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Mavie Bucy

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since Jan 09, 2013
I am a wife, and mother to three grown children. My husband and I, along with out six dogs, live on the prairie in Colorado.

We've lived here over ten years and every year we plant a garden. So far we've grown a stunted pumpkin, three cucumbers, and five cherry tomatoes. Almost enough for a weird salad!

When we had kids at home to feed we raised rabbits (meat and fiber), goats (dairy, fiber and a few meat), and chickens (eggs).

Now we are mostly vegetarian. Not strict or radical, we just tend to not have many animal products.
High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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Recent posts by Mavie Bucy

I use winnowed chicken scratch in doubled-over stockinette, like what goes on a broken bone before the cast. The packs don't have much odor to them, but at times, just for fun, I use a drop of essential oil on them.
1 year ago
@ Deb Rebel, I do some of what you do too!

Here are my money saving ideas;

I have a soy machine and make dairy products, tofu and okara. The machine makes great soup!

I call our grocery store manager a few days ahead of the truck to order cases. We pay $2.00/case over store cost.

We buy 40-50# cases of mixed mature produce for $20. This is the produce that would normally go on discount. We also get the cases of free stuff that's too far gone to sell. I just cut out the spots and blemishes.

We go to town once a month. Every month I order one or two things to bulk up on. So our (my husband and myself) budget stays nearly the same, I just change up what I get.

I dehydrate cases of frozen spinach to save room in the freezer. Cases of bananas (we get a case every month) are pureed then frozen. Dry goods (rice, beans, oats, etc.) are stored in 5-gallon buckets or canning jars.  

Last month I bought a case of bok choy and planted the ends, that will last me all winter. Onions, garlic, lettuce, etc., I replant lots of produce.

I buy cheap dog, cat, and chicken food, then supplement. Dogs and cats get eggs, chickens free range, then if anyone is looking off I just get whatever is needed.

I buy online a good bit. I compare online prices with what I can get in town.

I'm currently making sourdough starter to dehydrate and jar. We shall see how that works out.

I make seitan from all purpose flour.

I use Cronometer to watch that our nutrition is on track.

I buy black oil sunflower seeds (bird food) and grow them for sprouts.

I don't soak beans. (I do soak soybeans headed to the machine.)

I don't blanch anything. I rotate the freezer foods every few months.

My husband's not a fan of lentils so I make them into burgers and meat-less loaves.

I cook on a rocket stove and use a haybox as much as possible.

I reuse water as much as possible. Fresh water is for ingesting or bathing, rinse water goes to be washing water (biocompatible soap, and I only use soap as needed), then when I've done everything I can think of with the water, it goes to the garden.

I use baking soda and vinegar for most body cleaning, hands get soap as needed (like for cooking). I shave with the turn of the seasons. My husband doesn't shave, and we don't cut out hair. No makeup or anything like that.

I make vinegar.

I use family cloths and a bucket toilet.

I think that's everything, from one end to the other! LOL
3 years ago
Thanks Valerie! You have no idea how close I was to messing everything up!!!
5 years ago
I'm a bucket lover!!! I should make that into a tee-shirt!

@Bree, I use anything and everything as cover material! Weeds, grass, straw/hay, paper, cardboard, cow/horse poop, dirt... you name it. The higher the carbon content the better, but sometimes I can only use what I can get.
6 years ago
I guess I've been from one extreme to the other. I was raised in an average American diet, meat came wrapped in saran from the grocery store. As I grew up I formed my most annoying quality, I question everything. Where does the meat come from? Then my second most annoying quality, I want to try it myself.

It didn't take long for me to go from, hunting, fishing, and butchering my livestock, until I was "not that hungry". Although with children, I wanted to have well balanced meals (back in the four-square-meals-a-day time period), but I also wanted them to learn the reality, that meat doesn't just grow in styrofoam trays. From their early teens they were brought up with little meat, mainly lacto-ovo vegetarian.

We raised dairy goats and chickens for eggs. We had meat rabbits off and on. And when dairy goats have male kids, well they turn into bucks, and they are hard to get milk from. My children learned the reality of mating, birthing, raising, butchering, dressing, cooking, and eating meat products.

So for me, it was a gradual thing. I'm allergic to eggs, but I kept dairy in my diet for many years. I have been lacto-vegetarian over seven years. We sold off the last of our livestock about five years ago.

In the last year or two we have eaten mainly rice, lentils, vegetables, fruits, non-GMO soybeans, I make soymilk, soy cheese, and tofu. I guess it seems plain and boring, but we like the simplicity of our diet. We don't buy meat, eggs, or dairy products. I recently got marshmallows, a rare once a year thing. I completely spaced the gelatin.

When the last kid flew the coop, four years ago, my husband and I just drifted away from foods with animal products. We also stopped buying pre-packaged foods. In the last few years we've become more aware of the industrial treatment of animals. Until now, where we question the animal use in most everything.

But! We have six dogs, and they eat meat products, they have a lot of our "leftovers" which leads them to be semi-vegetarian. When a friend has a deer, antelope, rabbit, or cow, we get the scraps for the dogs.

Another, But! We just bought silk long johns and wool socks. I wrestled with this for weeks. I knew it was coming, that we needed them, but I couldn't find something non-animal that would fit our criteria. I will be better prepared for a non-animal option in the future as I'm still searching options.

So I'm not vegan. I guess I'm "intentional". I think long and hard on what I'm doing, what I'm buying, if I really need it. We have become very minimalistic since the kids left home. I hate buying anything, and I sure don't want an animal involved if I can avoid it.
7 years ago
That hot arid hugel link is just what I needed to read!

Well, as for larger towns? Um, no, we don't have any of those. The nearest tree trimmers are 90 miles from here, which is not out of the question, I'm just thinking of the best option. I am rethinking our wood situation, we have a few rooms we are about to take down, that will give us some scraps. I'm thinking of having a trench dug out, so we could add to it as we have available material.

We also have a tree that needs to come down. Because trees are so rare here, we hate to do it, so we've been putting it off for years. The tree over hangs our roof and power line, and is pushing into the basement wall. We are getting a wood chipper in the next few months, before tackling the tree. It will be a very sad day when we do.

Yes, we are in a very flat area. Although, locals say we live on a "hill". Most people would call it a high spot on the prairie.

Thanks for the ideas!
7 years ago
I like Great Pyrenees, but that's the LGD I'm most familiar with.

I'm interested in what LGD you've found to be aggressive? I've never seen that in Pys. I mean any dog could be, but I've not seen that as a general description of an LGD.

We currently have a 9 year old 1/2 Py, his mother is also ours, she is bird dog-ish, lot of Catahoula in her, and we have 4 other dogs. We've raised three litters of 1/2 Great Pyrenees.

As for LGD, Shane is everything you asked about, except he covers more acreage. As in miles. He's not roaming, he's working, it's his territory, so maybe if he had less to cover, he'd stay closer to home. Fences don't stop him, but he has a certain area he covers.

LGD are sometimes said to be hard to train, in the aspect that they think they know more than the human. Not that they are bad or disobedient, just they know their job and they aren't always sure the human is correct. I don't know how many times Shane was right and I was a stupid human!

We don't take an alpha role with dogs, or anyone for that matter. All the dogs come in and out, we have a doggy door, and gates are open when the suns up. I can only remember one time we had an issue with Shane, he was young, maybe 6 months, and he peed on the piano. He got an ear whipping, which for him is the worst thing in the world.

I guess Shane barks a lot, but he's trying to tell us something. Our nearest neighbor is a mile away, and that's where his father lived. A dog barking out here is a warning to everyone, the predator, and any humans in ear shot. So a dog barking is a good thing.

Last summer at 2 in the morning, Shane was barking. I could tell something was out there by his tone, but I figured it was a porcupine or skunk getting too close to the house. I went out with the shotgun to fire off a "shoo" round. It was a rattler trying to come into the house. Shane held his ground and wouldn't let the rattler in. Once again, the dog was smarter than me.

I can't see that we'd ever have one dog. Our best (worst?) predator is coyotes, and they will lure the dog out while the others steal the chickens. And the coyotes can take a dog out that way too. The one yipping and howling is only the bait, it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Yes, research, and more research. Maybe post what is confusing you?

When I think about all the dogs we've had, and what your situation will be, I'd want Shane and his mother Roxy. I agree with Mick that most dogs can pull their weight. I think the question is what else do you want the dog to do or not do?
7 years ago
Leila, I couldn't get your link to work. Maybe it's just me, I'll keep trying.

My USDA hadiness zone is 6a, but so is most of Ohio and half of Missouri. The last few years have been so dry, but we've lost gardens to bugs, critters, hail, and one year a weird little tornado.

John, I'm trying to wrap my head around a hugelkultur that is below the surface. How deep would that be dug out? I'll have to look at it more, I was just thinking it would be a mound above ground. Which here, would blow away.

We were thinking of a waffle garden this year, with adobe walls around it. Just a little one, to experiment with.

My husband really wants a sunroom. We have the rooms, south facing, but the money needed is just barely there. We almost did it last year, but something came up, I can't even remember what now.

I'm going to try to post a pic of where we live. I figure this is the thread I should practice on.
7 years ago
Hey Leila,

I noticed in your signature, pertinent info about your location. I'm trying to set mine to read like yours.

Since we are remote (and out personal weather station died), I got my info from the nearest town listed on We are at an elevation of 5,144 ft (1,568m), we get an average annual precipitation of 13.9 inches (353mm) and we have a yearly average of 39 days with precipitation. This info was over the last 16 years.

It seems even the tumble weeds are dying.
7 years ago