Monday, April 29, 2013

Happenings around our homestead

 We are really feeling in the homestead mode lately at our house. Here is a few of the reasons that we have been feeling that way:

 Our indoor tomato plants have been going to town with their growing. Ken is wondering if our big window is going to be completely covered soon. It has been quite fun to watch their amazing growth! The biggest one is blooming quite a bit now and we have been attempting to pollinate it but aren't quite sure if we did it right or not. I hope we did!

 I also have a lot of little seedlings up now. As always it is fun to watch them grow and dream about the garden. We still have a month before we can plant them outside but meanwhile they will grow in here.
 Now that much of the snow is gone it is time to start working on the chicken coop and run. The boys are very eager to work on it. They cleared the area we chose and have done some moving of dirt to make things a bit more level. They love that hard physical labor if it means something fun like animals! We aren't planning on getting the chicks until the middle of June but we will be ordering them (from a local place) quite soon. We are planning on getting 15 layers (well a couple of them will be roosters) to raise here and then we are ordering some broilers along with my parents that will be raised at their place. We thought about keeping some here but I wanted to take them to their place for butchering and Dad thought it would make the most sense for him to just raise the broilers.

If you raise chickens I am curious if you have a favorite layer breed? I think I have made my decisions in that regard but I certainly could be swayed. I am planning on getting a few different varieties and they need to do well in a cold climate.
Megan has really been enjoying reading lately. I love it when my kids hit that stage where they read about anything that they can get their hands on. Reading is so often the key to learning. (This one may not be so "Homestead" related but I thought it was a cute picture of a cute- though messy haired- girl and reading has definitely been very useful to us in learning how to be better homesteaders.
Mara did some cleaning up and weeding in our flower bed. She has been keeping her eye out for any wild plants. She has been reading up on wild food plants all winter and plans on collecting a bunch for us to try. I am pretty excited to have her be interested in that.

  I have finally been melting down and cleaning up the wax cappings from when I extracted honey in the fall. I want to make some more lip balm as well as use it for other things. The wax really has a delightful smell when it is heated! Because I had a couple of old frames of wax "explode" on me while they were in the extractor I have all of that wax too. There sure is a lot of impurities in with the wax!

  We have the arrival for our NUCs of Bees scheduled for this Friday. It will be fun to having busy bees around here once again!

  We have a tree/bush pick-up scheduled for the following Friday. This year we ordered a total of 50 trees and bushes from the county. They offer very economical local trees and bushes. I have ordered a lot of crap apples which Dad and I are going to graft good tree scions on and then I also ordered other local berries and some decorative trees and bushes as well.

  I sewed a skirt and a bag and made a flower barrette for my nieces birthday.

  I went out to my parents today to help with the maple syrupping process and then brought home some syrup which I canned this evening. So YUMMY!

Have you been enjoying any homesteading activities lately? I love to hear from you!



Misty said...

My youngest son's hens are starting to lay pretty well now. He is thankful for that :) When he ordered chicks one of the things we considered was that they were good setters/hearty layers. Lots of good laying hens are not setters. He also wanted a variety of color in the eggs. We are getting blue,green,dark brown, light brown and white eggs..Just something else to think about before you order~which you proabaly already have :) Sounds like you have an exciting Spring ahead.

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I can see and feel the motivation of the homestead love from the pictures and post. That is AWESOME. WE just moved to the rural country area and we have 6 acres. But we are city people (well we have been for the past 11 years) and are eager to learn and do some homesteading.

WE plan to get chickens soon.


Anonymous said...

I keep up with a friend's chickens. She likes buff orpington rooster cuz they are nice. Only get RI Reds or white rock roosters if you want to carry a stick every time you go in the coop. She likes dark cornish for meat birds- they put on weight fast without eating you out of house and home like bramas do. She likes leghorns for laying as they produce well. Enjoy your chickies!
-Someone in ND


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