Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Homesteading Update Three

June is here and we have been super busy. I am so excited about all the amazing progress.

Expand my weedless garden beds.
We did this Memorial Day Weekend and used four of the new beds to plant tomatoes and the fifth to add a second bed of cabbage. Sauerkraut here we come!

Grow corn for our chickens this winter.

Learn to forage and use forage items.

Get honey bees.

As previously stated, we purchased Mason bees. As soon as it was warm enough, we placed the cocoons into the house. I have not yet seen any activity so I have no idea whether they survived or not. I will continue to check on them.

Consider cold frames to extend our season.

Get at least two turkeys for holiday dinners.

A dozen Narragansett are currently in the incubator with a hatching date of June 23rd. The poults we were going to get ended up being a bust. It seems that everyone in my area is having trouble with turkey eggs hatching. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Get piglets.The piglets arrived! Well, we had to drive two hours to get pasture raised pigs with no hormones, no antibiotics, GMO-free feed and a Tamworth cross but don't they look yummy?

Add the following: rhubarb, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
All three blueberry plants have survived, despite dropping all their leaves and turning brown. The Sweetheart Blueberry even had two white flowers on it today. The raspberries are growing nicely. The strawberries have blossomed and have little green strawberries. The only unfortunate part is that the plants have grown so well that they are above the chicken wire and the chickens have been spending a lot of time picking at them. Time to pull up the wire and use some stakes and netting to keep them out.

As for Rhubarb, I am excited to announce that the plant from last spring has apparently survived! When my wonderful sister-in-laws came down and weeded the currant and aronia bushes, we found that last years rhubarb and horseradish were growing.

Plant another row of maple trees.

Plant pines along the thruway border.

Thirty Norway Spruce pines have been planed between us and the thruway. In a few years it will be an amazing border.

As always, we are doing more than our goals. We decided to add a small flock of meat birds this summer. We have eight Red Rangers and some Cornish crosses. I have read and heard a lot of mixed reviews about the ranger type bird. I really wanted a meat bird that could free range so we decided to try out a few of each.

Last weekend my supportive husband built a coop for them out of materials we had on hand: an old drop crib, some left over siding, left over hardware cloth and some metal roofing.

 How are your goals coming along?

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