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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remembering Buck

As I was coming out of the garage the other day...from getting something out of the freezer for supper...I looked behind the door to say hi to Buck. He wasn't there of course. After 11 1/2 years he had become an integral part of the family. We helped Buckshot pass to the Summer Lands at the Winter Solstice.
I miss him.
He will be greatly missed.
An amazing cow dog, family pet, goofy sidekick...Buck-a-roonie I use to call him.

My Labyrinth bulding project

My labyrinth will be finished this summer!
Visit my labyrinth link on my Rustic Rooster website. I have information and designs as well as links to other Labyrinth sites.
This is the design pictured, that I am completing. I decided on a spiral design because I am obsessed with spirals. Spirals are in much of my artwork.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another winter storm coming

We (myself, Winchester and Remington my two sons) spent the day getting things ready for this storm. Predictions are 8-12 inches by Wednesday morning...please! NOOOOO!!!!
It wouldn't be so bad but we are flooding as well. It's going to be a mess.
We had another calf born. Number 41. So we are down to 4 umm maybe 5 left to go.
I thought I'd get plants started this week. We'll see. As much as I am looking forward to getting my hands in dirt and getting just might be a matter of just dealing with the flood and the snow.
This picture is leaving the house and heading out the driveway. The first pasture on the right is where we have moved the cows to get on higher land. To the righ is Cedarbrook. Very close to the brink of the road.
The calves are of course being wild and getting on the road. The water has gone down a bit. We'll see what happens though if we get as much snow as predicted.
So as I am writing, the snow is coming down like crazy.
I'll keep posting...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What you need to know...

I am forwarding the latest newsletter from Local I wanted to post perspectives from all sides. This needs to be passed around to inform.
Ok here is the newsletter. After it I have posted some sites that will get you to start really thinking.

It's been a big month for people who love real food. As you've no doubt heard, the First Lady planted a garden. On Friday my email inbox was full of messages triumphantly singing out the news. We'd like to send our own congratulations and thanks to Kitchen Gardeners International, a small organization that worked on this idea tirelessly and with great creativity over the last 15 months. It's a good one, and we believe the nation will be better for it.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've also received a barage of emails about the "Food Safety Modernization Act", or HB 875. The tone of these was somewhere between concerned and hysterical. From what we have learned, HB 875 is not the horror story it has been made out to be. It would not, for example, result in "totalitarian control" or "the planned elimination of farmers" as one oft-forwarded email put it. It actually contains some sound ideas. But for some reason, myths and misinformation about this bill have taken root and spread like a noxious weed.

It got me to thinking. First, truth be told, it made my head spin. All this justifiable jubilance stuffed in next to that screeching panic felt downright disorienting. The administration could not publicly promote organic gardening, and then sign off on a bill that would "criminalize organic farming and outlaw home gardening." It's absurd.

But what does it mean, to have so much exuberance in the locavore community on the one hand, and so much fear and loathing on the other? I think it comes down to this: food, and the ability to grow it honestly, is fundamental to our well-being. We celebrate when we see the food we love, and the values behind it, being respected by influential people. And if we feel that our right to grow that food without undue interference is threatened, we react strongly.

That said, it seems to me that we need to take a breath and put both of our hands to work. We can, each of us, sow at least one seed this spring. If the First Lady thinks pulling a few weeds is a good activity for her family, it's probably good for ours too - and it is. We can, each of us, also follow the food safety bills as they make their way through Congress, writing to our representatives to tell them how important small scale, organic agriculture is to us and to our communities.

It turns out that HB 875 is unlikely to go anywhere. And that's not necessarily great news, given that it contained some ambitious, positive changes. Our friends at the Cornucopia Institute tell us that 875 has been passed over for another food safety bill, HB 759. They, and others like Food and Water Watch think that we will need to make our voices heard as HB 759 moves forward, to ensure that the bill that is eventually passed includes exemptions for small food processing facilities and the same kind of smart, risk-based inspection processes that are contained in HB 875. We'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of the newsletter, take good care, and eat well.

Erin Barnett
Director, LocalHarvest

Will Congress Wipe Out Home Gardens, Growers Markets?

http://www.newswith NWV-News/ news133.htm

Lose your property for growing food?
Big Brother legislation could mean prosecution, fines up to $1 million index.php? fa=PAGE.view&pageId=92002

Here's a site with an excellent article on NAIS, plus two good videos - for sharing with anyone who doesn't 'get it' about NAIS.

The obama administration is moving forward at a frightening pace to implement NAIS. Spread the world and stop the insanity.

http://eriewire. wordpress. com/2009/ 02/24/local- food-challenged/

Monday, March 23, 2009

Planting Seeds Soon

Ok, I'm excited about this website Survivalist Seeds...look for the website in my links...Thanks Leo and Christine! We're going in on a package deal of seeds with them. Lots of information on this site.
I would like to build more raised beds this year. As you can see my lettuce beds were awesome last year. We ate lots of wilted lettuce!
I plant heirlooms and start all my own seeds. It's almost time to get started.

Spring Rains

Ack it's too early for all this rain. We are in danger of flooding...way too soon. Too soon for flooding...yeah it floods here on Cedarbrook Steading. Some years are more so than others. Last year our fields looked like lakes but it was not that much of an inconvenience. We didn't have to move cattle to higher ground. This year, hmmm...we're keeping our fingers crossed.
I've been busy making product and catching up. Last week I made healing salves and lotions. Today I finished making creams. Maple syrup time. Some collecting was done over the weekend. I hosted the A&S project day yesterday and we finished bottling our hard cider.
I posted a pic of three of our horses. I am anxious to do some riding soon. Chiree, Greyboy and Angel. My hips and knees haven't been to bad this winter as I think I've got a handle on my lymes. Yeahhhh horse back riding again!
Ok off to make potluck for COA Scouts tonight.
Winchester has his paper work back from Eagle Scout. We are very proud of him. We will have a small celebration with the troop and venture crew. Remington is finishing up his requirements and will work on his project this summer. Whooo hoooo!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 Events Schedule Update

Ok, a little history here... I've done the craft shows and farmer's market thing in past years. I gave it a good try but finally realized it just wasn't going to be the ticket. There are lots of reason, but I think mainly the reason is that my product is for a very specific and limited consumer base. The area I live in doesn't help. If I lived closer to the cities, that would help. Like my friend Carmen says, "Here in Oregon you'd do extremely well"....So I was content on word of mouth and catering to a small audience of people who really really embraced what my product was all about. The Crow Wing Coop is a wholesale account and has help immensely with that. I truly appreciate all that Linda the general manager has done to get my product out there for her customers to see and purchase.
So a new avenue has just opened up.... I have a friend who is doing the show circuit this spring and summer and has offered to bring my product to sell along with her line of fun and exciting things.
"Unique Keepsakes" is the name of Christine's business. Go to my website and check out the Shopping Events Calendar to see where she will be next and go check out her stuff and of course mine as well. The next show is here in Aitkin at the Commerce and Sports Show this Saturday and Sunday, March 14, 15th. She has some fun and unique gifts.
Thank you Christine for letting me tag along with my product. Here's to a successful and prosperous year!

January through March is whirlwind of activities

These are pics my son Remington took in January. He has an eye for photography.
It's been absolutely a whirlwind here on Cedarbrook Steading. I have so much to share on what's been going on. Last week was absolutely crazy. I'll post later, but right now we are putting down new bedding for the cows after this storm. What a mess! Naturally with the full moon and the weather storm we had three calves born. The last one is in the porch wrapped up in Winchester's hunting suit. I'll take a picture of it before we put it back out in the barn with it's mom. Mom is a show cow so she isn't concerned we took it from her for a bit.
Till later on...Happy LAST winter storm funnin time!