Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cockeyed Videos Standstill, but the Programs are Great!

We are still on hiatus with our cockeyed videos on YouTube. Mel is still busily working on an additional Java based software programs. The garden planner/seed catalog/gardening journal is now out for beta testing.

This new program is based on animals on the homestead. For example, (it can be used for whatever animal you choose) I'll use our angora rabbits. Date of birth, breeding, offspring, size of litter are important information you'll have access  within a few clicks of your mouse after inputting your data. It will also contain a simple profits and loss calculator which will show you where and how much money you are making and spending for your animals. Like the gardening software, it will help you stay organized. It will also include information enabling you to pedigree your stock.

These are separate programs. So you can buy just what you need. It's a buy once and it's yours to use unlike the online subscription based services. It has plenty of wiggle room built in to expand or customize it based on your needs. The exact price of the software programs has not been set yet, but we want to make it affordable for small homesteads like ours. These are not comprehensive programs but they do cover the basics every small homestead up to hobby farm size ventures.

What determines what software to make? Well, that's simple. Whatever we need or want. If we could use it, you can bet other homesteads out there can use them too. The small homestead governs what we make because we are tiny compared to other homesteads. We have just two acres. 

What's next on the programming agenda?  How about something based on your pantry/freezer? We can a lot of our vegetable and poultry production here at the Cockeyed Homestead. We have chickens that provide us with meat and eggs. A garden that produces about 75% of our needs. It's great that we are able to put by each year. How do you keep track of it all? Do you know how many jars of food stuff to put by each year. What did you can too much of? What did you can too little of?

I canned about three bushels of tomatoes last year thinking that would be enough. It lasted the two of us four months. Guess what I'll be planting and canning more of this year. My pickles? I barely will eek through. A few extra jars would be heavenly. I canned way too much jams. We don't need half as much for a year. Peaches, between frozen and canned we broke even. I did this by memory and guessimation this year. A program would have been nice. It will help us produce more accurately and hold down costs.

I normally buy meats we don't produce from Zaycon by the case.Well, it turned out their pork sausage links made Mel nauseous. I ended up giving 3/4 of a case to my neighbor. We loved their all beef hot dogs so much that I'll be buying two cases this summer to last us all year. With just the two of us on this homestead, a case or two of whatever will last us a year. Coupled with their sales, it's cheaper than the grocery store. I'll hit a local vendor for grass fed/ no antibiotic beef. I'll buy half a cow a year. I'll even take all the bones, tongues, and fat the processor will give me. It's bone broth/beef stock and rendered fat for soaps for basically free. The dogs love the bones after I've finished with them.

So why did Mel design the computer based programs? 
We started, like most homesteads, with a ring binder journal. We quickly found that the forms that were downloadable were inadequate for our needs in just three years. We tried creating spread sheets of our own. We were quickly overwhelmed by just pages upon pages. A 3" binder wasn't big enough. We ended up with several. And then, it was shuffling back and forth between notebooks trying to correlate the data we needed. It became a headache in record keeping. Now, we have the data we need and want within a simple program that we can adjust based on our needs.

Let's face it, as homesteaders, we have a duty to be self accountable. We want to know if something is a dismal failure or a success, and by how much. Are we getting our money's worth? A return on investment? Where did we spend too much or too little? How can we save money? Will these programs help with that? Well, let me put it this way. It sure couldn't hurt. It had to be simple to use because my damaged brain and at my <cough>age, it has to be.

The programs will be available soon.

Y'all have a blessed day.

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