Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why yoga with goats is a really bad idea. And: a great spring resource for ya!

Have you seen the viral videos on Facebook of people doing yoga with goats?  Yes, they're cute, but do people realize that if they did yoga with goats, their yoga mats would get peed, pooped, stepped, and chewed on?

Also, have you ever had a baby goat jump on your back?  It hurts.  And not only do they step on your sensitive vertebrae, but they also chew on your hair without you realizing it, and then you have strands of spit hair sticking from your head like a crazed Medusa.

Still.  We sometimes do yoga with goats.  Here are Luke and Eva while visiting our friend with mini Nubians.

Please note the muddy hoof prints on Luke's shirt (another side effect of doing goat yoga: lots of laundry).

This photo op happened when we shopped for goats.  I considered mini Nubians.  They are incredibly gorgeous.

Then, I fell in love with actually owning goats with ears, as opposed to the ear-less La Manchas I've been raising for over a decade.

The white goat below is Fiona, a Saanen I bought from a friend.  I adored Fiona, and she stayed at our homestead for three weeks, until I had to return her because I was ready to slit her throat.

Every single day, she would scream and yell and maaaaahhhhhh very loudly all day long as soon as she lost sight of me.  I spent hours in the barn and pasture to comfort her, although she also had another goat companion, but in the end, I had to return her.  I cried when I dropped her off.

We sure loved the taste of her milk.


I've been making Chevre cheese, yogurt and Feta cheese with her milk.  Oh so good.  And my morning coffee with creamy, raw goat milk?  Ohhhh!!!

You do know I teach a self-paced online course on how to make cheese at home, right? It includes how to make Greek Yogurt, Chevre (or Farmer's cheese if you make it with cow milk), Gouda and Cabra Al Vino.  

And a recipe for the best cheese cake you'll ever make (made with the Farmer's cheese I teach).  My son makes cheesecake all by himself, and he's only 13.

You can check it out by clicking here <----

Spring time is in full swing, despite the record rainfalls we've been plagued with here in the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the rain, I got my potatoes planted!

And my daughter helped me start all kinds of seeds in the greenhouse, and they are all sprouted and growing happily by now.

Best of all, flowers are already popping up everywhere, and the wild natives are blooming, too.

Our six little chickies are growing very rapidly.  They are looking less and less like little fluffballs and more like... you know... dinosaurs.

And of course, you also know I teach a self paced online chicken raising course, right?  In it, you'll learn everything you need to know to raise chickens in your backyard, even if you live in the city.  It also includes a video and step-by-step instructions on how to build the kind of chicken tractor we've used for over a decade to keep our birds safe and happy.

You can check it out by clicking here <----

We spent an hour to clean up our neighbors' chicken coop the other day, so we could move our two big laying hens up there while the little ones occupy the chicken tractor.

The kids had to help and weren't happy about it, but oh well: if you wanna eat eggs, you gotta help clean up chicken poop.

In closing, I'll prove to you that we don't just work all the time.  We take time to play, we really do, and we think it's important.

One day, when it wasn't raining (surprise, surprise), we took our canoe out to Puget Sound and found some magical spots.  

And then we warmed up at home in front of the wood stove.

By the way?  I put together a resource of spring-related tutorials I made, mostly videos.  One series of tutorials is about growing your best onions ever organically, the other is how and why to use a broadfork instead of a rototiller to prepare your garden, and the other is my little movie tutorial on how to make nettle pesto.

You can get the list right here on our Patreon membership site.  By paying as little as $1 a month (and as much as $20, and with that you'll get a traditional long bow Steve made), you get access to membership-only stuff I produce.

Plus, it supports us, so that's nice, isn't it?
Head on over to our membership site to do just that and grab your list for spring!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Chicks, chilling, and changing the world

Chicks, chilling, and changing the world.  Here's what I mean by that: 

~ Chicks because of all the little feathered friends we are raising (and who are being babysat by our big dog Raka)...

~ Chilling because of jumping into insanely cold creek water (not me, but my crazy teenage sons)...

~ Changing the world (by sharing your wisdom and passion and lifting your voice)...

Let me tell you about the changing-the-world-part:

I'm sorry if you have already received my emails about this if you are on my mailing list, but I really want to get the word out about this. 

I believe that sharing your passion and gifts is a world-changing act. I've been doing this by teaching people how to be more self-sufficient, healthier and happier.

My mentor Ann Manatt taught me everything I know about running all of my successful online programs. She's offering a FREE training on how to create an online course, program or group, and you can sign up below.
This is world-changing stuff, and I want you to be a part of it!

---> Sign up by clicking here <---

Lots of my teaching is online, and I've reached hundreds of thousands of people (at this point, I should probably say millions!). I want you to learn how to do this, too!

I invite you to take my mentor's FREE 5-day challenge: How to create an online course, program or group in five days.

In her challenge, she encourages you to start dreaming about how your life would be different if you lifted your voice and shared your passion.
Her FREE 5-day challenge starts Monday, April 9th. There's free guidance, worksheets and technical videos. Let's do this!

Now for the chilling part:  We live in the beautiful wilderness in the Pacific Northwest.  Our creeks and rivers are freezing cold this time of year.  

Last week, our family went to one of our scenic rivers just a couple of minutes from our house, because we wanted to collect cottonwood buds for infusing in oil. It makes great medicine.

It was a cold day, with a seven-minutes and 42-seconds sun break.  During this time, my oldest son Kai decided to strip down and jump into the creek.  Clad with wool layers, mittens, hat and scarf, I watched in horror as he didn't just jump in once, but twice.

Naturally, his two-years-younger brother had to follow suit, what with keeping up the manly kind of dumb stuff they do.  So Luke jumped in, too.  I have it all on video, and his scream as he stumbles out of the chilly water is ear-splitting priceless.

You see the snow-capped mountains in the background? Yeah.

Lastly, but not leastly: Chicks.  Oh, we love those little babies.  They grow into adulthood in approximately three days, so you have to take advantage of their fluffy tiny-ness while it lasts.

For the first two weeks of their lives, they lived in our upstairs bathroom.  Our dog Raka was absolutely fascinated with them, and since she's used to feathered things and has never bothered them before, I decided to let her be a babysitter, mostly because she gets to lick their poopy droppings off the floor.

And she takes her role seriously.  The chicks like to come up to her and peck her nose, or hop onto her back.  She endures it all, enjoys it even.

My daughter's friends like to come over and play with the chicks.  We indulge them, because it gives us an excuse to head to the bathroom and play with them, too.

Hope you are having fun out there!

PS: Don't forget to sign up for the FREE offer to teach you about how to get your own voice out there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Homesteading in Paradise March 2018 Highlights Video

Here is my monthly "Homesteading in Paradise" video series. This shows our homesteading life in March, and yes, it includes footage of my crazy teenagers jumping into one of our ice-cold, wild creeks while it snowed. 

Also: plenty of cuteness involving baby goats and baby chicks. And I planted garlic and peas.  Spring is finally here! 

Watch this short little video here <----

If you would like more content and learn homesteading skills, go here:

Here at Marblemount Homestead, we teach and inspire people who see things differently. 

You're fed up with the status quo consumerism pop culture. You want to live a more wholesome, sustainable, healthier, happier life and be more connected to nature. 

We're here to help with teaching skills, inspiration, community and holding your hand. You're not alone. 

Come on over to our side of the fence, where the grass is greener!

We offer tons of free content and tutorials on our blog and youtube channel, and also teach several online courses. And of course, you can come participate in one of our retreats here on the homestead!

And now, there's a way to get access to even more inspiring, educational, fun content from us and help support us by joining our exclusive community!  Help us build this movement to teach and model sustainability!

For over 5 years, I've offered you absolutely free content on my blog and my youtube channel: free tutorials teaching anything you can imagine that's related to homesteading, wholesome living, sustainability, homeschooling and health.

Many mornings, I get up at 5 am, before milking the goats and feeding the pigs, ducks, chickens and (human) kids, so I can write a blog post or edit movie footage we filmed.
Many evenings, I research about a topic my readers want to learn about and then write a tutorial for them.

In other words, plenty of blood, sweat and tears have gone into providing the stuff you all find so inspiring and helpful.  And I love doing that for you!

But gosh darn it, wouldn't it be nice to get paid for some of that work so I can do more of it and serve you better!

That's where Patreon comes in, and you, obviously.  Because I get lots of emails from many people thanking me for inspiring, teaching and leading them, I know I offer a huge service to many.

And now, you can actually support me with as much or as little money as you want.  It's kind of like pledging for National Public Radio, except you can give us little as $1 month!

We hope your spring is going great!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Shopping for baby chicks, baby goats and other springtime shenanigans

Nothing screams "SPRING" more than baby chicks, baby goats and crocuses.  And this blog post is filled with 'em, because guess what?  Spring has sprung, more or less.  More last week, less this week, with the snow line falling again.

I accidentally came home with six new baby chicks after entering our local farm store.  They were 50 percent off, so how could I have resisted?  The chicks live in our bathroom for now, with a heat lamp and a brooder that keeps them safe.

Our dogs, especially Raka, the big one, love these little fluff balls.  Raka lies on the floor with them, letting them flutter all over her and even lets them peck her nose.  It's incredibly cute, albeit a tiny little bit exciting, because Raka could fit all six chicks easily into her mouth at once.

If you want to raise chicks and know how to build a chicken tractor to keep them safe, you can take my online chicken raising course for 10 percent off with coupon code "chicks", but only until Sunday at 10pm Pacific. Click here to check it out.

Also: baby goats.  Ahhhhhhhh, baby goats.  Last fall, I sold all of my goats to have a breather and figure out what I want to do with my life, but very soon I realized that this life needs to have goats in it.  And cheesemaking

So I've been spending time with friends' goats to see which ones I want.  The problem is: I want them all.

Below are mini Nubians with their adorable long ears, which I'm drooling over because I've bred and raised ear-less La Mancha goats for over a decade.

And then there's the white Saanens with their bunny rabbit ears.  

Choices, choices.  What's a girl to do when one baby goat looks cuter than the other?

This whole spring thing happened pretty quickly.  One week, we were covered in snow and ice, and the other, things were melted.

The worst part was when I had to shovel snow and ice to clear a path for the chicken tractor.  The poor girls had been stuck in one area for weeks, blocked in by snow, until I finally had enough and freed them.

Good exercise, y'all.  And happy chickens pecking at grass.  It was worth it.

As soon as the snow was gone, I jogged out to the garden (in a T-shirt and barefoot) so I could plan it out for this year's planting.  I practice crop rotation to keep things healthy, and I keep a stained, tattered garden journal that's 15 years old.  It documents every single year of gardening we've done on this piece of land.  It's epic.  And dirty.

So there I was, squatting in the garden, and although I had only planned on laying out garden beds, my arms and legs started twitching, and before I knew it, I had filled the wheelbarrow with compost from the goat barn, spread it on a garden bed, broadforked it to make it nice and loose, and planted all the garlic.

I love when that  happens.  Garlic's in.  Check.

I shall leave you with images of last week.

... Sun shining onto the Cascade River...

... Sun rising in our back yard...

... My sons heading into the woods with their friend to target practice with their bows and arrows...

... My husband sniffing Devil's club inner bark he harvested to make a tincture with...

... Is your garden snow free yet?