Homestead News, Volume 20

We just got back from Frank’s checkup, his second cataract surgery was yesterday and everything is going well. He has some physical limitations for a few more days, so we’ll be taking it easy. It’s supposed to rain over the weekend too, so another reason for a slow couple of days.

We have added the last of the fertilizer from the chicken house to the garden and tilled it again. Planting will begin sometime next week, weather and mud will help determine the timing. This year will be one of the latest starts on planting the garden. We didn’t put in any cold weather crops this spring, they just haven’t produced well for us, so we didn’t expend the time and effort. We decided to try some time lapse photos of the garden through the season, so here is step one. Dirt.

The seedlings are doing well in the greenhouse, all except the carrots who are suffering from a case of aphids. They moved outside and have been through a few frosty mornings. Maybe that killed off a few of the little buggers.



Peppers with basil in the middle smaller pots

Tubs of lettuce, almost ready for lunch

Carrots outside

Part of the bed out back, sometimes known as the herb bed, will be used for the perpetual turnip bed. I started to do an article on the nutrition of turnips and turnip greens since we had a lot of interest in them recently, but then realized I had already written one. 

We have simplified the goat herd, quite a bit actually. We had 14 baby goats this year. It’s always easy to keep a few young does, they’re young, cute and have potential to be good does. At first we were going to keep one, then two, then three. What did we end up with? None. And that was a good decision. We also sold three adult does. What do we have left? One Stripe, our 11 year old, ‘old lady goat’ that is no longer a producer. 

Her four year old daughter Patch that had a serious illness with a retained placenta this year that led to mastitis on one side of her udder. Her six year old sister Copper, who we sold, help raise her triplets along with her own. Patch is still losing hair in some places and I’m still working on her udder, but her health appears to be much better. I’m actually hoping she goes into heat and breeds, then maybe her udder will function on both sides and she can provide us with milk this coming winter.

Two of our young does had their first kids this year and are doing well on the milk stand. I’ll write a Goat Tail sometime soon and give you more details on their progress.

Our chicks have hatched and more arrived in the mail, but that tale will wait for one of Frank’s chicken stories.

It’s spring, almost time to mow the yard, rains are here and the temperatures are rising. What’s not to like about spring? Unfortunately, the temperatures appear to be rising in more ways than one across our country. There are those in power that will never cease fomenting hatred and unrest in our country. They care not one wit for your welfare, well being or contentment with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They will never be satisfied. Ever. Until everything is either under their boot or destroyed down to the last man, woman and child.

I relish the sunshine, the awakening of spring and the quiet solitude of our rural, country life. But I am not unrealistic about how quickly the peace can be shattered in an explosion of violence and hatred. Even here. Do not be led to believe that all is well in the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is not. Do what you can in whatever environment you find yourself in, there are always opportunities available.

Until next time – Fern

10 thoughts on “Homestead News, Volume 20

  1. Hi, Tim. Yes, I am familiar with Micheal Snyder, even bought and read one of his books. He is a tad bit sensational and he likes to reference his own work as an authoritative source.Are you going to under the resources tab? In a few days you should be ready to take your Technician. I would recommend doing the General at the same time. Pay the few bucks, download the manual and study both. Take practice tests for both at QRZ, they are free.The doctor cleared me today to do all physical activity, thank you for asking. Are your boys involved in this project? This is something great for kids. The educational opportunities are literally unlimited and fun. In a couple of days I'll have an article about GMRS. Thank you for the interest.Frank

  2. Hey Frank, I hope your recovery goes well. Get ready for more radio discussions! I have 2 Baofengs, am working through the programming, and downloaded a free study guide for my Ham Tech license. Homestead progress looks great. Do you ever look at Sometimes a bit sensational, but the blog author frequently assembles lists of articles to make a point and a recent one concerning the moral state of our country is a sad reminder not to get stuck in the \”normalcy bias\” that seems to affect most everyone else. Hang in there and God bless. Tim(fromOhio)

  3. You're another one that has been around a while, Mary, knowing the One Stripe saga. She always loved having babies and is still somewhat tolerant of her daughter's babies. She and the Pyrenees, Pearl, are still good buddies. The two old ladies lay side by side regularly.Yes, I do love dirt and gardening. I planted some squashes, swiss chard and amaranth in the greenhouse today. One more week and I'll be out playing in the big dirt. (-:You're right about Frank getting his eyes done now. I did mine several years back. As soon as the cataracts showed up, I requested to have them done while I still could. He is doing the same. We would rather see as long as we can if the option for surgery is no longer available. Extra glasses are part of preparing and stocking up, too.Good luck on your projects and thank you for sharing. We're all in this together.Fern

  4. We are waiting to see how Frank's vision turns out, Bluesman. He needs his bifocals to read the computer for now, and anything closer.We don't talk to many folks about how they feel about the world anymore, but lots of stuff we read indicate the feeling that something will be coming apart at the seams sooner rather than later. What kind of seam ripper will be involved at the unraveling has yet to be revealed.Hope your seeds are prolific so you can stock your shelves a little deeper.Fern

  5. CW, I can't understand why everyone doesn't want to live this way, but I'm glad they're not moving here! I think it's true of all of us. What we like everyone should like or want, right?Sounds like you're busy with your own spring activities, good for you. It's a good reminder to clean last years stuff out of the freezer. We're getting a hog from the butcher in a few weeks that we got from a local family that does show pigs. We need to defrost and rotate.Hope your seeds germinate well and are prolific producers. FernP.S. I''m not sure if Frank would agree that I am a wonderful nurse. He is well cared for, but sometimes his nurse could be a bit more gentle. (-:

  6. It sounds like a lot happened on your homestead during your absence from blog posting. Reading about Patch's placenta problem is just one of the things that must have been really concerning to ya'll during the time that it happened. Glad to hear things are better now for her. And One Stripe! I remember how you used to adoringly write about her mothering abilities and quiet ways. Your garden plants look ready to put in the ground! Don't you just love it? I'm really excited about our new garden this yea, too. Spring is a wonder time of year, with new life everywhere. Glad to hear Frank's recovery is going well from his cataract surgery. At least it happened now, when the surgery was available. If/when things take their downward turns, his eyes will be one less thing to worry about. We are working hard during this time to get as much done as we can, because we have such a sense of urgency to prepare and complete projects while we can. Thank you for all your advice and encouragement. God bless!

  7. Hi Fern, That is good news on Frank's eye surgery. My wife did hers 2 years ago and it helped her vision quite a bit. Beautiful photos of all your gardening ventures and your critters. We will start our seed starts indoors this week. We don't usually plant till Mother's Day because of the weather. Our spring weather is a little goofy, some rain along with hail and then finish the day with a little sunshine and a breeze to dry things out a bit. I agree with your observations on things across the land. So many folks we talk to are expressing a kind of angst or dread about the craziness that is going on everywhere. No one appears to have answers on why ,who is behind it , or how to fix things . The good old days are far behind us at this point, never to return. Thanks for sharing.Bluesman

  8. Just beautiful! Spring has sprung at Fern's and Frank's little piece of heaven. It is probably a blessing that few really understand how amazing a lifestyle such as yours truly is. Otherwise, they would try to come and ruin it like they do everything else. They surely would not last long as it requires lots of work. Frank, so glad you have completed your cataract surgeries. Another great health issue behind you. Fern, I bet you are a wonderful nurse!This has been a busy week for me. I finished the last of dehydrating frozen veggies taking up valuable space in my freezer. I had a hog butchered so refilled the empty freezer with that meat and canned some as well. Also waiting for my seeds to pop through the soil…Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of your animals and seedlings. You are an inspiration to all of us who understand the need to prepare for troubled times ahead…it's coming! Blessings to you both, CWfromIowa

  9. I can tell you've been reading here for a while, Fiona, when you know the legend of One Stripe. (-:Our main winter eating has been from the greenhouse. We did eat some turnip greens from the garden, but that's about it for the great outdoors. The small garden bed off of the back porch gave us some spinach and lettuce for a while and it now producing the best spinach we've ever had. I just have to compete with the aphids.You can never have to many books, real paper on the shelf books, Fiona. We have a lot of books on Kindle and many, many places we read online, but one day all of that will be gone. We will sorely miss the ability to research things on the internet, but have a decent library of reference books for a variety of topics.Seed bank, that's a good description. Ours is not large, but what we have saved appears to be viable and productive. I'll show more of that when I plant the garden.It's good to hear from you. Blessings,Fern

  10. Ah One Stripe. She is a legend. Our winter gardens have been mediocre. I think we are just going to use winter as a time to amend the gardens with barn cleanings. God Bless Franks recovery. We are sure glad we have this land and the ability to do much with it. Our hard copy books are a treasure of knowledge if we cannot rely on electronics. Our Seed bank is in good shape and our tools are sharp. People think we live better than our grandparents but the older I get the less sure I am of that.I look forward to your goat tales.Keep safe and well.

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