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Category: Homestead

Homestead

Homestead. A home, outbuildings, gardens, barn, hen house, gardens, orchard and other means of providing a person’s needs.

In 2016 our homestead consists of:

  • Five chickens, all bantams. We have two Buff Silkie roosters and two hens, and one White Silkie hen.
  • 19 Ducks. We raise Fawn & White runners and Khaki Campbells. They’re housed together so there are crosses.
  • One-half acre of garden
  • 40+ apple trees. All but three are wild. Three are excellent producers. Some are too young to produce and others are overgrown and being pruned back into production.
  • Three plum trees. We have American, Kaga and Toka.
  • Two pear trees. I don’t remember the variety.
  • Hazelnuts. Two domestic and one wild.
  • One American chestnut. We had two but the voles girdled one and killed it. I’ll replace it this year.
And Now It’s Winter

And Now It’s Winter

It came late this year, the first snow. A flurry here and there, nothing that added up, but no snow that dusted the ground until December. No snow to track deer during hunting season (no deer for us). It started snowing at 2:55 pm on Saturday, noted by stopping my work outside to look at the time. And now it’s winter. We got five inches of snow overnight and it’s snowing again now. In a while the temperature will rise…

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And the Rain Came – Drought’s Probably Over

And the Rain Came – Drought’s Probably Over

And the rain came The beavers have been unemployed in the “Flood Robin & Steve’s Woodlot” project since early summer. We breached their series of small dams until the rain stopped. A few natural springs kept a two foot wide low spot in front of the lodge damp but the rest of the water was gone. Over the summer the soil started to recover. Plants grew and eventually filled in all but the worst spots. Deer and bear visited to…

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Big Rain Coming – Preparing Poultry for the Storm

Big Rain Coming – Preparing Poultry for the Storm

Big Rain Coming There’s a bit of relief from drought coming. There’s a big rain coming and it’s forecast to bring upwards of four inches between this evening and Thursday night. I hope it’s a long, slow, steady rain rather than on and off deluges but that isn’t likely. I’m not sure how much rain we need to bring us out of the moderate drought. The meat chickens and pullets are still in the chicken tractor. I booted them out…

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Frosty Mornings – Take a Walk on the Homestead

Frosty Mornings – Take a Walk on the Homestead

Frosty Mornings Brrrr  We’ve had frosty mornings for a few weeks but after a break from the cold morning temps, this morning seems a little colder. Last I looked it was 28°. I’m wasn’t looking forward to stepping into the high tunnel to take a look at the rosemary. I’m sure it doesn’t appreciate this cold but it looks just fine. It’s going to warm up for a few more days so the tunnel will be warm enough to keep…

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I Could Live in October

I Could Live in October

I could live in October Perfect weather, even an inch of rain! I could live in October with its warm 65° days that lack high humidity and its nights that are cool, sometimes downright cold. I’ve knocked ice out of the ducks’ water a few mornings. The night sky is crystal clear in October and stays that way until late winter. The days are too short for me but at the same time it’s nice to have the poultry put…

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Is It Really Almost October?

Is It Really Almost October?

Ava and Zoey hadn’t been out much yesterday so I took them for a sunset walk. It’s too bad those apples have already fallen, I thought, and then I remembered that it is almost October. Ash leaves are orange and gold and falling and the elm leaves black and crunchy. The stream up the road is still from lack of rain and our pond is lower than ever. It was 73° when I mistook a flash of lightening for a…

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Chick Identification – New Laying Chicks

Chick Identification – New Laying Chicks

Chick Identification – New Laying Chicks These are two of the chicks we got two weeks ago and am still not positive of their breeds. I need a bit of help in the chicken identification department. What do you think? I’m guessing the darker bird is a Rhode Island Red and the lighter (younger) one is a Red Star. We have two of the darker chicks, four of the lighter, and two Barred Rocks to expand our flock.

Laying Chicks – Unexpected Additions

Laying Chicks – Unexpected Additions

Laying Chicks Oops. We went to Tractor Supply for a part and came out with laying chicks. Peeping surprised me. I didn’t know they sold chicks in late summer/early autumn. Three bins worth of chicks peeped “take us home, take us home.” One bin contained Cornish Cross that looked great. Had I known this was an option I’d have purchased them at Tractor Supply instead of online. Now I know. A second bin had a mix of yellow/orange-ish and two…

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Late August, After Vacation, Busy Busy Busy

Late August, After Vacation, Busy Busy Busy

Late August Early. I was up early this morning. For the first time in weeks I don’t have anywhere I have to go this morning. No appointments or meetings, of which I’ve had a lot of these days. It’s late August but feels like September already. When I went out at 5:45 am it was 39°. That’s crazy. I’ve been closing the high tunnel at night since Friday to ripen tomatoes before I need to pull the plants to make…

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