Friday, July 29, 2016

Events, rain, and chickens.

The rain finally came as it always done, and I swear the plants have perked up overnight. That's probably hyperbole, but it definitely feels like it even if it is a psychological thing.

Before I get back to that and focus on the homestead for the rest of the post, I'm going to touch on a couple things. First things first. The Lady of the House is having an art show near us, so if you're in our area and come we'd love to see you.

The other thing is, we're getting so close to the line where we can put the down payment on the furnace, and we're getting close to the end of the donation matching period on our GoFundMe. If you have been thinking of donating, now would be a great time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sending on the coop.

One of the hard things about getting the house ready is how much we'd done to make it ours. Some of that is the chicken coops. Unfortunately when the chickens are gone I'm going to have to just disassemble the big coop in the back. Fortunately, the Lady of the House's father wants to get into chickens so I was able to offload the smaller red coop we used for so long back to him. He actually found that coop for us for free, and hauled it up in the first place. He came up on Saturday, and the two of us moved the coop onto the trailer he brought, took down the chicken run, and packed it up into his trailer. Once that was done we loaded up a lot of the Critters toys, and the electric fencing for the chickens and sent it off to his house. Once that's set up we're going to bring the chickens to his place to watch over until we have a place we can have chickens again.

On the subject of the GoFundMe, we are doing well, and with the donation matching we're getting close to the $5,500 point where we need to be to get the heat and hot water installation begun. Any help you can give before the 1st while the donation matching is still going on would be greatly appreciated. All of the help and sharing we've gotten has been amazing to us. Thank you all.

On the farm side of things, we still desperately need rain.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Short grass problems.

One of the not entirely unexpected consequences of mowing the lawn short relative to our wild grass and perennial woods clearing. With the drought we've been seeing this summer, despite our nice moist climate relative to the valley, after mowing the lawn regularly we're seeing a lot of sad and browning grass. It's not the vibrant greens that I'm used to seeing our lawn, but it is starting to look more like a normal lawn. With a bit of rain it'll look fine.

On the GoFundMe front we are closing in on enough to put the %50 down payment on the furnace. Right now with the donation matching my father is offering we could reach that goal very quickly. We hope to reach it before August 1st so we can get the house on the market with a firm date of installation for the furnace. Thank you all for listening, sharing, and donating. Our community has been such a huge help to us.

Now on to the rest of the gardening situation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Bear Visit

The Lady of the House had a very interesting experience while I was at work yesterday with a visiting bear. When I say visiting, I mean opening the trash can, and trying to get what little food there is in our trash.

Before I get to that I'm going to touch on our GoFundMe. We finally have a solid estimate on the furnace replacement. It is going to come to $10,550, and we have to pay half up front for them to get started. To help us out my father is offering donation matching dollar for dollar. Right now if you can help, your donation will count double.

That out there, let's get back to the bear, and the Lady of the House.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Quick Hit: The last rabbit kill.

Forgot to get the photos for today, so instead I'm just going to do a quick post, after all, this particular post doesn't really need any new photos. Last night I did the last butchering of rabbits that's going to take place here on the homestead. It was a killing that needed to happen, but I still am glad that it's the last one unless I'm going to be teaching people.

Herbie was the last rabbit on the homestead because he wasn't a rabbit we could let move on to another home. We'd tried to give him almost 6 months to recover from the back leg problems he was having, but he never did recover. It seems he may have injured his spine while playing and jumping around in the hutch, and just never was able to move properly after. It's a thing I've been putting off hoping he'd magically get better and we'd be able to pass him on, but it just wasn't happening.

Physically, skill wise, it was one of the easier killings I've done. Both of us were calm, and the physical process went perfectly. On an emotional level, it just confirmed that we made the right choice not to do rabbits anymore even if we were going to be able to stay in the homestead. The question now is, how do I continue to eat ethical meat, and stay healthy? Mostly, by eating less meat, and only buying from ethical sources.

But to be honest while we're in the process of selling the house and under financial duress, we're probably going to have to compromise and just eat what we can afford, while eating as little meat as we practically can.

Go Fund Me

Friday, July 8, 2016

The conundrum of chickens.

Obviously I'm using old photos today given that this shows Boris and our old girls, but I wanted to talk about chickens, and letting them express their chickenness. There's a balance to be had as long as you don't have infinite money with chickens. It's the balance of safety versus comfort/freedom that comes up in many ways.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Moving rabbits and hutches.

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. If you're in the USA I hope you enjoyed your Independence Day however you chose to celebrate it, and that your livestock, and the humans in your life weren't disturbed by the fireworks. For the most part we weathered the fireworks just fine, but last night it seems that Boris didn't make it back into the coop, and I wasn't able to find him this morning. Last night was a bad night to be out between the thunder storm, and the fireworks.

Otherwise this was a very good and productive weekend, though we also spent time getting to be sociable and relax which is important in the midst of stressful weeks.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Luna moths, leaving rabbits.

I'm always glad to see the arrival of our first Luna Moths, they are a beautiful if fragile species with a short visiting time. To me they have a lot of the charm of fireflies except during the day instead of dusk and night. They are also incredibly sensitive to pesticides so they only survive in areas without any real pesticide use. To me they are a sign of living in a healthy environment.