What’s Going On at the Ranch?

Here at the Johnson Ranch we’ve been busy for sure.

The first thing we did this year (actually we started it the day after Christmas) was build a real cool swing set project. Thanks to Diane’s father who came to visit after Christmas and thanks to our oldest son. Here’s the finished project:

That was a lot of man hours. But it sure is fun for the little kids to play on.

Now as we look forward to the new year, we’re about to go to take more steps towards better/healthier food and self-sufficiency.

Here’s the list of things we’re going to try to accomplish this year. And we’ll see how it goes:

Plant some fruit trees that can survive our weather here. In the summers it can reach 110 degrees and it can get downright chilly in the winters (sometimes snow and 10 degrees — although thankfully not for extended periods). So I needed an expert to advise me on what would work best for us. I found Noel, one of the owners of the Nursery at Ty Ty (http://www.tytyga.com/main.html), who was very helpful in deciding what to buy. We’re going plant about 30 fruit trees initially (Pears, apples and peaches).

Get some Heritage turkey chicks. I’ve read that these are excellent birds for for controlling insects and then eating. We’ve been using our chickens for that, but we’re going to try to get a little better control of the chickens wandering (and you know what else) all over the place. We still will keep about 15 chickens for the eggs. Once the turkeys are grown up and the grasshoppers are all eaten in the summer, we’ll take the turkeys to the processor for our own use. Who knows, maybe we’ll become pasture-raised turkey sellers some day. Not right yet, though, these will be for our own use for now.

Get a dairy cow. That’s right, I know that’s ambitious, but we’ve been reading lately about how much better raw milk (not pasteurized) is for you because of a lot of factors. We’ll be looking for a cow that is not a huge volume producer but a high quality producer, like a real nice and calm Jersey cow. We’ll update you in this space.

Oh, here’s something else I saw the other day on a sign in front of a church. I really liked the message:

“The only vitamin Christians need is B1″

How true, how true.

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