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visit/moving to the lab in spring. help and suggestions.  RSS feed

 
kadence blevins
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I have a 9-5 job currently. If you think walmart is bad, try stayin in the pharmacy all day. My goal is to save/raise enough money to be able to come out for a ~2wk or so visit. After making sure everyone clicks well and maybe smoothing out some details of course, i would like to make the move.

Currently i am living in virginia. Born near detroit michigan and raised on a 250 acre farm in eastern ohio. I have manners and morals and generally quiet until comfortable with the group of people. Age 22. Female. Dont smoke at all. Dont do drugs etc. Rarely rarely drink alcohol.

I have experince raising hogs, chickens, turkeys, coturnix quail, meat rabbits, meat guinea pigs, meat/dairy/fiber goats, milk/meat cows,...

My main animal interests include:
#1, a spinners flock of sheep. Will include extra lambs for meat.
#2, meat guinea pigs herd. I had a thread going in the rabbit section here. Had to sell off and have just got into them again with 10 sows and a boar. I have info for importing true peruvian meat cuy but it is very expensive and i would need to smooth out my setup before attempting that. Though i have tons of ideas for them.
#3, a line of goats that will be bigger than dwarfs and nigerians and have some good muscle for meat. But also have good milking capability. I have ~6 yrs experience keeping goats with my family and ~3 yrs experince keeping several myself.
#4, meat rabbits. I have alot of ideas on rotational grazing them and hopefully not havin them make a mudhole nor escape and be a menace or eaten and attracting predators.
#5, yaks. I havent been able to research them much yet but... oh my gosh they are just so adorable and hardy and and and!!! :p

My main interests other than animals include:
#1, wofati sort of type "barn"s for above mentioned animals.
#2, experimenting with native style housing, the next year add some permie innovation (ex: fireplace -> rmh heater... solar tubes DIY...)
#3, classes on fiber animals, washing/prepping fiber, dying fiber,.. spinning, felting,.. knitting, crocheting, naalbinding, weaving,..
#4, classes on milking animals, making milk into things like cheeses/ yogurt/ cream/ ice cream/...
#5, pack animals, cart animals, care and training... making packs, carts, needed gear,... ((goats, yaks, oxen, oh my!))
#6, i have a youtube channel already and i would love to be able to do tons of videos and picture tutorials etc. For here on permies and maybe some small teaching booklets etc as an income.
(( if interested in my past vids look for "girlwalkswithgoats" channel on youtube. Sadly i had a full real-time video of making cheese and making butter.. but my laptop at the time crashed and its lost ): ))
#7, i like carving and modeling (from clay, lol!). I would love to do some work like this. Woodframing, roundwood building/furniture,..
#8, i used to hunt. I would love to get back into using a bow and arrows. I have done alot of research on atlatls and they are so awesome! Would love to work with someone/people on making more and getting good with them.

I am unsure how to wrap up this first post. I have tried three crowdfunding campaigns. Two of the three were posted here at the wheaton labs section in threads.
I felt like i did everything possible to encourage people to pitch in. Many suggestions from Paul and Jocelyn.
... and all three flopped.

So i want to know:
what do YOU want that i could probably do/make? So that i can sell them to you or put them as rewards on a new crowdfund campaign.

Once photobucket decides to cooperate i will try uploading pics of some of my hobbies and ideas.

As possible interest to Paul i will add something else..
I have PCOS. Basically my ovaries are not so great and cause lots of issues. My hormones are out of whack. My weight is very difficult to lower thus far in my life. The odds of me getting pregnant naturally right now is pretty freakin horrible. As a general idea most women have a cycle every month pretty regularly and possibly miss one every so often. Whereas my first cycle happened at 14y/o, the second cycle at 17, third cycle at 19, tried the pill about five months and got too expensive etc and even then was out of whack.
Now i just keep things on hand because it could be tomorrow or could be next year or two years.
I really believe food is a huge factor. Especially being a farm girl i understand how food affects animals health and breeding and healthy young.
I would really love to be able to have a family someday and maybe like Paul said, someone could come to the lab and be changed and get healthy.

Thanks all.
 
paul wheaton
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Dale Hodgins
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kadence blevins
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I do. We are at that weird point where he is deciding if he wants to really jump on this crazy train or not.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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You might also try We The Trees as a crowdfunding source.
 
paul wheaton
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:You might also try We The Trees as a crowdfunding source.


I think she did wethetrees twice. I seem to remember thinking that the rewards could have been better.



 
Penny Dumelie
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Kadence, I am part of a few different groups on Facebook centered around prepping or food preservation. I have noticed that storing canned preserves is a concern to some people because glass isn't the most solid container. People in earthquake areas seemed to have the most concerns but others too.
I have thought a (padded)sewn or knitted sleeve to fit over the jars, maybe even a style like an open-topped six pack (the old cardboard style for glass bottles), would be useful.
I've never seen anyone make them before and I see you have an etsy shop.
It could make you some money, maybe. Or at the very least, sometimes ideas beget ideas.

Good luck!

Just a ps to add... I'm a little envious of your plans. I discovered I'm only a 6 hour drive from Missoula. Probably a good thing I don't have a passport right now.

 
R Scott
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Sometimes there are mountains in your way--the real wisdom is knowing which mountains to climb and which ones to go around. You have the experience of someone twice your age (honestly, I thought you were much older from the breadth and depth of your instructional posts), I know you will find your way.


Ideas: That is a hard one, because it is still about your passions.

The jar keeper idea is a good one. The only versions out there now are plastic or $$$$

Jar coozies are a very needed item--just like a foam can coozy but natural material and sized for pint and 24oz mason jars. Could be felt, blanket scraps, canvas, burlap and cotton cover--whatever scrap/waste stream you have access to and can make. Done right they soak up condensation and keep your drink cool longer, not to mention keep the jar safer.
 
kadence blevins
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Thanks everyone.

Yes i tried wethetrees first and then indiegogo. I am considering doing another one but i feel like Paul said, i need to come up with better rewards. I think part of my lack of rewards people want is because i have very very little $$$. So i need to come up with stuff and add the costs for the materials needed for the rewards to the goal.

Goals:
1) Random skein (~100 yards) of handspun yarn. Different fibers.
2) ...

Selling ideas:
1) good one on the jar holders/carriers. Maybe like a wood frame box with quilted and padded inside. And the padded inside has those snaps so you can pull em out and wash em if needed.
2) love the jar cozy idea. I can definitely crochet up some simple jar sleeves. Would be easy to wash and simple to store extras. More space saving than a carrier box like above.
3) handspun yarn. I actually havent had anythin up on my etsy in ages because i was spending like $20 posting things and no sales. I need to make a new paypal and see if i can try with etsy again.
4) i have tons of things i have knit and crochet with storebought yarns. None of it was selling either.
5) quilts. I love to sew and i could whip out probably two quilts a week if i had a working machine and quilting stand/table. Quilts can sell for super high if they are good too.
 
kadence blevins
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Hahaha yes people tend to think i am much older than i am or several years younger.
I am often mistaken as my sisters mom (16 and 18 y/o) or young as them.
 
Judith Browning
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Kadance, I am so wanting you to be able to do this ...What is the bare minimum that it would take? If it was you and a backpack on the bus? Is it just money that is keeping you from doing what you want to do or family ties, relationships and animals?.....aside from any guidelines at the Lab.
I am not a good one to advise about how to earn money....I found moving and changing my life as easy as walking to the highway and sticking out my thumb. Not for everyone but a big lifestyle change doesn't have to always cost big bucks.
I know first hand it is difficult to more than 'make a subsistence living' selling your craft. It is a satisfying and wonderful way to earn money and feel good about it but very difficult to save anything unless you have built up a business over many years.

....and there might be others like me who would chip in a bit for a bus ticket but don't participate in online funding stuff (no paypal, bitcoin,etc).
We need a scholarship fund for earnestness
I love the way you think and hope for the best for a spring trip west!
 
kadence blevins
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I have done the "whim move" once. All i had was what was in my purse and the clothes i was wearing. Two day greyhound ride later i was on the eastern shore of maryland. Put in an app at a gas station and got the job so i stayed about seven months. Job started gettin all crazy and manager hated me so i moved back to ohio.

I have an old car that me and SO are sharing right now. I would very much be content to move to the lab with only what i can fit in here. Its a 90 ford taurus.
I was thinking also like Paul has suggested before, that if i moved with the car i could do a car sharing deal with folks at the lab. It would hopefully pay for the insurance cost and maybe a few dollars to pocket away.

I have hobby/craft/tool stuff that would come with me. And whatever critters. Currently i have one buck rabbit, 9 guinea pig sows and 1 boar, and 3 young guinea pig boars. The young boars i am gonna try and sell off as pets for some money to pocket away. The sows i will be culling down to only the best before i would move. And only bring thee best boar.
With the idea of setting up pens/grazing area for them and a colony for the rabbit. The rabbit would get a girly friend and i would work on raising them 100% from the land and putting up for winter feed for them. Hopefully in later times i could figure a way to pasture the rabbits.

I have done a good bit of travel by Amtrak train. Can be very nice... and very long. The trip i took alot was back and forth ohio > virginia. Its a 6.5-7 hour drive when i did it this summer. The train trip is board at 7:30 AM, ride a few hour, stop and wait 4 hour layover in DC, board different train at about 1PM, get off in ohio at 2-6AM. The stop at ohio is horrid for delays for some reason. The ride back is same except you wait at the tiny stop in ohio from 1:30AM until anywhere from 2AM to 8AM with delays of various reasons.
Thats better than i can say for my greyhound trio which had a 1:30AM-4AM layover in pittsburgh and i was scared crapless most of the time from the creepy people and hobos comin through. And at one stop and change bus it was a new driver and they got lost and we had to wait at the stop for three hours instead of half an hour.

Hahaha so anyhow...
 
kadence blevins
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Car insurance enough to cover three month: $255

If we decide to split then would pay him off the car (he doesnt drive anyhow) : $900

Gas money appx: $ ?? (I have to figure the route i would go, mileage, and figure out what my MPG is at... lol i am not a car person. But the VA->OH trip was $170 in gas for the trip there and back plus driving while there. And that was ~640 miles each way. Here to Missoula is about 2400 miles. Math needed. Lol.)
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Another second on the jar cozies for canning jars!

Last December, I went to a cocktail bar with my daughter and she had a hot toddy in a tall (highball) glass. It was wearing a crocheted cozy! I couldn't believe it. It was a nice, funky little cocktail bar in a rather nice neighborhood of Seattle called Ballard. I tried to find the pic I took - will edit and add later if I run across it.

Now on to doing some math.

kadence blevins wrote:Car insurance enough to cover three month: $255

If we decide to split then would pay him off the car (he doesnt drive anyhow) : $900

Gas money appx: $ ?? (I have to figure the route i would go, mileage, and figure out what my MPG is at... lol i am not a car person. But the VA->OH trip was $170 in gas for the trip there and back plus driving while there. And that was ~640 miles each way. Here to Missoula is about 2400 miles. Math needed. Lol.)

So it sounds like your gas could be about 4 times as much to drive to Missoula, or ~$680.

Which means:
$100.00 gapper fee*
$255.00 car insurance
$900.00 buy out half owner of car
$680.00 gas
$_____ guinea pig food?
$_____ allowance for food, camping, motels, emergencies?
=$1,935.00 total without the last two unknowns.

How much is a bus ticket or plane fare to Missoula?

Maybe this isn't how the car purchased was worked out between you, but what if you get bought out for your half of the car and have $900 in your pocket toward that? I'm not sure how much it would cost or if you could transport guinea pigs via either mode. It might be cheaper than driving out.

You see, here at base camp, we currently have a couple gappers with vehicles, and Paul owns vehicles that gappers are allowed to use on occasion**, so there are transportation options once you're here.

Maybe a list of pros and cons for either coming with the car or not is worth doing.


*<wet blanket alert> I just want to note that while kadence's skill set, enthusiasm, and knowledge of wheaton labs stuff is stellar, we are not waiving this fee for anyone at this time.

**Note to all reading this: wheaton labs vehicle use is carefully meted out and monitored! Not a willy-nilly thing with a bunch of gappers to be sure. No offense to anyone. It's more of a benefit to those who have shown responsibility and a long-term commitment to being here. This is in large part because Paul wants us to have shared vehicles for a lower ecologically footprint. Hope that makes sense!

 
kadence blevins
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I hadnt thought too much on the car reversing there.. hm..
Well planes and animals would be insanely expensive. My aunt once sent a cat home with me and it was like $60 for basically a pet ticket and like $35 for a soft sided small carrier which had to go under the seat/ between my feet. I dont think thatd go well adding up 6 or so guinea pigs. If i recall as well planes wont allow them because they are technically rodent family. Dumb.
And Amtrak i know doesnt do animals period.

Its a thought to work out cost of a rental vehicle. I will have to look that up. Though if its nearly the cost of payin out for this car i would rather own this than pay nearly as much to rent for the trip.

I will look up amtrak and plane cost for the visit to see what would be better.

Currently i am mixing rabbit pellets and guinea pig feed. Its $16 for #50 rabbit pellets and $25 for #50 guinea pig pellets. High price because its higher protein and has vit c. Then as much grass and forage and hay as i can give em. I would love to be able to do some trays of sprouts/fodder for em through the winter with no fresh forage.

Also i have a contact on arkanas/missouri line who has some super awesome meat rabbits and sells breeding age ones for good prices. Has great animals.
Also a guy in wisconsin who sometimes has some half-peruvian-meat-cuy guinea pigs that would be neat to see/get one or two. Lol if time and money and space allow of course.
I just have so many ideas! Hahaha.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hey, at least you're thinking about more options! That's the point, right?
 
C. Hunter
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Hmm. It's just a thought, but what about seeing if you could help those meat rabbit and cuy contacts you've got with some delivery/sales out towards the lab? I've covered my gas a few times driving to/from distant family by reaching out to local rescue groups I am a contact for and offering to do transports in exchange for them chipping in a bit on gas. (The general thing is that rescue transports are usually done for free, but if I'm willing to do the entire distance rather than require a whole chain of people, a lot of rescue groups will cover at least SOME of my gas). It probably wouldnt' cover your whole gas cost, but it probably wouldn't hurt?
 
kadence blevins
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Thanks. I am about to post on a couple groups about doing transport.

I am workin on sketching out a wooden carrier box for mason jars. I could do quilted cozies. Slip on a cozy, pop in the carrier, off ya go.


Can someone give me some measurements of different jar sizes? Like pint/quart/half gallon etc and the height, circumference, diameter..
That way i can put some numbers on my sketch for different sizes.

Thanks!
 
kadence blevins
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Here is the updated ideas for rewards list:

$15, 50yd random skein handspun yarn

$20 set of 5 hand knit/crochet mason jar cozies

$30 handspun yarn hand knit/crochet into adult hat

$40 set of 10 hand quilted mason jar cozies

$50 handmade mason jar wooden carrying box

$60 hand crochet shawl

$65 handmade mason jar wooden carrying box *with* hand quilted cozies


Any suggestions/ suggested changes welcome!
How high should i go with rewards?
Is increments of $10 good like i am doing?
 
R Scott
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Wow, if anything your prices are cheap. Get them out there before black Friday!
 
paul wheaton
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kadence blevins
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The second campaign thread:
http://www.permies.com/t/28256/labs/campaign-fiance-Lab

The first campaign thread:
http://www.permies.com/t/25552/labs/campaign-submitted

Ack.. rereading my old rewards i want to slap myself!
Tell me what you all would like as rewards and adjusting money levels for them and i will do so... because this is clearly not my strong point lol.. hahahaha.
 
kadence blevins
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To see some of things i have been up to.. my youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/girlwalkswithgoats

I have many new ones since the old campaigns. I hatched quail eggs in an electric griddle, for example.
 
kadence blevins
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I am thinking i could do something extra to help encourage people to help the campaign. I am a super shutterbug and love to take pictures and videos. I thought perhaps something like "donate $10-50 and get super special secret email with pictures that wont be on the blog/in the public videos".

Or maybe... "donate $50-100 and get emails with super special secret links to videos that wont be public including funny outtakes/bloopers"

Thoughts? Higher $ for those? Lower? Suggestions for more always welcome! (:
 
Judith Browning
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Kadence, Maybe you could figure out a way to accommodate funding from some of us old fashioned folks who would be happy to send $50 to $100 just to help out when the time comes.....Some way to accept 'pledges' maybe that doesn't involve on line funds....I don't need prizes..just would like to see you do this
and possibly the 'care package' thing that is already happening at the lab would help....if there were things that would weigh you down too much for the move, they could be sent straight to the lab from some of us, maybe. Maybe a sponsor? a diversity of funding sources..........?
 
kadence blevins
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I had previously thought about and turned down the idea of giving people a mailing address to send cash/checks to me. I still find the idea of someone tryin to track me down highly creepy and not nearly so unlikely.
I am now reconsidering it. Still think bad things happen. But now i am thinking i may take that risk.

People who would be interested in sending cash/check via mail please "purple moosage" me here. If theres several people interested i may do this.


****Anyone with jar measurements? Anyone?
 
kadence blevins
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And as promised.. i will try to pack in pics.

Freehand crochet socks:


Hatched coturnix quail chicks in an electric griddle:



Some handspun yarn. This was from a girl a town over who raises olde english babydoll southdown sheep on hay and pasture. Darn near organic.


Litter of meat rabbits grazing:
 
kadence blevins
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Fat little baby rabbits:


Some pencil roving i spun on my drop spindle:
 
Chris Knipstein
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kadence blevins wrote:I had previously thought about and turned down the idea of giving people a mailing address to send cash/checks to me. I still find the idea of someone tryin to track me down highly creepy and not nearly so unlikely.
I am now reconsidering it. Still think bad things happen. But now i am thinking i may take that risk.

People who would be interested in sending cash/check via mail please "purple moosage" me here. If theres several people interested i may do this.


****Anyone with jar measurements? Anyone?


If you're just looking to receive letters look into renting a PO box. I looked at their confusing price list but seems you can get one for maybe $20 for 3 months. Since you wouldn't need it long term maybe you could even set up having mail forwarded from the PO box to your address. (Not sure if they do that but worth asking since it wouldn't be long term.)
https://www.usps.com/manage/po-boxes.htm

As for jar measurements I found this chart for you.
The webpage the chart is from is here http://www.scribd.com/doc/45216762/JarSiz-Dim-Chart

I found that link on this webpage that is worth a look as I think it is basically what your looking to do. You could turn some thrift store finds into cozies as well like they are doing here.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3069/




 
paul wheaton
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I like kickstarter because it shoots for certain values. I think wethetrees can do it too, but I'm not as familiar with how their stuff works.

The root of kickstarter is: I think people want widget X for $20. If I get $5000 worth of orders of widget X at $20 per order, I will totally make widget X.

Now, it is possible that you are thinking "what *I* want is lovely-thing-Z". And I see a lot of kickstarters that say "help me raise money so I can have nice things." And it seems that most of those don't get funded.

So what I propose is that you say is "If I get funded, I will start a daily vlog at wheaton labs. The funds will be used to get me there." With funding, I promise that I will create a vlog per day, EVERY day.

Now, there is the issue that you might get here and that you HATE it here. Or you get here and we send you down the road. However, we have yet to ask anybody to leave that has listened to ALL of the podcasts. How many have you listened to? But this sort of risk would go in the kickstarter "risks and challenges".

So, now you are committed that if you get funded, you will make 365 vlogs in 365 days.

So, let's say that you need $3000 to get here. So that would be your kickstarter/wethetrees goal. You need to raise about $10 per vlog.

Let's come up with rewards to make it simpler:

First, for $1, you need some candy to cross from not helping to being a supporter. With our last kickstarter, we did the "micro documentary" - you can only see it if you put in a dollar. We uploaded it to youtube as an "unlisted" video. We then sent an email to all of the supporters with the link to the video. So you could do something where you say that you will make six videos a week "for the world" and one video per week that is for kickstarter supporters only.

For $10 of support, the supporter name will appear in ALL videos. This would be something you would have composed once and then you add it to all of the videos when you are editing the video.

For $20 of support, they get to "direct" one video. They get to choose a question for a person, or they get to select the topic. They also get "director" credit for that video.

For $35 they get to "direct" three videos.

For $80 they get to "direct" ten videos.

For $200 they are listed as "associate producer" in the trailing credits for the first 365 videos, plus they get to "direct" ten videos.

For $400 they are listed as "producer" in the opening credits for the first 365 videos, plus they get to "direct" ten videos.

For $600 they are listed as "supreme executive producer with bacon, cheese and sparkles" in the opening and trailing credits for the first 365 videos, plus they get to "direct" ten videos.


You need an awesome and fun video to kick all this off. Bart is freaky good. Maybe if you put together a care package of fun stuff (knittables, fur, etc.) for Bart and his wife he will do the awesome editing for you. Maybe he will want a slice of the final kickstarter (so you might need to ask for a little more). He might even share some of the excellent footage he has of wheaton labs.


Make a list of 200 possible vlog topics.


Video: you don't need to mention your age or that you have a fella. After all the video is supposed to be about the product that people will buy in advance, and not about what are things that you would want. Kickstarter videos do tend to start of with "my name is ______ and my product idea is _____" - that way it is a person and not some big company. I, personally, think that a video that asks for help is not as strong as a video that says "Are there enough people that want this?"


Possible script: "I'm Kadence Blevins. I hear a lot about what is going on at Wheaton Labs, but I want to know more. I want to see more videos. Not just one or two videos. I want to see hundreds of videos of the things I am hearing about. And I know I'm not the only one. So I have an idea. I will go there and make these videos myself. I propose to share a video per day for 365 days. The only thing stopping me is getting there. So kickstarter is the perfect route to trying this. If I get funded, I will be able to move across country to Wheaton Labs and get started. I will then produce one video a day for a year. Topics will include rocket mass heaters, hot water from a compost pile, cattle, hogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, wofati, tipi living, innovations, cooking, art, community, drilling wells, hugelkultur, chickens, green woodworking, skiddable structures, fiber arts, animal harvesting, homesteading and permaculture (all the time). I also want to give you the power to determine the topics that I put into the videos, so I've created rewards where you are the director, and you choose what the topic is, or what question I might put to somebody. Now is the time to present the critical question: are there a few hundred people like me that would like to see these videos? I'm willing to travel across the country and do the legwork - are you willing to support my kickstarter?"



 
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New guinea pig herd when i first brought em home. Down to 5 sows now and 3 boars. Planning to pick one of the boars to stay.


One of the white skein of yarn in earlier pic i dyed into this. Kool aid dying.


My silver fox buck


My satin doe
 
kadence blevins
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First, please note i do not advise keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together. They do not have the same way of communicating and diets vary. Rabbits are bigger and could easily kill a guinea pig not even being aggressive at all. I only let them alone after a looooong time watching them interact together and giving them places to get away from each other. My buck is very sweet and laid back and just happens to get along.





 
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From my past herd. 8 babies. 3 moms. Within 48 hours. (:


Hours old. Thats an AA battery to show size.


 
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Earlybird rabbit kit first to open its eyes of the litter.

 
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Go(a)t milk? I was behind on making cheese...


....because there was already cheese!


Time to try makin yogurt!


Lid and swaddled in four blankets... yup incubator it is...


Thick enough to hold the spoon! (:
 
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Newborn baby goats! I was there to see two born (: She had quads! Minutes old. Video on my youtube channel if ya want to see. Mom was saanen and dad was half nigerian half pygmy.



A few days old. Naptime.
 
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Me. A couple years ago at a fall festival i was part of. Dressed the part. I was demonstrating spinning on a drop spindle.


Barn cat had decided to litter in my pile of hay bales in the goat barn. Somehow got herself killed under a square bale, guessing the pile shifted and she got suffocated ):
So i bottle fed her four orphaned kittens. This is after eyes opened. Guess is they were about three or four days old when i found em. Hand bottle fed them goats milk until 3 weeks when i started teachin em to drink from a bowl and adding in very soft mushed foods.





 
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Even newborn kits have teeny teeth. This kit is about six days old. Lol just look at that poor sleepyhead. Eyes open 8-13 days old.




Back when i had a trio of show quality lionheads.

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