Tag Archives: offgrid

Happy days on Two Moose Farm

Summer is in full swing and busy as usual. So excited to share lots of news with you and upcoming events. 

We now are on periscope and want you to join us! Find us at periscope @offgridmom you can then view our remote farm and also be part of the upcoming live feeds where we can interact and answer questions from you.

The incubator is full of eggs and beginning Friday we should see them hatching. We found our turkey hens nest and added those eggs to the incubator too. Soon chickens, turkeys and ducks will be hatching and I will broadcast live feeds from periscope and Facebook.

We also have paired with Stagvid Media and will be bringing a YouTube channel online soon. Please help me  out and give me some input on what you want to see. You can message me here or join me on Facebook www.facebook.com/offgridalaska on Twitter you can join us too-www.twitter.com/offgridmom.

I was able to finally catch audio of the wolves howling this morning. You can find it here Wolves howling. Listen closely as its not great but so very cool!

One more thing that’s happening. Monday I’m doing an interview with Everyday Moms. They are on local channels nationwide. I’ll try to get a link up when I know the airing date. 

Well it’s time to get kids up and chores done. Just wanted to say hello to all and ask you to join me on periscope as I think it will be loads of fun!

As usual I’ll leave you with random pics and pray your day is blessed.


Spring Sprung!

Spring has come upon us with such a vengeance it’s as if the earth itself grew tired of the ice and dreary days. Yes our breakup has arrived and we have rivers running everywhere-literally. The mud is currently ankle deep and with the forecast we should see mid calf by weeks end. Yes folks we have our own way of measuring the breakups progress.

Still working on the greenhouse. In the pics it may look simple but I assure you it is not. It is a concept I have spent 2 years planning that hopefully will work out as planned. Here in Alaska weather conditions can be extreme and I might add I can be more fickle than the weather. I am tired of putting a building somewhere only to decide later it should of been placed elsewhere. My design can accommodate that!  My 12×24 greenhouse is actually 2-12x12s that with a few screws removed can be easily moved elsewhere or made into 2 seperate greenhouses. With our winters dumping heavy wet snow I also did not want a permanent roof so am designing panels that can be removed when the season is over. Plastic can get expensive so side panels can easily be recovered in sections versus recovering the entire thing. I’ll let you know as time goes on how it’s working out. There are no plans just what’s in my head so each piece must be cut to fit. I might add building on melting ice presents a whole different set of problems as every morning I must reshim to keep it square before work begins.  

 My chickens are finally getting into full swing and laying almost a dozen eggs a day. Pickled eggs are in the near future-My kids will be happy! Yep they love running in and grabbing a pickled egg and out the door they go-portable food that’s good for them.

My youngest son will officially be a teenager next week. Where does the time go? He’s growing up and looking forward to being able to take on summer jobs-I’m not sure momma is ready but will cross that bridge when we get to it. 

   
Fishing-it seems to be the topic at every meal. Everyone wants to go fishing and the season is quickly approaching but could we not have to talk about it constantly? Seriously my girls must be dreaming of fishing at this moment as its all they talk about. Hopefully we can get some pole time in and not be too busy. 

Not much else happening right now just gearing up for our busy season and will have more to share as time goes on. Hope your all living life to the fullest, making memories and being thankful for the blessings you have. Have a blessed day! 

    
   

Super mom cape is on and I’m ready!

The sunshine has been abundant lately save for a scattered shower that snuck up on us today. Dear hubby has been doing some welding as he awaits the opening of halibut season. For months he’s paced in anticipation only to be held back by a delayed opening date-thank heavens it will be soon as he’s like a kid waiting for Christmas.

I, poppa Fred and the kiddos have busied ourselves with the routine chores like cooking pig food, keeping the others well fed, cleaning pens which is never ending and building a new greenhouse. Of course there is still the schoolwork to complete but it’s amazing how quickly they can complete lessons when the outdoors is calling. Cati however has busied herself by taking over the baking and that’s perfectly fine with me. At 11 years old she is very adept at bread and cake baking which frees me to do other things. 

    
   
We ran out of lumber for the greenhouse so the plan today was to run the sawmill but it was short lived. By the time all the other chores were completed it was 2p.m. 30 minutes into getting the mill ready and running a single log it started to rain and then sleet. By the time we made it back to the cabin we were soaked. 2 hours later the rain subsided but it was time to get the evening chores started and get supper on. 

Cati baked rolls , a cake and boiled the chicken down and shredded it while I finished splitting wood and cooking the pig food. I did have time to toss the ingredients in a pan for barbque sauce and tell her to keep an eye on it and get a pasta dish whipped up. Yes it was a crazy busy day but by the time dear hubby got home at 6:30 chores were done, supper was ready and I was more than ready to put up my feet. I started my day 13 hours prior and I was pooped!  I had to run back out and take a few pics of goats for a lady but I’m happy to say 2 of our young kids will be going to a new home next week.tomorrow the one that is a little he will be made into an it. Not my favorite thing to do but while my knife is sharp I might as well do the 4 little boy pigs too. Oh the life of a homesteader-it is never boring.  

   
    
 Today was not one of my better days in the grace department either. While cooking the pig food-in an old bathtub outside-I got my feet tangled up in the chickens looking for a handout and started falling towards the now boiling water. Trying to avoid a hot bath I grabbed for a goat who was also trying to get to the pig food, the goat was more than helpful. I somehow managed to get my hand under the collar and at the same time my feet left the ground I was hung up on the goat which my nose soon told me was Henry one of the billies. Henry not knowing what to think about me laying over his back with my feet in the air and arm through his collar decides to go site seeing. Of course he didn’t want to slip on the ice so took the muddy way around the farm yard and more than once stepped on my braid hanging down before I finally wedged my lower body against a tree to get him to stop. Finding my footing I dislodged my arm from his collar, rung my braid out, wiped off as much of the mud as I could and decided it was time for a coffee break. Cami came around the corner about the time I hit the cabin steps and followed me in. Not taking note of my appearance at all she asks “what stinks” with a “duh” look on my face she says “it smells like a Billie goat in here”. I could not bring myself to run through what had just happened so I played dumb and said I didn’t smell a thing. I did go out and wash up some but it took a change of clothes to get his heady scent off of me.

All in a days work I keep telling myself. Without the little mishaps life would be so boring!

Have a blessed night all. I’ve got my supermom cape ready and I’m off for another adventure tomorrow-stay tuned!

What is a normal day?

On several occasions I have been asked what a normal day is like on the farm.  My reply is “what is considered normal”.  All joking aside I decided to really give it some thought and map out what a “normal” day is like.  Of course with each passing season things change but this is what it looks like when nothing comes up, no emergencies and no blunders.

4 a.m. is wake up time-build a fire in the cookstove and get coffee going.  By 4:30 I am out the door doing a critter check (remember we live in bear and wolf territory).I go pen to pen checking the animals running back to check the fire in between and also find the goats and account for all of them.  This is sometimes daunting as they now have split into 2 herds each with their own leader.  Its now around 5:30 a.m.if I am lucky and didn’t have to walk out too far to locate the goats.

5:30-7:00 I check emails (this blog generates a lot and I enjoy answering each and every one of them!  I also answer any messages on facebook.

7-8 a.m. I am making breakfast and planning the school day for my 3 children.

8-10 a.m. We all go out to feed animals, water them and let them out after they have eaten to roam around free ranging.

10-10:30 I line out the kids with their school work.

10:30-11:30 I do up dishes and get our afternoon meal going assisting kids with school at the same time.

11:30-1:00 I check pens to see which ones will need cleaning, water diverted and or fresh bedding added of course I have been called back at least a half dozen times to assist with schoolwork or other MOM questions.

1:-1:30 we eat dinner and I answer any further questions about school.

1;30-2:30 kids and I rewater all the critters and feed the babies again.

2:30-4:00 Kids return to schoolwork I go out and doctor on any sick or injured animals, trim hooves or nails and any other thing that needs done for the critters well being.

4:00-4:30 p.m. Its time to get supper started.

4;30-5:30 pen and cage cleaning adding fresh bedding etc.

5:30-6:00 get supper on the table.

6:00-7:00 We eat and spend time together

7:00-8:30 chore time again-this many critters and they like to eat!

8:30-9:00 do supper dishes

9:00-10:30 check emails, update blog and facebook

10:30-11:00 check critters and go to bed.

Mike

4:00a.m. wake up call-rouse the bear sleeping next to me.

4-4:30 split wood for the cabin stove (we don’t use our winter supply in the woodshed unless its snowing or raining heavily)

4:30-5:30 split wood for pig food and get fire going under bathtub/cooker. Fill tub with water and barley

5:30-9;30 split more wood for pig food fire and keep it burning for 4 hours cut ditches to drain water from animal pens while pig food is cooking

9:30-1:00 hike into the forest and cut up trees to haul in for firewood.  The solid wood is used for heating and cooking inside Punky wood used for cooking pig feed.

1:30-3:00 Haul water from spring for critters

2:30-5:30 assist in hoof trimming, fix walkways to critter pens,  Haul logs to sawmill from forest Cut lumber for pen repairs.

5:30-6:00 4 wheeler maintenance

6-7:00 family time and supper

7-8:30 help with feeding time, hauling water to pens and bedding down animals

8:30-10:00 phone calls, email and facebook messages answered.

As you can see our days are quite busy.  If we need to go to town it is an hour to 90 minutes to get to the truck and another hour to get to town.  If one of us is gone to town its an all day event and 2 days to get the supplies into the cabin.

I hope this gives you an idea of what its like to live our life out here.  Now lets talk about my day!  We had cranberries that we had accumulated while out checking goats so I cooked them up early this morning and while getting kids going on schoolwork ran them through the food mill and made cranberry sauce and not one to waste used all the skins and made cranberry jam.  Oh it tasted so good and I got the bright idea to run out and pick more while doing my critter checks.  Now if you have ever picked berries with an entourage of goats, pigs and turkeys then you just have not lived!  It goes something like this-Spot a clump of berries and bend over to pick just about grab them when a turkey sees the bright color dives in to grab them and the pig (Miss Charlotte) thinking I am being attacked by a turkey jumps at the turkey and her bulk hits me.I am now on the ground checking to see if my bucket is upright and trying to find footing to get up.   Oh did I mention it is extremely wet out and there are holes 2 foot deep with water in them covered by grass so you don’t know the are there until you step in one?  Of course the goats who are casually taking this in see the bucket is not my main concern and take the opportunity to sample the sour berries-not liking them they can’t take their fellow goats word for it one by one they all have to have a go!  Meanwhile I am still on the ground being guarded by a 400 pound pig who decides since I am down there I might as well give her a belly scratch-seriously Charlotte?  Well I finally get upright and realize the time has gotten away from me so I hurry back to the cabin but Frankie being Frankie fell asleep in the woods and didn’t come in with the rest of us so to shut up his constant mmmaaaaaaaing which is like calling to a bear and saying “hey dude, lunch is over here” I go back out to where we were and retrieve him.  Of course not knowing if where I am going and what I am doing may or may not involve treats, my entourage follows.  I eventually made it home and called the kids out to assist me with catching up with the things we needed to get done and went in to my sweet Cati making us a late dinner of grilled cheese and soup.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to remember what I had competed and what I hadn’t and then in to get supper going.

It is now 10:30 p.m. The rains have returned and I just got back in and am trying to finish this post as my teeth chatter. I am soaking wet and am contemplating whether we have time to build an ark.  If this continues we will have to go out and drain the pens as the water will be getting deep again.  I love our life but have to say I am so ready for cold and snow.  Its getting tiresome dealing with all this water all the time.  The weather forecast is not looking promising at all-rain forecasted for the next 2 weeks.

I’m excited that we are building a wind generator soon and it will be our kids’ science project for the year, my sissy Cathy’s husband had 2 new CAT batteries in his shop he said we can have and even arranged for transportation to get them to us next week-Thank you Paul you are so awesome! Just in time too as I fear one of our RV batteries may be dying.  We don’t get much tie on the battery now before it loses its charge.

I will leave you again with my usual random pics of life on the farm.  Until next time may God Bless and provide for your every need.

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The ugly side of raising animals

Today was one of those days for sure.  As most know I had issues with the delivery of baby chicks and lost most but there’s more to the story of how my day went.

Little Racer had the unfortunate luck to be born a little boy goat.  Boy goats (Billys) are foul smelling creatures as when they mature they pee on their heads to attract the ladies-I am so glad that is not a human thing!  Eeeeewww!!!!  Not wanting or needing another billy goat I have decided little racer will be sold for either a companion wether or for meat depending on the buyer. In order to have him no longer a hormonal male as he gets older (and to avoid the stink) he must be castrated and that is exactly what happened today.  Dear hubby held the squirming little guy and I did the ugly deed.  Moments later he was back out running and being his obnoxious little self and still wanting to follow me around so musn’t have been as difficult for him as it was for me.

Many are probably curious as to how to raise baby chicks without electricity to run a brooder.  In the old days they would simply leave in a box behind the woodstove but I have devised a system that allows them to stay at a more constant temp and is easier to regulate.  I use a pot of hot water covered with a large stainless bowl turned upside down then  placed  in the middle of a rubber water trough and the chicks can move closer or further away depending on what is comfortable.  I then cover half the trough to keep heat in and leave the other end exposed so if they get too warm they can move.  The water temp to start off with is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  This will last about 3 hours as it warms the bottom of the tub also.  Every three hours reheat the water.  Decreasing by 5 degrees a week until they are fully feathered out.  A lot of work but no one said off grid was going to be easy.

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