Taking a Blogging Break

It’s a Holy season for us here on the urban homestead, so going to take a few days break to concentrate on some projects and re prioritize a few things.

Lots of things happening, Holy observances and it’s that busy time of year.  A farming life is 24/7 and it just kicked into high gear especially with Earth Day and community events just around the corner.  Hmm, that reminds me,  got work on a newsletter to tell folks where we’ll be at and send a call out for volunteers too.

Also working on “Phase 2”  Many hands make light the work, so been talking with few friends to get them on board/involved in learning the ropes here on the urban homestead.  Training session are, hopefully if all goes well, in the works!

Won’t be gone long – just a few days. Be back to in the saddle, er, blogging early next week.

In the meantime, stay tuned for upcoming post about capturing a swarm of bees, latest in our grey water and aquaponics adventures and more!


Oh, and we’d like to have a shout out from folks/readers who are located in/near Tennessee and for you local yokels please make sure your RSVP for the upcoming Food & Film Night on April 18


Happy spring and many blessings ya’ll!


  1. Mary in Oklahoma says:

    I am glad you are taking time off for holy week. This is part of stewardship as well.

    I am not in Tennessee – but have family in Franklin~ a small town near Nashville. If you are ever in that part of the country let us know -I’d drive from OK to TN just so say “howdy” and “thanks” to your family! You have been a source of inspiration and motivation to me for years.

  2. Laura says:

    Enjoy the break! It is well deserved and I hope that you get a chance to relax a little 🙂

  3. booksb4bread says:

    I’m in Alabama, but just 2 hours from Nashville. Something in the works for getting y’all out here? If there is, I’d do my best to be there!

  4. Michael and Betty says:

    Hello Dervaes family,

    Here a mail from the Netherlands. We’ve been following your blog for a while now, and we must say: You guys are very insprirational! Hope you enjoy a bit (?) of leisure time while taking the blog break

  5. Back Pack Tents - Where is the best place to go camping and fishing in early April? says:

    […] SPRING BREAK | Little Homestead in the City […]

  6. Ellen Bremer says:

    Have a refreshing break!

  7. Cindie K. says:

    This is a Holy Week for my family and me as well. I will be taking off Good Friday to attend church and reflect on the meaning of the day. May you all have a Joyous Easter.

  8. Wendy says:

    Have a good break – it’s certainly well deserved ;).

  9. Sarah says:

    Enjoy your break!

    I live in Nashville, TN, and have been reading your website/blogs for a couple of years. Now you’ve got me curious! 🙂

  10. Paige says:

    Hi, We live in Crossville- between Knoxville and Nashville. This is our second year turning our neighboorhood living lot into an edible garden. This year it’s out with the front yard.
    Have a lovely Easter- we’ll be having a break also. Paige

  11. Patti says:

    TN is not far, and would be worth the drive to meet up! Enjoy your well-deserved time off.

  12. Mercye says:

    Have a wonderful time during this time of reflection “Holy Week”.

  13. Tammy says:


    We are in southeastern Tennessee, near the bottom end of the Smokies. Knoxville is an hour NW, and Chattanooga is just over an hour SW.

    Are you coming to TN ??

  14. Sam Jones says:

    Hello Dervaes family. I live in NE TN in the Appalachian foothills around Johnson City. Hubby and I are also working towards a sustainable future here on our little place, growing food and worms, chickens and compost, honeybees and community. Thinking of coming this way? I’ve got connections and a great university in town that would welcome you too. Oh yeah, used to live in Modesto, a nice enough city, but we’re loving life here now.

    • Joji says:

      You are right, you are not right and you have partly the right idea. How is that for an asnewr? It is not an easy question to asnewr. You will have to asnewr the following questions for yourself. 1./ A family of three.How much milk do you drink? I drink/use nearly a gallon a day by myself. Some people use less than a cup a day. How much are you using?A cow will produce 3-5 gallons a day (Dexter) to 20 gallons a day (Holstien) to somewhere in between for a Jersey or a cross.I have a Jersey/Gelbvieh(Gelp-fee)cross heifer and I will be keeping her calf on her when she freshens. The calf will take some milk and I will take the rest for my needs. The cow will produce as much as the demand on her is theroretically. If I get WAY too much milk, the rest will go to feed the hogs as a supplement. 2./ Do you prefer goat milk to cow milk or cow milk to goat milk? I actually do not care for the richness of goat milk in a glass or on my morning oatmeal. In the past I have found goat milk to be perfectly nasty with Fig Newton cookies and will not try that combination ever again. I prefer cow milk for those food items, however, I prefer the goat milk for many of my cheeses, carmel and gelato. I also only use real butter in my kitchen and Jersey is cream of the crop’. Goat milk is self homogenized and will not easily seperate as cow milk will. Nubians have the highest butterfat generally, with some individuals at 5.2% butterfat. Jerseys are about 5.3%. Each individual within a breed can vary as well. My milk goat is a Boer/Nubian/Saanan cross and gives large quanities of excellent milk.. without kidding, as she is a precocious milker. The grass turns green in the spring and she thinks she needs to produce milk. What are you prepared to do with the offspring? I used to butcher all my buck kids. All calves, except for replacement heifers are butchered when they are about 12-18 months. 3./ Will you, the significant other or the kids be milking? A Jersey cow usually have a weight range of between 800 and 1,200 pounds. A goat is not nearly that weight (90-135#)and can easily be handled by kids. Will you be milking by hand or with a milking machine? That also could make a HUGE difference in your decision. You may chose to only want to milk out a goat instead of a fully lactating cow. 4./ Fencing. Let me tell you about a Jersey cow.. the former mother of my heifer calf. I had more problems keeping that steeplechaser cow inside my 4 and 5 stand barbwire fencing in one year than I ever had with my goats since 1996. When my goat is not in a log fence in the barnyard, she has a 30 foot leash and she is moved daily. Only once has she gotten into my garden and it was sorely my fault. She just took advantage of my negligence at the gate latching. The former milking Jersey cow however, is nicely tucked inside my freezer to escape no more. I used to have nice tight fences before she came along, but her former home didn’t and they taught her that fences were made to be broken, or jumped.. or squeezed through. The trick with goats is .. they like to stand and look over the fence. Either give them something to stand on (like a rail at an old fashioned western tavern before the brawl) or put something there like an electric fence to keep them from standing on it about 6 out at goat chest height on the fencing poles. NEVER pet a goat over the fence, they like to be petted. Petting them encourages them to stand on the fence to be petted. Even on my log rails, with not petting the goats over the fence, they do not stand on the rails. Have a cheapo fence from the beginning and they learn to get out.. well.. Blame them from learning they can escape due to human mismanagement of the fence? When I first had goats, I had no fence. I tied the queen goat up and they all stayed with her. Goats are browsers, so you DO have to move them 1-2 times a day. 4./ Kidding problems are usually easier to deal with than dealing with a calving issue. Goats are generally easier to transport for whatever reason you need to transport them. It is generally nicer to clean out a goat barn instead of the cow barn. A shave all my milking animals down to a show cut and they get bathed every 2 weeks. The udders are clipped with a #40 blade (Oster). Goats feet need trimming more, but cow feet can be harder to do. 5./ Train both species on a halter and socialize them to people. With my goats or cow I can go out into the pasture with a book and use them as a warm backrest to read in the sunshine if they are laying down chewing cud. They like going for walks with people on their leadropes. 7./ It is also your preference if you decide you are a goat-person over a cow-person as well. A cow will be a 15-20 year investment (time as well as money) and a goat will be with you for 7-12ish years. A cow will give you meat in 12-18 months and goat kids, you can get up to 3-ish per doe per year and you can butcher them out at 4 months (my preference) and get 40lbsx3 animals per year. 8./ Both are herd animals and should have something of a herd animal with it. My horse and heifer are now buddies in the back pasture, but before the heifer and the goat were not to be seperated. So if you have goats, you should have 2 at least and if you have a cow, you may not need 2 bovines, but maybe buddy it up with something else for a friend. (Like a goat?)9./ You do not say where you are. Some lands are capable of having 1 cow/calf pair per 2 acres and some lands are about 40-60 acres per cow/calf pair. Do you have more pasture or more browse? Are you going to buy all or part of your feed for the animals? How harsh are the winters? How hot are the summers? Do you need extreme shelter for them to warm or shade them? 10./Water. Do you have to haul water? I did for 3 years until the well was drilled. Do you have a faucet or will you need to haul multiple 5 gallon buckets?Good luck and I hope you find your new family member soon. Whatever you get, they do become part of your family as they are feeding your family. tenzicut

  15. Janey says:

    I’m in Memphis, in the southwestern corner of TN. Love exploring your site! I’m slowly working on gardening and other projects around our house.

  16. Beth says:

    Hey, new here. I live in Woodbury, about 50 miles outside of Nashville. We are buying a 5 acre farm this summer, bid on it yesterday! But we have been mini-farming our 1 acre city lot for 5 years now. We can’t wait to get our own chickens!

  17. Annette says:

    Hope you had a good Days of Unleavened Bread!

  18. RuthMarie says:

    I’m here in Nashville, TN and would love to have your family come to town. Let us know if your planning an event and I’ll let everyone I know in on it. Been following your blog for about a year now. Thanks for the inspiration.

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