Sunday Homestead Update

We have a lot going on around the farm this week.  Sometimes I wonder is there ever a week that I couldn’t say those words?  Probably not.  🙂

Incubation Update

We candled at day 4 and 5 for fertility, and then again on day 7 to check growth, air cells, and for early deaths.  As I said in a post earlier, we had amazing fertility with 46 eggs out of 48 being fertile.  At day 7 all the eggs were looking great and growing well except two that were lost to early death.  One was from our breeding pen and one was from the hatching eggs I bought.  So we are down to 44 eggs now, which we still find very amazing and we are feeling very blessed and excited about this hatch.

Violet’s Arrival

Violet is scheduled to arrive later today, pending the weather.  The town she is coming from had tornado warnings yesterday when they were supposed to bring her so we pushed it back to today.  We will see if the weather holds.  I am looking forward to sharing a picture and more about her later this week as she settles in to our new farm.

Garden Update

Mixed news from the garden.

Our garden is, sadly, being attacked by pests.  This is quite a surprise since due to our climate garden pests are few and far between.  I gardened in this same climate for 5 years with very few pest problems.

My turnips were ready to harvest this week, but as I pulled them up I found they had all been ruined by root maggots.  These over-winter in the soil, so we can thank our purchased soil for this one.  Man, that soil purchase has been such a disaster since day one, and here it is still causing us problems!!!  Out of the 40 that I pulled up only 4 were not full of maggots.  I wanted to give them to the chickens but worried that if any maggots survived they would burrow down into the compost pile and possibly ruin next year’s garden when the compost goes in, so I took them to a far part of the property and threw them away there.  We did enjoy the 4 good ones though.  This squashes my plan to save turnips in the root cellar this year so that I could replant and save seeds from them next year.

The beets are being attacked by leaf miners.  The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily ruin the beets, as long as we remove the effected leaves.  So we have been removing any leaves we see with issues and throwing them away.  We were able to harvest a few beets last week and enjoy them and we have many more coming ready soon.

This year, as an experiment, I surrounded my cabbage plants with herbs.  Rosemary, sage, basil, chives, and garlic are planted all around them because I read that those discourage cabbage worms.  Nope.  My cabbages have cabbage worms.  Sigh.  So much for natural pest control.

We have been able to harvest more zucchini!  The beans, cucumbers, and all types of winter squash are big, lush, green, and have some flowers and the starts of some vegetables on them as well.  We are hoping they will continue to grow and produce well for us.

I have a lot of carrots growing well too, though I must admit I am concerned that the root maggots could get them as well.  Time will tell.

Lastly, all the spinach and lettuce that we re-planted a few weeks ago is growing like crazy and we are enjoying fresh salads daily.  I LOVE that!!!

Bartering

I love bartering.  Trading something you have for something you need without having to spend any money.  And of course a good barter always has to be a win-win situation so the person you are bartering with gets what they need from something they already have.

We cannot grow tomatoes and other warm weather vegetables at our climate without a greenhouse.  We hope to someday build a greenhouse on our farm, but for now the thought of fresh tomatoes is out of reach.  BUT, I have a friend who lives about an hour away, at a much lower elevation and much warmer climate.  She can grow tomatoes.  But she can’t have chickens right now because of her living situation and wants fresh eggs.  Who has fresh eggs aplenty?  Us.

So we are trading tomatoes for eggs!  The tomatoes are beginning to ripen and I am preparing for tomato canning to be done in the next few weeks.  How exciting!

Heritage Arts

I am continuing to sneak in a few minutes here and there to work on the scarf I am knitting, my son’s quilt, and some sewn baby blankets I am making for friends’ who are having babies this fall.  I will share photos as I finish projects.

I have also started a new project that involves Christmas presents (yes, Christmas in August) that I will share more information on in a future post.

Construction

We have finished basement demolition and have it cleaned up.  It is a big room with a cement floor and walls.  Plus there is the guest room and the bathroom.  We have put down a large area rug and put a couch, some big pillows, and our tv and videos on it to make a nice little den area.  We aren’t sure how soon we will be able to start the full remodel down there, so for now we will be enjoying the space anyway.  And it is SO cool down there, even on hot summer days.

We have been painting the guest room down there, and in the next few days we will stretch and steam clean the carpet.  Then we will set up the furniture in there, just in time for our first ever “guest” to stay in our guest room.  My sister will be arriving later this week to stay for a few days.

 

3 thoughts on “Sunday Homestead Update

  1. Pests!!!!!!!!! Like you I’ve found that the companion planting malarkey ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes I’m on the verge of buying some really toxic chemicals and flooding my garden. Then I take a deep breath (or 20) and remind myself that I don’t like chemicals.

    Will your chickens eat the grubs out of your soil? Maybe letting them free range over that nasty dirt will help next year’s crop. The cabbage worms I’ve tackled (only a small success, but some success is better than none I suppose) by catching the moths with a butterfly net and by picking off the worms EVERY DAY. Time consuming in the extreme!

    I love bartering – sounds like you’ve got a great deal going.

    There is so much going on at your place, you’ve got to expect some failures. I hope you start getting more wins anyway.

    Like

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