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            The joys of lists. by anita sands hernandez
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Sitting here I can talk to a few thousand people in one email!
Love those YAHOO LISTS!


To earn your online presence, your brand, your fame as a great writer thinker and attract your readers & fans, be encouraged to participate in a few GROUPS, also called LISTS like YAHOO, SCREENWRITERS or YAHOO GARDENERS. Cuz one of your jots to the list may go to one thousand people! Where else are you gonna step out of your bed, put on your slippers and address a thousand people who will then see your signature, business, or better, your SMART THOUGHTS?

A list sends you an email of a conversation going on between those thousand good citizens..... either daily or twice a day. Cuz only one or two may contribute on any given day. You can read the talking back and forth of your group as a letter on your email either once daily ( or sometimes as a daily collection) or in real time, hourly.

You don't have to speak up. You can be a lurker for as long as you want and just learn from them. They can't tell you're there. Or, you can participate and throw in your two bits' worth. The name and email address is on everybody’s letter, so you can also make friends and write them off list.

May I show you an actual daily ‘list?’ The only three I have experience with are the
HOMESTEADERS' LIST and the NATION MAGAZINE LIST and the SOAP MAKER's LIST. Here’s how it works. The SOAP list had all day's questions and answers, all sent to a central list and you get all the letters joined together, once a day.. You read yesterday’s letter and then you respond to issues you find interesting, and thru the miracle of technology, all yesterday’s responses become today’s single letter.

The other two lists had everyone writing to the list in real time and their EMAIL shows up on your desk every few minutes as the letters hit the central transponder. And you read all the conversations to that point, then add your ‘take’ if you want, (you can lurk) and it gets sent to everybody on the list, via their email, instantly. I took a single day's Homesteader's list and pulled it into this article to show you. It had a first letter from KATIE who asked:

"I just bought a one acre farm. What can I grow to make money?

Someone answered. "My mother paid off her mortgage with a dozen chickens. The chickens multiplied into three dozen. Soon Everybody was coming to our house to buy eggs, wanting to see the real, live chickens. She’d take ‘em on a tour and sell them for 2$ as her chickens were free range organic. Women drove from the city to buy them.

"What’s wrong with home made cheese? One nanny goat can give you a running start. By the way, a few weeks ago someone was describing a home made cheese press using a large coffee tin. If anyone has that post or can send me the info again I would be very grateful. LOL I just hope it was from this list in the first place! If no one can recall that particular "thread" maybe some kind soul out there knows a way of making a cheese press? I’d appreciate getting that too... signed Laura

Well that made me pipe up --- "TO the lady whose mother paid off the mortgage with those 2$ boxes of eggs. I’ll bet your mom didn’t feel one bit flustered at having everyone want the grand tour of the ranch. One is proud and one preens and shares and inspires. So many people with just GRASS behind their house. And if we’d all do that EGGS FOR SALE bit to lure tourists to the GARDEN tour, we’d have students, friends and not ONE but TWO ways to make a living, for there’s a second cottage industry in the wings. Me, I’d be telling my egg customers that I do astrology and psychic readings, fortune telling for 25$ an hour and I’ll bet they’d stay the hour and have tea, and sesame orange cookies and cheese cake, like a real tea room, plus a 25$ reading so it would be 50$ when all was said and done. A lot quicker to pay off the homestead! Everyone should learn to read palms. There are library books that make it easy. Tarot—there’s the Eden Gray paper back, excellent way to learn. All tarot readers have an old deck they’ll give you if you take one lesson with them. We go thru decks like nobody’s biz. Then you get on the internet and give tarot readings over the net. BY ICQ. (Great chat machine by the way, downloads in seconds.). But EGGS on a sign at your front door? Great ice breaker. Best is that once they taste them, they will come twice weekly to your house. Clientele BUILDS and is loyal. That’s rare in any business. COTTAGE INDUSTRIES are the way of the future and allow women to tend the cradle and yard and garden. JUST HANG THAT DOORBELL up in front. Make sure it’s operational!

Another entry: "Just an idea I saw at our local farmer’s market ( small college town in central new york) A woman selling eggs would crack ( on the hour) one of her eggs in a bowl and one of a store bought one in another bowl so people could see the difference. She always sold out at $2.00 a dozen. " Chris

"I was wondering how many of you sold your excess eggs to friends or neighbors, and what you charge for them.

"My husband made my cheese press very simply and very inexpensively and it is a handsome press. He started with a large 3 lb. coffee can. punched hole around the base and on the bottom (for the whey to seep out). He then took two pieces of cheap wood 11 ¼" X 12 "- almost square but not quite. On one piece he drilled holes large enough to hold ¾ " dowel on each corner. He put a ¾" dowel in each of the 4 holes, gluing them in for a snug fit - the dowels are 12" long. On the other piece of wood he again made a hole in each corner only a little larger than the dowels this time. I place the can in the bottom piece (the one with the dowels) put cheesecloth in, put cheese curds in, fold the cheesecloth over. He made a round piece of wood about an inch thick that fits perfectly inside the can(the ‘follower’). I place this follower in the can next. I then place a quart canning jar filled with water and covered in the can next. Then I put the wood piece with the holes over the dowels and down onto the jar. Then you apply weights to the top, whatever your recipe calls for. We use the weights from my son’s long-abandoned barbell. They fit perfectly on the top piece and can be stacked. Hope this helps. If you noticed the prices of cheese molds and weights, this will definitely save much money.

I often see people who are raising animals believing that they will make money from them but when they sit down and list expenses versus income they find that they must work out to buy the feed.

This is why I always tell prospective homesteaders that how we do something has as much to do with success as what we choose to do. (A radical idea in these times when many expect to get by doing their thing without taking anything seriously.)

Livestock ventures can be profitable, some of them very profitable. It is all in how it is done. We should ask serious questions about any enterprise, livestock included.

For instance: Let’s say you want to have a herd of goats. If the intention is to get the goats as cheaply as possible, to buy only a little feed and let them scrounge for a living, and sell the kids as soon as possible after their birth, you will not have a workable enterprise. Buying goats at the local auction market is okay for a bush and weed eater, as a goat to make money, you are doomed. If you pay $35 for one you will be breeding $35 goats into infinity ... and you will be buying feed (sweating it out of the ground) to no good purpose. If the goal is to have one or two quarts of milk a day, you are ahead of the game. But as money makers, such livestock (whether goats, horses, cows, llamas, pigs or sheep) rarely, if ever, pay for their keep, much less make money. They are wonderful pets, good friends, cute, entertaining and comical,but they are not serious money-makers.

If you have $500 to spend, buy a single registered (purebred) doe and a weanling doe kid. Breed the registered doe to the best buck you can find, by AI or the old-fashioned way. Do not try to keep purebred stock and grades together. Accidental breedings will cost you money.

Settle the feed issue: grow it or buy it.

Start studying how to sell goats. There are at least a half-dozen ways that do not require any outlay of money. Those are the ones you want to use. And use all of them, at the same time.

How you write the ad is as important as where it is published. If you are not a writer, get someone who is, to write a to-the-point ad that includes a hook and a pressure point. Instead of two customers, you may get four or five. Make your homestead look as much like a goat farm as possible. Be prepared to answer questions from ‘lookers.’ Don’t forget to extol goats in general and your breed in particular before you launch into your sales pitch. Take a kid to kindergartens show-and-tell day. Enter them in small fairs, whether you win anything or not. Make a nice sign with the farm name and a goat figure on it, and barter with a professional sign painter, if you can. We must look, act, speak and behave as if we are goat professionals.

Study feeding, breeding, health, what a good goat looks like, use mineral supplements (powdered, not blocks), care for the hooves, give shots only when absolutely necessary, do not use cattle wormers, take each new kid and see that it nurses in the first minutes of its life, save all the colostrum not used by the kids by freezing it. If at six months or later, one is ailing, put it on colostrum for a couple of days, or even longer. Go to goat events, talk to goat people, read goat publications, read online goat information, and respect and play with your goats. Who wants fearful, skittish goats? Strive for a complete, rounded operation if you expect to make money with goats... or just about anything else.

I don’t know what state you are in, but around here (Michigan) the going rate for fresh eggs bought from a farm is $1 per dozen. Occasionally, you may find them for a bit more or less, but $1 is pretty much standard. Yes, they are usually brown. 

I have never heard of a farmer selling a few dozen eggs a week having to get any kind of permit or license. I think that is only if you do it commercially. When bought off the farm it is more of a private deal between you and your fellow neighbor. Suzanne

Here is the Cheese Press info from a few weeks ago... my husband made my cheese press very simply and very inexpensively and it is a handsome press.He started with a large 3 lb. coffee can. punched hole around the base and on the bottom (for the whey to seep out). He then took two pieces of cheap wood 11 ¼" X 12 "- almost square but not quite. On one piece he drilled holes large enough to hold ¾ " dowel on each corner. He put a ¾" dowel in each of the 4 holes, gluing them in for a snug fit - the dowels are 12" long. On the other piece of wood he again made a hole in each corner only a little larger than the dowels this time. I place the can in the bottom piece (the one with the dowels) put cheesecloth in, put cheese curds in, fold the cheesecloth over. He made a round piece of wood about an inch thick that fits perfectly inside the can(the ‘follower’). I place this follower in the can next. I then place a quart canning jar filled with water and covered in the can next. Then I put the wood piece with the holes over the dowels and down onto the jar. Then you apply weights to the top, whatever your recipe calls for. We use the weights from my son’s long-abandoned barbell. They fit perfectly on the top piece and can be stacked. Hope this helps. If you noticed the prices of cheese molds and weights, this will definitely save much money.

In addition there was this... "Greetings from Missouri. As a goat lover, cheese making has become one of my favorite areas of exploration. One thing I have found helpful is to make a cheese bag to put the curds into before they are pressed. I made mine out of an old cotton tea towel any fabric with a slightly open weave

should work. Simply cut a circle out the same size as the round container you are using. Then cut another piece of fabric out that will fit around the circle and be about 10-12" tall. Sew this like a sleeve then hand stich the bottom in place. You wind up with a bag which is flat on the bottom. After your curds are set and ready to press, put them in the bag and fold over any excess fabric on top. Put the follower in the press and add weight. Nothing oozes out the sides because it is all contained by the bag. When you are finished pressing, just take the cheese out of the bag and wash the bag in your washer. I really like the results which is a nice round wheel of cheese.
signed, Jan at Harvest Moon Farm

If you would like to a visual representation of a cheese press check out either "Raising Milk Goats The Modern Way by Jerry Belanger or The New Goat Handbook by Ulrich Jaudas" both available a your bookstore. Each shows a different design.

Also if you are visual type person you can go to your library and see if they have any back issues of Mother Earth News and then look up that topic. Diane

Wow! Thanks everyone for the egg prices in your areas. I guess I should have mentioned that I was in northwestern Nebraska. At one time a lot of people sold eggs in this area, but for some reason people got rid of their chickens. We heard a lot of "I used to have chickens" It made me a little suspicious, but we took the plunge anyway. I know my eggs will be small at first, but I can’t wait for that first one. Maybe I’ll bronze it! (just joking). Because we have turkeys too, we give the chicks and turkeys all the same kind of food - turkey. I read on the Feathersite that if you have turkeys, and heavy breeds of chickens that the turkey food is good for all since it’s geared for heavy birds that have rapid growth. I pay $10 for a 50 lb bag. Do you know how many people look at me funny when I say that my favorite store is the hardware/lumber store? Glad to know I’m not the only one! I’d bet if you offered anyone on this list whether they’d prefer a shopping spree in a clothes store or hardware store, they’d choose the hardware store though!

I’m a hardware store junkie. Probably comes from being dragged around clothing stores by my shop-aholic mother when I was a kid. I still hate getting clothes so I buy in bulk and do it only when absolutely necessary.

I have been spending lots of time at the local hardware store lately because I am fixing up my home in order to sell it. I was in the check-out lane the other day and the woman in front of me pulled a drain trap out of her purse. I had to comment on that to her for having something like that in her purse because it made me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only woman whose purse is more like a tool box than anything else. A lot of guys think purses are just for hauling around make-up and other "girl" stuff, but that is not always the case. My husband says that’s one of the things he found attractive about me when we met. That and my beat up hands.

"I have been meaning to ask you folks a question...how many of you are making a living on your homestead, without outside income? We have a home-based business and Dave works 50 hours a week elsewhere. It doesn’t leave much time for the subsistence lifestyle we’re after here. We may leave this expensive town, but I’m wondering how feasible it would be to really live off the homestead. I would gladly trade a good income for more time...

Since my husband I are just starting out on the farm maybe I’m not the most experienced person at "homesteading" in the world but I have some experience of home based weaving/knitting business and growing most of my vegetables. I also prepare and preserve most food stuffs, soap, weave, spin, knit, sew (not very well but good enough), and can do a lot of home-repair tasks. What I can’t do, my husband usually can do so that works out pretty well.

You can survive almost anywhere with little money. It just depends on what survival means to you. You can grow your own livestock and vegetables or forage/hunt for your food. You can make almost every thing you need with little money. You can chop and split your firewood by hand or use a chainsaw and hydraulic log-splitter. You can hand-hew lumber and build buildings using only hand tools or buy the materials and put it together with electric tools, or hire contractors. You get the idea. All these tasks depend your abilities, your physical condition, ambition levels, and time imitations with various costs.

"Home grown" doesn’t always mean "less" expensive. It costs money and time to raise your own livestock and vegetables. Should you buy or grow your own feed? Should you buy equipment, rent equipment, or hire someone to harvest your hay? Have you considered the housing costs for your livestock? What about vet bills and other health costs? Predator prevention costs for both livestock and vegetables?

Also, "homemade" isn’t necessarily cheaper either. It costs more money to raise a fiber animal like sheep, vicuna, goat--- than it does to buy ready made yarn. I am going to be raising sheep and alpacas. I will use sheep for there wool, meat, tallow, and hides. I will breed them and will hopefully break even on what it costs me to raise them. The better quality of the products I will get from them will be worth the extra time and money that they may cost me. The alpacas will be for fiber only and I will probably never do anything but spend money on them. They will give me a better quality fleece to use but will never pay for themselves. I guess they would be classed as pets but I am aware of it and I think the extra joy in life I will get from having them will be worth the extra time and money. There are always lots of hidden costs to consider and you have to decide if they are worth it for you.

In your last sentence you said you would gladly trade a good income for more time. You don’t say what you want the time for. If you want more leisure time, then you may not want to get into homesteading. If you want more time for family togetherness or working on sustaining yourselves, than it might work for you. It takes a lot of time and hard work to live off the land. Just living in town and making my own cloth, clothes, soap, food, house, etc. requires more time than 50 hours a week. Once we move to the farm, there will be livestock care, more crops to plant and process, and much more maintenance to take up my time.

I’m not trying to discourage you, just pointing out some things I have discovered on the way. I have found that, so far, the extra labor has been worth the increase in my quality of life and that’s really what I’m after. I will be spending my time the way I want , live on my schedule, eat foods that I know are not full of additives/chemicals, and spend more time with my husband. I’m willing to work harder for that. You have to decide what is right for you. Everyone is different.

Here’s a way to make some bucks. MAKE YOUR OWN WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE Haven’t made it yet but taste delicious! a friend gave me this recipe.

3 chopped onions 4.5 litres vinegar
1 kg brown sugar 1.3 kg apples chopped
2 tablespoons ground ginger
5 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons plain salt 2 tablespoons cloves
1 orange roughly sliced

Put all ingredients into preserving pan. Boil slowly for 3 hours. Strain and bottle. Cork when cold. Couldn’t be easier. If you are going to use your choppy thing then you will have to modify it a bit by peeling apples etc but I’m sure you can work that out. signed Wilma

Hi Wilma? you’re dreamin'. The real Worsteshire sauce has ANCHOVIES up the wazoo. It's based on fish sauces of the orient and arrived in England during the height of the trade period. FISH is the secret of its rich flavor, and guys, any time you make salad dressing, take a good squeeze of anchovy paste, throw it at the bottom of the bottle, stir well into your oil or lemon or vinegar, and people will be screaming with delight. It’s the mystery ingredient of all time. Pizza sauce, too.

Here's another entry. "DH (short for dear hubby) is having dreams about apple pie for dessert every night after dinner.  I told him he could have as much apple pie as he wants if he makes my cheese press. I was out in the run today and noticed some odd goings on with the chicks. About three of them were laying in the dirt digging it up, and rolling in it. Is this normal? The three of them had hollowed out little holes for themselves.  They were bathing. " Someone else answered, "Quite normal. Worry if they DON’T do it!"

And that was just an average day on the homesteaders’ list and there are trillions, depending on what your interests are. So click on YAHOO LISTS and find one that’s up your alley. As chickens, goats, soap, screenwriting may not be your thing try LIBERAL POLITICS, OCCUPY or HOW TO MAKE a CHEESE PRESS and get a COW LIST GOING, see if you couldn't make your own cheddar!

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