Monday, December 29, 2008

No such thing as a sentimental farmer?

Whew, it's musty in here!

*dusts off blog*

Yep, it's been a bit since I blogged over here.  The farm has sort of taken a back seat to my other business: funny t-shirts over at Evil Genius Tees.  I make more money for the effort with my business than with my farm, which saddens me.

So, it's 1:30 a.m., I can't sleep, and this is sort of a venting post.

With the drought causing hay shortages, biofuel production driving the grain prices up, and then the economy sagging, well, let me tell you, being a small farmer has started to get really hard.

Feed is $7= per bag, hay is a staggering $5-$6+ per bale.  My truck is broken as well as my tractor and I can't afford to get either fixed. Without the tractor, I can't sow grass seed, and with out the truck I can only get hay in my small trailer - 12 bales at a time.

And so on and so forth. Whine, whine, whine.

Well, we cut all the fowl (including my beloved geese) plus the sheep flock / goat herd  down to minimum (though I think I might be able to cull a few more sheep) and my latest hard decision is to get rid of the pigs.

And I'm having a surprisingly hard time with it.

Number one, I just like the pigs. Aside from being hard to keep in, they are easy to care for, breed, and sell.  They're super efficient waste disposal units, making use of all the household food waste as well as any barnyard refuse (including the occasional dead chicken) and they're personable.

Is it because my baby daughter, who is autistic, who is fixated with pigs, considers them 'her' pigs? Is it because our boar, who is as gentle as a lamb, was picked out and named by her?

You can't be sentimental and be a farmer.  They call those folks "hobbyists".  They name all of their animals, then get all weepy and expect the calves and pigs and chickens they produce to not ever, ever be butchered.  Farm animals are not pets.  If they're pets, then you're not farming.

The pigs consume a huge amount of feed that we can't afford right now.  The return is just not worth it.  We'll just keep a feeder pig from now on to process the food waste and put him in the freezer each year.  THAT will be a more efficient use of feed. 

I must look at the money aspect of it.  If I'm throwing money away keeping pigs, and that money would benefit my children, then the pigs need to go.  Surely Bitty Girl will understand one day.

Hey, perhaps when the money situation eases, we can get our notoriously dicey pig fencing fixed, build a proper stye and get breeding stock back.

We'll see.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:10 am   0 comments

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If you love wrap music ...

Y'all know I don't "do" the holidays but I do love MC Hammer and this made me LOL:

Hope everyone's holidays are proceeding in a favorable and relaxing fashion.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:13 am   1 comments

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Poor eats

Did Blue call bullshit on the One Dollar Diet Project?

I blogged about the two social justice teachers / activists who ate for one month on one dollar a day (each).  An interesting (and yes, it was political, Christopher) experiment in thrift and American lifestyle.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:40 pm   1 comments

Is America's bread addiction hurting the poor?

So I ran across this video of Kerri Leonard and Christopher Greenslate, two high school teachers who lived on $1 a day (each) for one month;

It's a fascinating exploration of thrift and diet, politics and lifestyle, and as a thrifty dieter I found it thought provoking.

My first thought was that I could easily eat well on $1 a day, for a month. They made it sound a bit horrific - Christopher talks a bit dramatically about not being able to buy fruits and veg and eating 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on a PB&J every day for lunch.

I blame their terrible food choices.

Number one, Americans consume way, way too many carbs. It's ridiculous. We feel like we're being deprived if we don't get our bread, crackers, cookies, rice, and pasta.

Let's look at their One Dollar Diet Project food list here - it includes prices. If you remove the death-by-carbs items (bread, flour, cornmeal, rice, etc), that frees up an enormous amount of money right there that could be used to purchase meats for protein and veg for carbs and vits.

You can get peanut butter for $4/35 servings (that's two tablespoons, there, per serving), quick oats (if you want some grain in your diet) for $4/30 servings.  You can get a 3lb tub of oleo for $1.99 and ditch expensive margarine and olive oil.  You can get a whole chicken or huge package of leg quarters for $4 (at least 4 meals, plus soup with what's left) and 4 cans of tuna (8 servings) for $3. And so on.

My off-the-cuff main suggestions (for two, $60 to spend) would be a big bag of beans, cabbage or collards, onions, carrots, tuna, peanut butter, the quick oats for breakfasts, oleo, eggs, a stack of small flour tortillas (see, there's bread, lol), boullion, tiny jar of mayonnaise, and the chicken.

You'd have porridge or eggs for brekkies; tuna / mayo, PB, or chicken / mayo wraps for lunches or quick suppers; beans and greens, or soup, or chicken and veg / greens, (or wraps) for suppers.

I know, I know, you're saying: "Blue, clearly they're Veggies/vegans so that blows your diet adjustments out of the water."

Well, yeah, you're right and that's sort of my point.  Can you really compare a person in a third world country - or even an impoverished person here in the US - who catches as catch can, eating whatever they can get, to two middle class social experimentors who buy soy milk instead of powdered cow's milk and strawberry preserves instead of store brand grape jelly?

I have no problems with what Ms Leonard and Mr Greenslate did.  I think it's way cool and I'm glad they got recognised. I'm just saying that their results is really is a LIFESTYLE thing and not a THRIFT thing  - they did NOT make the hard choices that a truely poor person would have to make (buy the cheapest even if it's not organic/all natural/free range/politcally correct)- and so really is almost no comparison with the cost of eating well for the impoverished.

The One Dollar Diet Project blog is here if you'd like to follow the whole adventure.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:46 pm   2 comments

Saturday, December 06, 2008

To Bodog

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:59 am   4 comments