Hello! I’m overdue for another update here. We have been busy bees. This has been the most productive year we’ve had on the homestead, I don’t think we’ve ever accomplished as much in a single year. Spring is always busy getting all the garden planted, summer is busy keeping it all alive and watered and starting to harvest things, and then autumn is busy getting it all harvested and processed. It’s been a lot to keep up with processing everything, and we sure appreciate having food to harvest and put up for the winter. By the time the harvest season winds down, Jeff and I are always full of gratitude, and ready for things to slow down.
Usually I post pictures of the garden throughout the season here on the blog. This year I took pictures here and there, but have yet to sort through them, we’ve just been so busy. I’ve been asked about the garden, and I plan to do a garden post for the year instead. I’ll fill you in about the garden then. Jeff did set up a watering system for a portion of the garden and it made such a difference in reducing the amount of time he spent watering out there.
As for the animals, they are a big part of our days now. Jeff and I are not the only ones happy to have goats here, B absolutely adores them. He helps me with the animal chores every day, and I always appreciate it. We were grateful to find a source for buying hay locally from some wonderful people. Most of the options from the feed store are sprayed, so not only were we grateful to meet new friends willing to deliver it by the truckload, but also grateful it’s unsprayed, providing clean food and bedding for our animals.
Oh, and the duck eggs hatched. Ducklings are so adorable! We had them separated from the larger ducks until they were big enough. We are getting ready to introduce them to each other and have them all together. They are big enough now, and it will make daily chores much easier. We’re also thinking about other ways to make the daily animal chores more efficient. At this point, it’s taking quite a bit of time and I know we can continue to make things easier and smoother.
We did a new set up for our worm compost bin. Jeff and I are pretty happy about that. Most food scraps from the kitchen go to feeding the goats, ducks, and quail, but the rest goes to the worms. Our outdoor compost is for animal bedding and garden clean up, but we don’t put food out there because it attracts unwanted animal visitors. The worm compost bin is a great solution for that. I’d like to share more about it at some point. Do any of you have any experience with composting with worms?
Besides being busy with all the homestead things, Jeff is alway busy fixing what breaks around here. He was able to prolong the life of our washing machine, but we knew it was on limited time. We were having issues with our stove as well, but were working around it. Finally though, we had a bunch of things go out simultaneously- the washing machine, the stove, and the fridge. That was a bit chaotic during a busy time of year. Jeff cooked on a propane camp stove and I did laundry in the bathtub. It sure made us grateful to have a working washing machine and stove again! We’re still waiting for a part to arrive for Jeff to fix the refrigerator, it’s been taking forever. Luckily, we have more than one fridge so we’ve been able to get by without it but it will sure to be nice to have it working again.
Family came to visit. My dad and stepmom came, and then my mom. We were grateful to have time with them, and Jeff always loves to feed everyone meals from the garden. We do love to express our love with food around here! I had a birthday in September, and then B turned 12 in October! He really is such a wonderful human being and I feel beyond grateful to be his mom. Jeff and I are constantly amazed at his creativity, imagination, and all the things he invents. I also appreciate how kind he is towards others, and how thoughtful he is. He has such a zest for life and is interested in so many things- always insects and plants. Most recently he’s been learning about creating bonsais and has a new fascination with carnivorous plants.
We discovered that one of our neighbors shares a birthday with B. She turned 88 and he turned 12. They had been friends for years, exchanging plants and flowers, and then finding out they had the same birthday I said no wonder they were such kindred spirits. That was a fun discovery. In September, more of B’s homeschool activities started back up again. Jeff has been splitting and stacking firewood. We have rain in the forecast so Jeff and I have been busy in the yard this week getting all the things done we want to finish before rain comes. Yesterday I cleaned out the goat house and was really glad to get that job done. I’ve got a long list for today. We’ve had the push of getting food processed, all the harvest brought in, all the things done before the rain comes… it feels a bit like squirrels filling up their stores for the winter, or getting things all snug and ready before a snowstorm.
I do love this time of year. We have had some of the most beautiful, golden, warm fall days. Part of me wishes these gorgeous fall days could last forever. But the rain is coming, and a change of pace will be welcome too.