Hi, Liam! I am in Prince George, and don't despair, there is a lot you can do in this climate! Be sure to insulate that chicken coop, though. If you're planning to let those chickens free range, it will be useful if you start planting some things they like to eat. Caragana will grow very well; in fact it needs a cold climate. It's great as a barrier to a lot of wildlife. I regularly have moose, deer, bears, coyotes, foxes, and assorted wildlife around my place, too, but they don't really bother much. A dog around helps with that, but needs to be trained to leave the chickens alone lol. Deer seem to be the most destructive, but when I didn't have a dog, there were far more of them around. The dog doesn't chase them or anything, I think they just know from his urine and poop that he is here, so they don't come around much. Plant some rhubarb, it will do well. Always nice to have it early in spring before anything else is ready. Mine is starting now, it's a couple inches high and I will be eating it before too long. I have lots and would give some plants if you don't. Need to renovate the rhubarb patch this year. I used to raise all the food that could be raised here for my family of 5. That included potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, beans, peas, all sorts of greens like chard and spinach, as well as onions, chives, and assorted herbs. Don't worry about the climate, our Earth has plants and trees for every zone. Good luck! You are going to have a lot of fun!
Something I haven't seen mentioned here is using a horse or a team for snow plowing. They are awfully good for that! So figure in how much gas you wouldn't have to buy for that and another few chores they can do before you decide they are such a big expense. I am pretty sure I could make a horse pay its own way fairly easily. Learning to trim feet would be useful, too, and I don't think it's too hard if you're not needing shoes or anything complicated. Horses in work keep their own feet trimmed, and often need only little touchups. As far as minis go, I have a few friends who have them, and I wouldn't even consider it. Maybe mini donkey, but not horse. They often seem to be plagued with health issues and it's quite hard to keep them from getting too fat and getting laminitis. It's worth mentioning that unless you're keeping too many horses, then de-worming is not something they need often once they reach adulthood. Just like dogs, the adults develop immunity. I never dewormed horses unless fecal egg counts indicated it was necessary. Horses' value as lawn mowers is underestimated, too. They are not really very hard to keep fenced unless the area has little graze for them. I think if I was to truly shoot for being sustainable on a homestead, it would be necessary to have horses. I just thought, too, that even minis could be used for moving the chicken tractors around.
I've grown lots of potatoes in my day, and had no diseases such as is being described here. The worst I've ever seen is a bit of scab, which is merely cosmetic. The other diseases you've mentioned are ones I've never even heard of. I plant potatoes that sprouted from the store bought bags, and I plant potatoes I buy for seed if I can get a deal. Also, I do grow very good and very large potatoes consistently. Used to sell a good portion of my crop for 3X the store prices. Tried the tower/bag things a couple times with no luck at all, and there are dozens of videos on Youtube of dismal failures also. The degree of horror being expressed here about these diseases has be completely shocked. Spuds are not hard to grow, nor are they hard to keep healthy.
I read something a year or so ago about putting a duck on a leash and taking it around the garden to eat bugs that way. It sounds do-able to me if you have a severe slug problem. Not that I've ever tried to train a duck to a leash lol
Kathryn McCoy wrote:Ludi, Not all experiences have been "negative", and I was not expecting anything in return for sharing or giving. But when I have loaned tools or books, many have been stolen or broken, which I have had to replace. Twice, when I have created websites for friends with their businesses, as soon as I got the site up and running, they bailed on paying or trading, a third guy bailed on the photos for his site, so I am tempted now, instead of dealing business on a persons word, which used to mean something to make sure everything is paid for in advance. I really hate going into a relationship or business deal thinking that I am going to get screwed.
As to sharing or giving, I do it regardless, not expecting anything back, it is my nature. But in many of these cases the people I have helped begin coming to me for everything they need, pouring out sob stories for help and that becomes a different matter. If I help someone with their groceries and utilities and then the next day drop their child off from a meeting, to find them having a steak grilling party with coolers full of beer, I am less likely to want to help them again.
I have also been a sharing and helpful person whenever I could, all my life. I am like your father - I do not loan anything unless I am all right with simply giving it away to that person. If I help someone I do not expect anything. That means I do not expect them to respect the fact that I have given them something and to NOT come tomorrow asking for more. I am a big girl and I know how to say no. These are often the people who need the most. Maybe they have never had anyone they could trust to help them out. If I was building resentment toward people who had not behaved in the way I wanted them to, then I would have my first clue that I HAD had some expectations of that person. In the steak grilling party scenario, do you know for sure that the needy person had bought all that? Did you ask? Most importantly, were you invited? LOL And there is nothing wrong with getting paid half or so for a job that has been contracted. You can only get screwed in a relationship or business deal if you allow it. Perhaps by having expectations which should probably be discussed ahead of time? Just sayin...
This thread is not new, and I realize that. But I live in BC and also have moose passing through regularly. Used to have an old cow that came every spring with her new calf. She got quite used to being around, but they stayed away from the garden. Mostly I think a dog should take care of it. Or maybe two dogs. During a period where I had NO dog, the moose and deer were very plentiful all over the place. Now that I have a dog this is not the case. I think they sort of know by the smell if a dog lives here. Mostly they do a little damage to trees in the winter. When I take the dog out in the morning, I will see their tracks and a few branches broken off some trees. I do not mind sharing. In fact, I think sharing with the wildlife is the right way to think about it. If you want the moose to leave your garden and fruit trees alone, just plant some willows (stick some green sticks in the ground, most will grow) that are between the bush and your gardens. Moose will FAR prefer the willows. I have noticed that they also do not ever take very much, though they may come back a few times and it adds up sometimes. They seem to like to keep moving, taking a few mouthfuls here and there. These are just my observations from living with them for 33 years in this location. I love all the wildlife that comes around here, a little damage is a small price to pay.
Most of us who might be interested in this would first need to know the price you are asking. There is no point in asking anything else unless we know that. I could be very interested, but again, price will determine that. Whatever you want for it, just put it out there and then you will have a better idea of how it is received. 20 acres would allow more than one family, but only if zoning allows. Thank you. I hope to hear from you soon, would love to take a look in the spring. Again, if the PRICE seems manageable. Connie
John Polk wrote:Looks like they could haul their weight plus...
...but I'd certainly hate to pay the feed bill !
Moose are cheap to feed, you just let them browse. They are not much into hay and grain, they eat brush! No fence will hold them, those legs can about trot over an 8 foot fence. I figure the only way to domesticate them so you could use them would be to tie them up all the time, which would be awful on so many levels. They are interesting creatures, though; I have several around my place and I really enjoy watching them. It's clear enough that some of them would be fairly easy to tame. Used to have one old cow that brought her calf here every year and they lived close, because she was getting too old to be able to protect herself and her baby. If I hadn't been busy raising my own family, I often thought of trying to touch that baby. They would hang out really close by so it might have been easy. I like to see the moose come around, because they are not destructive to gardens, etc, like the deer are. Incidentally, my horses were more scared of moose than bears. Plenty of entertainment value there.
I've lived with caragana since I was a kid. The seeds don't taste very good, but the blossoms sure do! We kids used to strip them and eat them all the time, they are sweet like honey. I love this plant. It does need a good cold winter, so that may be why people on the west coast have less success with this one. Maybe plant it in the coldest spot you can find and hope. It's been my experience that deer (we have both mule and whitetail here) do not bother it at all. Rabbits, squirrels, etc, seem to eat it. I've always just dug some up from somebody else's yard, then it spreads all by itself. Doesn't even seem to matter what time of year you dig it out. I am going to try some cuttings this year and see how it goes. I don't think I could every have too much caragana. It's far prettier than lilac, too, and useful. It does produce a LOT of pods, about the size of sweet pea pods, so I think if the chickens like it, you could pick it and store easily. 36% protein is nothing to pass up, IMO. I wonder if you could sprout it before feeding to increase nutrition.
I've often wondered if you could rig one of those old bumper jacks to compress the bricks. Some people call them jack-alls. Seems you get a lot of leverage with those, and they are well made, especially the old ones. Easy to find, not too many people use them any more.