mud bailey

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since Jan 29, 2012
Southwest Virginia, Zone 6/7
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Recent posts by mud bailey

We have an abandoned hoop house with no cover on our new property, and this is growing all over the old beds in there. The goats love it. The tallest it gets is about 6 inches and its flowering now in Zone 6/7. Any ideas?

I thought the flowers looked clover-ish, but the leaves do not at all.

7 years ago
This mattress hunt is like a rabbit hole. Hammock isn't going to work for us. Its cold here, and we don't have the inside space. Plus, it doesn't do well by our backs long term.

I've found a pretty local handmade mattress company that just opened its doors in December, and I'd love to support him, but I just don't feel like I have the $$ to do so. But I'd really like to, because I like what they do and that they're close to me (4 hours) and small, etc. I'm seriously considering this option.

Also an option is to just contact his suppliers, which he lists on the site, and go directly to them to get the wool & cotton batting that he uses and try making our own, round 2. But that feels a little mean.

I just researched the blue jean insulation route, and the company actually sells mattresses! But they are treated for fire retardancy, but they say its non toxic, just not what it is... I've heard borax will do the trick. But they say they're mainly used for institutional bedding (per the website) so I'm guessing they're not that comfy. Plus I have this thing about supporting small companies over big ones, which puts me back to the local guy.

This is such a pickle.
7 years ago
Thanks for the ideas guys!

I found a good blog post about making a straw mattress...

I'm going to see how the rest of the fam thinks about that option. It would mean tossing out all the work we've done so far, as the pods wouldn't work filled with straw, but it certainly meets the cost criteria. And they say they're comfortable.

Also looking into rice chaff. We found a local mill that actually processes buckwheat, so that's our last ditch effort to source those, will also ask about rice/oat chaff from them.

Does this mean though that most people just go traditional on this key piece of furniture because the alternatives are a pain in the butt?
7 years ago
We recently moved out of a furnished rental house and found ourselves without mattresses. In search of what to buy, we came across a multitude of articles informing us about all the toxic antiflammable chemicals that they now infuse every mattress with to save us all from death by fire, at least with the mattress you sleep on. The only way around the chemicals is to go organic (no surprise) but that requires a prescription?!?!?!!! and is super spendy - as in $1600 for a queen. We about cried.

Then we realized we couldn't possibly be the only people in this dilemma, and low and behold we discovered a mattress kit for buckwheat hulls that we bought the pattern to for $30. Sounded really good in theory. We are professional seamstresses, we literally make our living sewing and have a whole workroom devoted to such endeavors, and this pattern was hard. Took us a while to get the hang of making the pods and then it took three of us probably around 40 hours to make them all.

Now we are almost ready to fill them and we are having a hard time sourcing anything inexpensive for the filling. The pattern maker recommends buckwheat hulls, but at $2-8/lb, plus shipping, that's a hefty price tag for 350lbs, which is what we need to fill our two queen size mattresses. Plus, at this point, I'm also a little nervous about how comfortable its going to be. I can find no reviews saying these babies are the bomb.

I've thought of wool - but sourcing that is pretty spendy too - for something clean anyways. Goose down - same thing.
7 years ago
Lynne - funny that I should find this post here. We actually bought a pattern from you last fall and have just now completed our pods and are looking for filling... I'm having a hard time swallowing the cost of buckwheat hulls - the best I can find is around $2 with/or plus shipping. Which is astronomical considering I just bought 10 lbs of buckwheat seeds at my local supply store for that price.

We made enough pods for two queen size mattresses, so we need 350 lbs of hulls... at this point we are looking for and considering alternatives.
7 years ago
We have:

3 Nigerian Dwarf does
1 Nigora Doeling born Oct 2012
2 Nigerian Dwarf doelings born Nov 2012

We got them for milk. And we didn't get around to milking them until they pretty much didn't have any milk left. We did a lot of things wrong, but we are learning a lot.
A. Don't buy goats on craigslist from some backyarder that just has too many goats.
B. Don't have babies in the fall. We worry too much about the babies getting cold to separate them from the mommas. Plus, there's less to eat, so less milk.
C. Goats love honeysuckle! And we have A LOT
D. Getting animals before fencing is definitely putting the cart before the horse, but saying HELL YES to goats has been a lot of fun.
E. Goats are far more entertaining and full of personality then we ever expected. Before these ladies, all we had were chickens, and they just aren't this cool.

So long story short, we are looking to add to our herd this Spring. We want another milker, most likely of a different breed, or even a mix, preferably in milk or expecting. And also a fiber goat, as my mother is interested in spinning and weaving.
Horizon Herbs sells it and many other awesome, hard to find, permitastic plants...
7 years ago
It happened fast, and nothing I could find online at the time really fit his symptoms so I'm hoping you guys will have some suggestions.

He was 6 weeks old. Found him about 1 in the afternoon, lying down, when he went to get up he couldn't really stand and fell over on his back, very uncoordinated. I picked him up and realized he was also foaming at the mouth. I tried to set him back down again and he still couldn't stand or really use his legs. We are new to goats, so we called the lady we got them from (we got mom and 2 babies right after they were born), and she thought it might be frothy bloat so we treated as such. Syringe fed him oil and baking soda and massaged his rumen. It did what it was suppose to, he burped and puked A LOT. Did this for hours until it seemed like he had nothing left. His tongue lost color. Kept him warm and kept gently massaging his rumen, but he never really improved. He was content to sit in our laps. I again tried to see if he could stand, and he fell over. He died around 5.

Was it really frothy bloat? I couldn't find anything that implied that would cause loss of coordination.

Is it more likely he ate something poisonous? Or a snake bite? All of our other goats are fine and they were grazing in the same area.
It has definitely been warm in the hoop house, but I just took the ends off so I think the temperature is OK now. Plus, peas produce here into July.

The hoop house was built on top of grass, which was sheet mulched with first a layer of cardboard, sprinkling of blood meal, uncomposted kitchen scraps, chicken manure and shaving from the coop, lots of brown leaves and old straw. All of that sat for about 3 weeks before anything was planted, and when I did sow the seeds they were sown in about a 4 inch trench filled with good potting soil.

I just googled "how to pollinate peas" and came back with lots of links saying peas are self pollinating... so maybe they just need some more wind/agitation?
8 years ago
This is my first year growing peas, and I planted them in a fairly fresh (aged maybe 3 weeks) sheet mulch bed in a hoop house. They've been flowering for over a week now and there is absolutely no sign of a pea pod growing anywhere. The plants are huge and look really healthy. Any ideas?

Oddly enough, in the very same bed, I have a broccoli plant that is also huge and healthy with no broccoli head.

The beets are extremely happy in this bed, as is the spinach. I'm guessing I'm not going to get any pea pods and that I have a serious nutrient imbalance. Would like to know so I don't repeat this.
8 years ago