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Letters To The Editor

An Alternative to Horses or Mules?

Dear Editor,

I wish to make a remark on the question about a horse or a mule at the homestead. Seems to me that the first and foremost task of a homestead is to shelter and feed a family. That being the case, neither a horse nor a mule is going to provide that. They do not provide food (sure they can produce some kind of energy).

A dairy cow, preferably of the old kind of breeds, will provide your family with all the milk, butter, cheese and you name it. Besides that she will produce all your waste from crop production in a better way than any equine ever will be able to.

Depending on your climate a family dairy cow needs the same amount of land as a horse. When horses still were the main energy providers at the farms, there were hardly any horses that worked 700 hours per year. And a homestead much smaller than a full-scale farm the number of hours you will work your horse or mule per year will even be much less than that.

True a dairy cow can be used for agricultural work and if used as the sole energy provider at a 4 acre farm will produce around 10% less milk. So for the economics of a homestead, a dairy cow is to be favored above an equine at all times

I love big draft horses for all my life, but on a small farm or homestead, a dairy cow would always give my family a higher return in time and finances invested. Still for off-farm transportation, an equine would be of better service. But for that, the good Lord has provided little ponies and donkeys. A pony or donkey of 40 inches can do a lot of work. Just look what they are doing in France today with their little donkeys, like the members of PROMMATA.

Thanks,

A friend from the Lowlands near the sea, the Netherlands

 

Dear Friend,

Thank you for a wonderful alternative and the well-thought out reasoning for using something other than horses or mules on a homestead. You make a lot of sense! I find the PROMMATA organization quite interesting and will have to do some research on them and the methods that they espouse. We homesteaders on this side of the pond may be able to use some of this information to enhance our own operations here in the States. I love hearing from our international friends and fellow homesteaders. Thank you for your letter.

The Editor

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Organic Dried Eggs?

Dear Editor,

Is there a source for organic dried eggs? I enjoy your newsletter and appreciate all the information you pass along. I’ve learned a lot from your articles.

GL

 

Dear GL,

Frontier sells a certified organic egg powder. You can get it on Amazon here. However, if you have access to free-range eggs that you know are free from chemicals and such, why don’t you dry them yourself? We had a recent article on how to dry your eggs. You can read it at //www.offthegridnews.com/2013/03/04/long-term-egg-storage-solutions/

Thanks for the kind words!

The Editor

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