Monday, August 4, 2014

Around the Homestead - homemade garden signs, homestead progress, and more eggs

We've been doing a little of this and that. We made some progress on a major chicken coop renovation. Everything takes longer than you want it to - so we'll wait to talk about that. I'm thinking that chicken breeding and selling eggs will be one of our favorite things to do here, and because of that, we really wanted to get some work out of the way.

But here's what's been going on around here:

I've wanted to make these signs for a while. I purchased paint markers to make it easier. This ended up being a fun Sunday evening project to do together. I still have a few more garden spaces that I'd like to make these for, but this took care of the garden own back.

This was the garden this morning after I put the marker in. The garden was planted so late that I'm praying we still get a late, but good harvest. The plants are looking pretty good!

This is what our egg cartons look like now. I love the variety. I'm sure it was a surprise for our regulars to get a few blue eggs in there.

I can hardly get over it.

Our raised bed is so full. We packed it so that the crowding would increase the usable space but also reduce weeds because the sun couldn't get to them. A style I've heard called "living ground cover" or something like that. Turns out that front corner is my favorite garden discovery and success this year. Spinach Swiss Chard (an heirloom from Baker Creek Seeds). It tastes like spinach, but isn't as finicky as spinach and can grow in the heat of the summer. It only took 5 weeks to get to this point and it tastes so good at this size. I'm going to plant a bunch more in the garden down back where some beans didn't pop up.

We have pests that we haven't combated yet. They are tearing apart our brassicas' leaves. We thought the broccoli was a lost cause this year as a few had early bolts a couple weeks ago. Just the other day we found this broccoli head. It's the first time I've seen it tight like that in person. I've only ever seen them going to flower.

This is to show you the comparison of really poor soil and really rich soil. The left plants were planted at the same time and from the same size starts as the right. It's just terrible. I'm trying to do some organic fertilizer options, (compost tea, bone meal, seaweed liquid stuff etc) but I'm not expecting a whole lot. We'll probably have to replace the soil in that raised bed next year.


And this picture is a big deal. A dairy man told me a few of his favorite tricks of the trade. He suggested that we start putting our milk in the freezer right after milking and before transferring to the refrigerator since we were a small operation. It would be the easiest way, in his opinion, for us to drop the temperature quickly. This milk tastes AMAZING now.

I have super sensitive pregnancy taste buds and nose buds (just deal with it) and I was having a hard time with our milk. It would just taste a little like grass, or farm, or something every once in a while. Joel could hardly ever notice it. Heck - I noticed our cow was going into ketosis before it should have been detectable. And then a couple days later, I told Joel he was in ketosis. And he was (trace). Because apparently, sometimes that happens when you are sick (which he had been for a couple weeks).

So this milk is now wonderful according to a crazy pregnant woman, not just a normal person. I've been drinking it like I used to - which is all the time. Joel is super happy - because even if he couldn't taste all the off flavors I was occasionally mentioning, he can tell that this milk tastes so much sweeter!

Sweet, sweet milk. From our own adorable mini-jersey. Who mows grass. <3

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one fighting off pests in my cabbage! My cabbage are under attack from cabbage worms, and it seems like no matter how much I hand-pick, they just keep coming back. Hope your pregnancy is going well during these hot months!




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