Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's a State of Mind, A Way of Doing Things

Working with the idea posted here earlier about family work weekends, I wanted to give a glimpse of our set up. We have our share of friends and family who are also homesteading on acreages, and then we also have some who live in town and urban homestead. Due to limited space/light/laws we end up sharing our space with them, so they can expand on what they do there. In exchange they help us keep up with what we do. Recently we added a new goat, already in milk to our herd, a sweet Toggenberg named Ginger. We weren't really planning on doing any milking until next spring, but Ginger came from a family who needed to find a good home for many in their herd, and we were itching to be able to supply our own dairy products. This led to a scurry of gathering parts and pieces we were going to need, including (but certainly not limited to!) a milking stand. The home we adopted Ginger from had a wooden milking stand, which they had advised against, as they were having issues with mildew. After searching numerous pages of terribly-expensive-on-a-homesteader's-budget stands made of wood, pvc or metal, I decided that we would chance the wood. The cost of the stands available through catalogs and such were in the area of $175-$200 plus shipping which was generally around $65. The cost of materials for our homemade one: $30. No comparison.
This stand was also built by two terribly talented ladies, myself and one of my closest friends and partner in crime, er, homesteading (she's my urban counterpart, so to speak). It went together easily; we used the directions for a stand from Fias Co. Farm, which is also where we get our animal health products like the herbal wormer we use. I love Molly's site-she is very thorough in her explanations of how and why she does what she does with her goats. The stand works wonderfully, and has already served another purpose as I sheared our Border Cheviot sheep, Chrysanthemum yesterday. It is lightweight and sealed with oil. I wipe down with the same soapy solution I clean the milking dishes with each milking, and dry it to avoid any growth issues.
All of this is not to push Fias Co. farm's site (though I do love them!) or to brag or just chat about how I spend my weeknights, but rather to talk about how many resources (including this blog :)  ) are available to the simply, frugally, green minded individual out there that makes it easier for them to live the way they do. The internet has made it so easy to find others who have been through the same trenches we have been or are in. It is easy to order or follow the insight of the first site hits google brings up, but I find that there is great value in taking time to look at all your options and seek what fits you best. I respect the opinion of the fine farm family we bought Ginger from, and I agree they have an issue with the stand they use. I also know our situation and what we can make work. I took time (though I was on a deadline) and figured out what would fit our budget and time. That wouldn't have worked, though, without the help of our friends, either. I am not a craftsman when it comes to wood working, but by combining talents (every Thursday night, at that) we are able to achieve more, and work towards our goals for more self-sufficiency and frugality. And it was fun. I think too often we see work rather than opportunities for gathering. I actually enjoy working-I know it sounds crazy to some, but the feeling of accomplishing something is far more gratifying than the click of a button in ordering it from some distant company. All in the homesteader's day to day, and I wouldn't change any of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome hospitable, intelligent discussion. I do not welcome mean-spirited comments. Though they are "moderated" I post pretty much everything, with a very, very small exception-that being spam and those who aim to hurts others intentionally. I'd love hear what you have to say, otherwise!

Post a Comment