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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 8:47 am 
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We've about got milking down to an art. We have four goats currently lactating and get a bit over a gallon per day now. The hardest part is trying to get one goat in at a time because they all fight for the sweet feed even if they've had their turn already and because the babies want to get to their mums for breakfast. We had to put the milking stand in a dog pen to control the chaos. We have one son running feed dishes back and forth and two controlling the movement of the herd. Daughter and I milk and I process the milk. With all of us participating, it goes smoothly.

For those who don't know how the process goes, basically, we put the babies in the covered dog pen at night to separate them from the moms. They're all old enough to be weaned, but we let the moms wean them naturally. We bring each mom in one by one and milk her. When the milking is done, everybody gets back together and they go grazing. The babies get to nurse the rest of the day. One of the goat kids is a male and we don't need familial males, so he will be butchered for meat soon. When that happens, we'll milk his mom twice every day.

We initially tried metal pails for milking, but most goats do not stand still for milking. They kick or move around and they kick the buckets over or step in them. We now use quart mason jars. Milk with one hand while holding the jar in the other hand. It's very easy to move the jar out of the way when the goat kicks or shifts. Once the jar is full, if you don't have a runner to take it in and filter it right away, you can put a lid on it and use another jar. We have enough people that we run ours in as they fill up and only use lids if it's raining (like today - pouring down rain).

As for processing, we have a big gallon jar and we put a coffee filter or two in the opening secured with clothespins. We pour the fresh milk from the quart jars through the filter into the gallon jar. Then, we swish the milk in a frozen bowl from an ice cream maker that has the rock salt built into the sides of the bowl to shock the milk cold (you don't need the actual ice cream maker). Pour from there into a pitcher and put it in the fridge.

Goat milk is nom and we plan to start making cheese today. The kids were a bit wary of the milkfat that rises to the top at first. You can stir it in when you pour your milk or skim it off. Goat milk has very small fat globules, so it does not need to be homogenized like cow milk to reduce the fat globules.

If you have been diagnosed lactose intolerant, it could be that you are sensitive to the proteins caused by the homogenization process rather than actual lactose (the symptoms are nearly identical), in which case, you would not be sensitive to goat milk.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:29 pm 
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Taught my 10-year-old some new kitchen skills today. She hasn't shown much interest before now and I haven't pushed it, but I'm relieved that she's wanting to learn a little bit of self-reliance.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 9:25 am 
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designerchick wrote:
Taught my 10-year-old some new kitchen skills today. She hasn't shown much interest before now and I haven't pushed it, but I'm relieved that she's wanting to learn a little bit of self-reliance.


This is an excellent skill! One of my boys took an interest around the same age and he took to it so well that we changed his primary household chore to chef. He is now 13 and plans dinners for two weeks at a time. He sends me a menu and a grocery list for the dinners every two weeks. It's awesome. We often email him new recipes to try and he incorporates those into the menu.



I researched cheese and butter making information today and placed an order for cultures, rennet, and some tools. My favorite cheese making site appears to be defunct now, but it is still available on the WayBack Machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160303174 ... heese.html

There is a lot of awesome information about how to make cheese on that site, including a DIY cheese press. We also started skimming some cream off of the goat milk we have in anticipation of making butter.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 10:45 am 
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Anianna wrote:

This is an excellent skill! One of my boys took an interest around the same age and he took to it so well that we changed his primary household chore to chef. He is now 13 and plans dinners for two weeks at a time. He sends me a menu and a grocery list for the dinners every two weeks. It's awesome. We often email him new recipes to try and he incorporates those into the menu.



Oh wow that's fantastic!


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Got my raised bed gardens put in place. Not 100% done at the moment since I still have some soil to move from the driveway into the boxes. I got 8 cubic yards of garden soil delivered and have placed about 75% of it so far.

I have three and they are roughly 8' x 4' x 20" each. That's about 2 cubic yards a piece if I filled them 100% but I'll probably max out around 1.25 to 1.5 cubic yards in each one.

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Raised bed garden

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Raised bed with plastic liner

Two of them are built above the rock river that drains the area near us and feeds overflow into the hurricane channel that's a few houses away. I think only my neighbor's yard drains into mine though. The rest of the area it drains from is a brushy / wooded area that was never built on nor will be. It's not a park and doesn't have trails and is very difficult to walk into much less through. And there are plenty of other ways the water drains throughout the neighborhood, so I'm not real worried about chemicals etc.

I got all the wood from someone nearby who was moving and just needed to get rid of the beds so all it cost me was a little gas. He built his higher than 12" because he was having animals eating his veggies. We get a lot of raccoons & opossums here (due to the little wild area nearby) so I figure I will need to put netting up myself as well. I'll end up putting more posts at each end so I could put up an metal trellice or mesh net.

And here's what it looks like after my son & I both got a sunburn while loading up the soil. Man, we burn fast.

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raised bed garden #1 That's a dwarf fruit tree right next to it.

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raised bed garden #2 This one will get the best sunlight.

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raised bed garden #3 On the side of the house, right next to my biggest bank of water barrels.

I also half-filled my compost starter box with soil. It's about 7' x 4' x 3' with a back panel on it. I drilled a bunch of 1/4' holes in the back panel for drainage, and it's now prepped to receive food waste. I need to attach heavy hinges to the back and a handle on the front to make opening & closing it easier. But there is no way the local raccoons will get into it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 7:28 pm 
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We cleaned the garage and porches today.

When we cleaned the garage:

- I drug out the gennie and load tested it
- Inspected threw away all my frayed and damaged cords, straps and other tie downs
- Got all the work gloves and eye protection organized and pitched what was unserviceable
- Pitched all the boots and shoes that teenagers are always wearing out and growing out of
- Loaded all the recycle to take tomorrow
- Loaded all the empty propane and fuel cans for same
- Checked all the safety kits for all the vehicles
- Cleaned out one of the water barrel collection systems (composted remains)

There was a lot more to it than that, those just seemed relevant

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:03 am 
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Hello :)


I didn´t do any real preparation today, but i prepared my brain through the internet with some ideas for "what shall we do, when everything ends"? One of my ideas was to found a little community with other preppers, and maybe we live in a tent like this one, where we can eat, sleep and produce Tools and things for our survive. This type of Tent would be mobile and could be upgraded in different ways. It was just a little idea and i think is a pretty funny idea, because i think it would work, if everybody has the same goals, survive and working for the crowd. One for all, all for one.

Greetz

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Pulled some fence posts out and redug the holes twice as deep to better secure the posts.

Fixed a bunch of things including the truck, which had dropped the 4x4 gear change linkage rod.

Daughter and I have now gone almost entirely reusable on menstrual items (cloth pads and menstrual cups).

The Sawyer Mini water filter I ordered to add to my BOB arrived today. Eventually, I plan to get one or two for each member of the family.

Something we've been working on is more efficient storage solutions. Some time back, I added some little prefab shelves to my cabinets and to a wire rack I had in the kitchen to make them more space-efficient. They are perfect for shoebox-sized storage containers. In addition, I've switched my plastic storage from Rubbermaid Takealongs, which were a nice size and cheap, but did not use space efficiently to Rubbermaid Modular Containers which are reasonably priced and make far better use of space. You can get these locally at places like Walmart. We also started getting Komax Tritan pitchers to make the best use of space in the fridge with all the goat milk we get. The handles are on the corner, so the pitchers stack together side-by-side like puzzle pieces without the handle creating dead space in the fridge. They are awesome.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:06 am 
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Removed a big pile of snake eggs from my property.

I mean, we found them by accident, but it counts, right? Copperheads have been a big issue this year.

ETA: Apparently, copperheads are a live-bearing snake, so there was really no need to get rid of the eggs. I didn't know. :(

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:05 am 
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Canned 15 lb of ground turkey with onion, 16 quarts of pork chili. (Ok, that was over the last 3 days, not this morning...) The turkey is just a re-stock to where we were, but I now have a 3-6 month stash of chili again.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:21 am 
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It's not preparing for myself... but I'm offering some items like an unused canner, kerosene stove & a Squeezo to others.
I've come to realize I will not be feeding so many people in future, and might as well pass them on to folks who can use them.
So...
helping others to prepare?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:34 pm 
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Picked up those wonderful items from ZG yesterday. Was a pleasure to meet her and Z Gramps, and great to add some new to me items for my budding homestead.

Speaking of, I just ordered a big part of my off grid power set up from Missouri Wind and Solar. https://mwands.com/store/index.php?route=common/home

4 Monocrystalline 100 solar panels. $556.00
1600 Watt 5 Blade Missouri Rebel Freedom Wind Turbine $329.98
3000 Watt 12 Volt Pure Sine Power Inverter $699.00
12 Volt DC Crossflow Cooling Fan $19.98
300 Watt Divert Load Resistor $11.98
1500 Watt Diversion Dump Load Resistor Bank $124.98
Hybrid Dual Amp All In One 440 Wind and Solar Charge Controller $319.00

Still need to get batteries and cables as well as a mast for the wind turbine, but want to source those locally as shipping batteries and a turbine pole is just too expensive.

I am also have a few other purchases planned soon. Like a 3000 watt generator, and a composting toilet. And eventually a travel trailer to park on the property and start living there full time. I am hoping to make the move to full time living there before the end of July.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Ineffableone:

Your livin the dream! Right On!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:13 am 
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The off grid gear should arrive beginning of next week. But here is more stuff ordered.

Ordered a C-Head Boon Jon composting toilet. It is a urine divert style which makes a lot less smell issues. Just sprinkle sawdust or other carbonaceous material over the waste, occasional crank the handle. Empty the pee 1 gallon jug as needed (which can be good plant food btw)
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I opted for the Dark mahogany with black seat. Thinking the white or teak would be less likely to match my bathroom when I build my house, though it will likely look out of place in any trailer I end up with.
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Also ordered a Triple fuel 3000 watt generator Yamaha EF3000iSEB with mod to run on Natural Gas and propane as well as gas from Central Maine Diesel
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Posted these in the BOB purchase thread but they can go here too, since I will be using them on the homestead property.

Just received Hurricane style lanterns from WT Kirkman today. Since my last trip to my homestead I realize my one cheap Chinese one was just not enough.

2 Dietz #8 Air Pilot Cold Blast Lanterns
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A W.T. Kirkman No. 2 "Champion" Lantern w/ Hooded Reflector (though I got the black finish)
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A W.T. Kirkman No. 2P Champion Patio Lantern (which has a post attachment that secures to the base if you want to mount it on a post)
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I also ordered 2 Dietz Homesteader lanterns from Lehaman's but they are on back order and haven't arrived yet. It has sides that open up with reflectors on them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Today I completed my menstrual hygiene collection with a nice, cheap container that perfectly holds everything I need including my washable pads, menstrual cups, and the bag I keep to put soiled pads in until I wash them. I save money and space with this method of addressing feminine hygiene and if there is ever an emergency, it will be very easy for me to grab that box to add to my go bag.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:29 pm 
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Anianna wrote:
Today I completed my menstrual hygiene collection with a nice, cheap container that perfectly holds everything I need including my washable pads, menstrual cups, and the bag I keep to put soiled pads in until I wash them. I save money and space with this method of addressing feminine hygiene and if there is ever an emergency, it will be very easy for me to grab that box to add to my go bag.


Awesome! I switched to all cloth about 7 years ago, after switching to cloth diapers for the babies a couple of years before that. It's been a game-changer.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:23 pm 
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I'd love to have a good generator again. The only one I have is on my RV and it's LOUD. It does the job of recharging the motorhome batteries and can run a lot inside to be sure. But I wouldn't want to run it at night - the thing is super noisy.

I had a good size gennie years ago while living in Pennsylvania in a tiny little town with a craptactular power station from the 1940's. Had a changeover panel built in the garage and a wood shelter for the generator on the side of the house for the winters there. I think we took possession of the freshly built home in August and within a month had 4' blown snowdrifts on the 1st floor roof outside the master bedroom.

I was able to run refrigerator, heater, specific lights on both floors + electronics etc. Alas, I sold it in a move. It was loud-ish, but I wouldn't have a problem running it at night in its enclosure because it was very muffled.

@inneffableone - how is that Yamaha for noise levels?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:59 pm 
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zombieapocalypsegame wrote:
I'd love to have a good generator again. The only one I have is on my RV and it's LOUD. It does the job of recharging the motorhome batteries and can run a lot inside to be sure. But I wouldn't want to run it at night - the thing is super noisy.

I had a good size gennie years ago while living in Pennsylvania in a tiny little town with a craptactular power station from the 1940's. Had a changeover panel built in the garage and a wood shelter for the generator on the side of the house for the winters there. I think we took possession of the freshly built home in August and within a month had 4' blown snowdrifts on the 1st floor roof outside the master bedroom.

I was able to run refrigerator, heater, specific lights on both floors + electronics etc. Alas, I sold it in a move. It was loud-ish, but I wouldn't have a problem running it at night in its enclosure because it was very muffled.

@inneffableone - how is that Yamaha for noise levels?


This Yamaha EF3000iSEB, and the Honda Eu3000iS are advertised as the quietest generators on the market. The Honda supposedly is just a hair quieter. But the Yamaha comes with more ergonomic handles and wheels standard, while the Honda the wheels are extra. The Honda is slightly cheaper but after adding wheels comes pretty close to the same price. The Yamaha was listed at 51 db and the Honda 49 db

Here is a good independent video comparing the two


Here is a comparison of the 2000 watt versions, which are slightly louder than the 3000 watt versions due to less room for insulation.


My feeling on the comparisons, the Yamaha has a slightly throatier sound that while is might be a similar db, makes it's sound slightly less easy to ignore than the Honda. However, reports from people who have experienced both again and again say that the difference between the two is splitting hairs. The big conclusion tends to be, do you prefer red or blue because other than that there is no noticeable difference.

I would suggest if your thinking of getting one of these, consider the triple fuel mod, http://www.centralmainediesel.com/triple-fuel-generators.asp you can get them at that link like I did and they warranty the generator through them. Since adding the mod voids your manufacture warranty I wanted to have the security of having something. But you can order just the parts to do the mod yourself if you desire or want to add it later.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:53 am 
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Got 20, 65Litre Food Safe barrels for storing food.
Picked up 350kg of Jumbo Porridge (Thank god I work in a porridge factory and get it for free!)
Ordered Mylar bags and O2 absorbers to get packing.
Got 6 45litre Food safe metal cans for storing porridge/rice/pasta etc..

More than happy with that it will hugely increase my food preps and Oats seem to be a bit of a super-food nutritionally.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:03 am 
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Added a single-shot repeater to protect my library from Captain Beatty.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Today, as most days, I took some small measure of satisfaction transporting the manure from the barn to where I think it will do some good. I amend the garden, top dress the pasture and orchard , today 3 wheelbarrows went down to mulch around some coniferous trees that i want to keep healthy so they are less likely to blow down across my driveway and powerline in . You know it really helps if mentally you think how wonderful multitasking sh-t shoveling is and pretend you have some far reaching positive agenda :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:30 am 
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Fired up the dehydrator today with mango, pineapple and apples.

Also started about a gallon batch of sauerkraut. Currently in an apartment, we're trying to get the method down to our liking with the intent of growing our own cabbage and keeping a constant supply of sauerkraut fermenting.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Rented a skid steer and did some clearing of my property. Knocked down a lot of the thick brush and dead aspen in the aspen grove around the pond. As well as some brush clearing up in the pine forest above. Also tried to work on leveling the pad for my trailer, but yesterday I got my first real snow the stuck and it turned the ground to mush that I couldn't work with. I did get to do a little road maintenance on the road going up to my property since I had to park the trailer down at the bottom of the hill as the road was too poor to pull the trailer up. So on the way down today to return the skid steer I did some road work. Nothing major, but a little improvement to the worst of the the road.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Picked up extra coffee, coconut oil, olive oil, and peanut butter.


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