We have had some different things going on around here this week. Not your run-of-the-mill SHU. Except for these strawberries, from the strawberry patch. 🙂
Natural Weed Control
We have some driveway and stair areas that have all sorts of grasses and weeds growing in them that we would like to keep clear. We do not want to use herbicides on our property that could potentially be harmful to our animals and our edible plants. Mtn Man told me about a recipe for weed spray that uses vinegar, dish soap, and salt. So we bought a pump sprayer and I gave it a try. It is working beautifully. It has taken a couple applications, but we are definitely seeing results.
We enjoy learning about the edible wild plants that grow on our property so we spend a lot of time through the summer and fall with our favorite edible wild plants book, “Best-Tasting Wild Plants of Colorado and the Rockies,” by Cattail Bob Seebck, in our hands wandering the property and examining the plants we find. Little Miss is especially interested in this aspect of our homestead.
Last week she and Mountain Man worked their way around the property and gathered us a salad for our dinner that was completely wild foraged. It included Lamb’s Quarter, Saltbrush (my favorite), Tumble Mustard, Tansy Mustard, Mallow, and Squaw Paint. They also found a bunch of chamomile that we are drying for tea this winter. It was a very flavorful and delicious salad.
We found this little guy on our rock wall one day.
He was about 2.5 inches long. The kids are now talking about building a bat house to encourage them to “hang” around our property since they eat bugs.
We have a family of coyotes denning about 200 yards from our barnyard. Mama coyote picked that as a good place to raise a family. We hear them multiple times each day and night as they yip and yap to each other. Thankfully, a well-built fence and Anya, the LGD, make it so it doesn’t have to be a concern to us for our livestock. Whenever they get to yipping Anya likes to throw in her deep throated bark and remind them she is big and she is still here and still on guard. Thankfully, they have not chosen to come by the barnyard, nor hang out around it the way we sometimes have coyotes do.
I haven’t had much time to knit lately, but I have made some progress on my Nightshift shawl.
Guess what made its way into the living room and got dusted off and put to use!? My spinning wheel! I haven’t spun since our almost 4-year-old was born. Life has been so full with his medical stuff, plus just regular busy life, that there just wasn’t time for it. But this week I got it out and started spinning. I love spinning, it is super therapeutic for me and emotionally recharging. It calms me and resets me. But it is hard on my back, so I have to take it easy and not overdo. It was really great to spend some time spinning again, and I am hoping to get back into doing it regularly.
Another heritage art that we have not done in awhile that came back this week was wool rug braiding. Little Miss is braiding a rug for my parents. She was working on her braid and laying it out on one of our old rugs to decide when to change colors. it is coming along nicely.
It was a week of bringing back some old homestead activities, for sure. We haven’t made cheese in 4-5 years, and this week Little Miss and I decided to make some cheese with Pansy’s milk. We made a goat’s milk Paneer.
It turned out well. We used the cheese press Mtn Man built for me several years ago when we got our first dairy cow.
Next week we plan to make Feta.
We had saved two of the Dark Brahma cockerels to raise up one of them for a breeding rooster. We were waiting for them to get a bit older so we could pick the best one. They started fighting this week, so it was time to choose. Braveheart has helped with butchering many many times, and watched Mtn Man do the killing as well, but this time he decided he wanted to do the whole process all by himself. So he killed and butchered the cockerel all on his own for the first time ever! We were all very happy for his accomplishment, and I am sure the meat will taste all the more delicious to him knowing he did all the work himself.
I had to go into the big city this week (Denver) and got stuck in bad traffic. it was 101F outside, but because of all the idling cars crammed together and inching along the hot pavement, this is what my car said it was outside:
Eeeek! Needless to say I was oh-so-happy to get out of the hot city and back up onto the homestead in the mountains.