Tag Archive | homestead

Happenings around the homestead.

One of the strangest things I discovered when we moved to Mississippi was crayfish wandering around the yard. It wasn’t something I had ever seen before. Hubby and I thought it was hilarious. We still do. Except for the giant holes and chimneys they leave around the yard.

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Crayfish chimney. This is a really short one.

Last night Hubby was walking around the yard hunting for them. He likes to play with them. You know, poke them with sticks and make them fight with him. 😉 This one was one of the bigger ones, probably about four or five inches long.

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Crayfish

 Lily likes to try and dig the crayfish up. She actually got one the other day. She thought it was a tasty snack.

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Lily searching for crayfish

 We also have mushrooms galore after all the rain too. These white ones have been popping up and growing to massive sizes

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Big white mushrooms

 Then there are these little brown ones. They are growing up in the middle of the lespedeza.

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Little brown mushrooms

My calendula are continuing to bloom and attract pollinators to the garden.

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Calendula with a bee and ?

  

And so are my sunflowers.

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Pretty sunflower with a giant bee

I have a new sunflower opening up this morning.

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New sunflower opening this morning

The girlies are happy to have the sun out.

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Willow and Hazel hanging out, happy for no more rain.

Eggs from the Reds this morning and the loaf of bread I baked last night.

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Yay for fresh bread and eggs!

Still waiting on Buffy and Rocky to start laying. If they haven’t all ready started. . . .I keep checking around, but haven’t seen any.

The chickens have started sleeping in the shed with goats. I can’t get the back doors on their coop closed. The wood has swelled considerably from all the rain.

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Free-range chickens

 We had a fun filled puddle jumping day on Saturday. We have an issue with flooding in our yard. We are trying to figure out the best course of action to fix this, but until then, we will continue to have fun running through the giant puddles. It is Munchkin and Peanut’s favorite activity. 🙂

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Love the expression on Munchkin’s face

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Peanut is concentrating really hard on not falling

Hooray for Rain!

We finally got some rain this evening. Yay!

The plants and trees are thirstily drinking it up. Not quite fast enough though. Our backyard still managed to flood some.

I wasn’t prepared and so the goats got stuck on the other side of the yard and hid out in the dog house during the deluge. By the time the rain subsided some, it was dinner time for the goats. They braved the rain and gigantic puddles to run across the yard to the shed. They are much happier now.

The chickens are funny. The Reds have no problem with getting wet. Aside from hiding under the table during the worst part of the storm, they have been strolling around the yard. They are soaked through and their feathers are quite mottled looking, but I think they really enjoy the rain. Buffy and Rocky quickly took shelter in the goat shed. They are keeping the goats company now.

The boys played in an earlier rain shower. At first they weren’t quite sure if they liked it. They eventually decided they liked it and ran around and played. It wasn’t enough rain to create puddles, but Munchkin still had to put his new, red rain boots on. He loves his rain boots and wears them quite a bit, even when it isn’t necessary. Then both boys napped through the major part of the storm. . .I think it may be a late tonight.

I wish I had some pictures to share, but you know, it has been/is still raining. The camera would get wet. It would stop working. I would be sad if that happened. I could take an umbrella out, but it is also lightning, so I don’t really imagine that ending well either. Instead I will leave you with a pic of the Girlies (the goats) playing on the porch the other day.

Hazel and Willow playing “Queen of the porch”

 

Have a great evening!

 

The Garden vs The Chickens

As most of you know, this is my first year for gardening. I’ve done some reading, asked some questions, but mostly I am learning as I go along.

My garden isn’t very big. I have a couple of tomato plants, one big zucchini plant, a couple of yellow squash plants, a couple of cucumber plants, a couple of watermelon plants, a few pepper plants, some basil, some mint, some oregano, some marigolds and some Calendula. All of my plants, aside from one tomato plant and the zucchini plant, have stayed fairly small. I am not sure if it is due to the soil or the really hot weather and/or lack of rain.

My Garden

The plants are all very happy looking though. I laid a down a decent layer of hay in the garden to help preserve moisture and it really seems to have made a difference. We also just tilled another patch of earth. I covered it up with a nice layer of hay, grass clippings, and goat manure. I have high expectations for when I can finally plant in that spot. It is too hot right now though.

My tomato plants are finally starting to produce fruit. The buds kept getting chopped off. Then the chickens discovered the garden. For the tomato plants, this has been great. For the rest of the garden, not so much. The chickens keep helping themselves to the squash. I haven’t been able to enjoy any from my own garden. They have been plucking off the tiny watermelons when they pop up. If I am not fast enough, they start in on my zucchini. They even pecked at my green peppers enough to make holes in them and then walked away. . . .

We are working on getting the fence up around the garden, but it has been slow going. Hopefully we will get it finished soon. Until then we try to keep a close eye on things and shoo them away when we catch them in there.

I also have a little flower bed at the corner of the house across from the garden. Nothing is actually blooming yet. I have sunflowers, more Calendula, more marigolds, and some other stuff that I don’t remember. It is supposed to be a bird and pollinator mix. I had replanted some sunflowers that I started in pots, but the chickens took the freshly dug dirt as an invitation to dig around and ended up digging them up. . . .

I know we will find the balance with gardening and free-range chickens. Until then, we will have to deal with a few frustrations.

Happy chickens

Just thinking out loud

Sometimes things seem so overwhelming. I sit here and think of all the things that I want to get done, the things that should get done, and the things that have to get done. Sometimes, it all feels like too much and there is no way I can accomplish it all. Those are the days that I know I need at least an hour or two just for myself. Time when I don’t have to think about anyone else’s needs but my own. Because, shocker, I have needs too! Who knew? ;p

It’s rare that I actually get that time though. Then I lose motivation and slack off. Then it is only the absolutes that get done. Like making sure everybody is fed and clean. I steal a moment here and a moment there trying to make up for the lost me time. This usually backfires though because no one picks up the slack for me. ( I seriously don’t know how you single mamas do it. You girls rock!) When I get out of my funk, there is twice the mess and then I am scrambling to get through it all. Oy.

Seriously though. There is still so much to do (on the larger scale) to get this little homestead running smoothly.

We need the materials to finish fencing in the garden so that I can actually enjoy fruits of my labor. The chickens think it is their own personal buffet and keep helping themselves. . .

We need to finish clearing up the back part of the property. It had been severely neglected and is really overgrown. Hubby has made a pretty decent dent in it with the big mower thing (I can never remember what it’s actually called). There are some stumps and small trees that need to be removed. Hubby brought over the chainsaw from his parent’s house. Immediately my ridiculous mind has to go to the dark place and bring up every horrible chainsaw image it has seen in scary movies. Have I mentioned my overactive imagination . . . . My mind likes to do that with any sharp object. Knives, scissors, etc. It’s really annoying. Anyway. Every time I go back into that section of the property, I end up scratching like mad because of dang chiggers. A serious pain in the ass, figuratively and literally. . .

Once we get that all cleared out, we need to get up a barn for the goats. I’d like to have a couple of kidding stalls and a  milking area. Plus I would like to have a chicken coop off the side of the barn. I guess we will see what actually ends up happening with that.

Oh, and we have to finish getting everything fenced in.

The big thing of course is finding the money for all of this as well as the normal day-to-day stuff like food ;p

*sigh*

Don’t take this as a sign of unhappiness. I love having my garden and the goats and the chickens and my family and the pets. It is all very rewarding. I love coming out in the morning and evening and seeing the changes in the garden. The chickens crack me up and their eggs are oh so tasty. The goats are so much fun and I am looking forward to kids and milk next year. The cats have been helping to keep the rodent population down. The dogs keep away unwanted visitors.

Of course the boys (all 3 of them) are my world. Life would be incomplete without them. They are a constant source of frustration and joy. It all balances out 🙂

Love