“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
It’s been HOT as all get out. Everyday has been high 80’s. That never stops Mike from being outside with his animals though so I see a lot of my sweating hubby rotating pastures. I see our laundry swinging in the breeze. I also see said laundry still on the line during the random pop up thunder storms! At this very moment, however, I see Mike and the kids assembling our new above ground pool! It’s going to be our saving grace this summer without air conditioning!
One big achievement of the week was taking our Large Black/Old Spot hogs to the butcher. It’s always, always bitter sweet. We raised them since they were young and have enjoyed their piggy antics over the months. I can’t say we bonded terribly well because they were a rough group of gals and hard to maintain. But they were fun to watch. I subscribe to the notion that animals on our homestead will only have one bad day. And that’s the day they die, so we may have delicious meals. And even more exciting than soon to have stocked freezers… we added to the homestead two ‘so ugly they’re cute’ Kune Kune pigs. These pigs are much smaller, so laid back, and subsist on mostly grass. They’re perfect for our homestead as far as managing, breeding, and butchering. They won’t root up the pasture horribly either. We named one Chewbacca because he looks just like the character from Star Wars. So although the pregnant sow is gigantic and quite interesting looking, we had to go with Princess Leia for her name. These will be our breeding stock. So they get names.
In the Garden
Unfortunately I am a fair weather fan in the garden. Me in the garden in 90 degrees- nope. Me in the garden in muggy, drizzling rain- nope. So it’s gotten a bit unruly out there. But may the fittest survive. We harvested all our radishes and ate them fresh. We are enjoying kale. Many things are doing well such as rhubarb, cabbage, potato, tomato and pepper starts, and all the herbs. They are just surrounded by weeds. Also the potatoes are covered in some tiny beetles so I need to look into that. The angel garden is also covered in weeds but the paw paws are growing as are the blueberry bushes.
In the Kitchen
I ran out of home canned pasta sauce which we use for pasta once a week and pizza sauce once a week. Luckily I have tons of tomatoes frozen whole in the freezer and tons of crushed canned tomato still. So this week I make a big ol’ batch of sauce which will have to be frozen because I’m not ready to break out the canner. But it’s awesome to be in June and still using last summers tomatoes. Also, I’m prepping this week for all the fresh pork that will come back from the butcher next week. I have hopes to cure bacon, make bulk sausage, link sausage, and dried sausage. Two whole hogs are coming back to us for this so it’s going to be a lot of work. The heat has slowed down my enthusiasm for dairy making. My ferments are turning so quickly that they become unusable because of their flavor. So I put my kefir and yogurt in the fridge for a little break. Number one rule on the homestead= Know Your Limitations. On that same note of ferments turning quickly, I resurrected the kombucha SCOBY.
Homeschool of Life
Memorial weekend brought the end of our official school year other than finishing math books. But like I told Luke today, he couldn’t stop learning if he tried. God made our brains to never stop learning and thinking. So I’m confident real life learning will reign this summer. Today we hosted Nature Brigade here at The Glory Be Homestead which is a group of local families that get together at State Parks and what not. The kids had fun learning about our animals and farming.
What we are learning
I’d say the last couple of weeks we have thought about and researched what breed of hogs we’d ultimately like for our farm. I’m pleasantly surprised at the choice we landed upon. We are also thinking a lot about our goals for The Glory Be Homestead as far as providing food for our family and surrounding area.
Highlight of the week
Taking in the hogs, buying new hogs, installing the above ground pool, in no particular order.