Homestead Happenings Vol. 10

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”                         ~Abraham Lincoln

Outside my window

This “spring” (if we can even call this season by it’s name) has been so strange.  At first it was still winter weather and then it went straight into summer weather.  This week has been in the 80’s.  We have gotten much of the spring rain though.  So outside my window are beautiful tall grasses and plants and I’m afraid, weeds.

On Pasture

Poor Mike has been dealing with fences not getting “hot” enough therefore animals like to test boundaries.  The sheep especially will leave their paddock if the fences aren’t working.  Unfortunately we may just need new solar panels.  Baby Coco has some sort of ‘scours’ which is animal lingo for diarrhea.  It’s not a good thing, but we are hopeful and leaning on the wisdom of our old vet that 8 out of 10 cases of diarrhea is basically indigestion or stomach bug.  We gave her a ‘drench’ of probiotics from the feed store.  Also we are going to limit her milk consumption from mama so she doesn’t over do it.  Glutting on milk can cause milk scours.  Other than that, the animals are doing great.  Mike has begun a new project which is turning a framed hay wagon into a portable chicken coop for the layers.

In the Garden

In between sessions of extreme heat and storms, we are often in one garden bed or another.  Some things are jamming and others aren’t.  It could be a case of slow germination or else the weeds out competing.  My goal for this week was to save some of the seedlings that were outgrowing their containers by getting them into the ground.  So we planted cucumbers and watermelons and winter squash.  I also wanted to clean up the greenhouse because grass was about 2 feet tall and it was total chaos.  So we pulled everything out and weed eated and then did a reset.  Now it’s a space to enjoy again and I have a better idea of what transplants need.  I could spend a whole week still covering beds with spent straw and hay to suppress weeds.  All in all, I’m so happy with how its all coming together and confident we will have tons of food.

In the Kitchen

Every Tuesday I do “dairy day” which is time set apart for creaming the gallons of milk to make butter and also make cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir.  It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t.  Most of it doesn’t even involve cooking.  We are in an egg glut so that’s been on the menu in some shape or form.  I did a large batch of hardboiled eggs for snacks and egg salad.  Smoothies have been a staple this week as well using up a surplus of old bananas Mike scored at an auction.

Homeschool of Life

We only have 8 days of book work left this year.  It seems every day a child finished a book this week.  So the schedule is dwindling.  Math and literature are constants though.  I’ve been pushing each of them to hit math hard instead of a small lesson a day.  The school age kids all do Math U See and have been for a few years.  It works well for us as it’s not terribly rigorous but a gentle approach.  Plus the creator, “Mr. Steve”, introduces each lesson instead of yours truly.

What we are learning

With Mike soon switching roles at work he will commute less and spend more time on the homestead with new business endeavors.  We are slowly realizing our dream of being a nearly ‘full time family’.  This has a learning curve in the way the days flow.  So we are learning the art of creating a life together.

Highlight of the week

Sunday was a special day with Luke receiving his first Holy Communion and also Mother’s Day.  My parents came for a visit.  Mike and the children certainly made me feel loved!

Happy Homesteading,
Angela

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