Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

planting moon

The moon over Montana will be full on Thursday, March 7th. Bob Cannard, my organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. He did not touch on whether or not he believed it cosmically favored the plants themselves. His expressed reasoning was that it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, starts, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. From long before there were computers, televisions and electric lights, people on nature-driven cycles have called the first full moon of May, “The Planting Moon”. Whereas in some environments planting and growing year-round is possible, here our growing season is short, but its days […]

if an egg a day is good …

My wife cannot imagine breakfast without eggs. Even with her awesome wheat, nut, blueberry pancakes, maple syrup, bacon and sausage, there still has to be an egg on top. I cannot imagine a homestead without chickens. Even in a downtown tract home I had one. Now my flock is around 20. I feed them organic, non-GMO because we expect to eat the eggs and want a healthy product. I also supplement with a bit of oyster shell calcium and ample grazing space. The girls love it. Our springtime egg production is up to over a dozen a day. I will let a broody hen reproduce sometime this year to refresh the flock. After two years, production falls off rapidly, […]

playing in the mud

Sean called his Darby Adult Ed class “Mud Made Mankind”. He gave us a wonderful introduction to working with clay, glazes, potter’s wheel and much more. We found ways to mold clay that didn’t work. We found ways that did. He was a wonderful teacher, cheerleader and assistant. I entered the class with a specific project in mind. I didn’t care if was the only creation I made, but I was focused on getting this one done. As you can see here, we pulled it off… and I do mean WE … Sean was a big help in many ways. I have a carnivorous pitcher plant that seems to like its home, rewarding me with a fly-free laundry room […]

Spring full moon

My organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. Not so much that it favored the plants themselves, but because it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. In Montana that assumes you have a greenhouse. We simply have too much winter cold to allow year-round outdoor plantings. What a blessed place I grew up in where we could. Lovely Nature was unfortunately taken over by lazy minds. Today, March 9th is a full moon. That is my trigger to consider planting something. Other signals from nature: The little budgies have returned to our neighborhood. The glaciers […]

outsmarting an egg sucking chicken

An occasional problem on The Easter Egg Chicken Ranch is the egg eating hen. When one breaks open an egg in the nest and discovers interesting goo inside, she may never lose that interest. It is a high-order problem as there is no way I know of to figure out who the culprit is and remove the problem child from the flock. This ugliness cropped up recently with a new batch of hens coming on line. My flock now stands at 2 great, peaceful, compatible roosters and 18 hens who know which rooster is the leader of her personal flock with no jostling or squabbling over position in the grand scheme of things. Ah, but how did I outsmart the […]

genuine free range organic eggs VS factory farmed

My wife is an egg junkie. She MUST HAVE eggs in every breakfast – lots of them. She picked up a dozen store-bought factory farmed eggs because my girls weren’t keeping up during a cold snap. The visual differences are screamingly obvious. Factory yolks are runny, watery while ours are stiff and full-bodied. I confess to a lack of interest in taste testing, though from incidental/accidental experience the flavor goes from zero to sixty; just kind-of there to EGG flavored. No thanks. Dog food. Poor dogs. Not counting investment in facility, labor, bedding and other details that go into The Easter Egg Chicken Ranch, the NON-GMO, truly natural feed costs run my eggs over $4 per dozen. Chickens don’t […]

Easter Egg Chicken Ranch

I enjoy raising chickens simply to have them around. I also dislike buying factory eggs from grocery stores where Free Range means something quite different from how my chickens live and natural is anything but. I could cut my costs significantly with standard commercial feed, but pay 80% more for organic. It all comes back into our diet. Standard GMO is not food. I do my best to avoid it. A rounding-off guestimate I made the other day has us paying $4/dozen for our fresh, non-GMO, organic, free range, colorful, numbered eggs. Infrastructure and labor must stay out of the calculus or it gets wonky in a hurry. Lamentably my life experiences did not include the mentality or skill […]

plantain

Since I strongly dislike uninformative teaser headlines, I put the topic right up there. I am impressed that this hearty “weed” grows well in our somewhat harsh Montana environment, particularly in abused driveway ‘soil’ and similar tough ecosystems. I’m promising myself to begin learning more about the healthy harvesting that lies unused right before my eyes … and under my feet. I can begin making such promises now that I am ALMOST caught up with the rush I have been in developing our current homestead to a basic operational level.   This common driveway weed is also one of the most powerful natural medicines 07/13/2016 / By usafeaturesmedia (Homesteading.news) It’s known to pop up as a persistent weed in gardens, on […]

Carnivorous Plants

I was a fill-in presenter today at the local garden club meeting, doing a show and tell about the green carnivores I share my space with. One of the gardening ladies suggested there was a certain justice were they to take a chunk out of us after all the plant eating we have done. The one on the right is a Nepenthes ampullaria x hamata that somehow thrives in the imperfect conditions I provide. Mostly north east glass in a laundry room that had always attracted most flies who made it into our house. We really didn’t have many this year. Perhaps that is why this plant is thriving in sub-optimal conditions. The flies disappeared into the pitchers rather […]

chicken art

My chickens produce this art. They do this work for chicken feed. We unceremoniously eat their art work. This is the third iteration of my Easter Egg Chicken Ranch. Pictured below is a two-day collection.

pepper flowers

It is January first in Montana (yeah, kind-of everywhere today 😉 ) with temperatures ranging from the morning low of -1 to a high of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When I raised the thermal drapes this morning there was ice six inches up the south windows. The one tomato plant and one of my sweet bell peppers on my studio bench are starting to bud into flowers! I think I planted the seeds in pots on the October full moon; the 24th. I definitely planted lettuce, spinach, basil and oregano in the greenhouse on that day, but can find no mention in my notes of pepper planting anywhere. I think I remember doing them then. The greenhouse lettuce and spinach […]

how many strikes before GMO is out?

I won’t buy it.  Ever. Anywhere. For me, fasting beats eating poison.  “But shopping for non-GMO and organic is more expensive. “ Nice trick, globalists. Promote someone-else-pays health care, then rig the market to make everybody sick. Great takedown of civilized society.  Of course “they” don’t eat this junk themselves. That’s just for the peasant class … which is everybody else. Today’s news from ActivistPost.com is about what is in your “less expensive” potatoes.  One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four How About GMO Potatoes No More TOPICS:Catherine FrompovichGMOGMO Free DietGMO Toxins NOVEMBER 13, 2018 By Catherine J. Frompovich What’s the main selling point of the GMO potato? Its flesh stays white and doesn’t oxidize when cut. It doesn’t turn green, brown or […]

bells – bronze age relics are still valuable

In researching for this article I ran across a site diffen.com. I was looking to to clarify the difference between brass and bronze. What a cool tool they provide… there vs their … flu vs cold … ethnicity vs race … mold vs mildew … and so much more. Check them out. I bookmarked the site in my search/research tab. Among their differences are that bronze came from around 3500 BC, the beginning of “The Bronze Age”, or when this batch of humans figured out how to make things from metal. That was a pretty big deal. Around 3,000 years later came brass. I have dabbled with brass trombones for 60 years. I love the sound of ringing brass from […]

understanding the immune system

I grew up playing in the dirt, ditches, the woods and sundry awful, dirty, dangerous uncontrolled places. I raised three daughters the same way. Mud pies, heck yeah. Our marvelous immune systems thrive on such stuff. Big Pharma wants to kill it off – and far too often, is successful.   Children raised in rural environments and surrounded by animals develop stronger immune systems Thursday, June 07, 2018 by: Carol Anderson Tags: animals, bacteria, city life, exposure, goodhealth, hormones, immune response, immune system, mental health, microorganisms, mind body science, nature, outdoors, Pets, rural life, stress, urban life           3,260Views   (Natural News) It’s said that being in rural areas has enormous benefits to our physical health. […]