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Carla Burke

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since Oct 29, 2013
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A Christian & devoted Patriot, wife, soap maker, herbalist, formerly a homeschooler, baker, truck driver, and more. I was born in the South, but actually grew up around the Great Lakes. Both of my childhood families had big, lush gardens,& preserved everything they could for the winter. I carried that into my own life. But, change happens and for over a decade, it just wasn't an option. Now, retired in the Ozarks, on 29 heavily wooded acres of mostly ravines, our best crops are nearly inaccessible wild blackberries, rocks, wild herbs, and ticks. We're utilizing our burgeoning small-livestock collection, straw bales, raised beds, and containers to build soil, and a better, healthier life for ourselves and our beloved critters, who provide us with eggs, meat, milk, fiber, honey, beeswax, fertilizer, tick control, brush control, 'lawn' mowing, loads of entertainment, and even help turn the compost.
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Recent posts by Carla Burke

If you are keeping a dairy cow, fewer people who want a meat animal will respond. If you spread out the breeding cycle, your milk production will slow, but not stop, for some time. You can expect roughly 50% of the calves to be heiffers, which will mean roughly 50% can be given or sold to other farmers looking to raise their own dairy cow, and at least a few of your bull calves will be wanted or needed for keeping the cows in calves, that keep them in milk. This is the only path I've seen that takes a path in the direction you're trying to go. One other thing is that some calves don't survive birthing, then the cow will, as long as you nolo her anyway, keep producing milk, for a while. There is no way to keep a mammal in milk without periodically making babies. If this is too much, your best bet will probably be to find a local farmer from whom you can buy milk.

Cows are not like chickens, who continually produce eggs without a cockerel to fertilize them. They have a long life, a and will completely stop producing milk within 2 - 4yrs of calving.
9 hours ago
It doesn't necessarily *have to be* every year, but milk production does taper off. That said, we had a jersey cow that we milked almost 4yrs on one calving. Selling the calves is pretty much a typical answer, and barely covers the feed cost of the cow.
22 hours ago
Can't figure out where I posted it, but someone else asked a similar question, I think last week. I found an aluminum medal, somehow charged, that works with a critters own heart/ chemistry. It WORKS.  It's about $80, but works for 2yrs. It must stay on, so would need a waterproof collar, but it works so well (no troubles with glass, ticks, or even mosquitos, on my little Charlie, since I put it on her, that I'm seriously considering getting one to wear, myself, because the ticks here are TERRIBLE.
Here's the link:
1 day ago
I use a butterfly net to collect eggs, when there's a hen or duck that is being over protective - much better than blood blisters from a ticked-off-bird-pecking! It's easier on the back to reach for some of them, too.
3 days ago
When I have hens (chicken or duck!) sitting on a nest, and eggs nearby, that I want to collect, I use a butterfly net to reach in for them. In fact, even when the ducks aren't nesting, because of the way our duck tractor is built, the butterfly net is the easiest way to get to them, without crawling in, on hands and knees.🤣
3 days ago
I would recommend a good practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Hubby and I have both had amazing results via TCM, for quite a few musculo-skeletal-nerve issues.
3 days ago
Timothy, is 100% spot on - and reminds me that (especially for trees that will be closer to your home) it would also be smart, to choose trees that won't aggravate any allergies, when they bloom/leaf. These oaks left a VERY messy, thick yellow layer of pollen on everything - house, deck, cars, anything left outside,  and our allergies become horrific, right about then.
3 days ago

Anne Miller wrote:Planting lots of trees surrounding the house is also a great way to decrease temps in the house.

I second this! But, with an important caveat. If/ when planting trees to shade the house, it would be wise to take great care to ensure that they're not *too* close to the house, and that as they grow, they don't lean toward the house. We just had to take down 5 beautiful, mature trees that offered wonderful, cooling shade to our home, because they were too close, and 3 were leaning toward the house. After a few years of drought, quite a few of our mature trees began losing huge branches, or simply coming down, because of the drought damage. I'm saddened, and our house & deck are suddenly warmer, without those lovely trees.
3 days ago
I'm so glad you're testing this out, Pearl! Mine came too, but I've got far too much on my plate for the next 2.5 weeks, to be able to play. Now, I'll be able to follow along behind you, using your experiments to guide mine! W000t!!
3 days ago
A ceiling fan makes all the difference in the world, especially for sleeping. It may seem odd or counter-intuitive, but wearing something light, to sleep in (as well as during the day) helps immensely, because it keeps body parts from touching, and heating each other up. Conversely, in the winter, wearing little or nothing under the blankets, will help you stay warmer, because body parts share warmth.

Keeping windows covered, during the hottest part of the day helps block out the sun's heat, then opening them in the evening, to allow the (at least somewhat) cooler air in. In a multi-level house, fully opening a south-facing window on the south or west side(in the northern hemisphere) on the uppermost level, and opening a couple strategic windows on the lower level(s), just a little bit, will create a draw to pull hot air out, and cooler air in. If you can put a good fan in that upper window (or better yet, in the attic!), blowing out, so much the better. I've personally felt and observed a whole-house fan almost instantly drop the temperature of a huge old farmhouse, by at least 10°F, almost instantly, by doing this. The same concepts work in a single level house, its just a more dramatic instant difference, when standing in the upper level, and turning on that fan.

Take tepid showers, instead of hot or cold. Hot showers tend to overheat the body, while cold showers drop the body's surface temps, but not the core (not generally a good idea, anyway), so when stepping out of the shower, one feels sticky again, almost immediately. A tepid shower cools the body enough to get some instant relief, without causing one to overheat as soon one steps back out.

Outdoors - shade. Shade, shade, shade. If there's none, naturally, it can be created with opaque umbrellas, awnings, trees, tall, wide shrubs, privacy fence, shade sails, buildings... even taller people, lol. Staying hydrated is equally important, in both extremes of temps.

Eating 'cool' foods like watermelon, cucumbers, leafy salads, cole slaw, cold soups (gazpacho, cucumber, carrot...) etc can go a long way toward keeping both people and homes cooler. Avoiding foods that normally bring autumn & winter to mind, like bowls of hot chili, soups and stews, roasts. Cooking outside (while standing in the shade, with a cold drink in hand) will help keep the heat out of the house, to. After all, there's a REASON southerners in the USA are so big on grilling & smoking their meats. Even a slow cooker can add heat to a room, so if the temps are high, that slow cooker can also be moved outside.

Personally, the higher the temps, the higher my pony-tail goes. That gets it up, off my neck without adding layers of hair to the side of my head. I can't begin to tell just how much of a difference that one thing makes. Loose, flowy, natural fabrics, that cover the parts of me that would normally make contact, while uncovering the parts that don't are a tremendous help.
4 days ago