Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Today was fairly productive, and I am feeling it now. After morning chores I had to water in the new strawberry patch. It looks like we lost about half a dozen plants. I have plenty left to fill in, hoping to get that done tomorrow. After watering strawberries, I drug the hose to water the beets and carrots. Then drug the hose again...watered the pigs...drug the hose to the poultry area.. cleaned and filled the 3 pools. Cleaned the kitchen and decided to put a whole chicken in the oven for dinner. Made home made stuffing however I am out of Sage! Who runs out of sage!?? Well, I did. I used garlic and Lemon Thyme to season it. Turned out great too! Chicken with stuffing, mashed taters, gravy and corn. YUMMY! I had a fella come by this afternoon and he bought the 3 extra piglets. I am glad to have them gone. Feeding out 5 pigs was NOT in my plans. I didn't realize until I was in there catching them, just how "healthy" they were. Whew! Heavy little pigs! They weigh between 40 and 50 pounds already. They are only about 12 weeks old too! I am already dreaming of bacon and hams. This will be our first time butchering American Guinea Hogs. I am interested to see how they fatten up and how the meat is. Every where I look and read about them it say's the meat is "gourmet" I will let you know when the time comes. While doing evening chores...I paused to take in the beauty of the sunset and the few early leaves that are changing color already.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Yep, physically and mentally.... you have to be a little tougher than some. A few weeks ago, a little stray dog started hanging out. Me being the softie that I am, I decided to befriend the little runt...and just try to find him a home. Since I already have 4 inside dogs there is no way I can detain this new little guy. He has been running these country roads for a while. He does have a home, about a mile down the way... however they refuse to keep him in a fenced area, or better yet, inside. He is a cutie too, such a shame. Terrier mix, would make someone a great little house companion. However, he is NOT good around a farm. He chases cats, well, the ones that will run from him, then he runs from the big toms, tail tucked, screaming for help! LOL Another thing he chases.... chickens. NOT GOOD. Last week he went after mine. He was able to get my big rooster. Lucky for the dog, and the rooster, he only ripped out the tail feathers. I screamed at the dog, and he ran off... however he still keeps coming back. I know some people say.. " Ye'r gonna have to shoot him" I just can't. So for now, the chickens are in their pen... no free ranging until I find this pup a home. After he chased my rooster off into the woods, I went looking for him. Oh boy... there are a lot of sticker bushes in the woods... and they got me but good!
Saturday, September 20, 2014
No, I am not playing Santa Clause. I am ... a homesteader. This time of the year we start to feel the crunch time. Fall is right around the corner and winter will soon follow. Most days I feel like I am running in circles. So, to help me get to the tasks I need finished before the snow flies.... I make a list. Yesterday I was able to mark off a BIG task... building a grow out pen for the pig's and get the babies in there. Today...we moved strawberry plants. LOTS and LOTS of strawberry plants. The first strawberry bed we had is about 4 foot by 5 foot. This last spring and early summer we picked so many strawberries. Between 2 and 4 quarts a day! Great big strawberries too!
Friday, September 19, 2014
So the baby pigs are big enough to be separated from momma. I have been putting it off for a few weeks now, just because to separate them is a big job. My husband brought home a couple HUGH pallets that he cut in half to make fence panels. Once he cut them in half they STILL weigh about 150 pounds each. For me to get them from the shop, where the pig pen is, I had to drag them with the lawn tractor and a strap. I drug 5 of them over there a few days ago.
Monday, September 15, 2014
For us, it is all about the firewood. Our home is a split level, with a finished basement. Well, MOSTLY finished. This is where we have the family room. TV, computers, laundry area and the wood stove. We spend most of our indoor time in this area...during the winter. Keeping the wood stove going is usually one of my duties. Now, the only "issue" with this is.. we haven't even started on firewood yet. The mornings are cool... in the 40's and I can feel a bit of "panic" setting in. The hubs is working 40 hour weeks and weekends we are scrambling to finish the outside things, putting the gardens to rest, moving plants. During the week I am still gathering and canning. Beets are coming in now so I will be canning and pickling those. I am going to have to designate a few hours a day to gathering firewood. Even if I am gathering the smaller stuff, I will feel better knowing we have a start on it. *sigh* Homesteading is never about sitting quietly, listening to the sounds of the woods and animals. There is always a "job" that needs done. And with that said, I need to get outside and get this day going!
Sunday, September 14, 2014
So, summer is drawing to an end here. We are waking to temperatures in the low 40's...and highs in the 70's and a few days of high 60's! The woods are alive with the sounds of the critters mourning the loss of summer. Crickets sing louder....Squirrels chatter loudly as they hide their winter stashes. The birds are calling to mates and friends, talking about the long flight south. Very soon the woods will echo with the sounds of chain saws....cleaning up the downed trees for firewood. Cool weekend nights bring on bon fires and friends. I can vaguely smell the scents of fall. Wet leaves, cut grass. I look at a pantry just bulging at the seams with the produce we grew and preserved for our winter dinners. Now that the days are cool, it is time to start making large pots of soups, and canning them as well. Time to winterize the animals homes as well. The other day I worked on one of the goats cabins.....with the help of a neighbor....we were able to finish the inside.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
No, this is NOT a cute little twisted tongue teaser. It is for REAL! This morning I decided to start cleaning the barn, while the air is cool. There is one area by a door that we rarely use, I have neglected way too long. ( Most of this summer ) So, I rolled up the sleeves, grabbed my pitch fork, and dug in...right into a bed of BEES!! HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER!! HUNDREDS of them! They were NOT happy about me turning up their "home" in the wet bedding. They attacked...and stuck like Velcro. I ran, arms flailing, wiping them from my shirt and pants, jumping and screaming...well, OK, cussing. I escaped, but NOT without battle wounds. No less than a half a dozen of those mean little suckers hit their mark.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Yes, Fall is just around the corner. Mornings in the low 50's then the temps climbing into the low 80's during the day. This...in my personal opinion is PERFECT weather. Windows open, blankets on... brings a smile to my face. Then again....it reminds me that summer is almost over...and soon winter will have her icy grip upon us once again. A little bit of panic rises in me. We still need to gather firewood. *sigh* Homesteading never lets up. Busy from one season right into the next....just different things to keep one busy. For now, the garden is slowing down. The fall beets and carrots are not ready...the green beans are slowing down as are the tomato's. So, this gives me time to head into the woods and start dragging out the fallen trees. I will drag them out, hubby will take the chain saw to them, then we will both stack it up. Yep, it is firewood "season" Have you started getting yours together?
Friday, September 5, 2014
It is hard to believe that September is here already! Before we know it the leaves will be falling and there will be a coolness in the air. However, Summer is not ready to let go of its hot sweaty grip. Another day in the 90's with high humidity in store. They are calling for the "real feel" to be near 100 again today. I am so glad I was able to finally pick up a swimming pool. I think today, after I trim the goats hooves and pull more weeds, and try to get another section of the barn cleaned...I will relax in the pool for a bit. I have had my head buried in the canning books! Tomato seeds flying, corn silk everywhere, wash, sterilize, cook, fill, stack.....I finally realized something was up when I was putting another load of jars into the pantry, and realized I am running out of room! What a great feeling! I was blessed by a good friend giving us " all the sweet corn I could pick" So, I picked up our 14 year old grandson, who towers over me, and we went to pick corn. We filled 5 feed sacks, not stopping to think, THAT is a LOT of corn! 15 DOZEN ears! Oh boy...was I in trouble! It took me 2 days, but I was able to get it all processed. 60 pints,and 11 quarts canned, and 50 + ears in the freezer. As the old man told Babe, "That'l do pig, That'l do."