Steve Hoskins

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since Dec 23, 2013
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NW lower Michigan
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Recent posts by Steve Hoskins

My pigs ate the ducks living with them.

I think it started with an unintentional crushing, but I'm not sure. It could have been an owl attack overnight. We have an owl that will just eat the heads off of the ducks and chickens. The pigs may have just finished them off.

I never saw any aggressive behavior from the pigs towards the ducks or chickens, and in fact, they are downright cute together.
8 years ago
I'm in northern lower Michigan, just above the 45th parallel. When it's below about 10 degrees F, the pigs typically stay on top of the packed snow, except around the springs, and under brushpiles. When things warm up, they break up the pack, and turn it over to find some roots. My pastures are still wild and wooded, so they can usually find something to munch on, even after they eat most of the planted forage.

Lake michigan (half a mile away) has not frozen, and this winter has been mild, so they have been able to root a lot. I have a feeling there will still be plenty of Jerusalem artichokes in the spring... They never manage get them all.

So, yes. The pigs can root through snow, sometimes. Last year, with the lake frozen over, our winter was more like a Vermont or Canadian winter, and they did very little rooting. The only place they could find dirt was around water; something Sepp has everywhere.
8 years ago
I agree that black locust is amazing firewood. Scary heat output when fully seasoned. This year, I have a pile of ash for firestarting, thanks to emerald ash borer, but it can't compete with the black lucust, in my humble opinion, other than as kindling.
8 years ago

I know it looks unsafe, but for me this method works well. The idea being, the wood is split right where it lays without having to stand it up or arrange it aside from a kick here and there. And above, last year, I mentioned that I use the gransfors bruks large splitting maul, but actually, its the large splitting axe... Correction.
8 years ago
Just had some skin. Mmmmmmm.

Pluck em if you got em.
10 years ago
Lol. Cx are not gmo or pesticide.
10 years ago
Slaughter day was yesterday, 70 very real cornish rock cross chickens dressed.

I just had one for dinner, and it was delicious... And real.
10 years ago
You are making blanket statements that imply the inferiority of all cx.

I don't think it is quite so black and white.

I am thankful that you have shared so many details about your operation on this forum, but was really surprised by the tone here. I don't think you are looking for a discussion; its more like graffiti.

I like hybrid vigor and I am not ashamed by that in any way.

The cx is not perfect, nor is any breed.

Have you had any cx in your system recently?
I find that the same drive that keeps them in the trough (if you let them) will keep them foraging all day.
It sounds to me like they would do well for you, so I'm confused.

Again, thanks for all your posts on here, I don't mean to be mean or anything like that. I have my reservations as well.
10 years ago
I have a somewhat shaded patch of turnips, flax, and barley, under some black locusts.
so far it looks healthy to me. I planted it densely, using pigs to loosen the soil and turn it all in. I don't expect the turnips or flax to be human food, but I am hoping for a barley yield.

First pic:
The barley is the green in the center, rear.
Rye etc on left, beans squash sunflowers etc on right.

The polyculture is no problem... The shade might hurt it, we'll see.
Pic 2: I have a patch of wheat etc on sandy soil, also under locusts looking quite nice, but the timing is so different, the wheat being nearly filled out already.

Pic 3: I put rye in my hugelculture beds to hold things up. They do the job, and yield big grains of rye, but not many, since they are just planted here and there.

Note that the Jerusalem artichokes in all of these polycultures don't seem to be hurting a soul.

Sorry the pics are so low quality.
I would love to see pics of whatever you come up with.

Good luck!
10 years ago
I have been thinking about this for a while and also dwell in the forest.

There are a few commercially available stoves which also produce electricity, one is called the Kimberly, i think. None of them (that i have seen) seem perfect to me.

I'll be watching this thread with interest.
10 years ago