Sunday Homestead Update

As the single digit temperatures and snow head our way this coming week we are working hard to prepare the homestead for winter weather.

We did the final harvesting out of the screen garden box that we put frost fabric over.  It has done incredibly well, and we are amazed to be harvesting fresh greens in November.

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We also mulched the over-wintering plants with straw this week.

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With the close of the garden season, we have a few posts coming up where we will review the garden season this year and look at what worked and what didn’t work.

The night visitor came back and made yet another hole in the chicken wire.  This hole was smaller than the last one, but we still think it is a bear.  Hopefully the very cold weather this week will push them into hibernation.  But we decided to set up a trail cam on the chicken coop to try to find out what it might be.

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Finley is housebroken now, which is a great hurdle to have behind us.  He is settling in very well with the family and we are very happy to have him.  We were a little concerned about how our 12-year-old  chocolate lab, Holly, would feel about the new addition.  She lives indoors, and he is the future farm dog, but at first he is living indoors bonding with the family and learning basic manners and obedience.  We knew she wouldn’t be aggressive with him, but didn’t know if he would be a constant irritation to her or not.  Well, her reaction has been a wonderful surprise…she loves him!  He is bringing out her youth.  They wrestle and play several times a day.  Occasionally he irritates her when she doesn’t want to play, but she tells him to back off and he is pretty good about moving away.

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As cold weather moves in and the outdoor work on the homestead slows its pace it is time to do more indoor projects and crafting.  I recently made these advent boxes for the kids to use:

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We traditionally make Christmas candy the weekend after Thanksgiving.  So we will put a few pieces in each box and the kids can count down with a little candy each day.

And I am working hard on all the Christmas knitting and sewing I need to get done.  My current WIPs include…Socks for youngest son, dress for youngest daughter, fox scarf for oldest daughter, and neck/face warmer for oldest son.  I rarely have more than two projects on needles at once, so this is quite a lot for me to have going all at one time.

It is fun to be back into the indoor crafts of winter again.  It seems whenever the new season comes I am ready for it.  When spring comes I am eager to get outdoors and start new plants and have new babies on the farm.  When summer arrives I am ready for the hot days and the growth around the farm.  When fall arrives I am eager to reap the harvest from all that we have grown, as well as fill our shelves with goodies for winter.  And when winter comes I am ready to sit by a cozy fire, drinking hot tea and working on knitting, spinning, sewing, etc.  I love the cycle of the seasons.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Homestead Update

  1. Could Finley and Holly be any cuter together??? Those pics really make me miss my chocolate lab. She loved everyone, and was always up for a game, even when she was suffering through cancer at 11 years old.

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  2. Oh how I love to see your email come into my mailbox! Reading all going on in your household makes me smile. And I so agree with you about the four seasons cycle. It is life and living at it’s best.
    I do have a question for you and hope you have some idea what the answer may be. Now, I have had chickens before, but never got “into” them as much as this time. We are lucky enough to be able to get free “old” veggies from some of the family or small business owned grocery stores… to feed the chickens year ’round. This last time we got some packaged firm Tofu. Do you know if it would be ok to feed the hens?
    And what do you feed your laying hens during the winter when free ranging is not available?
    Thanks, Karen

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    • Sorry to say I don’t know anything about tofu so I don’t know if chickens can eat it. I know it is not on any of the “do not feed to chickens” lists I have ever seen unless it is something that is very salty. Maybe an internet search could tell you.
      Year-round our chickens have access to store-bought feed, scraps, and the barnyard and compost pile. The amount of scraps and forage they are getting determines how fast they go through their other feed. Thankfully, most of them prefer the forage and scraps and only eat the other feed when necessary. A few of them are not as good of foragers and will eat mainly from the feed dish.

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