• Finding Alaska: The Life and Art of Shannon Cartwright
    Finding Alaska: The Life and Art of Shannon Cartwright
    by Shannon Cartwright
  • Trapline Twins
    Trapline Twins
    by Julie Collins
  • Riding the Wild Side of Denali: Adventures with Horses and Huskies
    Riding the Wild Side of Denali: Adventures with Horses and Huskies
    by Miki Collins, Julie Collins
  • Dog Driver: A Guide for the Serious Musher
    Dog Driver: A Guide for the Serious Musher
    by Miki Collins, Julie Collins
  • Two in the Far North
    Two in the Far North
    by Margaret E. Murie
  • Alaska's Wolf Man: The 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser
    Alaska's Wolf Man: The 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser
    by Jim Rearden
  • Back Tuva Future
    Back Tuva Future
    by Kongar-ol Ondar
  • Cave of the Yellow Dog
    Cave of the Yellow Dog
    starring Batchuluun Urjindorj, Buyandulam Daramdadi, Nansal Batchuluun, Nansalmaa Batchuluun, Babbayar Batchuluun
  • Mongolian Ping Pong
    Mongolian Ping Pong
    starring Hurichabilike, Geliban, Badema, Yidexinnaribu, Dawa (II)
  • Making Great Cheese: 30 Simple Recipes from Cheddar to Chevre Plus 18 Special Cheese Dishes
    Making Great Cheese: 30 Simple Recipes from Cheddar to Chevre Plus 18 Special Cheese Dishes
    by Barbara J. Ciletti
  • Grain-free Gourmet Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living
    Grain-free Gourmet Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living
    by Jodi Bager, Jenny Lass
  • Cooking Alaskan
    Cooking Alaskan
    by Alaskans
  • Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide
    Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide
    by Carol Hupping
  • The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest: 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables
    The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest: 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables
    by Carol W. Costenbader
  • Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
    Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
    by The Gardeners and Farmers of Centre Terre Vivante
  • Dersu the Trapper (Recovered Classics)
    Dersu the Trapper (Recovered Classics)
    by V. K. Arseniev
  • In the Shadow of Eagles: From Barnstormer to Alaska Bush Pilot, a Pilots Story
    In the Shadow of Eagles: From Barnstormer to Alaska Bush Pilot, a Pilots Story
    by Rudy Billberg
  • Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun
    Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun
    by Velma Wallis
  • Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
    Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
    by Velma Wallis
  • Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life
    Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life
    by Nancy Lord
  • Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
    Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
    by Steve Solomon
  • Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
    Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
    by Mike Bubel, Nancy Bubel
  • Beluga Days: Tracking the Endangered White Whale
    Beluga Days: Tracking the Endangered White Whale
    by Nancy Lord
  • Fishcamp Life on an Alaskan Shore
    Fishcamp Life on an Alaskan Shore
    by Nancy Lord
  • The Snow Walker
    The Snow Walker
    starring Barry Pepper, Annabella Piugattuk, James Cromwell, Kiersten Warren, Jon Gries
  • The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)
    The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)
    starring Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Madeline Ivalu
  • Heartland [VHS]
    Heartland [VHS]
    starring Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus, Megan Folsom, Lilia Skala
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    Hunting * Fishing * Trapping * Gardening * Gathering Wild Edibles * Raising Livestock * Building by Hand * Homeschooling * Flying * Backpacking * Dog Mushing * Cheesemaking * Rock Hounding * Backcountry Living * And Other Old Timey Stuff

    Monday
    Jan312011

    Sweetness

    Fling gave us a strong and healthy doeling yesterday.  She.is.solid.sweetness.

    Saturday
    Jan292011

    Wait and watch

    That pretty much sums it up... I have 4 does that will likely kid in the next 4 or 5 days.  So everytime I go outside, and a couple of times in the night- I go around lifting tails to see how my girls are progressing.  We had Fling in the cabin with us last night.  She had some mucus but then it stopped, so I put her back outside with her friends this morning.

    Pleasant is doing great after losing her kids.  You'd never know that she just gave birth, except that she's giving plenty of milk... milk that was stilling testing positive for antibiotics last time I tested it.  Bummer.  Katie girl gave us a bouncing baby boy a few days after Pleasant kidded... Bacon is big and inquisitive and still inside with us.  Then Farlight delivered triplets- two boys and a girl... all are white with LaMancha ears.  We lost the second boy, but everyone else is doing great.

    So now I'm waiting on Fling and Tuffy, Zoey and Licorice.  It turns out that Pinky is bred to kid within the next month, so I'm keeping an eye on her too.  And if the rest of my dates are correct, everyone else should kid in late April and early May.  We're gonna have a ton of babies this year!

    And I'm super glad we're having a spell of nice weather for this go around.  That helps keep the stress level down for sure.  I'll keep you posted as we get more kids on the ground.  Cheers!

    Monday
    Jan172011

    Unruly nature

    Thinking back over the course of this winter has me certain of one thing:  I have very little control how this life unfolds and am basically along for the ride.

    Horrendous winds, unseasonable thaws, and deep freezing temperatures... ain't nothing you can do about that.  The weather has been unspeakable, unpredictable and mostly unpleasant.

    The wind blew upwards of 90 miles an hour this week- just one of many windstorms we've endured recently.  Then the temperature plummeted to the vicinity of 25 below, though it was only 15 below here on the mountain.  Now it's supposedly going to hit 36 by the weekend.  Craziness.

    Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and accept that it is what it is, and it will be what it will be and quit worrying about it.  Take for instance, the unfolding of Pleasant's twinbirth which took place over the last few days.

    The gestation of a goat is 150 days.  Around day 143 I start watching 'em pretty close, though last spring I had one go on day 140.  Pleasant pushed it to day 154 this time.  She was extremely slow to progress... it seemed excruciatingly slow from my viewpoint, but I trust nature and I trust birth and I was willing to let it go as it would.

    Her bottom got soft.  A couple days later her tail got loose.  Next, the babies dropped down low.  A few days later her milk came in.  Then mucus started to drip.  The next day she finally dilated and the birth sac began to bulge.  After the leisurely approach to birth, all hell broke loose.

    Out came the placenta.  Knowing this was a very bad sign, and that an emergency was suddenly at hand- I opened the box of OB gloves that I had waiting and dove in.  A large perfectly formed doeling was lined up at the entrance, but it was everything I could do to pull her out.

    Either Pleasant didn't have enough hormones on board, or the baby was too big, or something.  I don't know what, and will never know.  I got the baby out and tried to revive her to no avail.  As she expelled more birth fluids, I spotted an extra set of hooves.  Detached hooves, unattached to a kid.  Yikes.

    So I went back in to see what I could find.  All I found was goo.  Off color goo like old decayed tissue.  It took two days for Pleasant to pass the decomposed twin.  There were no bits bigger than a quarter... a few pieces of skin, hair, bone, and lots of goo.

    Meanwhile, I had started nutritional therapy and homeopathic/herbal treatments right away to get her back on track lest I lose the doe as well as the expired kids.  Then I did something unprecedented and put her on a 5 day course of penicillin to avoid the metritis I felt was right around the corner considering the circumstances.

    Could any of this been avoided?  Perhaps.  Or maybe not.  But one thing is certain.  I'm not in charge.

    Tuesday
    Dec282010

    Have you joined?

    Lunachick Mountain Farmstead wishes to formally thank Pete Kennedy at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund for everything he does to protect our rights and access to real food.  Thank you, Pete.

    If you grow or eat real food, I strongly encourage you to join FTCLDF today.  It's a small step that can make a big difference in the outcome of the war on raw milk.

    Monday
    Dec272010

    Turning the corner

    We're coming up on midwinter around here.  Solstice is past, the days are getting longer... only 100 days to go until breakup.  It's been cold, dark and windy lately- trying to keep busy, and not let it wear on me.  

    Ben was home for the month of December, and now he's getting ready to head stateside for some sportsman's expositions while I stay home and farm.  My Mom left for a few months to visit her family, so I'll be truly solo for awhile.  Hopefully everything will function as designed.

    Meanwhile, my chickens are happy as can be and the goats are doing well too.  Egg production is continually increasing and even milk is starting to come up.  Only a few weeks now until our kidding season starts.

    I brought Tripp, our border collie, home at harvest.  Today I realized that he's really fitting in around here.  The goats accept his presence enough now that he can be outside while I'm milking, instead of having to leave him the house for stress reduction.  Taslyn loves that dog like a brother... he's pretty high energy, but he's predictable and trustworthy.

    So, this is just a quick note to say that all is well on the mountain.  Hope your holidays were happy!