January 2024 Homestead Questions

By JM Davis

Q's and A's


Show Notes

Hello, I’m Janet Davis and welcome to the Food Plus Freedom Podcast. Today is January 26th, 2024 Episode 16, today’s January’s Q and A.
Each month, we do a podcast on the questions we are asked the most.
If you have a homestead or Food Freedom question, email us at support@foodplusfreedom.com or go our website foodplusfreedom.com and fill out the contact page. We will answer you and if your question is one of the top questions that’s been asked, we will also put it on air. We’ll use your name if you allow us too and if you don’t, that’s cool too.

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Don’t forget to stay until the end of the show for the quick tip of this episode.
Now on with the show.

These are my top six questions for January 2024.

This month, instead of giving straight answers. No, I’m not going to give you crooked answers. I’m going to give you some information and them more questions for you to think about to make your own decision. Why? Because you need to take information and make your own decision.

Question Number 1 – Meat Chickens And there will be tons and tons of more information about chickens, meat chickens, layer chickens, etc in February. But I’m already getting this very specific question about chickens because people are already starting to order their baby chicks before places run out. The question is, why should or shouldn’t I buy and raise Cornish Crosses? If you’re not familiar with this breed, they are a meat bird that grows from a chick to a full-grown bird in 5 to 8 weeks. That’s pretty fast. You can get an eight pounder, a 10 pounder. I think I’ve heard people keep them alive as long as 12, maybe 14 weeks, but after that, there are issues.

I have asked different hatcheries if they are GMO and I’ve been told no, but these chickens just don’t make sense to me.

They grow so fast you have to make sure they are butchered before they are too big because they can die from their legs breaking and from heart attacks because they grow so fast.Yes, I’ve grown a few of these, and will never do it again. And yes, I’ve seen other people who grow them in large amounts.

We only had few and two of them died, one in the feeder while it was eating. It was just sitting there and when we woke up in the morning it was in the same place dead. And one got ran over by little chicks and couldn’t get up and died while we were gone. We did have one that we butcher and it was disgusting to butcher. If you’ve ever butchered chickens, it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world. But these were just disgusting because they just sat in their poop.

And if you think about this they never reach full grown as in to be able to reproduce or even lay eggs. In fact, I’ve never heard of someone saying they butchered their chickens and there were eggs inside of a hen. Let me know if you have with this breed and have seen eggs inside of the hen. Sometimes when we butcher our laying hens because they are getting older and it is time for them to go, they will have tiny teeny eggs in there. And every once in a while we will grab the wrong chickens and butcher it and there will be a large egg in it.

I know some people love the speed of raising and the meat. Here is my answer to the original question about raising these birds. In nature everything is supposed to be born, grow to maturity, reproduce and die. It is a life cycle. If these birds can’t grow to maturity and reproduce before they die, what has been done to them to create them. And if they can’t reproduce themselves, how do you get more chickens except for buying them from some place that crosses them? Making it so you are less sustainable for your meat because you’re dependent on somebody else and not dependent on your own chickens giving you more chicks.

You decide. Chickens that grow really fast and plump and butcher and are in your freezer in 8 weeks. Or chickens you can get more chickens from for sustainability. You think about it and you decide.

Question number two has to do with eating organic. On the website Food Plus freedom we have an article about 7 benefits and 7 myths of eating organic, just for you to read. Why should I strive to eat food grown in an organic manner? Now there are two different way to doing this. You can buy everything that is certified organic USDA or you can buy it from growers who grow in an organic manner. And f course you can always grow it yourself.

That means nothing is genetically modified, nothing is synthetically sprayed and you can talk to the producer on how everything is made. So my question to you is do you want to eat genetically engineered, synthetically, chemically treated food that was created in an unnatural means? Do you want to eat food that has been altered so it lasts longer on the shelf? But that doesn’t mean that it tastes better. And it doesn’t mean that it’s better for you. Would you rather eat food that you know where it comes from or food that just shows up and you have no idea?

Many people say they just spray a little. Or they just do this a little. And my last questions I have for you. Would you give a baby a bottle of round up or other pesticide to eat? Sounds kind of harsh. Then why would you eat it on your food?

Should you strive to eat food that’s grown in an organic manner. Or just not worry aout it. You decide.

On our website Food Plus Freedom we have a new article this week, 7 Benefits and 7 Myths of Eating Organic, go check it out. It might help you decide what you want to eat and how you want to eat it.

Question number 3- Can I save seeds from genetically modified food? My first response is why would you want to? You can save seeds from any produce you’d like. What you get in return may not be what you bargained for. In the case of saving seeds from gmo products rememer this, GMO seeds are not sterile. I know some people think they are, so if the seed grows it should be fine. This myth was proven wrong during the Monsanto lawsuits years ago. If a seed comes from a produce that was genetically engineered, the seed is still genetically engineered. Do you want to eat food that has been altered by man at the cellular level, either taking part of a gene away or introducing a foreign substance such as round up into it? Do you want to plant a genetically engineered seed your soil which now contaminates your soil for years to come?

This may sound silly, but even in the organic indusrty if you accidently plant the wrong kind of seed like gmo or treated, you can not plant anything and call it organic in that area for 3 to 5 years depending on your certification organization.

So let me ask you? Should you save seeds from genetically modified food? And if you do what are the ramifications of doing so. Especially when there are so many seeds on the market or saved seeds from your friends that could do you alot more justice. You decide.

Question number 4 – Has to do with raising rabbits. The question is do I have to raise rabbits in cages? It depends on your goals. We do not raise rabbits in cages. Most of the people we know don’t raise rabbits in cages, but we don’t have control over breeding as you do when you raise rabbits in cages. So think about it. Do rabbits live in cages in the wild? No. Can you emulate the wild so you have a natural means to raising rabbits? You can if you watch the wild. And if you’re interested in raising rabbits not in cages it’s called rasiing them in colonies.

Raising rabbits in colonies usually means you have 1 buck and 2 does and they breed when they want to and don’t breed when they don’t want to. So that could be a downfll if you want to have meat rabbits constantly producing or fur rabbits constantly producing.

Rabbits in colonies can have fights and can have rabbits that get killed. But that can happen without the male. No the male isn’t going to kill all of the babies, when they are use to being in a colony and grow up in that colony environment. Yes you can always have a bad egg, just like in any other kind of society. The key is to having enough room for all the rabbits, they have space and they can burrough and act like rabbits.

So my questions are. What do you want rabbits for? And how much control do you want them over their breeding? And if you do need to take either the babies, the mom or the dad out do you have a place to take them out to, in case you need to?

Do you have to raise rabbits in cages? Not neccessarily. the question is should you raise rabbits in cages will depend on your answers your purpose for raising them how much control you want over their breeding and growing.

You decide.

Question Numer 5 – I get this one alot. What is the best vegatables or fruit should I plant first in my garden? Or if it’s not your first garden, if you’re starting to garden again. I would suggest the first thing you do is sit down and ask yourself a simple question. What vegatables that are annuals. Meaning you have to plant year after year are your favorite? And the second questions is, what fruits, or vegatables or herbs do I like that are perennials or biennials? Meaning if they are perennials you don’t have to replace every year like blueberries. Or if their biennnial, every other year they replant themselves. Like the first you you might get the flower, the second year the seed. Alot of herbs do that. So once you decide what your favorite two or three annuals are and your favorite two or three perennials are plant them.

Why perrenials or biennials or trees, because you plant themone time and then you wait. You might not get fruit the first year, but you will get fruits of vegatables the second or third year. And your work is don’t.

Don’t plant something you don’t like to eat.

Another thing I will ask you is. How long do you want to wait to gain something from your garden? If you want to gain something right away. What type of things do you likethat grows fast like lettuce, or spinach. If you don’t mind waiting a while you could try zuchini even though that’s relatively fast or peas. You are looking at 60 days or so. But if you really don’t mind waiting go for the sweet potatoes because they can go for 95 to 105 days.

It also depends on your environment and your soil. So what is the best vegetable you should plant. The vegetable you want to eat and and willing to do a little work to get. You figure out which ones those are and just start planting.

Question 6 – When is the best time to breed (you fill in the blank on what animal you’re asking about) my asnwer is the same for all of animals. What is the purpose of the animal? When do you want the animal to have it’s offspring? How long does it take to grow out the animal for your purpose? When do you want to harvest the meat, sell the animal, milk etc. These answers plus the type of weather you have and where they will be delivering will determine the ideal time to breed your animals.

If you’re goal is to have 4h animals, then the off spring need to be born at a certain time. For instant in our area for 4h goats have to be born after December 1, for fair in July or August of the following year. You decide the purpose of the animal. Take into account time as in gestation and raising the animal and if there is a specific time of the year you need to have that animal ready to go. Then decide the best time you should breed your animal. You do get to decide what’s best for and your animal.

This is Janet Davis and thank you for listneing to the Food Plus Freedom Podcast. Remember homesteading is a peace of mind not a piece of land and anyone can do it.
Hang tight for the quick tip of this show.

Do you use bar soap? Ooh say that one three times fast. What do you do with all those little pieces left over from the soap bars? You know the ones that are too small to use, but too big to really throw out.
Well make a new bar or round of soap, of course.
They are very easy to make.
As your bar soap get small start saving them in a container without a lid so they dry out. When you have a good handfull or more take all the pieces place them into a washcloth or some type of material. Just lay the wash cloth flat and take the peices of soap and put them in the middle of it. Pull up the sides of the wash cloth so you’re holding it. Twist it, put a rubber band around it, something so you’re holding all the ends together.

Submerge this into warm water for several minutes. Pull the cloth out of the water and manually with your hand press and moosh the soap pieces together. You might have to dip it into the warm water several times depending on how big the pieces are, how are the soap is. Just keep doing it and you’ll create a new ball of soap.

When you’re done hand the wash cloth up with the soap inside until it drys. Peal off the washcloth and walla you have a new ball of soap, that would have gone down the drain or into a trash can.

Now you know. Until Tuesday.
Grow food – eat local – Gain Freedom

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