Kathleen Sanderson

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since Feb 28, 2009
Green County, Kentucky
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Recent posts by Kathleen Sanderson

I would suggest the haybox cooker/thermal cooker, too.  It might not work for everything, but it's great for soups/stews/casseroles.  

2 weeks ago
Without having read the other replies, here is my list.

Commitment.  Follow-through.  Finishing what you start.  This would probably be number one.

Budgeting -- your money, your time.  And sticking to it.  

Ability to learn -- inquisitiveness.  Networking.  Reading.  Watching tons of videos.  Being flexible.  Willing to work for someone as a tag-along volunteer for a while to pick up a skill.  

Physical health and fitness.  Youth helps here.  Eat right.  Be careful -- avoid 'accidents' most of which are caused by foolhardiness or carelessness.  Don't ruin your back.  

Prioritizing.  Determine what must come first, second, and so on.  


Getting along with others, especially those you are closest to.  An essential skill -- hard work and hardship break up many marriages and friendships.

Knowing when to stop and think, or just take a break.  Often something that looks impossible late in the day when you are tired, will suddenly have a solution in the bright light of morning.

Setting realistic goals and working towards them.

Self-motivating -- don't need someone to kick you in the backside to get you up and working!

Not the kind of skills you were looking for?  Well, the thing is that WITH all of these qualities, you can find out what you need to learn, and learn them, and accomplish them.  Without these skills, it doesn't matter how many of the other skills you may have, you aren't going to get very far!  It's fine to know how to build a fence, but if you get the materials, and drag them out to the field and drop them there and then get distracted and forget to finish the job, what good has it done?  And what good does it do to know how to take care of goats if you didn't prioritize and get their housing and fencing in place before you brought the goats home?  Or if you planted an orchard on the only spot where the county will allow you to put a drain field for your septic system, so now all the trees have to be moved?  Or if you end up alone out there because you drove off your loved ones with your grouchy temper when things didn't go quite right?  I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.  There are lots of things to learn in homesteading, and it's fun to learn those things, but learn and practice these things, too, and you will almost certainly succeed in your endeavors.
1 month ago
I honestly don't know -- that was written by my great-great aunt, who died maybe thirty years ago?  (She was about a hundred years old when she died.)  I know there is a guy with the last name King who lives on the North Fork of the Siuslaw to this day -- one of my cousins manages his farm for him.  But I'm afraid I don't know any more than that.  You might, if you are really interested, visit the Pioneer Museum in Florence and see if they have any information for you.  

1 month ago
Ronny, the short lifespan is for bags exposed to sunlight.  As long as you cover the bags as quickly as possible, they should last for many years.
3 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

I’ve had goats for most of the last forty years (gosh, hard to believe it’s been that long!), but after hurting my back a few years ago I thought I was done with that.

There are lots of things people can do to change the height we need to do jobs. I've seen ramps up to raised milkers, for example, or those special chairs some dental hygienists use that support you as you lean forward. If your back hurts when milking, think about the position, possibly get someone to observe your position, and see what sort of creative ideas you, or our fellow permies can come up with. I've not milked personally, but it seems like it should be a sort of zen thing to do - not give you pain afterward!

It wasn’t milking itself that was the issue.  At the time I hurt my back, we were living in the high desert and buying most of our feed, and lived on a steep slope.  So hauling bags of grain and bales of hay around was an issue, and carrying water in the winter was an issue.  At the worst point, I couldn’t even get out there to take care of them - it was all I could do to get from my bed to the bathroom.  My back is somewhat better now, plus our property is mostly more level, and the climate is milder.  Those of us who are getting older, and/or have physical disabilities, have to think about those things, and, if necessary, sometimes even relocate to a different property that is more suitable for our limitations.  Another decision I made was to get smaller goats (Kinder goats instead of Nubians).  They are a little easier to handle.  I have made one adaptation to my milking stand - it is higher than the others I’ve had, because of the goats being shorter.
For all the bad, there are some good things coming out of all of this.  My middle daughter has always hated gardening, but she and her husband built several large container gardens on their deck this spring.  I know several other people who are either starting gardens, or increasing the size of existing gardens.  And I’m milking a goat again.  I’ve had goats for most of the last forty years (gosh, hard to believe it’s been that long!), but after hurting my back a few years ago I thought I was done with that.  I got my current goats after we moved here a couple of years ago, primarily for weed control.  Really wasn’t expecting to be milking again.  But here we are!

Deborah Epstein wrote:

Artie Scott wrote:So this is really timely, as I now have all the materials and am about to build the chickshaw mini me. My plan was to use electrified poultry netting to contain the chooks and exclude the predators as I move it around the pasture.

Does this solve the concern around the 1” mesh, or do folks still think it too risky?

Artie, I read that electric fencing doesn't help with mink. Evidently their fur is so thick that they don't feel it...

That could very well be.  I know back when we were using netting for sheep and goats, a few of them learned to push their noses under the not-hot bottom wire, lifting it, and then crawl under.  Apparently they didn’t get enough shock on their backs to bother them much.
6 months ago
If you can keep the electric netting hot at all times, you should be fine.  Pay careful attention to grounding, and get a tester, and keep a daily eye on it.
6 months ago
The only thing you might want to consider with late chicks like that is that spring (preferably March) hatched chicks are more likely to lay through their first winter without help like lights.  If they hatch too early, they’ll moult in late summer/early fall with the older girls, and likely won’t lay as well through the winter.  This doesn’t matter if you are only needing eggs through spring/summer/fall, but if you need eggs through the winter, try to have some March-hatched pullets if you can.
6 months ago
I got eight live chicks out of my dozen Icelandic eggs - had forgotten about this thread!  (We’ve been dealing with medical issues with my daughter; found out she has a severely enlarged, almost non-functional bladder, caused by hidden spina bifida which we didn’t know she had, so now she has a catheter in until/unless she has a urostomy.).

I’ve got another four dozen eggs in the incubator.  We had a power outage of unknown duration last night and the incubator cooled down quite a bit before they got that fixed, so I hope they weren’t too badly damaged.  Should be hatching a couple of weeks after Easter this time.  Some of the eggs are over three weeks old, because I’m only collecting from three hens, so I don’t really expect a great hatch.
6 months ago