Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lessons learned

Well, it's been almost four months since we moved to this house/property. They've been hectic. Fraught even, at least in spots. But we're still plugging along and may even have learned a few things.

Infrastructure first! Acquiring animals before there's fencing and/or shelter for them is not a good idea. It leads to greater hecticness and fraughtitude.

Railing against the weather does not make it improve. This is one of the joys of the lifestyle we have chosen. The weather DOES make a difference and there's still not much we can do about it. Especially without infrastructure (hopefully we'll have some raised beds in the garden for next spring, for instance).

Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of sheep and goats. I think if they really wanted into Ft. Knox, they'd find a way. Grape vines are a snap in comparison. So is four foot range fencing, or so the alpha ewe seems to think.

Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity and determination of raccoons. They are pernicious creatures. I don't care how "cute" they are, they are far too fond of poultry as a meal.

You can lead a child to the woods, but you can't make her walk. The Spawn doesn't much care for our woods, except as a source of dainties. She'll happily eat salmonberries, thimbleberries (yumma, yumma, yumma), or blackberries. She will NOT happily walk back there to collect them. Ah well.

There's other stuff we've learned too, but it's pretty small, all things considered. Llamas are very undiscriminating when it comes to proving their masculinity. Roosters are not fond of competition. You CAN stuff day-old chicks under a broody hen and have her raise them (until the raccoons get her). Trees do not dispose of themselves after being felled. And selling firewood won't pay for the cost of felling and chopping the darned things.


  1. While not belittling the angst, in some ways I envy you. I feel a touch stagnant at the moment and I dare say that is not a concern of yours.

  2. Noooo. Not stagnant. Homesteading, even part time, doesn't give a whole lot of time for stagnation. And, if we can keep the vermin out, the food is pretty good. There are times though....