One of the fun things about having chickens is designing a coop for them. I could spend hours on the internet looking at different ideas for coops that people have come up with. There are some really nice ones out there. Getting a coop set up was our very first homesteading project. We were lucky and didn’t have to build anything because we used a shed that was already here, so all we had to do was drag it up closer to the house. My dad and grandpa had used it to store feed in for cattle. I didn’t get any before pictures but here is a picture of it once we got it finished:
Milking a goat really isn’t too hard, although it does take some practice and the whole process from start to finish can be a little time consuming. I like to keep my milking routine simple and use basic supplies because the less fancy the supplies, the faster and easier they are to clean, which means milking will go that much faster. When I first started, I had a really hard time milking by hand so I invested in a hand milker like to this:
You can find them at Dansha Farms.
While it worked great at first, over time it started causing some swelling on the goats’ teats. It’s ok for occasional use, but if you want to use a machine for daily use, I would recommend using a pulse milking machine. The down side to those machines is they can be expensive and can take some time to clean. Unless you milk several does, it’s almost quicker and easier to milk by hand. Since I only milk one, I decided that I had better learn how to milk by hand since it was the cheapest option.
My mom and I have been going to a little greenhouse, Mulberry Lane Greenhouse, which happens to be owned by one of our neighbors just a few miles from where we live. We’ve had so much fun shopping there for garden veggies and flowers to plant. It’s a really neat little greenhouse that has a wide selection of plants, seeds and other garden related supplies, so if you live locally, you really ought to go check it out.
One day we stopped there and saw they had some Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin plants for sale. The greenhouse was having a pumpkin growing contest and who ever bought a plant would be entered. My mom and I looked at each other and decided we had to try growing some. We each picked out a plant and decided we’d challenge each other to see who could grow the biggest one. I’ve grown pumpkins a few times, but haven’t been too successful at it. So once we got home, I did a little research to see if there were any good tips or tricks to growing them. As I was reading, I was thinking…. whoa… holey moly…..those things get BIG….oh man, I’m not going to have any room in my garden…. I really need to learn to research before buying. I suspected just by the name, they would be big but had no idea they would be that big or require THAT much space. Continue reading