The Great Northern Experiment (and Homesteading & Farming General Discussion)
due to a lot of unforeseen issues coming up in spring (which frankly i should expect at this point but i'm stupidly optimistic) i don't think i will be able to build myself the cabin i had originally laid out in the winter, but i've been entertaining alternative ideas that will allow me to live near the barn this coming winter in case we have another spell of dismally cold weather that requires a lot of manual intervention with the livestock to keep them alive. after seeing what could be in the winter of 21, i refuse to allow such a thing to happen again and living a half mile away from the barn is simply untenable in those inclement circumstances

so far i've entertained three different ideas for approaching this problem:

- building a 16x16 shed around the first paddock that i can live in over the winter that will be used as a storage shed, coop, or brooder after my proper cabin is finished

- modifying my plans for the cabin so that i could build it in two stages, the first portion now and finishing it the following year

- building a lean-to against the back wall of the barn, 16x12 with a single four-slope roof that runs from 10ft to 6ft over the 12ft run that will serve as a workshop and tool shed after my proper cabin is finished

at this point i'm leaning towards the third option, we had very intensive flooding this spring and the back portion of the barn was underwater where we keep our tools and feed and it was very frustrating to deal with. further, with keeping the rabbits back there and having a small door for the ducks and chickens to enter the poultry run back there has made it mostly useless for keeping tools or doing work. it would be nice to have an interior, insulated space where no livestock enters to keep tools and to do woodworking or other work in the winter that would be easier to keep warm than the open back room of the barn, especially since our previous tool shed collapsed under last winter's snow load because of its poor construction. i never intended for it to stand for more than a year but it stood for five

the idea of separating the build into two stages seemed appealing to me at first but i think the modifications required to do this would be too costly to be worth it and will ultimately compromise the integrity of the final product. additionally, the dwelling would be useless while torn apart to finish it and i would have to live in a tent during the construction, which may end up being weeks or months. anything moved inside would need to be moved back out to finish the work which would be frustrating

the shed idea is the weakest in my opinion, i would rather build something to purpose rather than shoehorning purposes into a building with no proper intention. in a pinch it would work and is probably the cheapest option, but i much prefer the barn lean-to idea much more even though the space would be smaller

i would very much appreciate any opinions on these options, or new ideas that i haven't yet considered would be even better

spent a good amount of time this month reflecting on an idea that i'd like to write a longer piece on, hopefully over this coming winter. it's an idea i think a lot of people in these times could appreciate and relate to, especially men but also women to a similar but different extent

for pretty much the entirety of my adult life i've been forced into positions where i've needed to assume control and organize the things and people around me to create even a semblance of order and function, and it's never really been an option for me at any point to assume an indirect or passive position in this regard. while it's definitely taught me a lot and i've even gotten somewhat good at it (or at least appearing like i'm good at it), the older i get the more i realize i'm really not cut out for this sort of thing and it would be much better if i were not constantly put into this position. it genuinely frustrates me how infrequent it is to be lead by someone with a solid vision and genuine character, oftentimes those above you in rank (especially of employment) are timid cowards that cannot exercise judgement or direction and this flaccid mechanism of control does not satisfy either the one leading or the ones following him

altogether i do believe that in a similar way how some people are predisposed to certain talents over others by way of either conditioning or circumstance of birth, there are also those that are predisposed to be leaders, a minority of people, and those that are predisposed to be followers, a vast majority of people. especially in the united states, but i would wager is the case in a majority of the west, it seems that to prefer being a follower is a disgraceful or even wicked thing, and that by all means and costs necessary everyone should try to make themselves a leader; as a result, we seem to have a great mass of individuals with claims to little more than piles of dirt, and familial structures spring up from that akin to dung heaps. every man and every woman falls into the same pitfalls and common traps of this age with minimal regard to those who have come before them and shall scarcely guide those that will come after them, perpetuating this despicable cycle of misery as long as this confusion perpetuates

it seems readily apparent to me that if it were so that those who feel that they are predisposed to follow rather than lead were free to do so, things as a whole would be ordered significantly better so long as discernment is exercised by those who follow towards those who are given to leading. i feel the most content serving others and being ordered what to do rather than being the one who issues orders and trying to control things, but it is so rarely the case to meet someone who is a truly good leader that it often isn't possible to do this. if it is so that i am the best person to be a leader in this time given the disposition and manner of living i have chosen then i must admit that i am very frustrated by this reality, considering how much time i waste trying and failing at things which someone who had been trained in these things from their youth would hardly flinch at in their daily ministrations

i still need to organize my thoughts on this subject and compose it in a more comprehensible way, but hopefully what i've written makes some sense. i would greatly appreciate any thoughts on these ideas
makes me think of serfdom/kingship/dynasty, i hate the atomized individualist western experience because it doesn't fit well with christian attitudes and is both self-pleasing and self-aggrandizing
i will love to read w/e you write longer about it


unfortunately due to various fiscal issues i've been unable to pursue the building of a new cabin, rather favoring extending and repairing my original cabin so i might have enough space to entertain guests and separate my bedroom from the entry room. i have other preparations in mind come winter when i may need to live in the barn for some days to keep watch but i will address those later after this is finished

i think there are other more concerning goals i need to address with my finances before building myself a final cabin, and hopefully this coming year we'll be able to act immediately on new improvements and innovations rather than playing catch-up. i'm very optimistic

finished hanging the rafters before work, was hoping to at least have the roof sheathed by the end of the day yesterday but i had other engagements last evening that interrupted the work

hoping to frame the windows and sheathe the roof after work, hopefully it doesn't rain and animals don't find out they can just walk past the insulation or i'll be having surprise guests over later

pregnant nigerian dwarf gave birth today, to both a male and a female but unfortunately the male was still. video courtesy of gabe's wife who has a much better camera than me. very excited as this means i'll be able to start taking milk in about a month and start making more cheese going into winter, hopefully i'll be able to perfect the recipe.

i haven't posted pictures of the nigerian dwarves we got back in june mainly because of my shit camera but the breed is significantly smaller than the alpines we raise, just barely coming above the knee; however, their milk production is very similar while also having a higher butterfat content which produces more curds from the whey by volume of milk. they can also birth at any time rather than only according to the rut which means that setting up a staggered cycle of births throughout the year can allow for fresh milk all year round, which was another dream of mine since we began harvesting milk. the smaller size also allows us to keep more head without affecting the feed cost which is a huge plus

i finished framing and sheathing the extension on my cabin but i want to get the tar paper on before this evening so i'll write about it later

dont ask what i was doing in my loser liege lords room its not important
how manyth shitshack would this be?
its an extension so technically 5.5 but if you were to count it separately it'd be 10 i think


our one shetland ewe, the eldest of the entire sheep flock, randomly gave birth to a ram lamb overnight. typically shetlands birth according to the rut (only in the springtime) so i've never had anything like this happen before and i'm pretty confused. i'll take whatever i can get though that's perfectly fine

as we already have two rams of different genetic lineages we likely won't need this one for breeding so we may castrate it. we're still talking about it