Get that firewood ready & have that chimney cleaned if it has been awhile. FYI, ours is set for cleaning in a few weeks and the company we are using charges $84.50 per chimney.
I sure wish I knew someone who does this stuff being we have 2 fireplaces in
this new house.
As you may recall, our garden was put in late due to the big move this last July.
(We have gone from owning to renting. So in love with our 3 acre cottage
farm. The best landlords ever! We even have an Ohio wildlife reserve archery area just feet from the back property line.) We have been splitting firewood like crazy and still have more coming our way. (thank you buddy!)
Not much was put up due to some mishaps of plants but anything is better then
nothing. So far I have: 6 quarts & 4 pints wedge dill pickles
2 quarts & 2 pints garlic dill slice pickles
7 various jars Blackberry Jam
1 quart & 2 pints dill pickled yellow wax beans
3 gallons blackberry wine
1 1/2 gallons freezer bag yellow wax beans
2 meat rabbits freezer
1 gallon strawberry vinaigrette
20 lbs pears waiting for canning into a red wine sauce
35 quarts & 1 pint tomato sauce
8 pints salsa
5 gallons cider still fermenting in the carboy, plus lots of herbs hanging
to dry in the basement. Lots of apple pies being frozen, apple chunks being
dried and so on.
I have a wood working project for the fall/Winter I am very excited to get under way. We are putting in a grape arbor out by the garden/bon fire area. Under that arbor, I dream of a long farm table for friends to sit around during our get togethers. Future "chili/food cook off's" plus the "Pick N smash" apple harvest bonfires. I am on the lookout for old barnwood or newer hardwood for the making of one like this:
I have my mojo back & began planning the homestead spring/summer series of our videos. This last year has been a great starting and learning curve. The budget without paying sponsors made for a few distant homesteads not being filmed. (I am hoping for a nicer budget next summer). A lot of disappointment has been thrown in due to my outreaching, brushed off. I have found not many homesteaders and Artisans wish to be "put out there". I am not one to give up easily and have come up with homestead adventures that rely more on ME then others.
I also have some great companies working with me on the needed products, I feel, are great additions to the small homestead. Perfect for the budget minded. If you see one you like in our videos and have any questions you want honestly answered on them (that I may not cover in the video), you are welcome to email me. I am not paid by these companies. I research before I hand pick who I feel would be the best to fit my requirements. I feel that is the ONLY honest way to do what I do. Here is a sneak peek on what is to come:
**For our seed to harvest segments-after showing
HOW to grow enough cereal grains for personal use on small homesteads
(think 1/8 to 1/4 of an acre size grain plot) we will then show how to take it from field to table-using a grain mill for making it into flour. We will be using hulless oats & wheat. We will also show how easy it is to harvest small plots like this with a scythe and then to put through a manual(under $20) meat grinder to separate the loose hull-(hence the hulless) easily from the oat/wheat. FYI 1/4 acre of hulless oats will provide 496 pounds of oats!! 1/8 of an acre is sufficient for a small families 1 year usage.
Not to mention the stems make great straw for the animals. Double bonus!
**A manual OIL Press for our segment on providing your family with their
cooking oil needs. We show how to grow Black oil sunflowers in small space
(think 100x60 ft), how to harvest, cure then how to make enough oil
(about 15-20 lbs)for a small family needs/use that should last about 1 year.
I found an Inexpensive (under $150) manual oil press used for edible oils or for use with making bio diesel. How to use it, plus how to store your seeds and oil will be included.
**I found a great company who makes pea shellers- I hate shelling beans. This
sheller does beans & peas!And is a nice budget friendly under $35 price
tag.(These are all products I feel are one of those must haves for the
homesteader without breaking the bank).I will cover in one video growing beans,how to make comfrey compost tea for feeding the garden, and how to smartly incorporate the different bean varieties in the garden, how to know when to harvest/how to dry and discuss a few heirloom varieties I highly recommend for the family garden. I will also discuss how if you are an urban family without much garden space, then to seek out community gardens and get a plot to grow things like a big crop of beans, corn, etc. Many community gardens have way too many plots go unused. A shame really.
This is just a few of the upcoming videos. All will be shot on location at our
little stone cottage farm with a few travels away from home to visit some
artisans with useful mad skill and check out a few other homesteads.
We are planning to raise a few turkeys this fall. Rabbits are just not doing well with us but I refuse to give up. At least their droppings make keep them as a useful animal.
We will be buying from an actual breeder so we get great quality this time
around. The hens? Well having 1 attacked by a falcon did not help in the laying department. Once I disturbed his meal the other day, HE flew at my head & the surviving hens were ushered into their coop for few days. We are down to 6 hens and have only been getting 2 eggs. Its been that way with an occasional 4 or 5 appearing all summer. I am ready to just wipe the slate clean in the barnyard and start from chicks again.
Frog is now in preschool- the first in 11 years of having daily free time
to do as I want without a kid on my hip or baby in my arms- and have found it
has given me some kind of flu bug. Has not deterred me. I just get computer
things/phone calls done- despite the congested head nasal voice.
We are planting a few cover crops this year. Mostly Rye in the gardens.
Looks like I may have some rye flour in the spring. The Captain loves his rye bread.
Ming the Peke is doing great. She will be a year old this month. Still having issues of her barking growling at EVERYONE who dares step foot near the property or us. I know pekingese are VERY protective and hearts of lions but this has been one trait I do not know how to train her away from. Where is the dog whisperer when you need one! Gosh forbid the kids have friends over and she hears their laughing squeals. She is fierce protecting her family and I so hate shutting in her a room to only hear hours of barking when she hears outsider voices. It breaks my heart.
Due to some interactions & conversations of late, I want to share a bit of Farm Chick knowledge of the heart:
I encourage all of you to not fear reaching out to a like mind or even to one
who is intrigued/striving to homestead.
Friendships can arise from something so small and benefit both of your families.Remember, doing nothing brings nothing. Reach out and do not let fear get in the way. Have no expectations, just a kind heart.You will be surprised what little things can bring some of the best your way.