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Dateline: 9 October 2013This is the logo for Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity web siteBack in January of 2008, when I posted An Agrarian-Style Economic Self-Defense Plan, I had a strong feeling that a significant economic downturn was i...
Dateline: 9 October 2013This is the logo for Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity web siteBack in January of 2008, when I posted An Agrarian-Style Economic Self-Defense Plan, I had a strong feeling that a significant economic downturn was imminent. The crash of 2008 came a few months later. America dodged the proverbial bullet at that time when the Federal Reserve responded by creating and pumping enormous sums of fiat money into the economy. But that was only a temporary dodge, not a fix or solution to the economic mess we find ourselves in. Any recovery we've seen is not solid or lasting—it is all based on enormous increased debt. More trouble, and worse trouble, is surely coming. I haven't listened to mainstream radio or television, or been on the internet news sites, for a few months now, so I don't know what the talking heads there are saying. But I have been tuning in to a few different web sites, like the the McAlvany Weekly Commentary, and listening to a variety of podcast interviews. For example, This Interview With John Williams was particularly interesting to me. Mr. Williams is the founder of ShadowStats.com, a company that looks at actual economic numbers and statistics, not the carefully crafted lies presented to the American public by government and media. In that interview Mr. Williams lays out the case for serious concern about our economy, and explains why he expects that hyperinflation is inevitable. That interview resonated with me because, for one thing, I think John Williams is a very intelligent man; he hasn't bought into the government disinformation. Besides that, I happened to be reading the book, When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany. I don't recommend the book because it was a difficult read, but I'll be posting a blog about what I learned (and what we can expect) from it in the near future. What I do recommend, however, to everyone who wants to learn the truth about our economic situation is Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity Crash Course. This free, step-by-step, online course is presented in 20 lessons and is the absolutely best real-world, Economics 101 teaching that I've yet to see. I dare say, if you pay attention to this 3.5 hour class, you'll probably end up knowing more about basic economics than you'd learn if you paid the big money for a college course and sat through months of classroom teaching. Chris Martenson's Crash Course explains why the next 20 years will not be like the past 20 years when it comes to the economy. He recognizes that we are entering a whole new economic paradigm. What I like about the course is that it's not a gloom-and-doom presentation. Chris is upbeat, but he's upbeat because he's properly informed. We face harsh realities, but those who see and face the realities will be better prepared than those who never see the realities coming. If you have a lot of financial resources, you need to take the Crash Course. If you are barely making ends meet, you need to take the Crash Course. After listening to Chris Marten's presentation you will be more informed than 99.9% of Americans. Regardless of your financial condition, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to economics, especially these days.
about 2 hours ago
With the Farm Crawl behind us for this year we are very excited to announce our new farm event coming up on Saturday, November 2nd 2013 called "Crooked Gap Farm :: How Do They Do That?" Hosting an event like this is something that we hav...
With the Farm Crawl behind us for this year we are very excited to announce our new farm event coming up on Saturday, November 2nd 2013 called "Crooked Gap Farm :: How Do They Do That?" Hosting an event like this is something that we have wanted to do for a long time, but no we finally feel that we are at a place in our farming lives that we have some great information to share and a lot to talk about on our farm. If you have ever wanted an in-depth tour of the farm, the chance to ask detailed questions about our farm enterprises, or wanted to see up close how various things on the farm work then this is the perfect event for you. This event will give you a "peek behind the curtain" at Crooked Gap Farm and we will take time to answer as many of your questions as we can to the best of our abilities. Check out all of the details below ...Cost :: $65 ages 13 and up ... $20 ages 4-12 ... age 3 and under FreeWhat Will the Day Look Like?9:00 Am until Noon -- Intensive farm tour of each of our enterprisesNoon until 1:00 PM -- A Crooked Gap Farm lunch featuring our woodlot raised Hereford pork1:00 PM until 3:00 PM -- A frank discussion of beginning a farm from scratch and balancing your family, that job in town, and of course your farm dreams3:00 PM until 4:00 PM -- A look into Ethan's toolbox ... what books, articles, resources, people, websites, and more does he utilize in this farming journey4:00 PM until 6:00 PM -- Your chance to ask that question that you've been dying to ask, or we can even head back out to the pastures and take a little closer look at certain things6:00 PM to until we're done -- A Crooked Gap Farm Supper and lots of connecting and discussion around the tablesInterested in signing-up? Just shoot me an e-mail!If you have an input on the topic be sure to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail.As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five start rating and review (by clicking the link or the image on the right). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ... Crooked Gap FarmCrooked Gap Farm on FacebookCrooked Gap Farm on TwitterTBF Show 032 :: Play in a New Window | Right Click to Download**Special Note :: A few users are experiencing issues downloading the show on iTunes. If you have any experience with podcasts and how they can play nicely with iTunes I would love some suggestions.**(if you are interested in the music in this episode check out my brother's record label, Historic Records)
about 8 hours ago
I need to blog more. I know. I have gotten back on Facebook and that is the killer of all blogs.I know.But FB does keep me aware of the world around me. It gives me links to information that I need to know. Specifically, I need to kn...
I need to blog more. I know. I have gotten back on Facebook and that is the killer of all blogs.I know.But FB does keep me aware of the world around me. It gives me links to information that I need to know. Specifically, I need to know what is going on in our country and what I can do as a citizen to do my part.This country is in turmoil because the citizen no longer feels that they have a voice.Okay there were like twelve paragraphs I just deleted.So back to my point. IT IS F A L L ! !Fall is our reward for all the work we've done this year! Today Gourdy goes from her summer wear to her fall apparel.Gourdy was a gift to me from a friend that I miss very much.....By the way, if you think this is strange, you should see what the dogs are wearing.
about 20 hours ago
Disa had seven happy and healthy puppies on October 2, 2013. We have four girls and three boys. From left to right: girl, boy, boy, girl, girl, girl, boy. Three look like they will be black and white tri-colors like Disa, with some tan p...
Disa had seven happy and healthy puppies on October 2, 2013. We have four girls and three boys. From left to right: girl, boy, boy, girl, girl, girl, boy. Three look like they will be black and white tri-colors like Disa, with some tan patches already showing. The other four will be various shades of red and brown, the more typical coloring. I really like the patterns and diversity we got with this litter. While they were being born, I noticed that number four and five puppies shared one amniotic sac and placenta. They are both almost all black, both boys, and though not completely identical, we think they are twins. The differences depend on when the fertilized egg split, but the shared placenta and amniotic sac are clear signs they are twins. It would take a sophisticated DNA test to be sure, but I don’t see the point in that, of course. It was really neat to see them emerge one right after the other as she cleaned them up, bit the cord. She’s a great mama and those instincts are neat to watch. The smallest puppy of them all is the last one to be born, the second one from the left. He’s the reddest boy with the big white blaze on his neck. He was noticeably smaller than the rest at birth, and though he is gaining right on track with the rest of them, he is staying about a day behind them all in weight. Nothing to worry about, really. When she calls them all to the milkbar, he is the last to respond, the first to fall asleep, content. All but one have double dewclaws on their back legs, but the little pied girl, third from the right, only has one double dewclaw on the rear legs. They all have singles on the front legs. I’m never sure why that really matters, but everyone always wants to know about double dewclaws. Disa had quite a bit of post-puppy confusion and disorientation, much like milk fever, so we took her to the vet to be sure everything was okay. She was a bit dehydrated, but everything else seemed okay. We’ve been supplementing her with calcium citrate, pre-natal vitamins, homemade chicken stock, and anything we can get her to eat. She’s gotten a bit better every day, and I think we’ve turned the corner with our plan, and she’s almost back to herself. She’s such a devoted mother, and the puppies are all gaining well, very happy and content. But because she struggled so much more with this litter than her last two, we won’t be breeding her again. With these seven puppies, she now has 19 offspring, a great contribution to the population of Icelandic Sheepdogs. We have four of this litter spoken for, and will be seeking homes for the other three. If you’ve wanted one of Disa’s puppies, now is the time to speak up! We kept Gaela from her last litter, and will be keeping a girl from this litter as well, so her genes will be well represented on our little farm for years to come. If you are interested in one of the puppies, contact me at lisa[dot]richards[at]gmail.com .
about 23 hours ago
Dateline: 8 October 2013Last Sunday (two days ago) I was in the grip of malaise. I had an annoying ache behind my left eye and a general feeling of ennui. I didn’t go to church and pretty much sat around all day. The thought occurred to ...
Dateline: 8 October 2013Last Sunday (two days ago) I was in the grip of malaise. I had an annoying ache behind my left eye and a general feeling of ennui. I didn’t go to church and pretty much sat around all day. The thought occurred to me that I might have a brain tumor, but I typically go through this in the fall. It happens when I get overtired and don’t get a good night’s sleep. I think it’s a sinus thing. So I was pretty much out of commission for the day.The good part is that, while sitting back in my recliner and looking out the back door (as pictured above), I noticed the leaves. You may think, well, it’s hard not to notice leaves when you look into a forested piece of land. But I don’t mean that. I mean that I noticed the individual leaves—the ones that, in the gentle rustle of the wind, were breaking loose and falling to the ground. This is a natural phenomenon that everyone sees, but hardly anyone takes the time to really look at. It’s kind of like knowing something but not really understanding what you know.Some of you may recall that I posted an essay to this blog back in 2009 about my thoughts on falling leaves. Readers come and go and it's a rare person who takes the time to go back and read every post I've ever written, so I’m posting what I wrote once again (below). There are people who travel to the far corners of the earth to see natural wonders of all sorts, but if you have trees, there is a remarkable natural wonder that takes place every season, right in your own backyard. It’s there if you take the time, and have the faith to see it.... The Last DanceAugust in upstate New York can be downright hot, but the evenings start getting cooler. Those of us who are sensitive to natural-world tangibles and harbingers do not need a calendar or television weather man to know autumn is waiting in the wings.Foliage on the many hardwood trees of this region is currently a mature, dominant green. But a few weeks from now the chlorophyll will retreat. The show of bright and brilliant colors will then make its 2009 debut.Certain members of the cast will, however, leap into their role before the main event. Perhaps it is impetuousness. It might be wanderlust. Whatever the case, I’m inclined to think it is surely an overriding Providence that compels these select few, prematurely-yellowed and age-spotted, to disengage and play their role. Which brings me to a preliminary observation...While it is the appointed destiny of all broad leaves here in northeastern America to die and fall to earth, it is worth noting that no two of the countless numbers of such leaves are exactly the same in appearance. What’s more, every leaf takes a different path on its first and final journey to the earth. I can not substantiate those claims based on extensive, bona fide scientific studies. That’s hardly necessary. I know such things from simply observing leaves.And now we come to a particular observation, and a particular realization, that settled into my consciousness in this last month of August....It happened that I was sitting outside on my backyard patio, with my wife, having a morning cup of coffee, enjoying the stillness of the rural world around us, and I looked up to see a single, pale leaf fall from the tall, green canopy of woods bordering my back yard. I say that I watched this leaf “fall” but it did not truly fall, at least not like, for example, I would fall were I to imagine myself a leaf and let go from a high tree branch. Rather, this leaf took its sweet time, wafting and floating downward. Then it actually did a stunning pirouette, flattened out, and waved, before settling gently onto the bricks of my patio, not far from where I sat.I thought this leaf danced for me. Then I thought better. It occurred to me that the leaf danced its way to earth for its Creator, for His glory, and I was only privileged to see it.Could this possibly be? Did God create the world so that every falling leaf would perform a unique dance fo
1 day ago
The early birds have begun the turning in my Ozark forest. This sumac was a standout among the green of the oaks and cedars last week. I think because we had such a wet August that the trees are a little late in beginning to turn for the...
The early birds have begun the turning in my Ozark forest. This sumac was a standout among the green of the oaks and cedars last week. I think because we had such a wet August that the trees are a little late in beginning to turn for the fall. Certainly by now I would have expected at least the hickories to begin showing yellow. It had only been the random oaks that up and died during the summer that showed any color but green in the forest. (And the three shortleaf pines that died over the summer, possibly because of the infestation they had.) But when I was in my woods last week, the scrubby plants were beginning to show a weariness that is typical of them in August rather than October. I hope the longer green season means all of the critters have more chance to prepare for the coming winter.
1 day ago
I like experimentation. In the old days several decades ago, that meant hoping into a semi with an unknown driver and traveling to unknown worlds. Dangerous yes, and fun, but really kids it was as I said, DANGEROUS. Now, my wild experime...
I like experimentation. In the old days several decades ago, that meant hoping into a semi with an unknown driver and traveling to unknown worlds. Dangerous yes, and fun, but really kids it was as I said, DANGEROUS. Now, my wild experimentation is limited to...Soap. For example, when it was dark at night and my husband was fast asleep I dug deep into my bag of tricks ( a basket filled with bags of suspicious looking powders and clays) and pulled out a heaping zip lock filled with with hazel powder.Witch Hazel BARK Powder On a very cool piece of Granite given to me bya friend (Thanks CK!)Can't even remember buying it, let alone what I was going to use it for but details like that are meaningless when one is an artist and the creative bell is slamming around in a dazed and confused cerebellum .Headaches? What headaches?An interesting powder, even though rather bland in appearance, it's earthiness was appealing to me. I'm not a blue glitter kind of gal so this bag of silty fine debris did beckon to me. I did some researchSeems the Witch Hazel Powder can come from the bark or the leaves of the plant. I had the bark variety. It is known to possess stringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anesthetic properties. Over time it has been used to treat everything, including: backache, hemorrhoids, (by injecting the powder mixed with water into the rectum) wounds, tumors, insect bites, eye inflammation, nosebleed, vaginitis, venereal disease, and skin ulcers externally; and internally (as a tea) for colds, heavy menstruation, diarrhea, and anxiety.Today, the bark powder is most often used externally to treat bruises, cuts, bedsores, sunburn, poison ivy, other skin ailments, sore muscles, and minor swelling. As a nurse, I cannot imagine treating any decubiti (bedsore) with something this scratchy or worse yet putting it in an inflamed eye (Ouch!!) but would be cool if it works. Would tick off the pharmacy companies though, since a 4 oz bag of this powder is less than $5 . But due to strict FDA laws I can make no such claim on my soap labels, in regards to any of the above. Nor would I want to. Imagine my grief knowing that my soap failed to fix your hemorrhoids. I would hate even more, the visual that would give me.Too late. And, for those of you who enjoy a nice fairytale, some people believe Witch hazel is a strong protective charm which is powerful in spells to end love and mend a broken heartNow, as a soap, I can tell you this. The addition of just 1 tsp to 2 pounds of oil colored it only slightly as you can see. It made the soap a bit scratchy but did not interfere with bubbles at all. I did add Tussah silk to my lye water which might have helped the bar feel less rough.10 minutes after rinsing my skin felt very good and so although it did not make the prettiest soap, even with a few small pieces of leftover white soap added, it did make a good, usable soap. I scented it with Pink Grapefruit, Eucalyptus and Lavender Essential oils which was quite pleasant. And the powder did cause the soap to thicken well and made it easy to create waves on top.Would I use it again? Not sure. Will give it a few weeks to see how my skin likes it. In the meantime I think I'll stick to my regular orange pekoe tea and I certainly won't be injecting it anywhere the sun don't shine.
1 day ago
If I had been looking more carefully at my Farm Aid Calendar, I would have dedicated today's Music Monday to John Mellencamp, since today is his birthday. But, I guess I jumped the gun by posting his Farm Aid 2013 set last week — so chec...
If I had been looking more carefully at my Farm Aid Calendar, I would have dedicated today's Music Monday to John Mellencamp, since today is his birthday. But, I guess I jumped the gun by posting his Farm Aid 2013 set last week — so check those videos out while you blow out a few candles in his honor today.In any case, today we'll look at videos of the performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds from Farm Aid 2013 (Dave's 16th Farm Aid appearance. This year, they performed: "Save Me" "So Damn Lucky" "Grace is Gone" "Corn Bread" "If Only" "#41" "Two Step" Our YouTube channel has 1,300 other Farm Aid videos and we'll be bringing you more Farm Aid 2013 videos in the coming weeks!
2 days ago
And a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway! A pile of fresh vegetables and herbs is stirred into hot rice, then tossed with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing: easy, nutritious, gluten-free, delicious! All content and words are m...
And a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway! A pile of fresh vegetables and herbs is stirred into hot rice, then tossed with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing: easy, nutritious, gluten-free, delicious! All content and words are my own. Thanks for your support! We love rice, and of course we love all-natural foods that are produced by socially responsible companies. So when my publishing network, BlogHer, asked if I was interested in creating a healthy recipe using one of RiceSelect's Royal Blend® rices, I said sure. RiceSelect™ is a research based company focused on high value organic and all-natural products. All RiceSelect products are verified non-GMO and are grown, milled, and packaged in the United States under the most stringent farming and production guidelines. Their farms use a sustainable environmentally friendly process that assures socially responsible production. There are three RiceSelect Royal Blend® products, all featuring Texmati®, the first basmati rice to be successfully grown in America. Texmati with Flaxseed includes Texmati Light Brown, Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous, Brown Flaxseed, and Black Lentils. Texmati with Quinoa has Texmati Light Brown, Red Quinoa, and Freekeh. My recipe calls for the Royal Blend® with Brown, Red, & Wild Rice, which is an all-natural blend of Texmati White, pre-cooked brown, wild, and Thai red rice. It has no added sodium, a wonderful nutty flavor, and is ready to eat in less than half an hour. In the 15 minutes it takes the rice to cook, you can turn a simple side dish into a healthy, colorful, flavor-packed feast. A pile of fresh vegetables and herbs is stirred into the hot rice then tossed with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing. It's delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature. Recipe and $100 Visa gift card giveaway below. . . Click here for the rest of this post »
2 days ago
I have to remind myself that there really is no such thing as “the weekend” in nature. Life goes on out at my woods whether I am there to observe it or not. Sometimes I’ll get bits of evidence to show that I’ve mi...
I have to remind myself that there really is no such thing as “the weekend” in nature. Life goes on out at my woods whether I am there to observe it or not. Sometimes I’ll get bits of evidence to show that I’ve missed something, but I think the bulk of the “action” in my woods takes place without my awareness or, in some cases, my approval. I took a much-needed vacation day last week (Wednesday, as we humans call it) and headed out to my woods. I needed to talk to a man about improving our common road (not cheap) and then get the names and addresses of the people who own property along or at the end of that road (to hit them up for money, natch). This latter duty required me to visit the county courthouse on a day when it was opened, thus the mid-week trip to the woods. Between those two activities, I also managed to find myself in the comfy chair on the shady porch overlooking the sparkling lake. And it was then that I was allowed to witness a little vignette. I’ll say again that there is no weekend in the woods, except for us humans. So my wild visitors may very likely come and go all of the time and only happen to stay away when they see/hear/smell humans on their totally made up weekends. And this is the wildlife I saw: I had stepped out of the cabin and saw a critter below in the lake. Then I saw another on the shore. Then I realized what I saw. Presumably they are dogs from a nearby farm and not part of a feral pack. We’ve seen dogs in our woods before, but they always look well fed, and in some cases they even have collars on them. Certainly we hear a few dogs over at the cattle ranch to our east. So I supposed that these dogs weren’t a threat to a solitary man. The one in the water looked up and saw me, but I didn’t make much of an impression apparently. Nor did either dog move. They seemed to be waiting for something. And something was coming. I could hear something big crashing through the forest up the hill from them. (Okay, stomping through the leaf litter, but it was still loud.) Presently, a much larger, dark brown, hairy dog emerged from the forest, panting so loudly I could hear it across the lake, and headed straight into the water. It waded out until it had to swim, and then it just kept going, lapping up water as fast as it could. But then something happened. The big brown dog turned and began swimming across the lake, directly toward where I was. The two white dogs joined it, the pack headed for me. I didn’t stick around. It was nearly time to meet the man about the road, so I hopped into the Prolechariot and drove away. When I returned perhaps twenty minutes later, the dogs were gone. Should I have stuck around to see if I was going to be eaten? (On some of my insanely early morning runs — I’m talking 3:00 a.m.! — I sometimes see coyotes out in faraway suburbia. So far they’ve showed no interest in me, but what if they did and all I had to defend myself with was a cell phone?) Might have made for a more interesting post.
2 days ago