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Remelle Burton

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since Mar 26, 2021
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hugelkultur monies dog hunting chicken food preservation medical herbs homestead
PW Eco-scale Level 3.5-4. Mom of a strong, 25 year-old special needs son who loves to visit and help "prepare to survive" on our little half acre south of town. I'm a country girl who was raised in the suburbs with lots of gardens and animals, but escaped to Wyoming in 1990. My goal is to get out of debt, stop working for a company, homestead, teach my son, and leave him capable to homestead too, even if it takes my whole life to get to that point. I have a great foundation of "prepping" and I'm a fierce mom, learning to live well with smart work and determination. And I adopt unwanted elderly critters to love for the rest of their lives.
NE Wyoming Zone 4-ish
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Recent posts by Remelle Burton

Paul, Malek, et al, you may have already tried this, but I just read that using dry ice may be the best way to eliminate that evil knife-edged weed.  I remember it well when I lived in Santa Cruz for college.  The short paper in the link says that they tried 4 ways to eradicate and dry ice was the best.  If the link doesn't open let me know.  It is pretty straight forward if you have access to dry ice.  Or liquid

3 weeks ago
Yes, thank you very much. I will do that.
3 weeks ago
Found the previous thread about this, once I posted.  I must not have delved deeply enough in my search criteria.  Thanks!
3 weeks ago
What is your most successful process in repairing cracked cutting boards?  I wash and oil them but they tend to crack on seam regardless.  Any good tricks?  Do I have to let it split in half before repairing?  I am not a fan of wood glue in my cooking utensils but trust that somebody may have a great idea.  Thanks in advance!
3 weeks ago
Weeds make me shake my head.  At work, I'm the regulatory specialist and geologist of an energy company.  In no way at all do I know anything about any weeds without a little research when needed.  In our closed southern Wyoming fields, the BLM wants me to kill the only thing that wants to grow on the moving sand dune, which they expect me to re-seed for the third time with their chosen seed mixture in an effort to choke it out (huge field, $30k of wasted time and resources each round). It's a nasty weed that animals don't like and is actually deadly in large amounts, called halogeton. To me it even sounds like a Transformer name or something. Godzilla meets Halogeton.  In our northeast Wyoming fields, I am supposed to kill EVERY weed, as their reclamation process looks much different.  Weeds:  I am killing in the north what I am planting in the south, but so be it.  Some days it makes me laugh.  The re-seed process - that I know will be futile on a moving sand dune in the Red Desert, where anything green is gobbled up by the cattle on the Fed lease and the wild horses, hares, etc- has been attempted since the first invasion of Halogeton in the 20s or 30s- I'm pretty sure will never get that reclamation process finalized.  And the evil weed was brought via railway, bird poop, truck tires, etc. but the lowly salt bush is the only thing that is allowed to be there.  Even planted en masse, salt bush doesn't stand a prayer against the 'evil' halogeton.  Our efforts will probably be added to yet another PhD thesis some place.  We have filed bankruptcy.  

Here at home, I was out of money and had no greens left to eat last summer between paychecks, so I went out in the yard that my dogs are not in, and picked some plantain.  I had missed most of the tender shoots but ate some leaves and what I could find and once again, that made me shake my head.  Only 2 years prior I had "weed and feeded" that lawn to keep up with the neighborhood, but knowing the water table was only a foot below ground, I quit that baloney.  Another head shaking moment was going out to the back yard where my 3 dogs and 9 chickens, plus various wild birds live, and the plantain is more abundant in the animals' favorite poop places.  Ah, Nature is amazing.  

I dug up some plantain and added it to my dandelion bed.  My neighbors hate my dandelion bed.  But they love my chicken eggs so they tolerate me.  Some weeds, like the pampas grass nurse crop to the little pine tree may have a place in time for a specific reason....figuring that out is more my passion than how to kill it, but I have to do that too on occasion  Like when I planted horseradish near a previous house and had to hire an excavator to dig it up where it went under the perimeter wall foundation of my garage and cracked the cement.  I plant horse radish in pots now.  
3 weeks ago
I bought a chicken coop with attached "yard" at Tractor supply that I put together and then put inside the main coop building with new chicks in it, to get them used to the older hens, etc.  It could easily house 4 or 5 hens and also could be very easy to add wheels and a pull handle of some kind.  There is a 2-place nesting box off one side and two different doors.  The "yard" is under the house and out in front, so no real reason it wouldn't work.  I have large chickens, so I would feel ok about 4 in there.  This thing was on sale for $99 a few years ago.  There are so many out there, and some that people don't need anymore, it may be just as inexpensive and easy to use these, since wood is so expensive these days...I will try to attach a photo.
3 weeks ago
Thank you!! I downloaded the free freda e-reader app and it opened the book right away.  Love it!  Thank you!
3 weeks ago
My kids were in 4H but we just had a horse ranch, not a homestead per se. My husband at the time had raised cattle before and I had been around stock much of my life too.  At our place, we gardened and canned and hunted game.  I hunt deer and elk, but neither child had ever gone with me.  They had seen a lot of dead animals but usually those that had died of old age or had been killed by wild animals.  When we adopted our kids, we raised pigs and learned quickly to raise more than they were going to show and sell, so that we would have meat for ourselves. It also made sense because the more hogs the more work and fall would be an emotional time to say goodbye but the work would end.

The first year in 4H, the parents all bought each other's animals but never told the kids who got whose, so nobody would discuss if "Spot" was tasty or anything.  It was a crazy mix of people from all backgrounds, so we just went along with it.  I learned what to look for in a hog that would taste good - not the ones finished with fish emulsion so they looked like little body builders with no fat.  Of course the kids named their piglets- I think they had to put the names on the project reports and entrance paperwork for the show and sale. We talked about their favorite cuts of meat that came from pigs - mine is bacon, and which part of the animal it comes from.  They both had no idea what I was talking about as they were both special needs, but I said it over and over and over when we were looking at our hogs.  We explained that they will be selling the pigs at the end of the season, and someone would be buying them to eat. I'm not sure they grasped that right away, but I had a countdown calendar to the sale that we referred to.  Well that didn't work, since our gilts were bought for breeding stock and the buyers assured my daughter that she could visit them anytime.  However, we then took our hogs to our friend's processing "plant" and for the first few years, we didn't name the packages of meat, making it personal. Once in high school and FFA, they were judged on fat content and body structure and needed to know from their buyers what was good and what was bad. My kids had repeat buyers who even called and asked them to raise extra and they would buy them outside the sale.  It became a real business even if neither kid wholly grasped how well they raised meat.  I labeled our packages by ear tag number.  We discussed what was good at dinner.  When we prayed before our meals we thank God and the animals for their sacrifice to feed us. Even to this day, my son and I do this. I was raised to do this.

I know that my kids didn't miss getting up early to feed and water and "walk" the pigs after the sale, and by year 3 they were enjoying the enormous check they got for their pigs.   I am not sure at which point they started naming the pigs by their breed or favorite cut of meat but it was just their own decision.  Even for me, I just liked "the big Hamp"  for the Hampshires etc.  The larger the herd the better.  My heart was broken after one sale where a very young little girl was in her hog's pen, crying and hugging him while he sat like a dog and looked emotional himself.  The reality of how the children who have spent the entire summer with one animal to befriend and train it to be guided and shown made me glad we always raised many.  I still try to report back to the older children who raised the animals that I buy at the sale so that they remember what they are doing. Surprisingly it actually takes some of them aback - but hopefully gets the discussion going with their parents.  The goal is to learn how to raise them for meat and what a quality animal should look like and taste like, as well as the responsibility to give those animals a great life while you have them.

At 17 years old, my daughter watched her last hog getting dispatched, which was a little shocking for us both, but very fast and clean and necessary to complete the circle of life and the job of raising livestock.  Right then she decided that she wanted to get an agriculture degree and have a hog farm some day.  (Although she passed away when she was 18 we have an endowment at the local college in her name for Ag students)

I believe it just takes time for all of us, even if we have to kill animals for our own survival.  I still get emotional when I take game, but I use it all and thank God for the success and thank the animal for its sacrifice.  

Thank you for allowing your son to be involved from such a young age.  We all should be/should have been. You are great parents!

4 weeks ago
So, I have used large wood chip mulch on my asparagus beds and covered just about everything else with fencing panels and netting, but my neighboring pheasants dig, spread and tear the coverings to dust bathe.  Does anyone think making them their own sand box will help?  I have blocked the pheasants from using the chickens' sand/ash/dirt box but I will make one for pheasants if you think it will work.  They have trashed the blueberry bushes, destroyed the new soil and mulch on the hugels, and the males are enormous....just wondering if anyone has luck 'redirecting' wild birds.  Thanks!

Jess Dee wrote:I know at various times, I've threatened to paint all the tool handles hot pink, due to tool losses.  I don't think I could pick just one favorite tool, myself.  I have favorite tools for specific jobs, though, for sure!

I have had to do this in the field (oil and gas patch) since the boys seem to like 'borrowing' the closest tools and don't use their own.  I switched to pink buckets, pink camo tools and I paint everything pink.  they got wise to me and brought a can of black spray paint to go over my pink.  Now I just lock things up.  I didn't mind them using them, but when they'd dropped my 2# sledges down the 'hole' more than 3 times, I got over having to supply that subcontractor any more tools.   It definitely was easier to find my tools in a snow storm though.  
4 weeks ago