More Apples than you can shake a stick at!

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This was the third harvest this year of apples.  All were about the same size…. 30 gallons of apples or more!  I am using my cider press to turn these all into delicious raw apple cider for guests (and myself of course!)

Today I was literally shaking a stick at the apples to get the last of the high ones down.  Some are still left, too high or too protected by other branches to get to.  Well I guess the deer and my cattle can have a few for themselves.

It’s been an incredible year for apples and for black-berries.  I have picked several gallons of black berries this year but its much more tedious and slow than are apples.  I’ll keep working at it and see how much I end up with before the season is over.

Here are some shots from harvest time in the past…

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Christmas at Lifewater Ranch?

No Problem!

Ever think of doing something special with the family on Christmas or Thanksgiving?

Lifewater Ranch gets some snow in the winter but with a nice big Hot Tub and a pool table downstairs and a closet full of games and puzzles, it’s not a bad place to enjoy great times inside with the family.

If we do have a heavy snow, just next to the house is a nice hill you can inner-tube on (and we do have tubes you can use!) and if you’re ambitious, (and have a snowmobile) you can go clear up to Tobogon run where you can do some very serious tubing or even downhill or cross country skiing – all in my own back yard.Sandy snow tubing

The ponds and pool freeze over so ice skating isn’t out of the question either – but please be safe!

And here’s the kicker… we have TONS of beautiful white-fur trees perfect for our tall living room you can cut down and mount inside the house and decorate together!  Yup, we even have a tree stand (and a chain saw) you can use, just bring your own ornaments and decorations.

The Staab family enjoying Christmas at Lifewater Ranch

Christmas at Lifewater Ranch might be one of the most memorable events you can do with your family.

It’s never a bad time to visit Lifewater Ranch!

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Cows in heaven

I decided to let my cattle graze around the houses as a last nice snack before fall hits.  Unfortunately I was in the process of repairing my gate to the garden area and so naturally this is where I found them this morning.  They were enjoying my apples and doing a touch-up job on my mowing of the lawn.

These animals are so gentle they almost seem to belong in my back-yard.

Scottie is owned by the Kindreds and will be harvested this fall for beef.

Traeger is my newest calf who will go to the butcher next fall.

Dunnis and Ernie are my bulls and are both beautiful Scottish Highlander specimens.

Taffy is the mother of all but Dunnis and Scottie and I am hoping next spring she will give me some females to help us breed them faster.

I have no plans to make the herd larger than about 10 animals.  They serve to help keep the forest clean, to fertilize my soil, to provide me food, and most of all, to provide my guests entertainment and a sense of peace.

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Wwoofer Time!

This September we got a couple of great wwoofers helping at the ranch.

Wwoofusa.org is an organization that a friend of mine turned me on to.  A Wwoofer is a person that exchanges labor for room and board.  It’s a great way for someone to enjoy Lifewater Ranch for free in our off season.  You can book with us directly or via the Wwoofusa organization.  See our wwoofer contract for all the details.

Our Wwoofers get to learn skills like logging, fence repair, wild crafted harvesting, gardening, tree trimming and how we apply sustained agriculture to our ranch.  In addition to fun work, in your off time you get to enjoy all the features that our paying guests enjoy.

Here we have Alex and Emily, a couple fresh from Iraq, enjoying some travel before settling down in Arizona.  Alex decided to take on the garden retaining wall project which he initially thought would only take a day or so but ended up taking the whole week.  This is not to say that Alex didn’t work hard – he worked VERY hard and long!  The difficult part was getting the cinder-block placed correctly before pouring the concrete.

Emily did lots of great cooking and took on a large trimming job up at Island Pond.  The willows had grown gangly over the years and badly needed a hair-cut.  She did a wonderful job!

Later, Alex found some Grouse on the property and shot one for dinner.  As he was cleaning the bird, Sabrina and Brook Kindred stopped by to give them some homemade pickled peppers from their garden.  While there, the girls helped Alex a bit by sharing some tips from some of their great experience in cleaning chickens.

The Kindreds live next to the main house and do most of the farming on the property.  They run their own farm website here.  They specialize in organic fed Chicken, eggs, pork and feed which guests are certainly welcome to buy.

On their last day they took the day off and enjoyed the amenities of Lifewater Ranch.  I give wwoofers one day off a week or more if they have exceeded their minimum hours and done a good job.  Alex and Emily were model wwoofers and I need about 100 more of them here helping me turn Lifewater Ranch into a really great place to visit.

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Kamiah BBQ Days

Yes it is August and the time of festivals all over the Palouse.  Here’s a cool video I found on the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce website.

You will note that Lifewater Ranch isn’t mentioned in this promotional video.  That’s because I would rather it be discovered by people that look beyond the surface – for now.

Enjoy!

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Kooskia Days – the Parade

I thought I’d post pix I took of this year’s Kooskia Days so you could enjoy the parade “virtually”!

 

 

 

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A better fire pit

Guests last year commented that they decided not to lite a fire because they didn’t feel our pit was safe enough.  So I looked on Craigs List and found a nice fire ring.

With some help from a friend, I removed the rust and painted it and then I built a little grill with handles for cooking.  I laid down plastic to kill off the weeds nearby and have plenty of firewood available for guests to burn.

Don’t forget to bring your guitar and smores!

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A volleyball net for our guests

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A guest last year asked if we had a volleyball net.  We didn’t.  This year they are coming back for another great vacation and we now have….  A VOLLEYBALL NET!!!

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A drive to Red River Hot Springs

I took a drive recently to Red River Hot Springs which is about a 2-3 hour drive from Lifewater Ranch.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures at the hot springs itself! (Doh!)

I thought I would share some pix I did take on the way there and back.  This was taken in June, an excellent month to explore some of the fantastic beauty of Idaho.

Here’s how you get to Red River Hot Springs from Lifewater Ranch: (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/430+Cedar+Creek+Rd,+Kooskia,+ID+83539,+USA/Red+River+Hot+Springs,+ID+83525/@45.9112487,-115.8252535,10z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x54a0984fffb56e53:0x564d098f3604a5e1!2m2!1d-115.8363056!2d46.0682977!1m5!1m1!1s0x5358ac1f591019c9:0x37c3548faec2fbb4!2m2!1d-115.2001185!2d45.7876904)

Trip Map

 

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Our newest and first steer

I just got back from tagging and banding our newest arrival – Tregger the steer.  I had much help from Mickey Kindred who does most of the more athletic parts.  It was a beautiful spring day and I led the herd down to the gate from way up top with alfalfa treats.  Ernie and Scottie were particularly hungry for them and led the pack all the way down the road.

Once I got Taffy separated from Tregger, we caught Tregger and held him down to tag and band him.  He was only a few weeks old and already very strong and difficult for us to hold down.  But all went well and now we have a steer named after where he will end up – on the Tregger grill.

Bulls are reproducing fathers like Dunnis and Ernie but a Steer has had their testicles removed or banded making them more passive and non-reproducing.  Steers are pretty much good for fattening up and eating when they are fully grown and make excellent meat for the table.

I am slowly growing a herd that is organically (wild) fed for great meat and as entertainment for visiting families to Lifewater Ranch.  Scottish Highlander cattle are among the most gentle and hardy you can find.  Ranchers don’t usually raise this breed because it grows about half as fast as a good Angus breed.  At Lifewater Ranch, we take our time and let nature give us her best when the time is right.

Scottie is half Jersey and is a bull.  Scottie’s mother was lost while giving birth to Scotties younger sibling.  He is owned by the Kindreds and I imagine will be in the freezer by winter.

Dunnis and Ernie are both bulls and are available for breeding for a small fee.

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