Hester Winterbourne wrote:My understanding is that privet is highly toxic to goats.
Privet is toxic to all animals, but my goats always ate it with no apparent harmful effects. I think it is in the quantity they eat. They had plenty of other forage, so never ate much of it.
I lost a goat once I had tethered on a hill. The phone rang inside the house and I ran in to get it. Saw her out the window fall down the hill and being on a leash, could not catch herself. She choked to death and I cried for days. Unless I can be there with them and the ground is level, I won’t do it.
Steve Tennant wrote:My asparagus, raspberries, and fruit trees are beginning to pop out and bloom. But so are the weeds around them. I have a pretty large garden. What can I safely spray on these fruits and vegetables that will kill the weeds, but not the good stuff?
We always spray compost tea with extra calcium/phosphorus in it to boost the plants we are growing and the weeds don’t like it, or most of them don’t. I also put a heavy mulch on the asparagus and raspberries and that keeps out grass and such. If any weeds come through they are in soft soil from the mulch and easy to pull out, so we pull and drop on top of the other mulch. Weeds make incredible soil once rotted. They pull up minerals from deep taproots usually.
Goats need a good legume or a legume mixed hay in their diet to make sure they get enough calcium and protein, especially for any milking does. Need more information about the condition of the kids before they died. Did they have runny stool, any fever? Were they gaining weight and eating plenty of hay? Kids can’t take much grain and adult animals not much more. Grain is not natural for goats in a concentrated form. Best if they get a little seed/grain attached to hay so they get the fiber with it. Too much grain impairs their digestion. Sounds like you are already feeding mineral and that is important. I always gave a loose mineral free choice, kelp free choice in another mineral feeder and baking soda which they used for self medication when they did get too much acid in their diet (such as grain). If your babies got weak and died quickly they may have had some illness or not getting enough milk/hay to get their caloric needs met. They need more carbs in winter and if they get it, will stay warmer. Hay should always be available no matter how much fresh forage they get. In summer it is easier because even greater ragweed and Sunchokes tops are high in minerals and protein, about equal to alfalfa. You can dry those for hay too.
Kids tend to get worms easier than adults and they can weaken and die quickly from that. A parasite load can cause does to dry off quickly too, as they don’t have enough energy left to produce milk. If you would check inner eyelids to see if they are light pink, it is a good indicator if they are getting anemic from intestinal parasites. You can give them garlic and lots of other herbs as wormer, or Ivermectin or other things if you are going the commercial poison chemical route. Molly’s herbals is a good herbal wormer for goats.
Our dog Balew, trying to help. Pre wash assistance? When I realized he was standing there after he nudged my elbow, we realized he has to be trained to stay out of the kitchen. Working well so far after one day. He is new to our farm and this was his second day here. He is eager to obey as soon as he understands what we want.
As well as doing the herbs for breathing issues, with mullein being foremost, keep in mind peppermint (smelling the oil) can open sinuses and dilate bronchial. If you are dehydrated the lungs can’t absorb oxygen, so use a pinch of salt on the tip of the tongue and then drink a glass of tepid water. What has worked really well for me in strengthening the lungs is to do the deep breathing exercises so you are stretching and using all the lung capacity you have and emptying it well. Keep doing that several times a day, and it sure helps. Make sure you do it in clean, pure air, not somewhere there are traffic fumes or other noxious odors/chemicals or excessive pollen.
When I think of all the tools I’ve laid down in the garden or pasture when we were working on projects, never to be found until a year or so later when they were rusted and useless....all because of a lack of pockets. My Grandmother used to wear an apron in the garden, with big pockets in it, and if the pockets were not enough I’ve seen her gather up the entire apron and fill it full of fruit or veggies. Way overdue to bring back pockets for women, especially us homesteaders.
Libbie Hawker wrote:When I was still living in Seattle, I went to a fancy new vegan restaurant and eagerly ate a dish featuring sunchokes. Delicious! So tasty! And the next day, I felt like Violet Beauregard from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, slowly inflating to perfect roundness. I've never been so horrendously bloated in my life. No more sunchokes for me! Darn.
With any food that produces flatulence, eat a little ginger with that meal. It helps tremendously.
Aaron Festa wrote:Anyone have a bad experience with mice/voles/moles eating their tubers?
Voles have been a problem for me. You can put down Perma-til before you dig tubers and it works into the soil. Sharp edges deter voles because those under soil dwelling critters have thin skin and if they get a cut, they are doomed as infection sets in quickly and they die. You only have to put it out once. I don’t usually use anything, I just try to dig them before they are all eaten. Would love to leave in the soil over winter, but wouldn’t have much of anything left if I did. However, they always miss enough that they come back up every spring in abundance. In 20 years, I’ve never had to replant.
My husband, Allan, is an international organic/biodynamic ag consultant. One of his favorite books is When Weeds Talk by Jay McCaman. You can tell by observation a lot of nutrient deficiencies and what is going on in on our soils by observation of what grows on it. Broomsedge, along with most other weeds, is on land deficient in AVAILABLE calcium and phosphorus and high in potash. Calcium and phosphate have a lot to do with uptake of other nutrients. They both build cell strength in a plant and a lot of other factors, protect from insect damage, and phosphorus has to do with uptake of sugars in the plant as well. Don’t worry about the potash being too high, just bring up levels of other nutrients. Compost tea sprayed on will boost microbes. Earthworms like the calcium also and it will attract them if there is sufficient organic matter also. Mowing in place and leaving the residue can mulch down and protect microbes. A lot of soils are high in calcitic rock but it is not available due to low microbes. We spray all our pastures with compost tea with cal/phos plus the trace minerals and most of the noxious weeds are gone by the next season. We also mow it now and then if not rotationally grazed, to top off any weeds that do get through before they seed out. Every time grass is cut or mowed, it root prunes, which is why rotational grazing is so good. I think you already know all of that or you would not be doing the rotational grazing you are doing. Mineralized pastures are higher in nutrients and protein and keep stock healthy. Cows get out because grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, the heifers might be in heat, or sometimes they just seem to like going on an adventure so a little jaunt is in order. Good luck with fencing, we’ve had the same problems here. I once had a jumping cow and it was impossible to keep her in, but she always came home. Somehow she could figure out how to jump out, but never how to jump back in and ended up at the gate bellowing for us to let her in.
I think we are actually both agreeing without realizing it. If vegetation is put on the soil to break down, it feeds bacteria, so that soil might be fungal dominant but plenty of beneficial bacterial microbes too. Also a lot of difference in east coast and west coast soils. I’m on the east coast and it is very different here. I actually do a no till in most of my garden, but when I move mulch to plant it allows some movement of soil to allow those gases in. Any vegetation on the surface will attract earthworms and they are the best tillers in the world. They have an exudate in their gut that kills all harmful human pathogens, including E.Coli, staph and strep.
Whatever you do, do not add more nitrogen. It is a calcium uptake problem. Microbes have to break down the minerals before the plants can uptake them, but you are already addressing that with the compost and mulch you are adding which will help build the microbe population. Excess nitrogen can give your plants and you nitrate poisoning as well as make the vegetables grown there taste bitter, The compost has nitrogen, and all rainwater has enough. Actinomycetes (beneficial bacteria) help uptake it as well or convert it so plants can use it. With no till you are making that soil fungal dominant which is great for blueberries or fruit trees; however, vegetables don’t like it and won’t grow properly. If you disturb the soil when planting, or have adequate earthworm population, or even take a broad fork and just loosen the soil every few inches, that is enough to get the oxygen and other gases in so the Soil becomes bacteria dominant, which makes vegetables thrive. Don’t have to add much calcium, a little goes a long way. Should be lightly mixed into the top 4 inches of soil to do the most good. Or mix into water and spray on plants, If it clogs your sprayer, let the particles settle out, pour off the almost clear water on top, it still has calcium in it and just spray on crops or soil. Works better and faster that way. Soil has to have humates, or the humic acid found in composted organic matter to work with minerals too. All the ingredients are necessary, just like baking a cake. If you leave something out, can have disastrous results. So live microbes, adequate minerals (all trace plus more of the major minerals like calcium/phosphorus and potash, humic acid from compost or humates.
leila hamaya wrote:my ex boyfriend used to say that the areas that were covered by blackberries were areas in need of healing...that the earth itself was claiming those spots, not allowing people to access them, so that those spots would be left alone for a long time so they could self heal. maybe a bit too woo, but i think theres a good logic there anyway, it does happen that those areas tend to get a rest from human interference, it takes such effort to do anything with them...and i can see how he saw it. the earth putting up a very thorny impenetrable layer ...sort of saying leave me alone in a sort of living poetry...
it does happen out here, like the previous poster said above, that badly logged and overly logged areas tend to spring up in brambles out here...
blackberry and other berry bramble are also strongly medicinal...and the canes make excellent mulch...providing some of the harder to get nutrients when they decompose...
That’s not woo-woo at all. It is healing the land. Usually where brambles grow, the soil is low in microbes breaking down calcium and phosphorous, or the soil is deficient in those minerals. From Weeds and Why They Grow book.
If I have an area that needs clearing, goats do an admirable job and can totally eradicate them over time. Use those brambles for tea and berries. The tea is mineral rich, even though the soil is not so much so. Seems they are accumulators.
I really panicked when I could not find canning jars/lids this season. Got my friends to save old salsa, pickle and spaghetti sauce jars for me with their original lids. Those worked great for reusing the jar and lid as long as they were not damaged. I only put up salsa in them.
I wanted to get into character for a book I was writing about my family history during the civil war, a year ago. I knew they ate sweet potatoes near the end of that conflict because it was often all they had. So I ate them for a week. For months I never wanted to see another one, but I do actually love them. Planted them late this year (mid July) due to not being able to source any slips at the stores, and the Covid restrictions on plants, etc. So ended up sprouting a couple I had from the grocery store. That was the reason for the late planting and I was lucky to have any. Dug some September 25 because we are about to have frost here and something had been digging in the raised bed I had them in. Some were very large, but not many. Most had not grown yet, so I ended up with 1/4 bushel out of about 6 plants. Pretty good I guess for a short season, but would have had a bushel or more had they had more growing days in the heat they love. I mixed in sand and lots of rotten leaves into clay as a base for them.
Ray, don’t give up. I have a friend in NC, about an hour from Asheville who is single and lonely. She has a garden and chickens and makes soap. Retired, but still drives a school bus (when school is actually open). I’ll pass on your number to her. You haven’t given it enough time. Lots of us older women are homesteading and doing it alone. Hard to meet people. And don’t say “Old man”, as you are not old. 90 is older, but 69 is not old at all. I’m 71 and I work harder than most 20 year olds, and certainly get more done.
A friend gave me one without the cage. I filled it 2/3 full of rainwater and put fish in it and it promptly bulged out and cracked horizontally mid way. So I built a wooden frame around it for support and put a plastic liner inside and still use it but it was damaged quite a lot. Guess they need that cage for support if holding liquid.
We’ve seen it with plants, the way they adapt (or a few of them do), to changing environmental conditions. Then we develop landrace seed from those. Sad that humans are the last to learn that they must do the same.
A book in its own time! You are so welcome Bernard land Cecile. Appreciate this work you are doing.
I hope you get caught up quickly also because I would love to hear more of what you have to share! I don't know what part of the Appalachian Mts. you are in, but if you are close enough to me, I can come help you get caught up a few hours/week and learn while I am there!
Annie, we live in Franklin, N.C. Would love some help and we can teach what we know. Husband is an international ag consultant.
Forgot to add, I also put wood ash on potatoes when I plant them. I usually dredge the cut pieces through a bowl of it as it keeps away root maggots and then sprinkle what’s left over loosely over the grow bed. Potatoes love the extra potash.
You can put down Perma-Til for your vole problem. I think it is expanded volcanic rock and has sharp particles. They cut themselves and living in the soil like they do, this can be fatal for them. If they hit sharp particles they leave that area and don’t come back. It is a permanent solution for the area you apply it in. Also, I’ve used gypsum (calcium carbonate w/sulphur) and the potatoes love it and grow huge and the voles hate it. Another solution is to put out Milky Spore to kill the Japanese beetle larvae in the soil the moles are searching for, so they don’t make tunnels which voles, being opportunistic, use later. Applying regular sugar (the cheap stuff) broadcast over an area feeds microbes which kill the larvae also. Any of these methods should work.
Congratulations on a good harvest in spite of critter problems! We have a trace mineral mix we always use also, to build the soil, it has the major stuff plus all 80 or so trace...Maury’s Mineral. All natural and organic sources, my husband makes it. It also has active microbes to break down minerals. I hope we get caught up with some of our big farm projects so he has time to write on Permies, as we have a lot to share.
I’ve planted potatoes as late as mid August and got a crop, and our first light frost is in late September, followed by a really hard freeze by early October. In fact, it was the best crop I’ve ever had, beautiful, perfectly shaped potatoes, delicious tasting, stored well, and we used gypsum on those and plenty of rotted leaves. No compost at all because I didn’t have any made.
A nitrogen deficiency is usually caused by insufficient calcium which governs uptake of all minerals, but the microbes have to be active or calcium won’t uptake. They have to digest it first and then die, releasing a plant absorbable mineral near the plant roots. The rainwater has plenty of nitrogen if other factors are there to unlock it. This is our reasoning for using microbes (actinomycetes convert nitrogen) and minerals and we use little else and our crops are simply amazing and delicious. Puts that old fashioned flavor back in the fruits and vegetables. Adding pure nitrogen is one of the most detrimentable things you can do to the soil. It can kill your microbes, attracts voles, it makes plants uptake as nitrates and makes them toxic. Use a little compost, it has the microbes and other factors, including organic matter to balance everything.
My husband says he always used humate and a little mineral to grow potatoes. Potatoes also like phosphorus and we use soft rock phosphate. They don’t use nitrogen added to soil anyway, they get it from the air. In our rainforest east coast (southern Appalachian mts.), it is best to hill up before planting and plant them in the top of the hill so it will shed water. Mulch a lot, but this way the excess water can run off so they don’t tend to rot as much. This year we’ve had excessive rain and flooding and it destroyed a lot of stuff. We had 8 inches of rain in one night. Really hard on the garden.
The dried red sumac berries can be ground and used as a delightful spice for savory foods. Also the mature seed from Smartweed, which could be used as a pepper substitute. Grandparents generation sometimes used spicebush buds, dried and ground, as a substitute for Allspice.
Apple cider vinegar(or any other vinegar) should NEVER be ingested full strength. Not only can it cause gastric upset, it can damage blood cells. Diluted is a different story. I use it in the stock tank for the goats, cows, horses when we have those (don’t have any now), and it keeps parasite eggs from hatching in their gut, effectively keeping them wormed. Put a cup into bath water, and get rid of sore muscles. I usually throw in a handful of Epsom salt along with it.
My husband is a biodynamic ag consultant. Says it looks like root damage from nematodes (due to insufficient beneficial microbes and minerals in the soil.) Also looks like aphids on the stems, attacking the plant because it is weak, and a calcium/phosphate spray will get rid of that. It makes the plant stronger too, as it will absorb through the foliage and any washing off goes into the ground and benefits the roots as well. To make it, mix a high calcium lime with rock phosphate or just get the cal/Phos already mixed. Add 2 tbsp. To a 5 gallon bucket, stir, let it settle out, stir again, let settle out and use the clear water on top in a sprayer. For smaller plants just use a spray bottle. Keep it on hand, works on pests quickly. Also helps ailing plants. Works even better if you can get Humate to mix a little in, tbsp or so. It is sold under name of Foundation. If you can’t get humate, a good, well made compost with substitute as it has active microbes in it.
Our favorite is Caldo Verde, a Portuguese soup which we’ve adapted to what we grow. Cook the peeled potatoes until very soft, mash with a potato masher and continue cooking until creamy, meanwhile adding some grated carrot to color it. Last few minutes throw in a big handful of finely slivered kale, collards, Lamb’s Quarters greens or Bok Choi. Slivered onion optional. Before serving add a dash of olive oil. Very filling and satisfying. You don’t want to overcook the greens, bring to a simmer, simmer one minute, turn off heat and let it sit for 10 minutes covered.
My second favorite is the traditional Southern Gumbo made with butter beans, field peas, corn, okra and tomatoes. Just salt and a little cooking oil added. Make sure the butter beans and peas are young, tender and well cooked so they are digestible. I’m a southern gal, so love those southern style veggies I grew up with. Okra, by the way, is a great lymph cleanser, and good for the gut health. Eat more okra!
Cinnamon makes everything taste sweet. It is also a matter of getting used to less or no sugar, which is healthier in the long run. We make Ostenbrot with no sweetener, just a tiny bit of dried fruit (raisins, papaya or such). It is a traditional holiday German bread, made with yeast, dried fruit, and anise seed.
I always play with recipes and rarely use the original version. Unfortunately, I also rarely write it down and can never duplicate it. My husband tells guests “enjoy it while you can, you may never get it again, at least not that version.”
When I make meatloaf I always use at least a pint of my home canned pears (no sugar added), per 2 lbs of meat. I add in Cuban oregano, Italian seasoning, etc., and lots of grated onion, carrots, chopped peppers, etc., whatever I have on hand. The pears keep it moist, and give a great flavor. You could add oatmeal or another filler also. In fact, I’ve made Meatless Loaf absent the meat, just with beans, grains and lots of other veggies. You might need to add an egg to that, or arrowroot, something to help it stick together so you can slice it without crumbling when it is baked.
Twice in one week our power was out for at least several hours or longer (lots of bad storms and flooding here for a while). Both times I was about to prepare dinner and once was just putting meatloaf and potatoes in the oven as it went out. Ended up cooking on the grill. Second time it was raining too hard to do it outside. Husband built a small rocket stove as soon as the rain stopped, just out the back door near the kitchen and is going to put a roof over from the house, so we will have a backup. Love those rocket stoves! I can always cook in a Dutch oven on it if needed and put coals on top if baking.
Years ago I was helping a friend can peaches from a tree in her yard. I asked for all the scraps, peelings, pits, etc., to feed my chickens since they were organic. Threw them in the chicken run, they scratched around and buried some of the pits. Next spring, with chickens moved elsewhere, peach trees started coming up. I still have some of them and they are incredible! Another friend gave me a Cherokee white, which is unremarkable in taste compared to the yellow or orange peaches, but it has an edible pit. I found out by accident when I saw squirrels breaking them and leaving tidbits on a concrete block under the tree. I cracked one and was glad I did. Another food source, and they are as good as almonds. The two trees cross pollinated and squirrels buried their stashes here and there and now I have about 8 or more peach trees, all bearing, all slightly different in the ripening time and flavor, but all wonderful to eat. They start bearing at one to two years old, because we put good minerals and microbes on them. My husband does a formulation called Maury’s minerals which he grinds from various materials and it has every known mineral on the planet in it, plus added humates and mycorrhiza. I’m amazed at what even a tiny little bit of it does.
I planted seeds from an Anjou pear hoping to get good fruit. Took 12 years before it bloomed and the pears were horrible, hard and lumpy and misshapen and the tree grew over 20 feet tall, so I can’t even reach them. Ok for pear sauce (like applesauce), or baking, but very hard to peel due to the hardness of the fruit and it never seeming to get ripe and softer. Then husband gave me a new grafting tool for my birthday (guess that was a hint), so grafting some of my good Honeysweet or Moonglow pears onto it. It does have wonderful, strong rootstock so a good choice for grafting. Nothing yet, but next year should tell.
I still have COPD from second hand smoke from childhood. Had a chronic cough since then and lots of respiratory distress. Wish it was easier for everyone to quit if they want to, as it is very damaging to the body. Niacin is a mirror image molecule to nicotine and if you take it (yes it does cause flushing like you are having a lot flash, as it clears the arteries), it can replace the nicotine, stopping the craving. Good luck to all of you former smokers and I salute you for having the courage to quit. I know it is a tough road.
Annie Collins wrote:So glad that Mirabella and her calf are well! Happy, too, that Bongo is okay! I found myself holding my breath while reading both stories, worried about the outcome... you should write a book! They are wonderful stories, well written, and worthy of sharing!
I do write books, but haven't written one about the farm. Currently working on my fourth book, which is my family's history of civil war days, when they lost the plantation, barely survived, and learned the only thing that really matters is their love for each other. Three years in the works, and hope to have it finished this winter. Name of it is Secret in the Well, because one of my ancestors hid her son there in a cavern, when he deserted near the end of the war, so the marauders would not kill him.
I've been writing books and short stories since I was a young child. I can't not write. And when I hear something, sometimes it jogs something in me, and an idea is spawned so I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down ideas or book/article titles. Then when I have time I can run with that. What I do write seriously is pretty diverse, from a book on health and nutrition called Body Beautiful, Weight Loss & Rejuvenation, Surviving Grid Down, to Out of the Fast lane, Into the Flow (getting in touch with your soul's purpose). For years now I've been working on my family history of the civil war, which is about the philosophy of how not having war works best, as all war really accomplishes is a lot of blood spilled, lives and businesses ruined and sets us back for generations. This one has a lot of emphasis on how people survived, foraged for food and medicine and relied on nature and each other when they had nothing else. It was civilization stripped down to bare bones survival skills. Hope to have that one out by next spring, and have done several rewrites. Will be my best work yet, but required a tremendous amount of research to make sure it was historically accurate and all the herbs I wanted to include for healing were actually written into the contents of the book, plus a chart at the end. For cover pictures I get a real picture somewhere, usually on my digital camera, and edit it to make it more or less hazy, higher pixels, etc., and just download. This is where the computer comes in handy, although I dislike most high tech. It is much easier to write on the computer and edit as I go rather than laboriously take hand written notes. I usually do the outline and a synopsis before the actual meat of the story. In other words, work out the focus, the timelines, the plot, before filling in all the gaps. I can type (140 WPM when I was younger), than I can write.
One thing I've learned is that to make it highly desirable and readable for the masses, is to make it passionate, about life, living and make them want to turn the page to get to the next part. The kind of book you can't put down because you just have to know what comes next. If you write about those things you love, it will come through into the writing/reading of it. The first chapter should be something in the middle of an exciting action, and movement. Don't start at the beginning, it will be boring. A crisis played out, a looming danger, something that will hook the reader and get them into a hurried quick read and then into flipping the pages to get to the next exciting part. Always end on a finale that wraps up the story, solves the riddle or gives closure and completeness. This of course, is for fiction or historical event books or articles. A how-to book is a bird of another feather, of course, and same rules don't apply. Do make your outline, of course, and follow through so you don't leave out any important parts. Write what you know about, too much research required otherwise and it can bog you down too much. Although some research may be required anyway.
If it is something I am going to read one time and is very brief, an E-book is fine. For anything I really need to study or read again, or a favorite, I want a real paper copy so it can go into my library for future reference. A part of me wants to live primitive and get away from modern technology, so I can curl up in a tent or outdoors with a real book, not a computer or I-phone. And besides, if the SHTF, we can always use the paper pages for TP. So it is a multi-use item. But we should make sure we've memorized the contents before going to that extreme and wasting a valuable resource best used for reading.
I seldom get writer's block, but when I do, it is usually because I have too many items on my plate, just too busy, or maybe overwhelmed with other projects or fatigue. It helps when I see/hear/read about various topics other people are working on, or a direction humanity is headed in and it gives me creative ideas which then can expand into something or a tangent I can work on. I'm almost always working on a new book or doing articles for someone or something. It helps me when I write from experience, either life experience or work related to something I did or studied in the past. In other words, the things I know about. I think the ability to be a good writer is latent in almost everyone. We all have a story to tell.
I remember my Mother talking about how when she was a little girl in South Georgia, they would rake up the leaves (with a brush broom made from some plant they gathered,) around the house to a distance out at least 40 or 50 feet around. This was to prevent wildfires from burning down the log cabin they lived in. Sandy soil so the yards actually looked nice and neat. Nothing grew in that area except a few tall oak trees, but nothing underneath to catch fire. Most houses back then had an outside kitchen in a separate building, again, to prevent fires burning down the main house. Sometimes the kitchens burned when embers fell out of the cooking stove. How times have changed!
A few years back we had wildfires here in the Western North Carolina Mountains and my farm was trapped between two large fires. I could not get out of the smoke because no matter which way the wind (prevailing westerlies) blew, it covered the farm here. A friend called and said she might have to evacuate and wanted to bring her cows here as shelter, until she found out it was worse here than at her place. I worried about the fire getting my house, but somehow they controlled it before it got that far. I made it through with wet hankerchiefs tied over my face and staying indoors as much as possible, with the air filters running, but it was an anxious time. My goats/cow were outside in it and nothing I could do for them. Now, this year, we've had incessant rains for nearly eight months and lost most of our crops due to excessive water. But I'd rather have rain than fire. Wish we could send some of that to you folks out west who desperately need it!
Kally Goschke wrote:I knew that soaking grains at least 12 hours increases nutrient availability for mammals so I soaked my pigs ground feed and even tried rolled barley.
I noticed the oddest thing. It took me quite a few months to figure out the correlation but when one of the pigs got soaked grain she would start circling! I figured out that in the end it must have caused her some inflammation or swelling in her feet or hooves. It took me a long time to figure out this correlation as it is so odd. I believe it caused her pain. At first I thought it neurological.
I was in subtropics on catchment water and she was a feral pig. May have something to do with it. I think it was mycotoxins or fungal growth. Odd but exact and immediate consistent correlation.
I had to stop soaking the grains. I tried many.
Anyone ever seen this?
There is a lot of difference in how cracked grains work vs. whole grains. The whole grains will actually start the sprouting process because they are intact. Also, a fermentation produces slight amounts of alcohol. Don't know actually. Could be the mycotoxins or fungal growth as you mentioned.
In the Herbal Handbook for Home and Stable by Juliet deBairacli Levy, she says to use vinegar or wine and rub down the animal with it, especially the legs, and it will even prevent Bots fly from laying their eggs on horses' legs. I've tried this and it seems to work, but have to reapply every day or two.
Back when I was still a young child, I remember my Grandmother putting the homestead raised shelled corn into steel barrels, adding water and fermenting it for the pigs. She just said it was easier for them to digest. They were always super healthy, and got lots of green forage in addition to the corn. We tossed buckets of weeds from the garden, I remember amaranth or pig weed and there were probably lamb's quarters and other stuff as well. I don't think we ate those weeds then, but I do now. I don't know how long she fermented the corn, but I do remember how sour it smelled.
Read somewhere long ago about putting kelp around fruit trees to help them be more frost tolerant. I use it on my peach trees all the time, and although in a border area for peaches with our late spring frosts, I often get a good crop.
I still remember when the flour and some feed sacks were beautiful printed fabrics. My Grandmother made kitchen curtains and dresses for the grandkids out of them (back when girls still wore dresses to school). Not wrinkle resistant though, they had to be ironed. If not so prone to wrinkling, would have made great shopping bags.
Welcome David! And thank you for what you are doing. I've been trying to push the zone for my entire life...and I need all the help and advice I can get. My goal is to grow a lot of tropical fruit in the mountains of Appalachia, with minus 7 degree temps in winter or sometimes a bit colder. Saving my pennies for a big triple pane greenhouse.