Last 48 Hours of Kickstarter… Upgrades and Adjustments

Ben & Hope’s latest cartoon info-graphic tracking our progress (zoom)

The pastures are starting to green up and look wonderfully lush. The animals are loving it. Yesterday Hope and I planted about an acre of pumpkins as well as beets and turnips which will be food for the pigs come late fall and winter. Our soil used to be poor, thin and not very fertile. Typical northern mountain soil. One of the great things about having livestock is they improve the soil with their manure and urine. The sun shines, the rain falls, the plants grow, the animals eat the plants and about 80% returns back to the pastures as organic matter which improves the soil for the next round of growth. We also plant legumes like clover to suck nitrogen and carbon out of the air that adds more organic matter and natural nutrients so we never have to buy fertilizers. It is all part of the natural cycle of life. It works.

We’re down to under 48 hours on the Kickstarter project. We’re getting to that point of last chance to adjust pledges and rewards choices as well as making sure you have the extra $20 included for any international shipments (Goodies only). Don’t forget about the option to add the book or DVDs, to add bacon to meat packages as well as to add the commemorative patch and T-shirt which can be added to any shipping packages.

Update: Stickers! As requested, you can get two stickers instead of a patch. Just add the $5 per set to your pledge and then when survey time comes I’ll ask if you would like the stickers or the patch.

Hope did a cameo appearance of the cartoon character Gronk from Katie Cook’s comic series ‘Gronk‘ which you can read on the web and in her books. Look carefully to see if you can find Gronk…

Outdoors: 68°F/53°F Cloudy, Some Rain
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/66°F

Daily Spark: Perfection: to strive but never attain.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Last 48 Hours of Kickstarter… Upgrades and Adjustments

  1. Jesse says:

    I just have to say I absolutely love your kids cartoon graphs! Good job kickstarting! I see you are almost to the $32 grand level!!

  2. Amy says:


    We finally have our first batches of piglets. We are planning on following your grass/milk model. We have been giving our sows about 12 lbs of milk each a day, a few pounds of grain and then they have a large wooded area to graze. My question for you is this – what will the piglets transition to eating? Will they just nurse until they are old enough to chew grass? I have been told that with grains they will start to eat it as early as 10-15 days old, but I didnt know if this was the same with the grass/milk model.


    • We see piglets eating softer grasses, clovers and other forages as early as about a week old. Mostly it is tasting at that point. By weaning time at six to weight weeks they are grazing. They’re not capable of tough things that the big pigs eat so they tend to eat the softer forages until they get a bit bigger. The dairy provides added calories and protein building blocks, specifically lysine, an amino-acid that is low in pasture. Any other feed you offer them is good too.

  3. Marc says:

    I’ve been a non-posting follower for almost a year, but when I read how you planted an acre of pumpkin, I had to ask how you did it? Specifically, did you spread the seeds on top of the soil, dig a small hole? From what I read, it seems like you practice a no-till method, in that you don’t use mechanical equipment to turn your soil over, but rather your pigs do it for free! In the fields that you planted, are they freshly turned over, or are there other plants growing, ie, grasses, clover, etc? I too have poor soil, though not for the same reasons as you. I live close to an inland saline body of water, and as such, have very sodic soil, with very low organic material. I’m looking to plan a lot of pumpkin and other plants to turn into the soil via natures perfect tiller, but want to do it as simple as possible. I’m guessing that you didn’t use a mechanical planter either, hence my interest in your method. I’ve got about a half acre that I’m working on improving the soil. Thanks for all of your wonderful information and help!

    • Correct, we don’t mechanically till. I always wanted to have a BCS tiller but we seem to be doing well without it and that would be one more machine to maintain. We plant by hand since we’re not doing large fields. Just an acre here and there. The pigs have already tilled the soil and the chickens have smoothed it. It does not look like machine tilled soil, more bumps, but the seeds don’t seem to care.

      For seeds like turnips, beets, rape, kale, clover and other small seeds we broadcast seed. Ideally I like to do that just before a rain as the falling rain helps to drive the seed into the soil. Frost seeding is another technique we use a lot that is ideally suited to our terrain, climate and certain frost tolerant species.

      For larger seeds like corn, sunflowers and pumpkins I walk along with a big stick, garden fork, ski pole or steel bar poking holes. Someone, such as Hope, follows me dropping seeds in the holes. The garden fork with its four tines is great when I want sets of seeds. We then stop the line to pack the soil over the seeds.

      Waiting until the soil temperature is high enough is important for some seeds. With many vegetables like pumpkins there is also the issue of frosts killing sprouted plants. To deal with this I like to plant some every week starting very early and then once I am “sure” it will be okay I plant increasingly larger groups. The problem is sometimes mother nature surprises us with a late frost. If I wait to plant I lose the little growing season we have. If I plant to early the seed rots in the ground or the frost kills the plants. By planting some each week I work around this dilemma.

      I also plant heavy feeds, like pumpkins, in and around our many compost piles. They love it there. The piles are also warm creating a bit of a micro-climate that extends the season in both spring and fall. A wind break helps too.

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