Updates from Yours Truely

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Turns out I’m gonna have to lay off the beer, vodka and Cheetos if I really want to get rid of the flab…no matter how much I work out. Sounds a bit extreme for this cowgirl.  But, considering the Catholic Church is on my good side for once, I’ve decided to give up fried foods for Lent this year. Lord help me. Working out and now this? What kind of outlaw am I becoming?

My little sister keeps on growing up and living her own life and somehow she manages to make it without taking any of my hard earned advice.

Planting season has arrived and kids are on the way. YEEEEEEEEEEHAW!!!

Hats off to all y’all, my rebel friends, OUTLAWS RULE!

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Stuff about guns…and other ramblings

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Let’s face it; part of being self sufficient is being able to defend yourself. No one likes to think about the possibilities of someone doing them harm but the fact is none of us are exempt from danger and the world is full of misguided souls. My personal choice for protection is a good old fashioned pistol. Sure it’s a good idea to know some martial arts or other fighting techniques. And sure, there are plenty of other weapons one can use for self-defense but nothing beats the power and easy use of a semiautomatic handgun.

I wasn’t raised around firearms and self-defense was never really talked about in our house. I guess, like many families, we just assumed nothing bad would ever happen to us because we’re good people. Or maybe we never really thought about it at all. At any rate, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I ever held a gun. Guns were scary to me and I never imagined that one day, not only would I own a gun, but I would also enjoy target shooting and learn how to take apart my pistol and clean it.

My first experience shooting was a project for a Women’s Study course I was taking in college. The goal of the project was to engage in an un-lady-like activity. Well, this was right up my alley!  I was so excited that I was having a hard time deciding which un-lady-like thing to report on first. But then I thought back to earlier in the semester when my professor told us how she had been assaulted once in a parking lot and that got me to thinkin’ about how the heck I would defend myself if, God forbid, some misguided soul tried to hurt me. Bingo! I knew exactly what I was gonna to do for that project. Get a gun and learn to shoot it. And so I did. And I got an A.

Now that I know how to safely handle a gun, there’s no doubt in my mind it’s the most effective means of self-defense available. And it’s a great feeling to know I don’t have to rely on someone else to come to my rescue.

The thing is though, nobody’s ever truly self sufficient. We need each other if we’re gonna make a go of this republic. So go ahead and learn to shoot if you haven’t already but don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors, lean on a truck or two and share a few minutes face to face with the folks most likely to save your ass when the shit hits the fan.

Five Good Reasons to Raise Rabbits

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Five Reasons to Raise Rabbits:

  1. Low Cost
  2. Great Manure
  3. Easy to Breed
  4. Taste Good
  5. It’s Legal!

If you ask me rabbits are second only to chickens in terms of the best livestock to raise. They are small and quiet and very inexpensive to house and feed. They only eat a ¼ cup of food each day. Another bonus is that rabbit manure is what you call cold which means it’s ready to go right into the garden with no composting time required. It’ll really boost the nitrogen level in your soil too without burning your plants.

Rabbits are relatively easy to breed. You will want to house your does separate from your buck. When you’re ready for them to breed, you just put a doe in with the buck and let them do their thing. Don’t put him into her cage though because does are territorial and she might try to attack. When the buck is finished breeding, he’ll squeal and fall off of the doe’s back.

After breeding, if all goes well, your doe will kindle in 5 weeks. Four days before she’s due, put some bedding in her nest box. She should begin to nest and you’ll know the kits are on the way when she pulls out the fur on her belly for them. This makes the nest nice and soft and makes it easy for the kits to find their momma’s milk.

Rabbits are a great source of lean protein. They should be prepared at about 5-6 weeks old. At this age you can expect them to weigh somewhere around 3 lbs, maybe more depending on the breed. Rabbit tastes wonderful when cooked in the crock pot, stewed with homegrown veggies or pan fried with a mustard wine sauce. I have a great rabbit recipe posted on my Real Food Recipes page.

So if you can’t raise chickens for some silly reason like its against the law or what have you, give rabbits a try. Just tell your neighbors they are your pets. Lord knows no one wants to live next door to a farmer!

This post is linked to Homestead Barn Hop

Beyond the Painted Picture Puzzle Door

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One of the things I set into place to help break the negativity habit is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. While I really fell off the wagon recently, by allowing the drama of my little sister and her baby daddy to derail these efforts, I believe it’s important to allow myself to process the past. Face the forbidden depths of my darkest moments;  let the monster within me breathe down my neck, stomp his foot and snort.Out here in the open, I can examine him. Find out where he came from, what his name is and what makes him tick.

Last week I’d forgotten this monster existed. Ignorance is bliss they say but this rediscovery is exciting. He is the Dragon of Thou Shalt and I’ve been hunting him. At some point along the way his scent mingled with the sweet perfume of goats, soap and True Love. He slipped my mind; crawled under the rug and off the grid.

The Dragon of Thou Shalt holds the keys to the Painted Picture Puzzle Door beyond which life’s limitations vanish and anything is possible. And that my friends, is where my compass is pointed. So the question for this farm girl is, how do I get those keys?

First things first…

Remember and Forgive.

American Blues

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I began calling myself the Outlaw Farmer because I wanted to make the statement that at this point in time, growing and eating real food is an act of civil disobedience in America. But over the brief course of my blogging career, I’ve realized there’re more layers to this story. Namely that I am somewhat uncomfortable being outspoken about my love for America and my patriotism.

This uneasiness stems from prevailing negative attitudes toward America among my peers and in the media. What has happened here? When did we get so down on ourselves? When did our flag come to represent domination, greed, racism, and other such evils? When did we give up on the American Dream?

The flag and America Herself are symbols not of imperialism and capitalism but of freedom, opportunity, and the individual. The flag represents humankind’s God given rights to worship and speak freely, to protect ourselves and to pursue happiness.

I have concerns about many things politically speaking. But it all boils down to one final question; will we trade our freedom for false security? Will Americans willingly exchange personal sovereignty for short term creature comforts? I fear many will and thus seal our future fate. So many are ignorant. So many are helpless. So many are dependent. So many are unhealthy. This is not the recipe for freedom.

And we carry on with our bottled water, our ipods, our cell phones, our cable TV and our prescription medications. We carry on with diets that are killing us. We carry on with credit card debt. We carry on with domestic violence and brat dolls and disposable vacuum cleaners.

Those of us who are desperately trying to salvage America from the hands of global oppressors, those of us who are going to great lengths to be healthy productive members of society; those of us who still believe in the American Dream… we’re vilified, portrayed as a bunch of  extremist haters. Our resources are plucked away one at a time by illegal taxes, restrictions, regulations, road blocks…by any means possible to usurp our power over our own destinies.

Thus the Outlaw Farmer is born an outcast in her own beloved country because she believes in the freedom on which her country itself was founded. A tad ironic wouldn’t ya say?

This is my Soap Box Saturday post on Bleustockings

USDA fines Missouri family $90k for selling a few rabbits without a license

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By Jonathan Strong

It started out as a hobby, a way for the Dollarhite family in Nixa, Mo., to teach a teenage son responsibility. Like a lemonade stand.

But now, selling a few hundred rabbits over two years has provoked the heavy hand of the federal government to the tune of a $90,643 fine. The fine was levied more than a year after authorities contacted family members, prompting them to immediately halt their part-time business and liquidate their equipment. Read full article…

June 2 protest planned for USDA $90K rabbit fine.

“Inmate Row” gives new meaning to outlaw farming

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Here’s an article I ran across yesterday in the Buffalo River Review while mulching my garden with newspaper (and getting a sunburn). Another perk of using newspaper mulch is you get to catch up on all the local happenings. This piece made me smile. Maybe I’m not such an outlaw farmer after all.

There was the coolest picture in the printed article and when I am able to find it again I will upload it here. It is of the jail’s scarecrow.

Vegetable Garden At The County Jail

Sheriff Tommy Hickerson and Chief Deputy Nick Weems want the community know that a vegetable garden has been started at the Perry County Jail. The garden will be maintained by both male and female prisoners who will be growing vegetables that will be eaten as part of the jailhouse meals, including cabbage, okra, corn, tomatoes, green beans, and squash. The benefits of the garden are that it will keep the prisoners active, they will produce fresh vegetables for their own meals, and it will result in cost savings for the county. See More…