I’m way overdue for an update on our homestead happenings! My last update was in December; click here if you missed it. To be honest, not a whole lot has happened since then, except for more recently! With the colder weather, rain, and shorter days, Farmer Long and I have been spending most of our time “maintaining” the homestead, not too many new exciting things, crazy projects or anything else going on. And we’ve also spent a lot of time resting (lol) in preparation for the warmer months! Well now that we are into spring, better weather, and longer days, all kinds of things are going on around the homestead, we can barely keep up! Here are some of them:
Garden: Well we haven’t been doing too much with the garden since fall. It was too cold to produce anything this winter. At our old house we were able to grow a lot very successfully during winter, but now that we are at this property, were having to adjust a lot. Where we live now seems to freeze a lot more than our old house, so were dealing with that learning curve… We have some greens and other stuff currently coming up now that it’s warming up, we will see how that goes! The gophers are coming back in full force. Last summer and fall they took out tons of plants we had growing, which is really discouraging! Not sure how this year will go, but were thinking we might eventually have to do some type of raised-beds. It’s been hard not gardening as regularly, it’s one of my favorite things to do on the homestead. So if you were wondering why you haven’t seen me post much on Instagram about the garden, that’s why!
Chickens: Our laying hens are ramping up their production; we’re getting so many eggs! Let me know if you are interesting in buying some! We’ve been feeding a lot of our extra eggs or dirtier/cracked eggs to our pigs, more about them below. We’ve also been incubating eggs pretty regularly! We currently have some eggs in the incubator set to hatch early next week, which will be our 3rd batch. We sold the first two batches; except for a few that we are keeping or going to be selling later on. We also got two chicks from a friend, one in which we will keep. Additionally we sold off 5 laying hens from the batch of chicks we raised last year. We wanted to just sell any duplicate hens of the same breed to make room for others. Chickens become so addictive; I just want 1 of every breed! But I also have to be practical too! Lol
Turkeys: Our turkey hens have begun laying eggs! We’re getting more and more every day. Turkeys, unlike chickens, are seasonal layers, so they don’t lay year-round. Once our incubator is empty next week, we will add some turkey eggs to hatch out and sell. We will probably also be selling some fertile hatching eggs for others to incubate. Now that our heritage turkeys have gained some size, we kept our biggest male, but butchered the next two biggest males and a small hen that was getting pretty brutally picked on by the others. We butchered them as well as two of our neighbor’s male turkeys last weekend.
Pigs: Our feeder pigs are now almost 5 months old and growing really well! These pigs have grown so much better than the last ones we had. They were from the same breeder, but we got them younger this time, so I think it’s because we were able to feed them more earlier on. They should be ready for slaughter in May or June most likely. We’re selling half and whole pigs. If you are interested in getting a half/whole pig for your freezer, please let me know, I have detailed information I can give you all about it! :)
Goats: This is probably the most exciting thing we have going on! And if you follow my Instagram you know exactly why! … We had our first baby goat born on the homestead! Bindi gave birth to an adorable little buckling on Monday 3/27. She gave birth to him without us around to help and did so well! She’s a very good and attentive mom, we couldn’t be happier. We won’t be keeping him, so if you or anyone you know in our area that might be interested please let me know. His mom is spotted so if he was used as a sire, he might throw some spotted babies! We also think Nelly should be due to kid soon, she’s showing some signs… just a waiting game for now. We hope she gives birth soon so Bindi’s buckling has someone to play with!
Livestock Guardian Dogs: Cassidy turned a year old earlier this month, and Hank is almost 8 months old! Hank is about the same size as Cass now, which makes it difficult to tell them apart sometimes lol. Hank barks a lot more than Cassidy does, overall he is a very good guard already, and actually I trust him more than Cass around the animals! He really likes helping me with chicken chores, thankfully he has absolutely no interest in chasing chickens -they actually kind of trust him (unlike Cass!).
Frugality: I mentioned on my Instagram at the beginning of the year about our goals to cut expenses and save more money this year. Well that has been going really well, way better than we had even hoped for! We’re keeping with it and it feels great getting closer to our goals! A big part of our cutting back and savings has been with focusing on eating out less, eating at home more, meal-planning, and cooking from scratch more. We’ve always lived pretty frugally, but there a lot of other things we’ve been doing lately to cut back too, so I’ll probably be writing a blog post all about that soon.
Cooking from Scratch: As I mentioned above, we’ve been cooking from scratch more, which was one of our goals for this year… and I love every minute of it! It falls in line with so many of the things we believe in and strive for, such as food preservation, homesteading, healthy eating, self-reliance, prepping, simple living, and frugality. I plan to post some recipes that we love and cook often, and I would also like to eventually blog about our meal planning and related topics.
Hope you enjoyed this update! Please comment below on some things you would like to know about our homestead, or topics you would like me to write about! Thanks!