Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year!

New Year
And so now you stand
On the threshold of a New Year.
Stop to look back,
Over the year that you’ve just lived,
Take in the miseries, the failures and the hurts,
Breathe them in, remember them, and then let them go.
Take in the joys, the success, and the love,
Breathe them in and hold them close,
Let them be all that you take with you,
So that you may greet the new year with a fresh heart,
And eyes un-tinted by the colors of the year before.
Happy New Year
~ A.D.Trosper

Bucket Farm Website

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh...his balls fell off...

Okay, be honest, how many places other than a farm type setting are you going to hear such a statement said without panic behind the words?

When our little wether arrived he was still technically a buck. The people had just put the band on him that morning. Now its not that we are newbies to banding and were over-reacting. We have banded bucklings before.

But Buddy was underweight and was suffering from worms and cocci and at six months was a little big for banding. We didn't feel he was handling the stress of banding well. He seemed so down and in a lot of pain, so we snipped the band off and figured that if he wasn't a wether it wouldn't be that big of a deal although we weren't sure if he would ever be fertile or anything like that.

At first there were no changes in his manly parts. In fact for the first month after he was here, we were sure we had another buck. But it always looked a little pinched at the top of his testicles where the band had been. Over the next month, a black line formed across the pinched area and his testicles began to shrivel up to nothing. And we became sure that we in fact were going to have a wether, which was preferred anyway.

Today all of the goats got their feet trimmed. It will be the last time I trim feet on the girls before they kid. They will all be a hundred days bred soon and I don't want them to have to try balancing on three legs while being heavy bred.

Now I know this morning at feed time, Buddy still had his shriveled testicles swinging around. This afternoon I pulled him from the pen he shares with BigWig and led him over to the patio and trimmed his feet up-they are looking really good now by the way.

As my mother was leading him back to his pen I noticed that his testicles were gone and said, "Oh...his balls are gone."

My mother looks back and says, "What?" So I repeat myself.

She replies, "Oh, really? Are they on the patio? I'd hate for the dogs to get them."

It was then that it struck me that people who live a lifestyle that includes livestock can have some really crazy conversations.

They were not, by the way, on the patio. Not sure where they got off to since we didn't see them in the pen anywhere either.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12 Days of Xmas- Dairy Goats

Starting from the top (or is it the bottom?) The 12 days of Xmas-Dairy Goats by Me.

On the 12th day of xmas my true love gave to me,

12 LaManchas kidding

11 Saanens milking

10 Nubians singing

9 lambar buckets

8 kidding kits

7 milk totes

6 tattoo kits

5 disbudding irons

4 milk buckets

3 soap molds

2 butter paddles

and a new stand in my milk room!

                 ~ Audra at Oat Bucket Farm

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Its been so cold!

It has been so cold here the past week or so. Some days the wind has been calm but a lot of the days have been very windy. Nothing like harsh, bitter cold wind, howling out of the north to make chore time rather miserable.

We've been hauling buckets of warm water from the house in the morning and in the evenings. The bobbles on the rabbit water bottles are frozen in the mornings. Often the bobbles are frozen and the water is solid ice too. The bunnies are always waiting at the front of their cages for the bottles of warm water in the morning.

The goats appreciate the buckets of warm water too and the chickens enjoy having their pan filled with warm water too.

But despite the cold, the animals are all doing fine. Tally, our most pregnant doe is starting to show her pregnancy a bit. The other two don't look any different yet but Tally is definitely starting to look wider. Little Buddy, the underweight wether that we got to keep BigWig company has filled out,his winter coat came in nicely, and his worm problem is gone. He is looking quite nice now and is a pretty sweet little guy. And the chickens are almost completely done with molt. Which is good because looking at their raggedy selves made me cold even with layers on. And the younger hens are finally coming of age. We got our first pullet egg today. Actually, it was our first egg period since sometime back in the beginning of November. Or was it October. Hmmmm. Its been so long I guess I can't remember. So it was a really nice surprise to go in the hen house this evening and find that beautiful, creamy brown treasure laying in the nest. I can't wait until all of the pullets are laying and all of the older gals are laying again. I miss my eggs in the morning.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Goat Chores

Today actually turned out beautiful today. It was in the 50's, sunshiny and no wind which is strange for Kansas, especially out in the more western parts where I am. I actually wore a t-shirt and had to shed my jacket.

Got everyone's feet trimmed. Lacey's feet look so much different than the feet she had when she arrived. They actually look like proper goat feet and she walks on them properly now.

And of course with feet trimming day comes with ending up smelling like a stinky buck. His feet need trimmed too. He is such a sweet gentleman though and stands so nicely for it that its worth putting up with his smell.

The little part Boer, part Nubian wether friend we have for our buck, his feet are starting to look better after copper bolusing and three trims. The sides still try to roll under and if the toes get long on the back the start to twirl and curl in the strangest fashion. He didn't really walk on the bottoms of his feet when he arrived, instead he was walking more on the sides.

Now his front feet sit more or less on the bottoms like they are suppose to and the backs are getting better. He walks better and is much more active now as well. Some of the could be nutrition and worming too. His eyelids were white and he was rather skinny when he arrived. The previous owners knew there was a worm problem in their herd and were working hard to bring it under control. Well either way, whether its because his feet are more proper now or because his worms are under control (his eyelids are dark pink to red)and he is putting on weight, he feels better and is more active now.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cleaning Done

Yesterday started off covered in a heavy layer of fog. It was so quiet and pretty doing morning chores in it. The goats, although they despise rain, don't seem mind the fog that much. Perhaps because it lingers in the air, they feel it isn't as dangerous as other forms of wild water (like rain and snow and other water not safely contained in a bucket).

By noon the sun had won the battle with the fog and was shining brightly. It has been pretty chilly here but yesterday it was beautiful. I decided to take advantage of it and spent the afternoon doing the fall cleaning of the chicken house and the bi-monthly cleaning of the buck house. It was a lot of work,especially the chicken house but its always so nice to have it all clean and nice.

Not that the chickens really seem to care, they are still on strike for whatever reason. All but one finished molting over a month ago and yet there are no eggs. In fact up until about a week ago, we were still getting two or three eggs a day. Then they stopped laying. A lady across town from me that normally sells eggs doesn't have any to sell because her hens up and stopped laying to and so did most of her ducks. And I have heard of other people having trouble with their hens laying even when they laid well in years past. I think they decided to all go on strike for some reason unknown to humans and migrating birds are carrying messages of the strike to chickens all over the place.

Okay well, maybe not that but it is rather strange.

On a more humorous note, here is a recipe for rum cake :)

Rum Cake Recipe:

1 or 2 quarts rum
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
lemon juice
brown sugar

Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality. Good, isn't it? Now go ahead.
Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right. To be sue rum is of the highest quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.
With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanwhile, make sue that the rum is of the finest quality. Try another cup. Open second quart if necessary.
Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high. If druit gets stuck in beaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum again, checking for tonscisticity. Next sift 3 cups of pepper or salt (it really doesn't matter.) Sample the rum again.
Sift + pint of lemon juice. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add 1 babblespoon of brown thugar, or what ever color you can find. Wix mel. Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gredees. Now pour the whole mess into the coven and ake. Check the rum again, and bo to ged.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rain again...finally

It hasn't rained here since my last post about it back in October. Everything was so,so dry. Yesterday afternoon, it finally began to rain. A wonderful soaking rain. It lasted all night, all morning, and its afternoon now and still a nice soaking rain. What is left of the fall colors on the trees is so bright against the wet, mostly naked, branches.

Indian summer lasted for a longer than usual time this year, but winter is finally arriving. Blowing in on the blustery north winds and riding iron grey clouds full of cold rain.

Outside its wet and cold. But inside, we are dry and warm. The house is filled with the smell of the ham and beans slowly simmering on the stove. Cats and dogs are curled up sleeping. The sound of the rain on the windows makes it seem warmer and cozier in the house.

This kind of weather and this time of year make me so thankful for my home, for the family members that share it and for this life I live. I love my life.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Garden Bedtime

A couple of days ago it finally got down cold enough at night that the garden reached its end. Due to a warmer than usual fall, it lasted longer than in previous years. But even with a warmer,longer fall, all good things must still come to an end.

So the last of the tomatoes, peppers,green beans,and cucumbers were picked and the plants pulled up. The garden lies empty now, its ground settled in to sleep for the winter. We put one last round of jars full of tomatoes through the canner and put up several quart bags of sliced peppers in the freezer. The green beans and cucumbers got ate, and the last of the zipper peas were put away.

Gardening and preserving are officially over for the year. Once we get past the holidays and the dreary days of January and February set in, it will be time to dive into the seed catalogs and begin the planning of next springs gardens.Here is a poem I wrote a while back, I think this is a good time of year to share it.

Season's Change 

On the northern wind
Lies Winter’s distant call
The passing of the seasons
From Summer’s hands to Fall

The sighing of a season
Who’s time is at its end
The little death of winter
Is just around the bend

The green of Summers leaves
Replaced by brilliant color
As the season passes
From one into the other

The bustle of the autumn
Replacing Summer’s lazy pace
Fall aromas ride a breeze
That’s cool upon the face

Soon the leaves will fade
Their bright colors turned to brown
A shifting carpet they will make
When they flutter to the ground

Leaving the branches naked
Through which the winter wind will blow
When the seasons change hands again
And the land is buried beneath the snow.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

A few bits of chicken advice

1. Don’t buy straight run if you don’t want to have to deal with roosters.

2. Think of the strongest most secure pen and coop you can think of and then triple that or more. Otherwise the chickens will fly over/squeeze under/squeeze through and something will eat them.

3. Chickens love scraps so keep a scrap bucket in your kitchen and throw all of your peelings,and cereal bowl left overs and anything else left over after cooking or eating and dump it too them.

4. They will lay where you don’t want them too and ignore the lovely nest boxes you provide them unless they have no other choice.

5. They may be “just chickens” but they still love a drink of warm water on a freezing winter morning.

6. If you find grubs or tomato worms or the like in your garden, throw them in a can and take them to the chickens, they love it. My kids like to catch crickets and grasshoppers and throw them in the chicken pen and then take bets on which hen will triumph over the rest in the race to eat it.

7. Some hens do not like it if you search the nest box with her in it and she will do her best to peck you.

8. Research your breeds so you know what you are getting into.

9. For chicken newbies (especially those who have never had a farm critter), poo on your shoes will not ruin them forever and a little poo on the egg won’t kill you-unless its that awful toxic poo excreted by those unfortunate hens at factory egg farms.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sausage Scramble

This is one of our favorite dishes. It can either be served as dinner or breakfast.

Sausage Scramble

Smoked sausage - sliced
One whole onion - chopped
Several sliced bell peppers (any color you want although you want to make sure
and include green bells for stronger flavor)
Potatoes - red is best but russet will do. Skinned and cut up - as many as you want.
A generous palm full of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
liberal amounts of cumin

Chop and slice all vegetables as directed and place in a large bowl, slice sausage
and add to bowl along with spices. Put in enough oil to coat and mix thoroughly. I
prefer to use my hands (washed first of course) but you can use a spoon if you feel
more comfortable with that. Place in pan, cover with foil and bake at 350* for one
hour. Remove foil and continue baking until down and brown.
(pardon the Halloween tablecloth)

Serve with scrambled eggs,buttermilk biscuits, and sliced tomatoes

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home-grown food

There is nothing better than homegrown food. The taste is wonderful, growing it-whether plant or animal-is peaceful for the soul, and it is beautiful as well,

And, when you have fresh home grown food, you can make yummy food like this:

Open Faced Veggie Sandwiches

16 oz cream cheese -preferably fresh cream cheese made with goat milk 

1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dip seasoning

two pimento stuffed green olives chopped small

a handful of black olives (more or less as you want) chopped small

1 or 2 cloves of garlic chopped small

green bell peppers and onion chopped small - as more or  little as you want but more is better with the bell pepper

two carrots, shredded with a cheese grater

shredded zucchini - however much you want 

Use hands and mix it all together well. Spread on toasted light rye bread and top with sliced cucumber and tomato. Serve with celery sticks on the side (or you can chop the celery small and add it to the mix) and enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


We have been really dry here, to the point that the grass has been crunchy for the last three weeks. This evening though, the sky darkened as heavy clouds rolled in and a look at the radar showed us a storm was headed our way. Normally we do evening chores between 6:30 and 7:00 in the evening. But tonight we went out a little early. The bucks were happy to go in their house and eat their dinner, the chickens went to bed a little early too, well all except one younger hen, she had to be chased into the hen house so we could get them all shut up for the evening.

The does were gathered impatiently at the gate. They knew the rain was coming and true to the goat code, they are convinced that wild water (like rain and any other water not safely contained in bucket) will permanently damage them. They were happy to eat and settle down in their freshly bedded stalls (spoiled girls).

We all sat outside after the animals were all settled and watched the storm come in. The wind really picked up and leaves were blowing all over the place, kicked up off the ground and fluttering down from the trees. It was beautiful to see all the bright fall trees against the deep grey of the clouds. The kids had fun seeing how many leaves they could hit with their bats before the leaves could hit the ground.

The first rumble of thunder was accompanied by big,fat, drops of rain and we all headed in. Soon after everyone was in the house, the sky opened up and rain beautiful rain, began to fall in earnest. As I sit here and type this, the sound and smell of rain through the open (yes open) windows is absolutely wonderful. I can almost here the trees and the ground sighing with relief.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hoop shelter/tarp house thingy

I thought I would post some pictures of the hoop/tarp house we made for BigWig and his new buddy. What we call it their "man cave" LOL. There is a double layer of tarps at the back which faces north. We also slid a board between the fence and the back of the hoop shelter to help keep the north wind from blowing the tarps to much. They are tied securely, but we figure the less strain from the wind the better. The floppy eared goat you see is BigWig's new buddy.

BigWig seemed to think that looking at the camera sideways would help him understand it better

Friday, October 8, 2010

Love is in the air

BigWig has settled in and is doing his job well. So far both Tally and Lacey both have accepted his advances. He seems to enjoy the fact that he is the only male and is happily blubbering and snorting and peeing on himself. The does of course just can't get enough of that wonderfully bucky behavior. The stench, the urine sprayed face, how much more attractive can you get? (gag!)The first day he was here it was like watching a small gaggle of school girls swooning over the newest teenage heart throb. They gathered at the fence and flirted like the shameless hussies they have become.

Because the acquisition of a buck was unexpected, we had no shelter for BigWig. But a couple of days of work (would have had it done in one if we'd had everything we needed) later and he has a nice hoop shelter with his hay and alfalfa in there. He still lives in our good sized chicken pen but he makes sure the hens stay out of his house. I guess he figures they have their own house with that yummy smelling chicken grain in it that he can't get to, so they had better stay out of his. Of course when he is spending time in the doe pen with the girls, the chickens take advantage of his absence and rifle through his house for anything they might want. He promptly chases them out when he returns to his pen.

However his reign as the only male will end as soon as we find a friend to be his penmate. This friend will most likely be a wether, so BigWig will still get to maintain the title of supreme buck.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Well as anyone who has prowled my website knows, we were originally planning on breeding our girls to a young Saanen buck that is owned by some friends of ours. But he is still a little too young and hasn't quite grown into his herd sire britches yet. They nicely offered the use of their mature Nubian buck, but we really have no desire to go that direction.

While were contemplating what to do and Fate was amusing himself by trying to trip us up, Serendipity decided to take a hand in matters. And so BigWig, a stunningly handsome young purebred LaMancha buck, came to live with us. Not only is he beautiful, but he also has the most fantastic personality. We are so happy to have him. Thank you Miranda at Beyond Goats for the opportunity to add him to our little herd.

We named him BigWig because the tuft of hair on his head reminded me of a rabbit by the same name in the book Watership Down.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Then and Now

I posted this on a forum that I frequent and I realized that I should probably post it here too. Now when Lacey came to us this past May, she needed some work, as did Hershey. Even Tally was in need of some minerals. Now the two biggest things we did was copper bolusing and Bo-Se shots. They are fed beet pulp,free choice alfalfa pellets, a small amount of 3 parts whole oats to one part BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) free choice brome hay, and free choice goat minerals. If ever there were poster goats for copper bolusing and Bo-Se shots, these are them. As each arrived here, they were wormed, given a Bo-Se shot and copper bolused. Then they each just got wormed,Bo-Se,and bolused again as part of their pre-breeding work up.

Lacey when she arrived

Lacey Now

Hershey when she arrived

Hershey now

Tally when she arrived

Tally now

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Goats and grey hairs

I think goats were put here to take care of any hairs our children failed to turn grey. A month or so ago, my mother and I were outside working. We paused to take a rest and noticed that Tally was laying up against the fence in a weird position. I got up and started walking toward the fence to check on her. She didn't move, not even an ear twitch. As I got closer it appeared as if her eye was partially open and still she didn't move. By then, my heart was pounding, I just knew our sweet Tally was dead somehow. I arrived at the fence and crouched down, reaching through the fence toward her. She still didn't move a muscle. I touched her, fully expecting to touch a goat that was cold and stiff. She wasn't cold and stiff, she felt completely normal but she still hadn't moved. I gave her a slight shake and her head snapped and she looked around at me like "What? Why did you wake me up?"  My lungs began to work again and I believe I actually felt a hair turn grey.

I guess its a really good thing I wasn't a wolf or a coyote. She would've been half eaten before she got around to waking up.

Then last night we gave them their pre-breeding vacs,Bo-Se shots and copper bolusing (BTW, when bolusing, peanut butter is your friend. I couldn't believe how much easier it went when using peanut butter to hold the bolus in the bolusing gun until we depressed the plunger). And of course we stood out there for a bit to make sure that none of them were going to have a reaction to the vacs.

This afternoon my mother was outside and noticed that Lacey was laying flat out on her side with her head cocked at a weird angle, completely unmoving while the other two lay together on the other side of the pen. My mother hollered at Lacey. There was no response. She ran out there and opened the gate, still Lacey lay unmoving. My mother ran up to her and reached to touch her and Lacey yanked her head and looked at my mother like "What? Why are you waking me up?" I bet my mother could feel a few hairs turn grey.

I guess its good thing my mother wasn't a wolf or a coyote.

Sometimes, I guess goats just sleep really heavily. Or maybe the LaManchas just like playing jokes on us.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Attack of the Tomatoes!

Our plants have gone completely crazy this year. Now that is not to say that we aren't used to bringing in a very good amount of the delicious, red yummies but this year is a bit exceptional. We have been bringing in over thirty pounds of tomatoes each picking with a couple of pickings topping fifty pounds. The little buggers are everywhere. They are perched on top of my sugar and flour containers. they are in bowls, on the counters, in bags and a few are even hiding in the fridge.

To say that we have been doing quite a bit of canning is an understatement. We just ran twelve more quart jars through the canner this afternoon. Each jar filled with the taste of summer sunshine to be opened when the cold fingers of winter try to find their way in the house. Each pop of a lid as the jars seal inspires a feeling of contentment.

The only thing that really irritates me is when a jar breaks in the canner. We lost a couple of jars that was this afternoon. I was so disgusted when I went to lift them out of the water bath canner and the bottom of the jar fell out along with the contents of the jar. Time to buy some more new jars.

Now, the canning book says to get rid of all of the seeds and such and then after packing the jars to add water to the jars. The very first year we canned tomatoes, we decided that wouldn't work for us. We blanch and peel the tomatoes, cut the stem area off and put them in the jar just like that. We find that there is more than enough juice this way that there is no need to add water. Its all tomato. Then at the very end, we pour all of the left over juice into a jar and can it along with the tomatoes. No sense throwing it out. The juice is full of tomato goodness and the old saying, "Waste not, want not." applies quite nicely to this, but its not something the canning book says much about. Guess its just something you pick up along the way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dessert? Maybe?

Well I said in my first post that I would post even the things that go wrong and dessert tonight was one of those things. Now I don't routinely make dessert, I don't think it's necessary to eat sweets after dinner every night. But every now and then I decide to make something. This particular recipe I made up. Now I use "made up" loosely because its based on a similar dish I saw a picture of in a magazine. However that one called for instant coffee in the mix and other such things that my taste buds rebelled against the idea of.

However I love to cook and come up with new things and  looking at the picture the wheels in my mind started turning and I could think of something that did sound tasty. I started by making a chocolate torte that I cut into squares after it cooled and placed on a couple of parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Then I made chocolate mouse (yes all this is from scratch) and put a generous glob on each square. My mother meanwhile whipped up some meringue. Now the initial idea was to use a plastic bag with the corner cut out to pipe the meringue around each mouse topped torte square in a pretty swirl, however the bag wasn't really sturdy enough and it just didn't go as planned. I used to be a cake decorator and love putting pretties on things but at this point in time I don't have any icing bags or tips so my options are a bit limited and my temperamental Scorpio self was getting quite frustrated. This is a point in time when my husband usually leaves me alone to curse and grumble at the food. However my mother-having a more stable personality- swooped in and used a butter knife to spread the meringue around each torte. Instead of the pretty little swirls I had imagined they now looked like globs, although now that I have had time to come to terms with this part of my failure I can say they look more like cloud puffs. Then came my real mistake. During the making of these, we had lasagna in the oven which finished at just about the same time we turned the last torte into a puff. So into the oven they went for the meringue to get golden brown.

Did you know that chocolate mouse doesn't like a hot oven? Well I didn't.

By the time the first pan had golden brown meringue, there was liquid chocolate running all over the pan. I was not happy. My husband, sensing a brewing storm building in his wife, wisely suggested that maybe we should try using just the broiler. So I turned off the oven and turned on the broiler and once it was hot, in went the second pan. Although there was still liquid chocolate on the pan when it came out, it wasn't near as bad as the first pan. I am sure it would have worked better if the oven hadn't already been hot. Next time though, that meringue is getting browned with a butane torch.

Next time? Surely after my description you think the mess might have gone in the chicken bucket. And as irritated as I was, the thought crossed my mind. However, as I was standing there keeping careful watch over the garlic bread that was now toasting under the broiler (I have a habit of forgetting about the garlic bread and burning it) I grabbed a fork and stabbed at one of the cloud globs that was still bleeding melted chocolate mouse on the pan. To my surprise, despite the melted mouse on the pan, there was still a good deal of intact mouse on top of the torte. I forked up a bit of the meringue/mouse/torte and took a bite...I was instantly transported to some wonderful chocolate heaven. My bad mood and irritation were gone in a flash. I took another bite, you know just to make sure my tongue wasn't playing games with my mind and it was just as heavenly as the first. The third was also just as wonderful. Then I remembered the bread which thankfully hadn't burned during my brief chocolate mouse/torte/meringue vacation. My mother likewise enjoyed a bite and we began brainstorming on how to make it better, what would be best to do next time etc.

Dinner was served and each serving was accompanied by a little plate of what I was now calling Moose Droppings. It had stopped bleeding melted mouse by then and didn't look half bad. It was enthusiastically devoured by all.

So although it didn't go smoothly the first time out, I wrote down the recipe and into the box it went and the recipe title at the top of the card? Moose Droppings.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Welcome to my in-town-hobby-homesteading blog

Hopefully I will get back here often and you will enjoy what you read. We have a tiny place here on less than one acre, in town. Okay, well, its a small town without even one red light but still a town none the less. On our tiny plot of land we have our little herd of goats, a small flock of chickens, three dogs, five house cats,four pet rabbits,vegetable gardens, a strawberry bed, a small blackberry bramble, an incredibly unruly group of pumpkin vines, and three children-all boys- 11,9,and 2.

I don't know if I would classify us as homesteaders necessarily. I don't know if I would classify us as hobby farmers either. We rest somewhere on the line between the two worlds. We have raised and butchered both rabbits and chickens in the past but for now we prefer to just have our pet rabbits and for the most part, pet chickens. Our goats, while providers of milk are also pets. We have our gardens not just to be self sufficient but also because we just like the taste of home raised vegetables better than the taste of what we can get at the store. We also like it because we know what has and has not been sprayed on them. We have our chickens because we enjoy their company and because they taste of their eggs outshine the taste of store eggs a thousand to one and also because we know the health and living conditions of the chickens. The same holds true for the goats. So since we really aren't doing it to be self sufficient but simply because our taste buds like it and we enjoy the work and company of the animals, not sure we can be homesteaders. Not sure we can really be hobby farmers either since we do preserve the produce out of our gardens and can butcher out and eat a bunny we raised.

We began changing to this lifestyle four or five years ago. We feel it is a better,healthier,greener, (and tastier) lifestyle for us and our children. In some areas we are still learning and in others we know our way around pretty good. Sometimes things go exactly as planned and other times everything than can go wrong,does.

I will do my best to come here often and share our adventures in "In-Town-Hobby-Homesteading" with you be they projects that came out great or projects that failed. Recipes that came off without a hitch and others maybe need to be rethought. Garden plantings that exceeded our expectations or plantings that we stood there and scratched our heads over and wondered where the heck those plants got off to.