Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scads of peppers, day by day.

After being concerned on Thursday about the fact that our peppers hadn't sprouted yet and asking about it at the Hilltown Seed Saving Network that evening, on Friday we had a plethora of sprouts. It was really nice to see them come up, and now we have a lot of sprouts up. If we keep getting sprouts like this we're going to have way more peppers than we need. We really do need to try to get a green house up for more early spring growing, especially for years like this when we are still having snow at this point.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chupacabra Crafts and the solution on how to not waste the heads.

Today I'd like to introduce the work of Chupacabra Crafts. She's been working with the skulls and face skins from our rabbits that we'd been challenged to find a use for and not waste. She's done an incredible job as you can see Above. Before we go on to that, I wanted to update on the chickens, Tuesday we actually got 5 eggs, and yesterday we got 4, so we seem to be up to about full production very suddenly which I definitely don't mind. Now on to the taxidermy.

Below the cut there will be a couple taxidermy photos that could make some uncomfortable, but it's well worth the read. One of them is a graphic photo of a rabbit head with the skin removed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chickens in the sun, eggs, and a patient dog.

The Chickens in a further sign of spring have found an open patch of ground that I didn't even clear off to do their thing on. Their thing right now seems to mostly be wandering around, pecking anything the wind moves, and sunning themselves which is a nice thing they've clearly missed. Right now the Chickens are all sorts of good news which is nice given how worried I was about them making it through the winter.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starting the first seeds, inside.

I'm going to start by giving a shout out of thanks to our first patron on Patreon, I promise I won't say something every single time someone sponsors us on the blog, but I'm very happy that our first day on Patreon we have a patron.

So, now that spring has sprung, it's time to get started with planting, well, not out here yet, but let's take a look at our planting areas and what they look like at the moment before starting the first plantings. Above is where the garlic is right now. As soon as the snow melts we're going to have to pull up the paper we put down to protect the beds. There's also a few other random beds down the slope that had tomatoes and peppers last year, so this year they are going to have radishes and the like.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The start of something new

Life has taken a lot of turns lately for good and ill, and we've come to a  lot of transition points lately. As we hit a natural transition here on the homestead, the blog has also come to a transition that I've resisted for a few years now. Monetization. Fortunately given new options, it isn't going to be advertising. Before I get into that though, let's look at where the homestead is right now. Obviously a lot of the core of what's going on right now is the rabbits, so let's start there.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mud season has (sort of) begun!

Today was a landmark morning for us, this somewhat unremarkable picture of a very happy Dorado shows something we haven't seen for a while. A water bottle with liquid water in it that hadn't been brought in over night. It's a wonderful change, and while we aren't going to be able to do that over the weekend, it's a very nice step towards "real" Spring.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quick Hit: Twilight is angry with me, and chicken on walkabout

Apologies for the late post today, it's been sort of hectic between some dental work and everything else. This is going to be something of a short post because of that. I tried to get our first breeding of the season in, but Twilight decided she wasn't having any of that.
She actually ended up screaming when I picked her up, and unsurprisingly with that reaction wouldn't lift for a buck. We'll try getting her bred again next week so we aren't having kits born when we're gone for the weekend. I actually if I'd checked my calendar properly instead of half asleep would have seen this wasn't the day I'd intended to start breeding again by a week. Ahh well, apologies to Twilight as well! We'll regain her trust with some treats, and more regular handling than she got this winter. It's just been so cold, and I've been so tired I haven't been reaching in to say hi every day, I've just been trying to get chores done and off to work. By evening I just need to rest, and spend time with the Lady of the House, and that's led to some non trusting rabbits.
This morning had another adventure, when feeding the chickens I noted we were down one Rhode Island Red, and went looking for a body. Instead I found her roosted in a slightly precarious place, that's right by the basement door. Looks like she got herself stuck there, and wasn't too happy about it. Interestingly enough she just stepped up on my arm and let me carry her back to the run, where she hopped back up on the fence and back in with the rest of the chickens. Usually with birds I expect to have to train step up to get them to do it calmly, so it was a nice if unexpected thing.

So, Thursday I'll post our planned breeding schedule for what that's worth, and some of what's been going on with our rabbits behind the scenes.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A real taste of spring, preparing for melt.

Spring has shown its first signs as far as we're concerned, believe it or not. How do I know? Dorado is drinking from a water bottle that was out overnight. Not all of the water bottles stayed liquid over night last night, but most of them did, and had been liquid all day. Yesterday hit almost 40° F, and it stayed just below 30 last night. Of course today it's dropping all day, and it's going to be below 0° F overnight so we won't do the water outside thing again, but it's still nice!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quick Hit: Bread success, goals, and wintery mix

Today is just a quick hit because I'm unprepared for today in general. The Critter was up and down all night very happy, and wanting to talk about it. I didn't get nearly enough sleep, and forgot to get photos for the blog this morning. All I have right now is the photos of the bread that I baked Sunday that I was happy with. I got tired of the stuck bread bottoms, so I just went with parchment paper that I reused from having baked cookies for the Lady of the House's birthday.
The Top pair of chunks of bread are actually intended to be bread bowls, I thought they turned out picture perfect, unfortunately the lighting did them no favors. They're slightly over large bowl sized, and I hope they work out well for bread bowls which is what the Lady of the House wanted them for. The other bread I baked this weekend, also sourdough, is more normal loaves. I tried making slicing shaped bread for sandwiches, and that turned out beautifully. The slightly smaller cross section has lead to darker colored outsides, but a good solid crust has nothing wrong with it in my opinion. I'm glad to feel like I'm finally getting things good and settled in making sourdough. Now the trick is going to be making the sourdough more sour, and it sounds like setting the bread in a cooler area of the house is actually going to be good for increasing the flavor. To do that I'm going to rise the bread in the kitchen instead of near the stove which is what I have been doing. We'll see how that works out.

For the time being, there isn't much to report, we didn't get seeds started this weekend due to this being a lean time, and not having starter soil. We're hoping to do that not this weekend but next perhaps. Thursday, I'll have more of a post, if nothing else on getting out from under our next snow storm, which promises to be the worst of all storm types, snow and rain mixed.