Tales from the Homestead

Planting For The Pigs Of 2035

Planting For The Pigs Of 2035

We are rich with natural resources here at the farm. It's almost as if food falls from the sky. In the orchards it actually does fall from the sky for a few months in Autumn, sweet fruit that delights us as well as the goats and the chickens and the ducks.  We're all...

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And The Winner Is…’Chewbacca’

And The Winner Is…’Chewbacca’

Enter Frank Sinatra's ridiculous croon, sung softly by a urine soaked goat with a beard that hangs down below his balls, martini in his left hoof, cigarette and microphone in his right, swaying to the rhythms of bygone times. Strangers in the night exchanging glances...

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A Nameless But Aromatic Addition

A Nameless But Aromatic Addition

Close your eyes and let your imagination run wild with me for just a few moments.  Picture if you will, what would happen if Fabio and Gandalf The Grey were to get it on while listening the amorous intonations of ZZ Top at full blast.  Well, it happened.  And we have...

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Another Chapter in the Case of the Missing Bees

Another Chapter in the Case of the Missing Bees

A faint trail led through the wetland grass, winding from the darker woods and out into the open edge of the meadow.  I knew the bear frequented these lower woods, and the trail was big enough that it couldn't have been anything else. My mom and I were exploring,...

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Big Leaf Maple: A Homestead Cornerstone

Big Leaf Maple: A Homestead Cornerstone

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with an amazing tree that has proven to be one of the cornerstones of our homesteading way of life. The Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) towers over the edges of the pastures, casting a deep shade in the summer months...

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2014’s Rear View Mirror

2014’s Rear View Mirror

This past year was one of many firsts for us:  first farm, first goats, first pigs, first bacon and cheese making, the list could go on and on. It's been a year of exploring new dreams, tackling new adventures and getting out of our comfort zone, yet again. 2014...

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How To Milk Your Goats The Wrong Way

How To Milk Your Goats The Wrong Way

A few months ago I wrote about our goat milking trial....and oh what was a trial it was. There were curses and there were pails of spilled milk and there were tears. More tears than I care to remember. The girls were not cooperative and I was trying everything I could...

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He Was A Good Pig

He Was A Good Pig

The deed is done.  Our pigs have been slaughtered, skinned, hung, and butchered. In their five month reign in the lowlands below the house, they fattened themselves on the pastures and literally tons of fruit from the orchards where I work.  Their flavor is the flavor...

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The Last Jibe?

The Last Jibe?

As we sat in the cockpit of our little sailboat two years ago, watching the Sea of Cortez ebb and flow beneath us, and seeing our grand adventure nearing its inevitable end, Katie asked me: "If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?" In truth, we asked...

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Reckoning These Pigs Of Ours

Reckoning These Pigs Of Ours

Their day of reckoning is nigh. They have plowed our pastures, and we have brought them hundreds if not thousands of pounds of apples, heirloom tomatoes, peaches and other fresh produce from the farm. They have made us laugh with their sibling rivalries and their odd...

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Mushrooms Among Us

A heavy rain falls. I worry about the roof leaking. I worry about the weight of the water in the trees near our home and limbs falling. I worry about the mud in our pastures and the moisture in our basement. It is fall in the Pacific Northwest.  It is a time of the...

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