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“Nova’s Tribulations: Poison”

Nova the Cat has the worst luck.  This poor, gentle little soul has endured so much ill fate. It was a particularly frigid winter, I had just moved again and was situated up in the mountains in a very rural area.  I kept an extra close eye on the cats in the sub-zero temps wer were having. It was so cold that I was bringing them inside at night. A day came when I hadn’t…

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“Baby Goats Have Arrived!”

BABY GOATS!  After 5 months of eager anticipation (the last 2 months of which were even more eager once we stopped milking in late  January and instantly began missing fresh cheese), we have beautiful baby goaters! Tisl birthed first, 48 hours later than her technical due date.  She was stealth-preggers, barely showing any baby bulge right up to birthing.  I expected only 1 kid out of her.  But she produced 2 beautiful kids.  I had…

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“Broken Chicken Feet”

If you live on a farm with chickens and any other livestock over 200lbs, chances are sooner or later you’ll see a limping chicken with a munched foot.  Pigs, mules, horses, and even very large goats can easily crush a chicken’s foot with one step.  Most of the time they are oblivious to the chicken’s thrashing screams and might not lift their foot right away.  When the large livestock is being grained, and thus the…

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“The Goat Poisoned Himself”

Aster and Isöl made a jail break, as goats are prone to doing.  They escaped their fenced area and indulged in some free-ranging around the mountainside.  I didn’t think much of it; I know they’re not going very far and I don’t mind them browsing new area.  A few hours later, however, something seemed amiss.  I couldn’t hear the bells on their collars jingling.  They were either very far away or holding very still.  Goats…

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“Nova’s Tribulations: The Eye Wound”

It had been a cold winter.  We were lounging in the upper deck of the ‘upper greenhouse’, as we call it.  We were having a spot of sunshine and it’s always warmest at the top of the greenhouse. My cats Nochi, Nova, and Mario were lounging with me. Without warrant, as he was prone to doing, Mario looked sideways at his sister Nova and began terrorizing her in classic cat fashion. They had a momentary…

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“A Post About Today: February 1st, 2021”

It’s a bright, sunny Monday morning.  My orders are in the post and I’m now hiding in front of the computer.  The thermometer says it’s 38ºF in the greenhouse.  The top of our greenhouse today will likely reach 50ºF, whilst the draw below the cabin is likely in the teens or single-digits.  It’s a comfy 70ºF inside after a busy morning of frying up sausage, pancakes, and onions. Why am I indoors in front of…

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“Coral Root as a Healing Herb”

I wanted to talk a little bit about the medicinal herb Coral Root.  Members of the Corallorhiza family are many, and most of them are endangered.  In our forest we’re lucky to have a variety of coral root that is not state or nationally endangered.  Coral root is an orchid.  It’s entirely parasitic.  It produces no leaves and contains no chlorophyl.  It survives by leeching nutrients from the roots of the plants around it, as…

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“The Boar Has What? WHERE?!”

Ol’ Spotty Wattles the Kune Kune boar was starting to move a bit stiff.  He didn’t want to move around much, and when he did, he did this funny little dance with his back legs.  I thought at first maybe he strained a muscle in a back leg somehow.  A week passed and he didn’t seem to be improving.  He ate and drank well enough, but something was off about him. One day we’re feeding…

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“Neoma’s Tribulations: The Hawk”

I was on the phone when I heard little Neoma yelping on the hill behind the house.   I listened keenly, assuming she was simply distressed upon realizing how far she was from us.  She came running home, whining, but not in a way that alarmed me. I listened, curious about what the issue was.  Then when she got to the front porch she exploded in hysterical screaming. I quickly hung up my phone call…

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“How Herbal Healing Became and Interest”

People: “How did you get into herbal medicine?” Me: “I cut my achilles tendon open.” Yeah, it was horrible.  I hate that it happened.  But it did.  I should say, actually, “someone’s bicycle cut my achilles tendon open.”… So I had this cut into the back of my foot, parallel with the bottom of my foot, making a 1” flap of my heel, cut straight through, that could open up like a mouth.  I was…

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“The Goat Ripped Her Teat Open”

I put Ruma on the stanchion one morning, as per usual, and knelt down to milk. “Wait- blood? Fresh blood? Where is it- oh wow… Ew.” She had somehow snagged her teat on something and tore it clean open, nearly 2 inches long. A very unsettling mixture of blood and milk was weeping out of the gash. Gross. Super gross. So I milked out her good side, trying not to look at the wound too…

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“Aspen’s Story: Broken Turkey Legs”

Aspen was a black Spanish turkey I purchased.  She was an adult and had grown up semi-wild.  She had very little trust in me. As turkey hens do, Aspen went broody in her first spring with me.  She chose a large wooden cupboard for her nest.  And as turkey toms do, Pip the tom started to get restless after all of the hens disappeared to sit nests.  To my dismay, he found Aspen in her…

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“I Put a Bone in My Foot…”

Yep. I was on a steep slope, unfolding a large sheet of greenhouse plastic, and I stepped on what looked like plain dirt only to hear a grotesque juicy crunch and a surge of pain in the arch of my foot. I sat/fell down and proceeded to uproot a small -something- sticking up out of the dirt. It was the tip of a buried jagged, gnarly chunk of dog-chewed deer vertebrae with old black gristle…

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“Stitches the Chicken”

Before moving to an area with frigidly cold winters and an extended cold season, I kept turkens.  Turkens are a breed of chicken that lack feathering on their head and necks.  I love turkens, they’re fantastic, and I wish I could raise them here on the mountain but that would be cruel to the half-naked birds. So one day I head out into my bird yard to put the birds up for the night and…

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