left that we can’t or don’t sell, we usually will either can them for later use or send them to the food bank so that people who need them have the opportunity to get fresh good food as well. We always try to grow a little to send to the food bank because we feel that we should.

I love our life here on the farm/homestead and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We work to try be as self-sufficient as possible as well as being able to help those around us.

Have a great day!

Renee

Why Do I Do What I Do

Several years ago, I was like most people. I went to the store for my food every week. I was oblivious to how we actually got our food to the store. When I moved out to a rural area, I went to Tractor Supply just to see what they carried. I had never been into the store in my life, it was relatively new to our area. I was curious to know what they sold. So me and my daughter went down one day to see what they had.

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We decided we needed a new toy for the 2 dogs that we had at the time, but when we went inside, they had baby chickens! I decided on the spot that we needed to get some. So we bought 8 chickens. Kira saw they had ducks also and we were told that you could not buy just one so we went home with 8 chickens and 2 ducks. That is where our journey started.

I didn’t know anything about how to care for chickens so we started looking online for information. We found they had to be kept warm until they got their feathers. So we had 8 chickens and 2 ducks in a cage meant for guinea pigs with a heater blowing on them to keep them warm. It’s really a wonder that they all survived.

Aarron made a cage for them to go outside once they had their feathers and that’s where it all started. We now have about 20 chickens, 2 pigs, 10 goats, 2 cows, dogs, and cats. I have learned so much over the years and continue to learn more every day. I love this lifestyle and wouldn’t change anything for the world now.

Have a great day!

Renee

UBC Day 1

The Ultimate Blog Challenge is starting again for the month of November. I have wanted to be more active on my blog so I am hoping this will help me to do that. The challenge is to write a blog post every day for the month of November.

My reason for doing this challenge is simple, I want to be more active on my blog. I want to help people who are looking to start raising animals or gardening or just to be more self-sufficient. I want to provide information for those who may be looking for it. We are raising goats, cows, pigs, and chickens right now and I try to do this in the most humane way possible so that I know where my food comes from.

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This site may not be for everyone because occasionally I will talk about the butchering of animals or different tools (such as firearms) that are used on a farm/homestead. I know this can be a hard thing for some people to see and hear, but it is part of our daily life. I love to know that my animals have had the best life possible before they head to the freezer.

I will tell you that I love my animals and I have a hard time with this part of things as well, but I know that I care for them the very best that I can before their time comes. I hope that you will continue with me on this journey, but if it’s not your cup of tea I get that too.

Have a great day!

Renee

New Fencing for the Goats

It’s finally getting cooler here in Southern Arizona so there is a lot going on outside now. Most of our garden has been harvested. The colder crops are planted and we finally got to upgrade the fencing in the back yard for the goats.

A few months ago, a neighbor posted on Facebook about a pen in their yard that needed to go away. They said they would give it away if the person came to take it down and tow it away. So Aarron did. We had no clue what we were getting at the time, but holy cow! What a find! It was 4 ft rebar fencing! The luck on this was up there. So Aarron pulled the pen down and brought it home. There was also a shelter in the pen that he brought home too. We really scored on this find.

For the last several years, the fencing for the back yard was made of pallets. It held amazing for the 2 or 3 years that it was there with very little fixing on that part of the fence. I really didn’t think that pallets would work very well as a fence for goats so I was pleasantly surprised on that one.

We got enough fencing to replace the pallets that had been part of the goats pens and to replace the chain link that is the rest of the buck pen. I can’t wait to get it completed. I can see the goats from my front porch now too which is really nice. I can also the pigs that are further back in the yard which is something I have never been able to do since we got the animals. I am so happy with the way this fence is turning out.

Have a great day!

Renee