Monthly Archives: September 2014

Garden Update…Lots to Pick

It’s getting to be that time of the year when my ambition to keep up the garden is starting to fizzle out. With the cooler weather it’s been hard for me to remember to water it, so lately it’s gotten really dry a few times. Plus I’ve been a little burned out on it and decided to just take a short break a couple weeks ago, so I haven’t really kept up with it like I should. Despite the lack of water and being over taken by weeds and bugs, surprisingly, it’s still producing pretty well.

Remember my last garden update and all those beans we planted?
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Our Broody Hen

Oh, those broody hens….how they make gathering eggs such a challenging adventure. They will squawk, get sassy, peck, grab the skin on your hand with their beak and pinch…anything to keep their eggs from being taken. In fact, that’s how the handle of my big plastic spoon, the one that I use to stir soaked grain for the chickens with, got broken. I was using it to battle a very, very, broody hen, so I could gather the eggs under her, and SNAP… it broke right in two. I wasn’t hitting her with it or anything like that; I was simply pushing her back with it so I could get the eggs under her. She didn’t like it at all and fought back with all her might and won the battle. It’s really hard to decide sometimes which is meaner, a rooster protecting his flock or a broody hen protecting her clutch of eggs.

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Easy Veggie and Egg Skillet Meal

IMG_1926-002When we started homesteading one of our main goals was to see how much of our own food we could grow and raise. So far we’ve raised hogs, chickens for eggs and meat, goats for milk, two turkeys a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, grow a large garden and have an apple tree. As time and money allows, we have plans to add grass fed beef, more fruit trees, and a larger variety of vegetables in our garden. Right now every meal we eat has at least one homegrown thing in it, and most meals average at least 50% to 70% homegrown. After all the hard work that goes into growing your own food, it’s very rewarding to sit around the table with the family enjoying it all.
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Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch; Good Luck Counting After!

You know how that old saying goes; don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried counting chickens but let me tell you, it’s not an easy task. They move around, blend in with things, even roost way up high in a corner where you don’t see them, plus so many look alike it’s nearly impossible to remember which ones you counted, and which ones you didn’t. No matter how many times you count them, you can never come up with the same number twice. So that got me to thinking… if you count your chickens before they hatch, there’s no guarantee you will have an accurate count, but then if you count your chickens after they hatch, there’s still no guarantee you will get an accurate count. So when, exactly, is the best time to count your chickens??
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Easy Pork Chop Meal

Easy Porkchop Meal

Today I spent a little time in the garden getting some much needed maintenance done. With the weather being cooler and me being busy, I’ve been neglecting the garden lately. There’s a lot of picking to be done out there and I plan to get to it in the next couple days. While I worked in the garden, Miley did some picking and got a nice little bunch of goodies, perfect for supper.
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All Things Chicken- Starting Out, Our First Coop

If you want to become more self-sufficient, raising chickens for eggs is a great first project. They’re easy to keep and for the most part, inexpensive to feed and will provide you with great tasting, nutritious eggs. One of the fun things when getting chicks is deciding what kind of coop you want. There are so many different types of coops from large, elaborate ones to small, simple ones that can be moved around the yard. There are all sorts of plans you can buy to build your own, or you can recycle an old bus, car or playhouse into a nice coop.   My favorite site to look at for coop ideas is Backyard Chickens Continue reading

All Things Chicken

I think out of everything homesteading related, chickens are probably my family’s favorite project. I know this sounds kind of funny, but chickens have great personalities and are very smart. Before we had chickens, I would have never thought of a chicken having a personality or being smart, but they are, plus they make good pets and can be very entertaining. I’ve had some interest shown and a quite a few questions asked about our chickens so I’ve decided to do a little series that covers everything about them. Some of the topics I’ve thought about covering are:
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One Last Dandelion

This morning as I opened the door to head out to do chores with Miley, I noticed there was a chill in the air. I told her that it seemed chillier than normal, so she grabbed her jacket. As we walked to the barn, we talked about how it feels like fall is in the air… soon the leaves will be falling from the trees and the days will be shorter.

Once we got to the barn, I milked the goat while Miley did her usual morning routine with her goat, Sweet Pea. Once we got that done, we turned the chickens in the barn loose and headed up to the other coops to feed, water and turn the others loose. As we neared the first coop, Miley glanced to the ground and saw a dandelion growing in the grass.

As the bent down to pick it she said, “Look mom, a dandelion!”

“Yes, that’s pretty,” I replied. Next to zinnias and marigolds, dandelions are ones of Miley’s favorite flowers… they’re not weeds at our house. They’re flowers.

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Our New Keets

A month ago, if someone would have told me we’d be adding some keets to our farm yard, I would have said, “Some what???”, because I would have had no idea what they were talking about. Even if I would have known that keets are baby guineas, I still would have said, “Some what???”, because we have plenty of critters running around here and we don’t need to add any more ruckuses to the ruckus we already have. My family and I first learned about guineas at our county fair. We were visiting with someone that brought one as an exhibit, and who also raises them. He was telling us that guineas were excellent at keeping bugs down and have even been known to gang up on and kill small snakes. We decided to think about it and possibly get some in the future.
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