Saturday, July 11, 2020

Poultry and Pickles

We were up before daylight this morning to butcher chickens. We had 26 this round. My youngest son was able to help this time and it was a true blessing. I did the killing and plucking, he did the the middle step which is cleaning up the feathers the plucker missed and the first rinsing. He then handed them off to hubby to gut and cut. We got all of the birds done in 1 hour and 50 minutes. I think that's a record! Of course there is clean up afterwards but being that I have the dirty job I am relieved of that and get to go take a shower. ;-)
Once cleaned up I wandered back to the garden. I picked more tomatoes and blackberries. It is looking a little sad. We need rain desperately. We have had no measurable amount in almost 2 weeks and with the temperatures in the 90's it has gotten really dry.
We let the guineas out of their hoop coop today but they were a bit shy and didn't venture far. I finished morning chores and after a bite of lunch I started on pickles. I got 10 pints of Kosher dills canned, a combination of chips and spears. I had hoped to get to the jalapenos but that will have to be another day because it was time for afternoon chores!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Garden and Guests

Out to the garden early this morning. I had a couple of people coming out for a farm visit today. One this morning the others later this afternoon.
Today's harvest was more green beans, lots of blackberries, cucumbers and tomatoes. Oh and peppers. LOTS of peppers. My first visitor is a sweet friend who said she just needed a farm fix. We wandered through the garden and visited with all the animals. I sent her home with eggs and potatoes.
After she left I made a quick trip to the feed store. I needed to get home and do some mowing to help hubby out. He was coming in early to set up for our second butchering day in the morning. I got almost all of it done and the blackberries cooked down for juice before second visitors arrived.
They are the cutest family with 3 young boys just starting their homesteading adventures. This was their second visit. I sent them home with peppers!
After they left I unloaded feed and got all the critters tended.
We had a late supper of veggies from the garden and grilled deer tenderloin the boys had harvested in the fall. A long day. A good day. Life is good on the homestead.

Thursday, July 9, 2020


I set some duck eggs under a broody hen a few weeks ago and they are hatching! 3 so far with another that should be out tomorrow. Bless her heart. I feel really guilty taking them from her but they don't speak the same language and for their safety they have been moved to the tack room in the barn.
I have several broody hens under which I have set a good many eggs. Most are due to hatch around the 18th. If she continues to stay on her nest a couple more days I think I'll share some eggs in reward for all her hard work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Canning Continues

For the last two days I have been hanging out with my stove canning away. I have used up almost all of the worst potatoes we sorted out on Monday. Yesterday another double batch of vegetable soup was finished  That makes 21 quarts so far. I think with the few we had left from last year that will get us through the winter, since I have several other varieties on my list to can.
Today I canned beef stew. 7 quarts are now residing on the pantry shelves. I will do at least one more round, possibly two since we were down to 2 jars. It is so yummy when I add a handful of peas and thicken the broth with a little butter and flour. Served with some homemade bread... yes definitely 2 more batches.
The kitchen is smelling quite divine these days!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Sorting Taters

With lots of help from family today we got the potatoes sorted. We went through every potato inspecting for any blemishes or cuts that would cause them to rot. The ones that had cuts went into a use now pile. Those that were not totally perfect went into use first baskets and the perfect ones will be saved for last.
Sis took home 2 bushels and mom took about 1/2 bushel. I kept 1 bushel in my working pantry and the rest were put in storage in an unfinished area outside our basement where it stays cool and dry.  We are feeling very blessed this day!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Hoop Coop Complete

Our new Sunday ritual is working in the garden after breakfast. We weed, cultivate and harvest whatever is ready. After that was done, we finished the hoop coop started yesterday.
Most of it was done with repurposed materials found here on the homestead. We covered it with a temporary tarp since we plan to attach a second one facing the opposite direction on the back of this one for our small flock of Speckled Sussex chickens.
We had about 6 total hours in this one. Since we were basically winging it as we went, hopefully the next one will take a little less time.
The Guineas think it is quite nice.

Our plan is to keep the birds in here for about a week and then allow them to free range with the hopes of them returning to the coop each evening for their safety.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

Up and at it early this morning. The kids have decided since the pool is finally clean and ready for swimming we should have a cookout. I guess they think it's a holiday! ;-)
But chores first! Today we started constructing a hoop coop for the guinea fowl.
Then, since we apparently were having a party this evening we needed to pressure wash the pool decking. It was truly nasty. It had not been done in years. I did some weeding in the flower beds and planted some pots for color while the boys did most of the washing. Mission accomplished!

A beautiful evening spent with family. Thanking God for all of our blessings today. I hope you day was as wonderful.