Tuesday, May 11, 2010

growing homestead

Our little homestead is growing. The next batch of cheecks has arrived - 18 more. That brings the total of cheeckens to 37 - yes we currently have 37 cheeckens. Beloved didn't believe me when I first did the count - I mean how can we possible have that many cheeckens?! There are 9 nuggets that go for slaughter next Monday, 15 new cheecks (5 days old) for meat, 3 more (also 5 days old) for laying + the 5 from the established flock with the 5 hens that were added with the nuggets - they are about 7 weeks old. Whew. So thats 9+15+3+5+5=37 - I'm not sure exactly how that happened ;}

Here are the newest batch of cheeckies:

We've also added a new puppy to the hopeful, humble homestead. Her name is Sheela Na Gig and she's about 8 weeks old. A true Mutt - a little border collie, some bull mastiff and a bunch of other breeds in her mom and her dad's some sort of hound. She is very cute and the first "big dog" we've had. Our other older dog is being very patient with her. The kids are being very responsible and doing most of the walkies and clean up. She is fitting in very well.

Of course the only way to get her picture is when she is sleeping - when she's awake all pictures are a blur. ;}


Monday, May 3, 2010

Beltane

Happy post Beltane all!

We had a lovely Beltane or actually a lovely May 2 with some friends and some gardening. Yesterday, Beloved stripped some sod up and prepped 2 new beds for me and helped me reconfigure my little viola patch. Today we planted onions in one bed and trellised the peas after stripping more sod. This is a bit more involved then you might think. The peas are enclosed in a "cage" of chicken wire to keep out cheeckens, so we had to open that up and put up the trellis. We also had to enclose the onions with a chicken wire "cage" and that took some doing. The girl and I also weeded the front perennial bed that is slowly being transformed into another herb bed ;} - that's where I'm planting some more medicinals.

Yesterday some old friends came over for a visit - yes I warned them that if they came by they would be put to work - they did pretty well for city folk ;} Then we had hamburgers and salad topped off by a fireside chat. All in all a good Beltane.

Lots still to do here on the homestead - the Nuggets go to meet the butcherman in 2 weeks and the next batch of cheecks comes on Friday, so we need to get the hens in the house out to the coop to open up the brooder for new cheeckies. They, of course are really too small to be with the big cheeckens, so we are trying to figure out how to cage off one corner for them until they're as big as the established flock. Should be interesting. Luckily we work pretty well under pressure.

We lost a tree in the woods to the side of our house last week in a big wind storm that landed on the utility line going into the house (see my last post for details). Unfortunately, the utility worker that took the tree off the line dropped it in my raised bed - urgh. Now I'm not really sure how upset I am about this because for the life of me I can not get anything but bush beans to grow in that bed. I can not get lettuce or chard or spinach to grow there - I can't figure it out. Beloved and I talked about it and think maybe the drainage in that bed is too good and the plants just aren't getting enough water. Maybe??? I'm starting to get a bit frustrated. We're talking about taking the bed down a bit to make it less deep and closer to ground level hoping that might help - I was hoping to use this bed for hoop tunnels to grow greens next winter, but not if I can't get any to grown this spring. We'll see - it's hard to get everything done 2 days a week, so I'm thinking we need to put more evenings in and I'll just take shorter evening naps.

Well, that's all for now - Happy Spring to one and all!