System? What system? — winter oak

by Paul Cudenec The other day, while out spreading the word in the streets, one of my friends handed some of our dissident literature to a passer-by with the explanation that we were countering the lies of the system. Although the man in question turned out to be warmly sympathetic to our cause, this remark […]

System? What system? — winter oak

“Anyone paying attention today cannot have failed to have noticed the way that multinational businesses and financial interests have converged to the point that their ownership can be traced back to a handful of concerns like BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – which themselves appear to be part of the same overall operation.

This same corporate/financial über-entity has also become heavily entwined with – and indeed essentially inseparable from – state bodies and international institutions.

The resulting monster is a self-concealing global public-private governance pulling the strings behind all aspects of our contemporary world.”

Homestead Happenings

Something of an ‘adult-themed’ post for y’all today from the wee homestead: Weather prediction by smoke signal, garlic galore, alien eggs update, and a flying boar. Wow!

Repeat after me: I don’t see a persistent spreading chemtrail. All is cool and normal.
Homo-genitus cirrus clouds. All is cool and normal.

I am full of pride today as I can now successfully predict the 3-5 day forecast based on smoke signals in the sky! I’m not sure who is wanting me to learn this crucial life lesson, but I suspect it is the ghost of an old woman I once knew in Bohemia who could predict the weather based on her rheumatism.

She came from a long line of dousers and knew the frisson of a rain storm from the sky or streams underground with uncanny accuracy based entirely on degree of hip pain.

Of course, she never knew the regular 30-50 degree sudden temperature swings that in these parts come with the manufactured weather. That’s called scientific progress! Something tells me she would not have approved. But then again, being a wise crone, she’d have known that no one of critical influence would give a crap what she knows or how she knows it.

Those top 3 photos are from our wee homestead airspace, the bottom two from some random techie dude in the UK trying to normalize this disgusting spectacle.

The tomato plants themselves look pretty pathetic, no thanks to the temperature swings and the goats who like to nibble on them. But still, it’s a rarity, and it’s kinda fun. A fresh tomato salad and a volunteer watermelon in mid-November, because there’s got to be a silver lining somewhere, right?!

We were lucky enough to be gifted a box of garlic from a generous homesteading friend and Hubby has prepared their beautiful beds, with lots of poop, of course. This friend had also just taken the long road-trip to our best raw milk source in the region, so I could not resist the now quite steep price of $10/gallon in order to make one large cheese of our favorite variety. Think that’s expensive, the farmer said his competitors are now at $12!

The mommas and kids are doing great, though it’s a bit of a pain keeping them separated, especially when it’s cold. I was hoping they might be weaned already, being it’s been over a month. So, we tested it, and no such luck. Those greedy kids got right back on the teets.

But, I’m having too much fun cheesemaking to share, sorry kids!

Both just pressed: Pepper Jack on right, which will be aged for two months; and a cheese made from the leftover whey of the Pepper Jack on left, to be soaked in cider for four days for added flavor and eaten fresh.
We marked the emerging monsters for quick recon

A third has joined the alien eggs (see previous ‘WTF Photo’ post) or more likely, the stinky phalus circle. It’s become my new morning normal, what are the eggs up to today? One tried to emerge recently, only to fall flat.

I’m hoping they become something like this photo from a web search:

Stink horn mushroom

Cool, right? Perhaps begging the question: Which came first, the dildo or the mushroom? 🤣

Ahem . . . too much??

So, in other mushroom news . . .

On left, not edible, but a lovely pale yellow and so cute. On right, bland beige, odd smell, edible,delicious, but not so cute. With them I made a mushroom soup and added them to a cheese quesadilla—so tasty.

And wouldn’t you know, pigs really do fly! We woke to find our boar missing. It was quite the melodrama and Hubby was in quite the anguish about it. We’ve had him for many years now and saw no sign what could have become of him. Initially.

Hubby’s schedule was to breed the sows next month, as per usual. Papa Chop decided he couldn’t wait, apparently. We’ve got 4-foot fencing keeping everyone separated, which has worked just fine, until now. After some searching and hollering he eventually showed up at the fence line again, only to jump a second one to get at another sow. Just, Wow!

A+ for determination, old feller.

Pigs in heat—quite the force of nature!

A Fine Quackery — Dispatches from the Asylum

The gods despise their earthly lieutenants and thusly, devise all sorts of clever scenarios to highlight their idiocy, stupidity and blind devotion to ineptitude and fuckery, knowing most of the unwashed will never see it.  It’s a favorite past time of the gods. Give the presidency to a senile dipshit and sit back and […]

A Fine Quackery — Dispatches from the Asylum

Homestead Happenings

Never a dull moment on the wee homestead. Since our last update we’ve got limping dogs, goat rodeo, weather whiplash, a huge harvest of sweet potatoes, new cheeses and old ferments.

If it’s the cooler temps or longer nights or more critters creeping around, we can’t say, but our dogs have been doing a lot of midnight galavanting. First they got into skunks, and that was bad enough. Now we go out first thing in the morning to find them wet and limping and exhausted. We’ve started taking them for walks during the day trying to tire them out and make sure they get enough gentle exercise, because we’re worried they’re going to get themselves into some real trouble. It’s working out very well for our barn cat, Skittles, who now roams wherever she wants without fear of attack.

Milking just three goats twice a day is proving to be quite the chore considering with the two first-fresheners it’s a constant battle of wills. It seems every day they learn a new trick trying to get free treats. First it was bucking and kicking, then squatting making milking impossible, now one has graduated to full refusal, getting up on the milk stand only to lay down flat. It takes both of us, Hubby to hold legs and supply food, me to grasp the bucket with one hand and milk with one hand, each with our reflexes on full alert to shift, draw, grab in the split second it takes a hoof to swipe, spill, crush. It’s really not fun. At all. I have to remind us both that it takes patience and to stay focused on the rewards.

Cheese!

In garden news we got a very early frost and then the temps shot right back up to the high 80s. It’s cooled down a bit since then again and we got a whole 1/2 inch of rain, woohoo! It hardly made a difference, but maybe my fall seeds have a better chance now of germinating.

We harvested loads of sweet potatoes and still have more to go. The vines can’t handle even a light frost, like the basil, so we got all we could manage beforehand though the tomatoes and peppers survived, so that was a pleasant surprise.

I continue to experiment with fermenting all kinds of veggies and they are coming out so delicious. I moved them from the aging fridge to make room for the cheeses, but they kept great in there all summer. We’ve got all kinds of goodies—cucumbers, basil, peppers, okra, carrots, cabbage—and soon I’ll be tying sweet potatoes.

A whole world of deliciousness I’ve only really embarked on seriously starting this year, and thanks to this excellent book.

P.S. Sorry for all the sideways photos and if you get a crink in your neck trying to view them you can thank WordPress for that. I spent an hour trying to correct them, and it’s not working. My WordPress experience is getting worse and worse, which is why the days of this blog will be over soon as it’s just become too annoying to continue it. It’s gone steadily downhill since they forced the Block Editor on everyone. They continually make changes that only make it harder and more time-consuming to post. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

It’s Gain of Fiction Story Time with RFK Jr. and Friends! — ViroLIEgy

Post 9/11, bioweapons became a major concern with frightening stories about the potential for samples of smallpox to be aerosolized against US citizens necessitating the Bush administration to stockpile vaccines. There were terrifying tales of researchers successfully recreating the Spanish flu genome through reverse engineering which was considered a certainty to accidentally fall into the […]

It’s Gain of Fiction Story Time with RFK Jr. and Friends! — ViroLIEgy

Door #1 — COVID-19 virus is going to kill or maim us all!

Door #2 — Gain of Function criminals want to kill or maim us all!

Door #3 — “The GOF/bioweapon narrative is a red herring designed to keep people in a chronic state of fear of a potential biological terrorist attack in the same vein as the Russians with nukes during the Cold War or Sadam Hussein and his “weapons of mass destruction.” It is a smokescreen for the uninformed to keep them from digging even deeper.” ~ ViroLIEgy

An-Cap Mennonites — MCViewPoint

You may think that these friendly people may be vulnerable to tyrants, but surprisingly, they mostly get left alone because the state parasite always seeks philosophical support from the host. These people will never lend their moral support to the state. An-Cap Mennonites By David Hathaway Many wonder if voluntarist communities that avoid state entanglements are […]

An-Cap Mennonites — MCViewPoint

Seems to me these types of communities will grow in the coming years, and I say, more power to ‘em!

Sounds to me like they’d make good neighbors. I have also questioned how effective against tyranny such communities would be, but this author asserts they are. What do y’all think?? ~KH

Homestead Happenings

I’ve got some complaining to do today, but there are some rays of sunshine, too, fear not!

Let’s get the crap out of the way first, don’t you think?

In the mornin’, in the evenin’, ain’t we got fun?!

“Climate change”— aka Geoengineering/Weather Modification — continues to haunt us. That is, in droughting us out, mercilessly. I have little hope for the fall garden. I’ve had very poor germination in some crops, none at all in others. That could be the high soil temperature, the still scorching sun and heat even now into October, or perhaps it’s all that crap in the atmosphere.

The pastures are so parched, which means, as I mentioned last time, more sheep than we’d wanted to will go to freezer camp.

The upside is, we are eating very well these days. We’d slowed down on meat consumption over the summer because the freezers were low. The hens had really slowed down laying too in the heat. Now we’ve got meat and egg surplus and we’ve been indulging accordingly.

That also means tallow, which is like white gold to me!

Hubby also pressure canned us some lamb and broth. Yum!

They want a pretty penny for this stuff, which makes sense considering all the costs and effort involved. A basic tallow balm will set you back $15/ounce! I’ve already made one hand balm with rather erotic-scented essential oils that’s got the thumb’s up from my sole customer. 🤗

On to the garden . . .

The purple Czech hot pepper is still my season favorite. It’s still doing beautifully (under shade cloth) and is a lovely little plant I’ll try to over-winter indoors. Hubby is making hot sauce in the fermentation crock that I’m sure will be top-notch.

Pictured: the purple Czechs in the center back, Thai basil to its left, sweet basil upfront—so it is protected from full sun in every direction except from the east.
Even under shade cloth and screening the fall crops are not germinating. Luckily I was able to start a few indoors under grow lights.
Tomatoes also started indoors mid-summer under grow lights, now looking pretty good transplanted outside last month. Fingers crossed it doesn’t frost too early and we’ll get the rare fall harvest of plump red tomatoes. Dare to dream!

We’ve finally fully weened the kids and it’s been a very loud few days! I’ve got enough milk again to make some good cheeses, which is just about my favorite thing to do in the world. Or, I just really missed it all summer and I’m really sick of the garden.

The kids will be fine without their mamas, they just don’t know it yet. 😆

I’ve got to get practicing my cheeses again, because the interest in homesteading has really been growing around here. A nearby group has formed and asked us to share some knowledge, which we are pleased to do. Hubby will be lending a hand in the butchery department and I will be offering my fermentation wisdom— in kombucha, soft cheeses and sourdough—for now, hopefully moving on to more advanced skills if interests persist. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done any teaching and I’m already nervous! But, I’m so pleased folks are really starting to see the value in more self-reliant living.

Whether it’s out of necessity or innate interest, I’m thrilled more folks are choosing a more natural lifestyle.

And . . .I think the more the big shit stinks, the more we should be celebrating the small stuff.

And . . .Just in time for Halloween . . .a visit from a black widow!

A Bit of Lighter Fare — Dispatches from the Asylum

Homeless Vagrant Wins Fashion Award After Stumbling Onto Stage At Paris Fashion Week LIFESTYLE· Oct 4, 2022 · BabylonBee.com PARIS — Homeless vagrant Jean-Michel de Beauvoir won the coveted Palme d’Louvre award for Best in Fashion after stumbling onto the stage during Paris Fashion Week during a Balenciaga show. “This is the greatest day […]

A Bit of Lighter Fare — Dispatches from the Asylum

Waking up with a chuckle, thanks Decker and BabylonBee!!

Counting Blessings, Cutting Loses, Culling Critters

A respite from the heat, but still no rain. We surveyed our fenced land for grazing and have come to the sad conclusion that our intention last year to grow the herd will not be achieved in the near future.

Seemed like the right thing to do, growing the herd, considering food inflation and especially high meat prices, and the fact that Hubby is here full-time now, and that more bartering/trading could be in the foreseeable future. But, the parched land screams otherwise.

Between the steeply rising cost of feed and the meager forage available, and no guarantees the stranglehold of the weather terrorists will let up any time soon, we come to some difficult decisions.

We will wait another year to freshen the goats, drastically reduce the number of sheep, and breed back only one sow. We will maintain the poultry flock as-is for the most part, but had hoped to add ducks once again to the mix. No rain means fewer bugs means more supplemental feed. So that plan is not looking too good now either.

Planned building projects are also getting postponed. A ‘milking parlor’ was on the list, some much-needed repairs to the deck, rebuilding the greenhouse, a field shelter for the herd, and on and on, plans are easy, implementation, not so much!

We are blessed with an already achieved minimalism: Living seasonally, frugally, well-acquainted with the boom-bust cycles of our overlords and still small enough to be flexible, and with enough local support to know we’ve got each other.

Our most crucial long-term goal remains: Growing our own feed—perennials as well as annuals.

We hear the word ‘sustainable’ repeated multiple times a day these days, but there’s rarely anything truly sustainable being suggested.

It’s 99% hype and green washing. But actual sustainability does exist, and the more self-reliant we can be, the closer we are to achieving it.

How do we measure up?

And it’s not like there’s not plenty for us still to do and learn here, even with squeezing the belt tighter.

I’m still very interested in herbalism, especially as it pertains to our local environment. The best things in life are free, or nearly so, no?!

And while I do appreciate the allure of the consumer life, I’m far more fascinated by the natural world all around me. It’s always a matter of slowing down, observing ever more closely, teasing out the potential of all that is all around me, and some of that certainly means our local community, but that doesn’t just mean the people.

I’d love to learn more wild crafts, as well as more fine art tuning; more science, and more speculation; and much, much more about where and how these endeavors mesh.

There is a different brand of “More!”, isn’t there, than the furious Billy Idol sang about?

Or, maybe it’s all the same, in the midnight hour?

Nature’s Myriad Mysteries

Every day on the wee homestead brings some new mystery, most of which go mostly unsolved. No need for UFOs, Jesus’ image on your morning toast, or Big Foot sightings around here—we’ve got baffling bees, mystical mushrooms, and unexplained murders.

I’ll start with the most dramatic. A rancher neighbor was terribly shaken up and recounted a recent disturbing event at their place, meaning to warn us. They found two calves bleeding, one dead, one still barely alive, which they had to put down, the injury was so severe.

She had been crying, as I would’ve been as well, and told me in their nearly two decades here they had never seen such a thing and had no idea what creature had done it. It wasn’t any kind of injury they recognized or have had to deal with before. Each one had a single tear right up its undercarriage, with the entrails spilling out, and nothing eaten. Coyotes being our typical predators around here, I inquired along those lines and she shook her head, clearly, not this time. We do hear stories about panther sightings on occasion, I myself thought I saw one once too. But again, the gnawing question, predators don’t just kill calves for the fun of it. Two calves killed, no markings or traces of a struggle, and nothing eaten. That is a mystery I prefer not to think too much about.

So, quickly, on to better stories!

I have an update on the bizarre ‘mushroom blob’ from a recent post. Over the last weeks it has developed into typical bracket or crust fungi. While now at least it is generally identifiable, the mystery still remains, because bracket mushrooms grow on trees, not under vines in regular garden soil. There is not even wood mulch on the top of the bed where it’s growing.

The fungi when I first found it above, and again today, below.

My only guess is that the mycelia network is coming up from below this raised bad. We threw a bunch of wood chunks down before piling on the soil. But, that might be a stretch, as I’ve never heard of these mushrooms growing on anything but living or dead bark. I just don’t know.

Mushrooms being my second favorite mystery after bees, we end with a sweeter little story.

This bitternut tree was all abuzz with activity this morning. It’s hard with photos to get a sense of how many bees were working it, so there’s a short video clip below for the sound effects.

We couldn’t help but think it was such odd bee behavior, because nothing on this tree is blooming—no pollen, no nectar. Yet the bees were clearly eating something off the leaves. So, we licked the leaves, and they taste sweet! I have no idea why this would be, but the leaves seem to be exuding some kind of sap. The bees have been all over it all day, so it wasn’t just morning dew.

This sounds like the simple sort of mystery a local arborist could solve for us. If I find out, I’ll be sure and let y’all know, so you don’t loose any sleep over it! 😆

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