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Celeriac ....tried this out last week ....wild child made a soup ....absolutely delicious...i ordered some Jerusalem artichoke and that arrived last week so i will plant out next spring .....globe artichoke ...going to try that out also, any suggestions you have i will very much appreciate , the more i concentrate on my garden the more options i seem to crave for ....not that i want exotic things to try or grow ....its more about good staple vegetables in season or stored well .....the aim is to be totally self sufficient with home grown foods .. i have kept hens for years but i let these go when the new place was being built ....but i will get more very soon,along with some ducks ...even some pigs and goats are still on my wish list......any ideas ? guys n gals .
SS. I'm looking at goats but not really considering pigs unless my circumstances change. Goats seem much easier to keep than pigs, and less likely to eat you.
One of the tenants of homesteading is that you run crops and livestock runs you.

With plants you do what you can do and as much as you can do and plan your season.

With livestock you better be there every morning, every night and have feed bucket in hand. They do not tolerate a day off for a trip to town or a quick three day weekend away from home.

And on a small holding, were there is not enough forage to keep them fed, you must feed most animals a generous and expensive ration. Even if they forage they will go through the planned food crops at an amazing rate and still need an additional feeding at fattening time.

With pigs, in my part of the world, you can not buy them and feed them to slaughter weight as cheap as you can buy pork from the butcher. And you do not have the hassle of restrictions on your time and keeping feed and all the problems lose feed around the homestead brings.

It is the same with eggs. My feed bill for the chickens was more then the cost of eggs! In my area eggs are $1 US for an 18 count carton. I can buy a month supply for $5 US and a month of chicken scratch was $20!

I find that living in a rural area I can be the customer of someone that raises chickens for sport or hobby and pay them by the dozen just enough to cover their feed costs. Same with pork. I can contract with a farmer for half a hog at slaughter and pay the going price per pound at that moment if I want to know exactly where my pork is coming from.

Fact is, I know my local butcher and know that he does not deal is suspect meat. What he offers is high quality and most of the time I buy what I need off the counter.

Goats?? I have stories about goats!

I once lost a heard of 100 into thin air. They found a crushed spot in the fence and they were gone, lock, stock, and barrel. A week latter I found them brousing a hillside 2 miles down the road. It took 5 or 6 trips with the stock trailer and half a day to get them home. The next day they were gone again! All it took was a taste of freedom and they were never happy inside my 800 acre plot again!

I think they sent scouts out daily to look for weak spots in the fences and the entire heard would escape through a spot that was only a couple of squares gone from the boxed wire.

Day and night, hot and cold, week after week with no let up from the demands of presence and attention, and after all that care and expense you wake one morning to find a fox, raccoon, coyote or the neighbor's dog has broken into the pen and killed the entire flock of chickens, or eaten the two new kids from your best nanny, or killed the shoats you have been feeding for two months and left them dead on the ground uneaten.

I am too old for that crap any more.

And never forget that when WW2 cranked up, SHTF one might say, you could grow all the vegetables you wished and eat until you were stuffed, but your livestock instantly became the managed property of the government. It was not yours to kill and eat as you saw fit. After you obtained permission to slaughter you critter, and it had to be slaughtered by an approved butcher, you got half, the government got half, and the butcher got the offal.

And you were graded on the efficiency of your performance in raising the stock. No bonuses for good performance but stiff penalties for not giving your stock the best of care.
Its pretty much the same Here MB ....price wise its not worth the effort or cost of feed or the rat poison (jaguar) £37.00 for 5 ltr tub (but no more rats) ...the locals used to tell us our eggs were the best.....last going off we sold a dozen eggs for £2.50 .....put simply costs were not covered....twenty two hens and two cocks ....but we will only get a few this time just for us ....the figures will not be any better or the effort and protection measures and all can buy 15 eggs for under £1.70 you can buy a small chicken for £2.75 oven ready......but again wtshtf would you even get 1 egg let alone a oven ready bird fact MB Your argument would stand true no matter what you decided to farm ....even if you could get hold of the feed supplements or not , maybe some better options would be rabbits for a meat source plus the fur ....the only reason for some goats ...for me....would be a milk source .

As you point out MB for the older men amongst us us...things may take a little longer to get done, but they sure as hell get done none the less, our upbringing takes care of that!

At rehab last Friday we had another newbie start .....cheeky bastard wants a shot at the forward to last Tuesday....on the rower ....side by side the f..ker go's pulling his guts out ....i wind up .....he is looking at the clock hanging on the wall ? in between breaths he mutters two more mins.....he stops gets off ....and starts off doing the Rocky Balboa skip dance....i am now coming up to my five mins....he asks how long is your routine then .....5......oh mine is 3 at this point i felt like shouting "Adrian ...i love you " i mark my sheet and move on .....rocky is now on high step ups ......i am on curls 4 ks ...the instructor says to rocky ...yes curls are like SS is doing ...but use the 1 k ...rocky is still doing the f..king tango........Walking Machine ,Xtrainer, pushbike more curls and step ups ....rocky is doing a dance that i used to do to ...My Girl back in 68 .....he is also sweating like someone on a rape charge and all the jurors are all women.....the instructor takes rocky to one side for the seventh time and has yet another little chat....if there's one thing i cannot stand ...its cheeky kids ....rocky is 59 ....on the way out i managed to quell the burning desire to run up the steps pumping air and crying out Adrian i f..king love !

I have known several like that over the years.

They were going to "conquer" rehab and get rid of their heart disease.

Problem is that having coronary artery disease is like being a U.S. Marine, "Once a Marine always a Marine!" Once you are a heart patient you will remain a heart patient till the end of your days and the best you can hope for is that you make it to "old man" status before the ticker stops entirely.

You do not get over it or conquer it. You deal with having it and your victory is still being around 5-10 years down the road when all the "Rockys" have ended as ashes in a jar on the shelf.

Most people that start like that can not hold up to the pace. Eventually they quit.

It is the same for dieting. People lose weight, gain it back. It is not the fault of the diet, or the food, or the calorie counter they are using. It is because they go back to stuffing their face whining that "no one should have to live without deep fried Snickers bars!" and the diets are "unrealistic" to expect one to never eat junk food!

I watch the BBC news nightly and I can assure you that the folks in GB are just as fat as the "fat Americans" they degrade.

I got out of the livestock business after the vermin killed off my flock down to one bird. I gave the little hen away and was very happy to not have the trip down the steep hill to the chicken coop twice daily during that next winter. Our winters are simply too severe for tromping about to be fun. Around here if it is not snow it is rain (I have not seen the sun in 8 days) and if it is neither the mud still hangs around from November till May and that hill became a real challenge during one of my back pain episodes.

Just imagine an old man sliding down a 45% slope covered in mixed snow and mud at about 50 mph with a bucket of feed in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. All this while screaming in pain and knowing once you get to the bottom that getting back to the top will be a miracle!

That spring I tore down the chicken coop and planted a garden on that spot. It made a super garden plot with no need for fertilizer for that year!
Well as you will be well aware MB the instructors and nurses watch you like a hawk, having little chats with your instructors every other exercise ...and being put straight tells me Rocky is a slow learner or a idiot ....i am pushing for the latter ....these specialist instructors and nurses do not miss anything....nothing and moreover they ware ear protectors (inside out ) if you look close you can read" Bullshit Deflectors " printed in red letters.....we will see tomorrow how rocky does.....i have been practising hard....the twist.....yep still f..king hot....that should disrupt the Rockster specially when i do my little leg flicks ....just call me the Killer !
Well i am home......and yes i stuck it to rocky....i threw some good shapes in the warm up...rocky looked a bit confused ....bit like a puppy dawg his head tilting from side to side ...then we hit the exercises ( rocky is still questioning why i am on 4 k dumbbells to his 1 k ) and to make things even worse ....a lady to his right using 2.5 k....."i feel a right prick " rocky whispers to me.....yes it does make you look a prick i said ....thing is rocky this is the nature of the program you build up quietly and they assess everything you do ...yeah but this is to easy ....yeah i used to think that mate.....more exercises ...into the cool down.....i am now fighting for SUK members globally.... big responsibility ....i do not let you down ....i ease into my twist routine......then some leg flicks then i move on down ...oh yeah ....and move on up......ladies faint on mass.....then i go into my hitchhiker routine "i mutter this one is for MB" wipe out ! there are bodies dropping everywhere...... total mayhem and slaughter ....i show absolutely no compassion at all as i pull the door too and leave....i walk to my truck and mutter to myself "i'll give you a war you won't believe" ....things i do for this forum.
I do not know about your system of rehab, but when I did my rotation more then a decade ago they had me hooked to wireless sensors that monitored BP and pulse and God only knows what else while doing the exercises.

They knew exactly what was going on in every person in the room and things were going beeeeep on a regular basis with the needed attention being rendered.

Over here rehab is a specialty area and the techs are mostly nurses with an MA in the specialty area and the supervisor a Phd although not an MD. Chances are he knows more than the general practice MD in that specialty area.

Amazing thing to me was they had people in rehab before their staples were pulled after surgery!

A far cry from the notion many have that after an procedure or heart attack they will be helpless forever. Except for the ravages of age on my skeletal system I am probably in better shape now than I was a decade ago. That may not be saying much really but I do know that right now I could get on the bike and pedal 10K down the road without a nap break.

I am also eating healthier, have the blood sugars under control, and feeling frisky enough to roam the fields with the shotgun when it strikes me.

In fact, we had a nice sunny day yesterday for a change and I managed a stroll through the local hunting preserve. The deer are in rut but deer were not my goal. I had the little 20bore OU in hand and was after some tree rats for a stew.
The monitors you describe are in use for all newbies MB ....two types ....type one is a belt that fits around your chest (only ware this two times on the first two visits) type two a device that fitted onto your finger (only used that two times) so for the first two weeks only (i attend two days a week 3 hour sessions) In my case this does not mean this is the standard its clearly NOT ......each individual is different ( i assume ) the instructors as i call them are very professional and equally more than capable if fact excellent as are ALL the nurses and staff ....unbullshitable the atmosphere may appear to be relaxed But they miss nothing......Rockies attitude is typical to them...truth is i was similar to rocky when i started off ......i know i have had a bit of fun here ....but rocky is under control (or you'r sent home) you can be sure off that....thing is MB most (not all) people after major surgery think they are Back from the brink of oblivion ....the euphoria and relief can overtake you ....very easy the point you feel you now can do anything are out to prove to the world that (in my case) the year of waiting,tests and such was nothing more than a inconvenience and that you need to show or prove to loved ones and friends that that's all it was a mere inconvenience ...of course its anything but in the cold light of day but as in most things in life adjustments take time....even for an old renegade like me.
Wild child asked me to pick some rhubarb this morning she wanted to make a tart , so i toddle off and fulfilled her request....she looked a bit tired i said don,t worry about dinner i'll sort dinner , then i go and fell some trees sil wants down for more light ....another polytunnel will go up next week......i finish about 12.30 pm and hit the shower ...comon she hails lunch .....something is smelling real good ....out on the deck out she comes a tray of twice baked potato ....filled with bacon,onions and topped off with mature cheese and grill finished....bloody yum ....ended up just chilling till about 6 pm ...i feel duty bound to come up to the mark for i made the SS head butt.

You will need....
3 large sweet peppers
2 chilli peppers
3 gloves garlic
3 tablespoons veg oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground corriander
2 teaspoons ground ginger
6 spring onions
1 onion
1 red onion
12 mushrooms
1 glug of white wine
Beef or chicken this case i used two chicken breasts

Cut chicken into strips about 5 mm strips
Cut sweet peppers into strips 5 mm strips ( remove all seed)
Cut chilli peppers into strips 3 mm strips ditto
peel onions and cut into rings
Cut spring onions into shards
peel garlic gloves
peel mushrooms and slice into slithers


you will need a wok and lid

set the wok on the heat (high)
Pour the veg oil
using a garlic press all gloves into the oil
pour in soy sauce
throw in the onions stirring
add all the chicken stirring
add ginger and coriander stirring
add chilli strips stirring
add wine stirring
and all sweet peppers stirring
add mushrooms stirring
add spring onions stirring ....put the lid on to reduce down the juices
keep a close eye ...removing the lid....the ideal is not to over cook the veg Just cooked and crunchy with little juice .
serve hot... turn out on a will not need any accompaniments

This is quick ....from prep to plate 40 mins .....always prep first and have it all at your finger tips...... easy
Wild child asked for MORE ! that's a bloody first.....btw.....the tart was fab ......enjoy!