Gardening, Journal Style Posts

Covid-19 Quarantine Day # 46 (2020)

I have been slacking I know. I am so bad about keeping up with writing. I have been home since March 1st, 2020 and no one is allowed over. The handful of people who get eggs from me are picking them up with zero contact. I place them in a plastic bag on the porch and they return washed egg cartons in a plastic bag on the porch. I have had zero human contact aside from hubby. We are kid free and that has been a huge adjustment, but I am enjoying the quiet and peaceful time with hubby.

Remember my posts for Emergency Preparedness kits? If you followed the instructions and created one, I hope it has helped you out during this time. Since most of us are home, now is the time to prepare even further. Did you know that the drought affected the bean crops last year or that Oklahoma almost lost the wheat crops from a hard freeze and unseasonable snow? I already expect food prices to go up. So, if you want to spend less at the grocery store, plant a garden. It’s not hard. Really. If you suck at growing plants and are anything like me, you kill plants. I have a solution for that too.

I have multiple seed trays in my kitchen sprouting up right now. I have lettuces and spinach planted in planter boxes on the front porch. They will get the morning sun, but they will be protected from the mid/late afternoon scorching sun because of how my house is situated.

The two above planter boxes are filled with lettuce and spinach. I have since swept the seed pods for the trees up and have already laid a lot of them at the back of the property in an area we don’t mow because I have milkweed planted there for the Monarch Butterflies that pass through each year.

Oklahoma is fairly green right now. We did have snow on Monday night over to Tuesday morning, but everything is still nice and green.

Now, here’s how I started the seeds.
These very inexpensive little seed trays hold 72 seedlings each. I planted 2 and sometimes 3 seeds per each little pot. I watered them well and covered them up. They didn’t fit in my greenhouse window, but I have a grow light and once I switch them over to plastic cups they will have full accesstothat grow light. Right now they justhave my sunny kitchen greenhouse window giving them light on the counter. (I will reuse the same cups when I start seeds in the fall and next spring. This is why I chose plastic instead of paper.)

I sprayed them with water every single day, twice a day. I used a glass spray bottle. Not because I am against plastic, but all of my plastic ones have held cleaner at some point and I don’t trust them to not be contaminated.
These pictures were taken 3 days after I planted the seet trays. The two early sprouting sections are okra and cucumbers. Okra was first and it shocked me how fast it has grown. I have 3 different kinds of tomatoes in these trays. I planted cherry tomatoes (for salads), Roma tomatoes (for tomato sauce and tomato paste) and an heirloom variety of slicing tomato for sandwiches and hubby’s burgers. I also planted yellow squash, some herbs (different pots) chives (in a pot) Martin house gourds, zucchini, bell peppers, 3 kinds of cucumbers (I LOVE Cucumbers) some green beans that grow on a bush. I will plant snap peas and snow peas directly into the ground because they don’t transplanted well from my experience. I have pie pumpkins to plant around mid July, garlic & onion sets already planted. I will know if my asparagus survived soon enough. I have more seeds coming from Baker Creek. The one I am most excited about is baby bok choy. They are so tiny and cute. I also ordered peanuts for this year because I have tried multiple times to purchase green peanuts in the shell (goobers) from local farmers and every single one wants to see me green peanuts that have already been shelled. I can’t make boiled peanuts without green peanuts in the shell.

The tomatoes are at the bottom of the picture and cucumber is at the top. The cucumber is just about ready for transplanting to a plastic cup they are quite leggy. And I want to make sure they have plenty of strong roots. I will also begin placing a gentle fan near the plants to help harden them off. Oklahoma is rather windy and planting season is also tornado season so the seedlings need to be tough enough to survive come May when they go outside. The okra is very leggy too. Notice I planted way more than two people could possibly eat, I expect to have some plants die because I am a terrible gardener. 😂 If they somehow all survive, I can easily trade them for veggies or fruits that I am not growing this year. I can also freeze, pickle, or can excess. The green beans are starting to sprout as well.

Now, these pots are herbs and chives. I have what I use the most in these pots. One is oregano, one is chives, one is cat nip because my kitties love their nip, and one is chocolate mint, which is for my tea. Once I get the multiple aloe plants out of my kitchen, I will plant basil, marjoram, and maybe another kind of mint or something else for my teas. In the cup is a cutting I got from one of hubby’s friends. We did a no contact egg drop off / trade for something having to do with welding and he has this amazing succulent in his flowerbed so, I  texted him and asked if I could have a cutting. It’s starting to root so, I will plant it soon. In the pot just out of frame is an aloe baby from last year. I have tons of babies that need to be separated and repotted from my giant aloe plant that I received from a friend in a ziploc bag and it was 3 inches tall when I received it. Now it’s HUGE. I will take pictures of it once I bring it back out to the back porch where it belongs. It’s not too happy about wintering in the mudroom.


This was hubby’s quarantine project. He welded a tire rack for the race trailer. It has a tray that sets in the empty spot on the top section, but I didn’t get pictures of that because I was busy planting seeds in seed trays.

I still have to decide where exactly I am going to put my garden this year because I filled the concrete block bed that is permanently attached to the house with flowers. The hose doesn’t reach that spot very well anyway and it is a lot of energy wasted with me dragging multiple 150 ft heavy duty hoses to reach it. The flowers I planted there are native to Oklahoma and include a type of daylily that is orange and multiplies every single year so I thin them out every fall and transplant them elsewhere to ensure they have plenty of room to spread out.

My roses from last year do not look like they will come back. I also want to get rid of the hideous bushes in front of the house because I hate them with a passion. They have these obnoxious things that grow straight up into the air and look like they haven’t been trimmed in years when this happens. If they flowered, I wouldn’t be so bothered by them, but they are just blah and ugly. Thet will be replaced with something that flowers. I wish Magnolia trees would stay small and make good bushes. I may put some kind of rose that grows like a vine or a big giant bush there. I have no idea. I will have to wait until it is safe to go to a nursery to find something lovely to put there.

I will do my best to remember to keep updating and writing. I always forget. Maybe I need to put WordPress on my homescreen of my phone to remember to keep updating.
Until next time…

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Chickens

More Chicken Adventures

I have been so busy trying to keep the coop clean, keep the run clean, and finding ideas for shade for my chickens. So, I am going to share what I have learned.

First, Sweet PDZ is freaking amazing.

I purchased two bags from Tractor Supply (I bought all they had) and sprinkled about two cups in the problem areas of the coop I sort of mixed it into the bedding so it was spread from the floor to the top by the time I was finished. I was being attacked by flies, mosquitoes, and gnats while I was doing this. An hour later, I went back into the coop because I had to spread some fresh bedding before Cheep Cheep Bedtime. Oh my gawd. The difference was beyond amazing. The smell was gone, the flying annoyances were gone, and I smelled absolutely nothing except for the pine shavings. I will never be without this amazing stuff again. This bag was around $8.00 I believe. It worked so quickly to reduce odor and moisture.

I also built the flock a hidey hole.

My youngest kiddo helped by cutting half of the bottom of the barrel off and then filing down rough edges. Then, he drilled holes in the bottom in the 5 pattern on dice for drainage just in case rainwater blows into the hidey hole.

When that was completed, I washed the barrel thoroughly with soap and water and then dried it. I added a nice fluffy layer of fine cut pine shavings and sweet PDZ. Then we put it in place in the run and added a cinderblock on each side so it would stay in place and no rolling away. I think the best part is that perching on top of it is rather difficult because it’s both rounded and a smooth surface. They will eventually figure out how to perch on it, but for now, it will stay poop-free. I also added a nice flat rock in front of it so they had a bit of a step to get inside easier. A few jumped in and right back out, but they were all interested.

While all of this was being inspected, I scooped up Chicken Little for a quick snuggle. He was so mad at me when I put him down. I think I may have embarrassed him in front of all of his women.

While I was at Tractor Supply, I picked up the next two stages of feed, oyster shell for added calcium, two 5-gallon buckets so, I can start fermenting their feed, and another waterer because temperatures are rising in Oklahoma.

I also grabbed a bag of scratch grains because the run is pretty much just dirt now and I wanted them to have something to scratch for. I bring in oodles of weeds and grasses every day for them.

I made them a dedicated dustbath from a sprint car tire, which hubby was kind enough to fold in half for me because these tires are HUGE. This folded tire will not collect water at all. I have to get some sand, gather some ash from the fire pit, and add some peat, but it is getting there. They love the tire because it’s nice to perch on.

I raked the run and put everything into a pile, which they essentially compost for me because they dig through it and I rake it back up and then, this cycle is repeated until there’s nothing left except for soil.

They chase the rake back and forth through the run as I am raking because I usually end up causing grasshoppers to jump or worms to be above ground. They go absolutely crazy for grasshoppers.

At the end of each raking they have a fun pile to dig through to find bugs and other tasty bits.

I FINALLY GOT VIDEO!!! Chicken Little is developing his crow and he sounds like a squeaky toy when he crows and it is just freaking adorable. (This was taken before the run was raked so you can see just how messy it is)

They have so much personality and seem to love my phone. They are also very attracted to my mint green nails and constantly trying to eat them. My toenails were also amusement when I made the mistake of wearing flip flops one night to put them to bed. My toenails are Tiffany and Co blue so I’m guessing they looked tasty too because I had a lot of beaks pecking at my toes. I normally wear my muck boots or tennis shoes, but I was tired and too lazy to put on real shoes. Bad idea.

They also love to perch directly on my back or shoulders and peck at my hair ties. (Hubby mowed the yard the following day so it no longer looks like a jungle outside of the run)

We still need to finish mowing the property, but a storm was rolling in so he had to stop mowing.

I have a few more projects for the chicken run to include planting inside of the run so they always have access to fresh plant matter. This will help me because I wont have to collect weeds every single day for them to eat. I will be trying out a few different methods for planting inside of the run so, I will be sure to document the process. I am also going to attempt to transplant some bushes that are planted around the front porch to inside of the run. I know theh won’t eat these bushes and I am hopeful that they will take root and will be a nice place to provide shade for the chickens. If you haven’t noticed yet. My chickens are completely spoiled. I am doing everything possible to make sure they live happy, healthy lives while providing me with fresh eggs (they aren’t laying yet). I have been informed about bobcat, coyote, stray dog, hawk, owl, and raccoon attacks to friends with chickens who all live near me and they are all free ranging their chickens. I want mine to be completely safe so I am doing everything possible to keep them safe while also finding ways to provide them with fresh plants, plenty of crunchy bugs and squishy worms, and whatever else they need to have happy healthy lives. I don’t want them stuck in an existence of dirt and bedding so, I am looking for ways to plant inside of the run. I will be planting peas all around the run tomorrow so they will climb the fencing and the chickens can munch on fresh peas. I am looking for a way to do the same with other climbing plants so they have all sorts of tasty snacks at their disposal. Any suggestions for planting inside or right outside of the run are always welcome, just leave a comment or send an email.

Until next time….

Chickens, Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

Chick Update

The chicks are getting so big. They are fully feathered out and going outside during the day and back in at night.

It was super gloomy the other day and rain was on the forecast, but I didn’t want them stuck inside all day so, I sat outside and when it started sprinkling, I gathered them up and brought them back inside.

They really seem to enjoy all of the space in the run.

Hubby brought me a tire crate home. The gate is made from the top and bottom of the crate. I still need to paint it white to match and repaint the shed. The coop got a fresh coat of paint.

It looks like there is no fencing at all and there are two layers. One layer is chicken wire and the other is hog fencing. Hubby also built them a swing.

This is one of the sides of that tire crate. They are rather large tires. When he called and said he had something for me, I figured it was another window shipping crate. Nope, he brought me readymade fencing. 😂 He had no idea what I would do with it, but he knew I would have been upset if he had told me about it later and hadn’t brought it home. They seriously just break these apart and toss them in the dumpster. The wood is heat treated and I make sure he doesn’t bother with anything that doesn’t have a HT stamp. Chemical treated wood is useless to me.

I took a close up of the fencing. It really is two layers and the green fencing is buried 2-3 feet under the ground, to prevent anything from digging under the fencing and getting into the run. The coop is built, but I am still working on security and don’t want to take any risks. I will be laying huge stones around the coop itself to prevent digging even though the coop has a solid floor and pallets underneath the floor. The floor was raised to prevent flooding because of water runoff. I am EXTREMELY protective of the chicks because our friends put their chicks out and lost every single one within a weeks time. They had 50. I only have 15. I am taking my time and making absolutely sure that NOTHING can get in.

I also got the bird feeder out and it doesn’t swing in the extreme winds here. I secured it to the tree with electrical fencing wire. It was heavy duty enough for the job. We also finally mowed the property for the first time this spring. (still need to weedeat). We also took down a HUGE tree branch that was threatening the powerline from the old dairy building to the stalls. I will get some pictures of that later. Oh, I almost forgot, I started painting the planter boxes (window shipping crates.)

They still need holes drilled in them, but they are ready to be drilled, filled, and planted. Hubby also bought me roses. Three bushes. I LOVE roses.

Two will go in the large window shipping crate and the third will go in a large planter that was used for tomatoes a few years ago. (It’s pretty large. I can’t lift it when it’s full.) I made sure to get three different kinds of roses. I know one is Oklahoman, but I can’t remember what the other two are.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Gardening

The Random Things Hubby Brings Me…

Our Anniversary happened earlier this month and it’s not really a big deal to us because we buy each other random things year round for absolutely no reason. We were going to go get my chicks on our Anniversary, but the local supplier for Oklahoma went out of business so, no one had chicks in Oklahoma on our Anniversary. We also had to go to a racecar parts store in Oklahoma City, Bishop’s. Hubby had to have the car put on the dyno machine and such and I was of course completely bored for a few hours. On the way home he somehow managed to park the truck and enclosed trailer in the middle of small town Chickasha (Chickasha is a big city, but they have what I assume is old Main street and it looks like a small town.) I always thought it was a small town until he took me through the city part of Chickasha. Well there’s a seed store in Small Town Chickasha and I absolutely love it. They have everything from bulk seeds to cast iron skillets. I didn’t really need seeds since I already got those, but I grabbed a handful of packets for herbs and such. Nope, I was on a mission. I wanted bird feeders. I didn’t want just any old bird feeders, I had specifics in mind.

Last year I saw my very first live hummingbird and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I thought it was a very large bee or wasp and I’m allergic to both, deathly allergic. So, I was in a panic while drinking my coffee and looking for this giant bug. Then I saw a flash of green. I had randomly bought a tiny hummingbird feeder that only held a few ounces. The hummingbird was at the feeder. It was beautiful and looked metallic. I am determined to have even more this year. They are in love with my lilies and cannas. So, I was searching for an unbreakable hummingbird feeder.

Spring in Oklahoma is tornado season so, the wind is brutal. It is brutal year round, but especially so, in springtime. I have lost so many wind chimes to the wind. Hubby kindly rest rings them with lacing wire when I buy them now. I currently only have one because the others blew away and I couldn’t find them.

So this was what I settled on for a feeder. It’s pretty tough plastic. It cane with a piece of wire and an S hook to hang it. I laughed at that. Hubby will hang them so they don’t blow away. I bought two of these.

Then I needed a regular bird feeder since all I have is a suet holder. My other feeder slammed into the tree too many times and broke.

I settled on this one for two reasons. First, it has a metal hanger, and second, I can secure it to the tree with the perch area. (It’s already hung and survived a storm.)

Bonus feature, easy to fill.

Of course I needed bird seed… Fifty pounds of it. 😂

Grabbed some more suet blocks too.

This post was supposed to be about the random stuff he brings me though. So, let me get to that. He called and said, I have a surprise for you, tell the boy to get dressed and meet me in the driveway to help me get these out of the truck. Um… okay. So, I got the teenager out of bed and dressed. I swear my husband has radar for random things his wife will want.

I got three of these wooden sectioned boxes. He said, “I have no idea what you will use them for, but I figured you were going to be upset if I didn’t bring them home.” He had no clue what I was seeing when I squealed with excitement. I saw three raised beds already built and sectioned off. Oh but, there’s more….

Three small ones and one deep one. Seriously, he has a radar for these things. I was absolutely giddy. Now, I just need to remove the shipping stickers and paint them. If you are wondering what on Earth these are from, they are shipping containers for parts. Hubby is a diesel mechanic and the top 3 held windows so they have thick foam and lids. The bottom one held some big part for some vehicle he was working on that week. I didn’t ask specifics. I just know I need to paint them and destroy the stickers. (The stickers are gone. He brought the third small one home two days after he brought the others home.) I told him if there are ever more of these boxes, I want them. They break them down and throw them in the garbage. I will give them new life. Same goes for the burlap bags that shop rags come in, I have 4 of those, I line wire hanging baskets with it. Also, I made absolutely certain that these were heat treated only. He always says that I would be in heaven at a dump because I would dig through everything. 😂

I have a strange habit of reusing everything possible and that only started when we moved to Oklahoma. Our small town has ZERO recycling. Lawton didn’t have it either. I don’t want to fill a landfill with a bunch of recyclable things. That just irritates me and makes me sad. So, plastic containers get a new life holding parts and bits and pieces in the garage. Others have been used to hold small amounts of paint for projects. At his last job, he brought me home 30 heat treated wooden pallets, 5 blue plastic 55 gallon barrels, one white 55 gallon plastic barrel, about 10, 5 gallon buckets, which he promptly confiscated for other things, and one metal 55 gallon barrel so I had a burn barrel. It’s safer to burn yard waste like branches in a metal barrel because it has less risk of catching the whole property on fire. He worked for a garbage company working on their vehicles. He hated it with a passion because warm weather means maggots. I was happy when he fina

This, job, he doesn’t bring me much home. Random bent washers, nuts for broken bolts (wind chimes), burlap bags, and now, wooden crates. Thankfully, this job isn’t super wasteful and they actually recycle. They return plastic and metal barrels to be refilled, which makes me happy. I have no idea why they throw these shipping containers into the dumpster, but I am kind of glad they do because I will use them. They even reuse pallets. So, this is weird and I hope they fix it, but until they do, I am happy to recycle them all. As I was writing this, he called to tell me he had two more of the sectioned wooden boxes, Yay!!! I can’t wait to go get paint and soil.

Until next time…

Gardening

The Flowers Have Begun to Bloom on the Homestead

I have been planting wildflowers in a raised bed that is made from cinder blocks since the 2nd spring after we purchased the Homestead. This year, everything is late blooming. I usually see blooms in early May, but this year, it happened in very late May.

I plan on filling a few beds with tons of lilies. I thin them every spring right before the last frost. I end up with more lilies each year. Lilies are one of my favorite flowers.

This seems to be the majority of the bee and butterfly mix I purchased this year and added to the flower bed. The flowers come back each year and I add a new seed blend each year. The butterflies love them so I have no complaints. We have so many butterflies this year. I have had them landing on me every time I sit outside with a cup of tea or my morning coffee.

Not sure what this little guy will turn into, but he had a nice feast before taking a nap. (He was curled into a coil before I disturbed him to get a picture.)

These two were part of last year’s wildflower mix. They come in so many colors and brighten up the bed.

This one is a new addition this year and doesn’t seem to be weathering the heat very well.

One of my favorites that is new this year. I have no idea what any of the flowers in this bed are, except for the lilies, because the boxes of seed mix that I buy don’t have any actual plant names listed on the package. I don’t mind because I just want oodles of flowers. The names don’t matter as much as the colors.

I have lilies in three different flower beds and they all seem to be doing rather well especially when the only watering they receive is from the rainfall. I don’t remember the exact type of lilies these are, but I purchased them locally from the Canna Farm. (I purchased them from a member of the family, which owns the Canna Farm, as she was selling the bulbs on Facebook.) She told me they were drought resistant, she never watered them, and they only received rainfall. I have done the same with my lilies and they are thriving. I couldn’t have asked for an easier flower to grow. Now, I just need a wider variety of colors for lilies. I may plant daffodils or some other plant that is planted in bulb form.

I realize this picture is a bit blurry, the wind started back up and this was the best picture I could get of this flower. I am pretty sure this is considered a weed to most gardeners, but so are most wildflowers. I didn’t yank it out, a butterfly landed on it as soon as I moved away from it so, it stays.

I know, I know, dandelions are considered weeds. I don’t pull them and we don’t spray anything to prevent them because the little yellow flower they produce is often the very first source of food for bees when spring arrives. I may be deathly allergic to bees, but I want to do everything possible to help them out each year. I happen to enjoy fruits and veggies. Bees and other pollinators make fruits and veggies possible because they buzz around spreading pollen from plant to plant. I also have small dishes filled with marbles and water. These are bee safe waterers because they can walk around on the marbles and access the water without risk of drowning. I leave fruit slices out for the butterflies as well.

The only other thing that happened today caught me by surprise. I heard the loudest buzzing I had ever heard and it startled me. I immediately jumped up and began looking around me for whatever bug was close enough to sting me. I was pleasantly surprised to see a hummingbird. I have never actually seen one before so, I ran inside, filled the feeders I had just purchased, and hung them all around the back porch. I am hopeful that I will see more in the very near future. I always have my phone with me while outdoors because I play music on my phone. I will snap pictures as soon as I see another one. I honestly had no idea they buzzed. It scared me until I realized that it was a bird and not a stinging insect.

I am trying to make a haven for wildlife with the wildflowers, zero chemicals sprayed, food and water sources for bees, insects, birds, and animals (mostly cats as far as animals, but I am pretty sure I am feeding a skunk and her babies when I feed the barn cats.) I don’t even spray pesticides of any form on my garden. I don’t want to eat the pesticides so, I don’t use them.

I am off to get my house back into order after having my in laws, son, daughter in law, and grandson, all visiting for two weeks. My house is so quiet. It’s quite strange. We also have a squatter in the chicken coop (It was left unsecured because we didn’t have any chickens yet.) Hubby has promised to deal with the skunk and her litter of mini stinkers without harming them so, chicks will come home and not have access to their coop until the skunk is evicted. 😂 I am not in any rush. The coop is built and that was the difficult part. I am still trying to convince hubby that I need a pair of calves too. I don’t care if they become dinner after about 2 years, I will just get two more when that happens. I simply want calves. I need a duck too. That way, I can name the calves, “Milk” and “Cheese”, while naming the duck, “Quackers”. (Yes, I know I am ridiculous. I enjoy being ridiculous.) Until next time…

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

Just a bit about me and an overview of my adventures so far on our homestead

To begin, this is my very first blog and I am looking forward to the amusement that blogging about my adventures brings. I am a wife, a mother to seven kiddos, most are grown, and a single grandbaby. We are a mixed family and I have loved every minute of the adventure we began 11 years ago. It has definitely been an adventure as we have moved cross country, and watched as all, but one of the seven graduated from high school and began their own lives. Our youngest is homeschooled and we began homeschooling for his junior year at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. This is our family and now, this is our homestead.

As long as I can remember, I always wanted to live on a huge farm with cows, chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, horses, and any other animals that I could find. I grew up in the city so, farms just had this image of wonder and excitement as far as I was concerned.  I managed to make that dream from childhood into a similar reality. While we don’t have a farm, we do have a ten acre homestead in rural Oklahoma. I fell in love with the house and property the minute I saw it. That was three years ago and I have finally settled in enough to plant my roots and make this a functional homestead. Hubby and I purchased the homestead a little over 3 years ago and we haven’t done much in the way of animals or a huge garden, but we have done far more projects inside of the house to make it our own. I still have a purple kitchen, which I absolutely hate, but I will eventually change that.

Our homestead is currently occupied with myself, hubby, our adult daughter and her fiance, our son who starts his senior year of high school in the fall, 2 cats, a husky/wolf mix, 2 horses we board for a friend, and an unknown number of barn kitties. (I believe there are four, but my son has seen random kitties all over the property and Little Momma is currently pregnant with a litter of kittens.) If I could catch her, I would gladly get her fixed, but she has yet to fall for any of my attempts at tricking her into a cage. I feed the barn kitties and they have free access to the old dairy building, which is used for storage of racecar parts by hubby and as a tackroom for the boarding horses.

Now that you know a bit about me and the critters I do have, I will give you some background on the honestead, projects that have been completed and the to-do list for spring.

Since purchasing the house and property, the projects have been nonstop. The house was built in 1918 and was originally a dairy on a massive amount of land. Eventually, the land was sectioned off and sold bit by bit leaving the original homestead and ten acres remaining. The house has been updated so, we don’t have a coal furnace or anything weird like that, though I want to eventually have a wood stove installed for power outages during ice storms and snowstorms. Plus, a wood stove would heat the house saving on electric bills, which are always expensive no matter where you live.

The projects that have been completed are as follows:

Compost bin with 3 fenced sections built

New roll pipe installed on the well so the pump no longer has to be pulled up by hand (I can’t even begin to tell you how worth it this investment has been.)

Sections of fencing replaced so livestock cannot escape (We don’t have any livestock yet, but we will eventually and we board two horses for a friend)

Flower beds and two raised beds completed

Fire pit was built

And finally we have trash service with a dumpster so no more driving to the dump twice a week. (Also worth every single penny.)

The current project list, which I will be documenting as best I can are as follows:

Build a chicken coop with a run and get chicks

Build a compost unit with 2 plastic 55 gallon barrels, some 4×8’s and metal piping plus some hardware  because using a pitchfork to turn piles is killing my back.

Plant vegetable garden and an herb garden

Find a donkey for the property (we have a two stall 3 sided shelter already in place)

Cattle are a possibility, but probably won’t happen this spring. I am still researching care, feeding, and vaccinations/vetting for cattle so, I am not ready for cows just yet.

Porch swings and a tree swing

Clean up the random piles of rocks/pavers, wood, branches, and an entire barn that’s in pieces (I plan to reuse anything and everything possoble)

Plant some fruit trees

These may seem like minor projects, but I have never build anything bigger than a birdhouse so, this is all new to me. I researched chickens for several years because I wanted to make sure I knew everything possible before getting a single solitary chick. We had chickens when I was growing up, but I was far too little to remember much about their care. I can’t wait until May when I go to the feed store to get my chicks. I will be the crazy lady naming every single one of them. We are focused on eggs only for the moment so these chicks won’t be meat chickens, just layers. We have also decided to get a rooster so I can have chicks hatching on the homestead.

I do hope you will join me on my adventures in homesteading. I am probably going to make a lot of mistakes along the way, but I will make certain I learn from those mistakes instead of repeating them. We are also trying to decide on a name for our homestead. I just can’t seem to come up with anything that feels right. The Homestead on the Plains is simply a description of what we are and where. Kind of generic, but it will suffice for now.

Until next time….