I’ve had a hawk after my chickens this week. This is certainly a hazard of letting the chickens free range. It is a bit unnerving. I like hawks, but I don’t want them eating my chickens.
More homestead news: I’m getting a couple of goats. It won’t be for another couple of weeks. I have some crazy schedule stuff going so I won’t pick them up until I get through a few things. Plus I need to line up things like hay and a gate. The gate is done and installed. Dang that stuff is not cheap. I knew it but it still hurts. Around $80 for a 6 foot gate. Geez. And people wonder why I don’t jump at having all kinds of animals. Although the goats aren’t costing me money for themselves I need to provide for them. It is the same idea as with the chickens. Protection from weather, predators, provide food and water, and keep them located on my property.
It is nice to know that there will be a bit more livestock making use of my land though. Speaking of land use… We are still talking about maybe splitting our land, selling the big house, and building a much smaller house. A few things we want that house to have: Solar power to augment the grid. Small well planned spaces. High ceilings. Wood stove. Pantry! Less stuff. Maybe grey water system. Composting toilet. Mostly passive solar design. We want our place to have less of an impact on the land than many conventional systems but we still want the convenience.
In looking at all of these different options we realize we just might have become the crazy hippies of the neighborhood. We aren’t sure how it happened but so many things we do in this world don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why do we use perfectly good drinking water in our toilets? Why does everything have to be double or triple wrapped in plastic? Why can’t I recycle yogurt containers? Just some random thoughts going through my head this morning.
Another random direction. I picked up our half hog yesterday. A friend of mine raises pasture pork and we bought a half from her. We tested the bacon, sausage, and chops from her last year. Man it was good. So now we have 116 pounds of pork in the freezer. Hooray for not buying meat at the grocery store! Now I need to come up with some good rib recipes along with ham steaks, hams, roasts, and other wonderful cuts. I’m pretty excited about this. And the best part? With the processing we ended up around $3.20 per pound. Sure some cuts I could get for less than that but I sure couldn’t do the bacon for that. Most bacon in my area is at a minimum of $5/pound. I am more than happy to pay less than grocery store prices for pork that was happy, well treated, and helps to support a friend of mine. Not to mention the fact that it just plain tastes better.
Well, I’ve officially procrastinated my other work long enough. I’d better get back to it.