Evening Walk

In the past five weeks, one of my sons had ACL reconstruction therapy and my husband had carpal tunnel surgery in both wrists. I wish I could spend more time exploring Spring on our property, but I’ve been barely managing to hang on with everything that is involved in taking care of my family, the livestock, our orchard, and our garden.

Last week, our pastures looked really pathetic. The early grasses are maturing, but there wasn’t much to bale. Luckily, we had 6.5″ of rain last Thursday! The grass just exploded in height and color. I’m hopeful that the rain will give us twice as much hay as we were expecting from our property.

There was one small problem with all of the rain. It flooded my garden. As soon as it started pouring, I jumped into my rain boots and ran to the garden to try to make some trenches so that water could escape the garden and not pool on top of all of my hard work. I think it worked. I did lose the plot of carrots and summer salad greens that I just planted, but my losses weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been.

For Mother’s Day, my kids are cooking and cleaning for me for the entire day. They are so amazing. I took the time I would have spent in the kitchen taking a nice little evening walk to check up on our bees. We aren’t going to open the hive and check on them until the end of the month, but it was encouraging to see them flying around the outskirts of the hive.

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother’s Day!

May Flowers

We’ve been doing quite a bit of work on the homestead over the past few weeks.

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Our bees were delivered! We set them up in our hive with some sugar water and left them alone for a couple of days. When we went to check on them, we saw that the queen was dead. We put a few feelers out there and found someone that had a spare queen that only lived 2.5 hours away from us. It was a bit of a drive, but we knew if we didn’t requeen the hive ASAP all of our bees would die. It’s been 2 weeks since we picked up the new queen, and everything seems like it’s going great. We’re going to check on them again in late May.

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The garden is coming along. It’s very hard to tell in this picture, but there are some things starting to pop up. Our potato plants all look great. We’ve also got two sections of salad greens that should be making their way onto our dinner plates within the next couple of weeks. I’m going to put our tomato plants in the ground tomorrow. I’m also going to put our second batch of succession carrots in the ground. We spent about $250 on seeds, so I’ll be very happy if we can get at least 250lbs of produce.

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The chickens are laying an average of 19 eggs a day. We currently have 14 dozen eggs in the fridge. We still have 23 hens and 1 rooster. We’re going to get chicks at some point this year. I don’t want to raise them inside, so I’m trying to trick a hen into going broody. I haven’t been successful yet.

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When we end up with too many eggs, we just start letting the word out that we have extra for sale, and we almost always sell them all within a day. People love fresh, free range, happy chicken eggs. I always have to put a dozen back for me so I can make homemade egg noodles. Here’s a test batch of spaghetti drying.

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This test batch of spaghetti was delicious. We used a recipe that I found in my grandma’s recipe box.

I saw one of the craziest things for sale at Atwoods a couple of weeks ago.

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It’s two half pint mason jars taped together. The mason jars had holes in the lid. They were labeled “Redneck Salt and Pepper Shakers.” It was highly amusing to me, since they were right next to a box full of mason jars that were $1 each.

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Since we’ve been spending so much time outside, we’ve been able to enjoy the gorgeous surprise irises that decided to pop up by our gate.

I’ll try to be better about posting more often. Our internet here is mediocre at best, so I have to try to download pictures one at a time throughout the week. The internet company is going to be replacing our tower soon, so hopefully I will be able to post more regularly after that.

Happy Homesteading!