dawn west

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since Apr 28, 2018
PNW zone 8b
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Recent posts by dawn west

We started in February of this year with hair sheep, 3 ewes (3 to 5 yr old) and a year old ram. We know nothing about sheep or forage.  The ewes should have been bred to a different ram but 5 months later no lambs.  We have been moving them every 10 days, to avoid parasites, with electric netting and a solar charger.  We have learned that we need a perimeter fence so we do not need to chase sheep.  Sheep eat lot of forage quickly.  Our yard/pasture is really substandard so we are supplementing with hay this year. We are working to improve our soil using spent hay and straw and the sheep.

Any track that includes animals is a good one.  You will learn.  Remember that continuing to  bring new animals on to your property brings their farm's issues on to yours.  We enjoy watching the sheep in the yard.
And we are doing our best to keep them alive.
Nicole,  Do you have a record of how many people have completed at least one full badge?  I was wondering based on Ashely's request for ideas on how to get more people involved.
I like your idea  "I am thinking of making some of these semi-short handles, perhaps with a bit of a curve to match my forearm, and with a padded strap to transfer the digging force from my hand and wrist to the entire forearm."
I use a seed spreader that distributes the weight of the container up the forearm and can see how a handle with the padding braced up the arm could add more force.  My issue is leaning on the other wrist while working with the tool, I remind myself to make a fist to keep the wrist straight.  I could also use a tool that would get me up off my knees.....
2 months ago
We are trying a ram pump for the first time.  The ram pump does not use any electricity, the flow is constant and can push water uphill 7 feet for every foot of drop in your creek.  We started using it to get water from the creek up the hill for the sheep. Now we are setting up a 55 gallon drum with a hose bib  connected to a 4 head manifold to run drip irrigation to water the gardens, sheep and  ducks. The drum will be continually filled by the ram pump and is set on high ground so all the watering will be gravity feed.
3 months ago
The last BB for the textile badge. I used new growth twigs and vines from the back yard.  It was difficult to start the basket, my base twigs may have been to thick, but they eventually started to fold up to create the sides.  The basket measured 11' by 5".  
4 months ago
Joining in with the 22 Days of PEP! I made Lentil soup/stew/daal. This is the only way my husband will eat lentils and it took me almost 38 years to find.  The recipe changes every time I make it but the basics remain the same:
1 head of garlic (homegrown); 2 onions; some extra ground beef; chicken feet broth(homemade); beef broth(homemade); frozen whole tomatoes(home grown); 2 cups of lentils; water to cover; curry powder and hot pepper flakes. I did not use the canned chilies.  Cook for 45 min.  I made naan bread to go with the lentils. This is my first attempt at a BB in Food.

4 months ago
My favorite wool sweater developed a hole, so I tried to darn it.  I used wool yarn.  I understood the concept but the execution was "patchy" at best.
4 months ago
Is anyone else going to skip the hugelkulture requirement in the sand badge and continue on with the straw badge requirement to grow, harvest and preserve 100,000 cals? This BB will take all summer and it would help keep me on track if someone else was also working towards this goal. I am amazed at what Mike was able to do.
5 months ago
Inge,  How long were your pieces of bark? Were you going for thin long strips?  I can not even see where you joined the strands.  The thinner fine strands are what I want to use when I make the basket. Your twine looks great.
6 months ago