brand new video:
       
get all 177 hours of
presentations here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Helloooooo.  RSS feed

 
Mershka Calico
Posts: 8
Location: Northeast Oregon, US
1
dog forest garden goat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pleasure to be here, my name's Mershka (Mer like 'merry' and shka like, uhh... 'shkuh').
My parents, one of my brothers and I have been transitioning from urban life to homesteading/ranching since we bough this land about 10 years ago. It started getting more serious once my mom moved out here about 7 years ago to get everything started, and it's been moving slowly but surely ever since.

We raise angora goats for fiber, nubian goats for milk, chickens and turkeys for a lot of reasons, boer goats, pigs and lowline angus cattle for meat, and we have two horses too. Our animals are kept safe due to our Kangals, which are Turkish livestock guardian dogs (except the birds, which don't get a dog). Our kangal dogs allow us and our livestock to live harmoniously with mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, wolves, and all other manner of predators with whom we share these lands. Birds aside, we haven't had a single livestock loss from predation in the 7 years we've had our animals! As we’ve been getting our own ranching practices together more and more, an increasing amount of effort is going towards protecting the natural surroundings and working with the environment to maximize the amount of life which is capable of flourishing in our little corner of this region. We were all totally green when starting out and so there are some areas we really dropped the ball in, particularly with pasture management and getting early starts with tree-planting, but we learn more and more as we go along and improve as we're able!

I was going back and forth between the ranch and a town we used to live in during the early days and then I had a couple years where I was off at the University of Montana as a chemistry major directed towards botany, but ranch life has drawn me back! Sometimes I like to say, "I didn't choose the ranch life, the ranch life chose me" hahahahaha. I still study chemistry, botany and biology in general in my free time and I really appreciate that kind of book-learning and all the logical puzzles which go along with it, it keeps my brain busy, but I really don't do well with urban living. I also do a lot of art in my free time. I can have trouble expressing myself at times so that's a nice outlet for that and it's a break from physical labor and brain-food.

I've always liked visiting this forum and I think I finally have my stuff together enough to sign up, post about my projects, contribute to threads, and continue hearing everyone's input.
So yay, It's nice to be here!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So are you making your living ranching these days? If so, success! If not, every little step helps.



 
Mershka Calico
Posts: 8
Location: Northeast Oregon, US
1
dog forest garden goat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tyler Ludens wrote:So are you making your living ranching these days? If so, success! If not, every little step helps.


Almost!!! We're having some financial troubles at the moment, mostly just because of land taxes (we're 20 acres short of the exclusive farm use tax benefits, even though we do exclusive farm use). We relied on a steady input of funds from city-jobs to get everything setup but now we have almost none of that because my dad left. But it's actually been a huge motivator to branch out not only towards providing our own resources but also into selling our products. We sell livestock and puppies, and my mom's been getting some incredible feedback on her (all organic) lotions and goat milk soaps so we've been marketing that. We're in a state of flux and managing to hang on. It's tough, but highly rewarding! We just gotta stay fluid and accept all that life gives us.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gotta hate the stupid tax rules! Is it possible to protest the tax decision and show that in spite of having a smaller parcel, you're attempting to make a living farming? Sometimes there are separate rules for "hobby farm" aka "open space" valuation and true agricultural valuation - at least in Texas, I don't know about other states.

Does your mom sell her products online? If so, don't forget to post about them here on permies!
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1273
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
127
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mershka, you sound like an amazing family and an amazing project! I look forward to reading your questions and your experiences.
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!