A new arrival!

•April 27, 2013 • 3 Comments

Last night Dhana presented us with a sweet little girl.  We haven’t named her yet because some of our friends may decide to become her guardians.  This was our first unusual presentation: the hind legs came out first.  But she was so small, it was a quick delivery.  We did get her a selenium shot because she has tight tendons on her front legs.  However she’s up and nursing  following her Mom all over the pasture.

This calf was unplanned.  Apparently her brother was more mature at 9 months old than we realized.


Christmas at the Budds

•December 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Pedal operated water pump

•December 5, 2012 • 2 Comments

Recently a friend asked me what I thought she needed to do to be more self reliant and I replied that although she lives on a river, she doesn’t have an easy, convenient water source in the event of a prolonged electrical outage.  She has a well with an electric pump.  The pump in this article could be used to pump well water into an elevated storage tank which could gravity-feed a house and garden.  It is reasonably priced for what it does:  http://www.resilientcommunities.com/a-human-powered-water-pump-you-have-to-see/

Tuki’s one month old!

•November 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

My daughter sent me these pics from when Tuki was only a few days old:

He is doing very well and drinking most of his Mom’s milk.  Soon we’ll separate them at night so that we get some milk, too.

Rain, Tuki’s grandmother (now Reina) just had a calf at the Sisters’  here are some pics of little Ra, a full brother to Makani:

Reina’s udder is enormous.  I sent the Sisters a link to a cow bra!

Banyan bridge in India

•November 15, 2012 • 1 Comment

Tracy posted this on their Self Reliant site:

Cider Pressing at Jack Wasson’s Place

•November 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Last week our Self Reliant Community group was invited to Jack’s place.  He has a large, sturdy press and the 8 or so attendees were kept busy washing, halving, loading, pressing and bottling the juice.  Our 3 bushels of apples yielded about 5  gallons of juice.  I canned same, and am letting some turn to vinegar if we are able to leave it alone!  After the pressing we enjoyed cheese, cake and of course apple juice!

Jack’s place was historically the valley’s cider pressing place, in fact there is even a poem about it:

Wasson’s Cider Mill

Frank Carleton Nelsom

It’s hard to say just why it is, but

’round this time o’ year,

There’s something ’bout the autumn

days and in the atmosphere,

That takes me back to olden times in

memory, you know,

And once again I seem to live my

youth of long ago.

And greatest of the great events that

as a boy I knew,

In ecstasy that’s near divine, again

I’m living through,

For on that top-box wagon load of

apples comes a thrill,

Of riding o’er the dusty road to

Wasson’s cider mill.

And though the distance wasn’t

great, in miles exactly four,

The gait the horses jogged along, it

meant an hour or more

And long before we reached the spot

the odor in the air,

Proclaimed beyond all human doubt

that Wasson’s mill was there.

And then we’d have to wait and wait

sometimes an hour or two,

And when our turn would come at

last to run our apples through

My dad would grab the monstrous

scoop and work with all his might,

While I would watch the cider flow

and drink to my delight.

Of sanitation, I’ll admit, we’d really

never heard,

As far as cider makin’ went, there

wasn’t such a word,

For in the hopper often dropped the

bad ones with the good,

And well I knew they didn’t do

exactly as they should

But after all it said and done

regardless of the way

Of doing things long years ago and

doing them today,

I’d love to take a pitcher now and

sit and drink my fill

Of cider as they made it then at

Wasson’s cider mill.

This Indiana poet grew up near the Samuel Wasson farm.

Melamine in pet food, human food?

•October 31, 2012 • 2 Comments

A friend in North Carolina recently bought a healthy puppy that within a few days began to have trouble urinating.  He took the puppy to a vet who confirmed that the puppy had an obstructed bladder and recommended putting the puppy down.  It died on Monday.  The symptoms are similar to what happened to our cat, Romeow.  Our neighbor across the street recently spent over $800 on vet bills trying to save her cat with identical symptoms.  The vet told her that it was due to feeding her cat Frisky’s cat food.

Is it possible that pet food is sometimes tainted with melamine?  I found this article: http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/is-it-melamine-again.html that substantiates that the FDA has turned away many imports including cookies, soya protein and other food products because they are tainted with melamine.  It also explains that the FDA only tests about 2% of the food imported.  So there is a potential for many foods that we and our animals consume are tainted with melamine.

It seems that different individuals have different tolerances for this melamine.  In individuals who process it like my kitty, Romeow and my friend’s puppy, it collects in the bladder and clogs the bladder, leading to death.

Buying food that is made in the USA doesn’t guarantee that all of the ingredients are made in the USA.  It isn’t required for food manufacturers to label that some ingredients are imported.  Of course there is also no guarantee that USA manufacturers don’t adulterate their products with melamine, either.  This is a sad state of affairs, but it confirms our commitment to growing everything we consume.