Enough thinking, more doing.

I have been thinking about creating a blog since the beginning of this business, now seems as good as ever. I’m hoping that these weekly blogs will provide a summary of everything that has gone on around the home and homestead throughout the week. A glimpse into the daily life of a homesteader and everything that that may entail.

Without further ado.

May 29th-June 4th

I am still recovering from my hysterectomy. Things have been going well, but it’s been near impossible standing by while everyone else does the work. It’s a daily…hourly reminder that I have to make to myself to stay quiet and not cause more harm by over doing it. My mom was over for a few days and helped get caught up on some housework and laundry. It’s sure been nice to have a clean house again, even if it only lasts for a day. #kids

A lot may not know this, but on top of it all I decided to go back to school last Fall. I have been taking distance online courses from the University of Strathclyde and am absolutely loving it. It’s a post graduate program in Genealogy, Paleography (study of handwriting) and Heraldry (coat of arms). I sent off my final assignment for the term this week and am focusing on my course end assessment. I wear a lot of titles around the home and homestead but it’s important for me to have a passion project that I can use to escape everyday life. I am a stay at home mom, a homesteader, a business owner, but all of those things happen ON the property so genealogy has given me something to look forward to outside of all the day to day things.

We’re inching forward in various projects around the homestead.

We have not broke ground on the new barn…waiting on contractors and permits. Still. Hopefully in the next two weeks we’ll be able get started as we’re about a month behind where we had hoped to be at this point.

We currently have most of the animals on grass now. The sheep and horses are both on pasture. The cows are still in the Winter paddock until they finish up the last of the hay.

We’re continuing to be cautious about free ranging the poultry, as the H5N1 outbreak is still very active throughout the Maritimes. Our heritage laying flock is still inside the barn and we have the geese inside as well. I hate keeping them locked up and am hopeful that they’ll be outside soon. We are in the process of completing a permanent poultry run as opposed to free ranging. We have 18 chicks that we hatched out a couple weeks ago, they’re still in the brooder but are close to having their feathers and coming off the heaters.

Our meat birds are doing well but we are having higher losses than we had hoped. I think we’re down to 94, so 6 lost so far. We didn’t raise meat birds last year and it seems like the quality of chicks and genetics gets substantially worse year after year. With the rising feed prices this is something that we’re going to have to reconsider in the future – whether we raise a different heritage breed or only raise enough to feed ourselves. Time will tell.

Matt completed our raised bed perennial herb garden this week. It has been a dream for the past number of years to have this project, but it just hasn’t been priority. I’m very excited to have it done, it’s absolutely gorgeous and everything I dreamed it would be. I planted german winter thyme, sage, greek oregano, lemon balm, tarragon and chives. I also planted our parsley in there, which is an annual. It’s going to be lovely enjoying lunch on the patio overlooking the herbs throughout the Summer.

The orchard is coming alive. All of our transplants from last year survived the winter and are growing well. The established trees look great, with the exception of our oldest peach tree. Peaches are hard.. but the new peach trees look great and have several blooms. It would be beyond exciting to get even one peach this year. We currently have 3 varieties of apple trees, 2 varieties of peaches, 1 variety of nectarines, 3 varieties of cherry bushes, 3 varieties of high bush blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I’m excited to say that we are officially done putting in our perennial fruits and berries. It’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to seeing the time and effort pay off.

We have peas, beets and carrots directly sowed in the old vegetable garden – this will be the last year for this space as it’s just inconvenient to water and I want the garden closer to the house. This year we are planning to put in some raised beds and start a 40×50 space that will be a no-till garden. We also have our raised bed asparagus and strawberry bed which we completed earlier this Spring and transplanted 61 strawberries into – some of the plants are starting to bloom!

In the greenhouse I am doing a lot of container gardening and hoping to keep things in the greenhouse for the rest of the Summer, it’s an experiment I’ll keep you updated. I have two cherry falls tomato plants in full bloom, I planted basil in with them too. I also have 2 beefsteak tomato plants I’m planning on keeping in there too. I have 4 fairy tale eggplants planted in containers along with 3 jalapenos and 4 poblano peppers that had a rough start so I’m not sure if they’ll produce anything but, again worth a shot. I also container planted 4 honeydew melons I plan to keep in the greenhouse. For seedlings to transplant later on I have cucumbers, spaghetti squash and yellow and green zucchini. Anxiously awaiting that last frost date to pass.

In the house I am trying to propagate some really old cucamelon seeds, I threw them in a plastic baggy in a wet paper towel – we’ll see what happens. I also have my new hydroponic system which has some herb seeds growing that came with the unit.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I’m planning to have an update like this every week so everyone can have a realistic look at the homesteading lifestyle. Please feel free to ask questions or post comments and follow along on our Facebook page for daily updates 🙂

– Katherine