Using Heat in May

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The weekend has brought a windy, cold change here on the homestead.  We have actually been using the heat in our house-in May! It will be interesting to see how the crops (ours and the local farms) are affected by this odd Spring weather down the road.

Yesterday, Houidini had again found a way to break out his piggy darling Lady-Bug and when I got home from night shift they were wandering around the pen together.  Fed up with his campaign to remain with his pregnant lover, I built a new gate and reinforced both sides with sturdy wood.  Let’s see him break that down!

Another not so delightful behavior Houidini has developed, is too become very “intimate” with all of the inanimate objects in the pen.  He actually gets so “involved” he ends up moving the object across the pen and into the electric fence.  I have had to tie the chairs we have in the pen to trees to keep them from Houidini’s wandering eye while his woman is “out of service.”

With all of the rooting and scratching that goes on in the pig pen, the dirt levels have really declined.  Most of the roots are showing from the beautiful old pine trees.  I have been on the hunt for free fill dirt that is relatively clean.  If I didn’t live on a homestead that was nothing but neon orange clay beneath the surface, I could just go dig some up-but they don’t call this Orange County for nothing!

The Black Copper Maran chicks have now moved to their last stop brooder box before they officially become outside chickens.  I have been thinking about where these four will live.  I know I can’t add them to the Original Girls’ flock ,because they are a nasty version of teenage girls when it comes to introducing someone new.  They have an exclusive flock that no one is allowed to penetrate.  I don’t want to add them to the pig pen because if Lady-Bug ever has her piglets it will be quite hectic in there.  I decided that since we have almost an entire acre in the front of the homestead that is not utilized for anything but aesthetics,  I will place them there.  I am currently knee deep in chicken tractor pictures planning what moveable home I will build for these girls.  I am hoping to get the tractor built this week.

I purchased a very large freezer last week and have been brainstorming all of the wonderful things I can make to store in it.  If anyone has some delicious recipes that freeze well, please share!  I will probably have a large freezer fill day this week or next.

Despite being in their second year, my three blueberry bushes show no signs of producing.  I am not sure where I went wrong with them.  There is a lovely organic pick your own blueberry place not too far from the homestead, so my blueberry supply this summer will likely come from there.

I am ER nursing more than usual this week and am finding it hard to get the energy for all the housework that needs to be done!

Until next time…

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8 thoughts on “Using Heat in May

  1. I just got my Six Girls Today. My Daughter in law raised them . while I got the things ready. i am now a VERY proud Mother of Beautiful Hens. And Will Enjoy th Summer
    with them. This is my retrement Gift. After 40 plus of nursing. I,m So Happy.

  2. I read your article in the Carolina Country magazine…enjoyed it , so I visited your website…and enjoy that also! It is so refreshing to see younger folks like you interested in homesteading. I know your parents are proud of you. I have always ‘dabbled’ in aspects of self-reliance, and I also love keeping the past alive. And we may just NEED to know some of these things one day. I hope to learn more, and pass it on to my grandkids. We are fortunate to live on my in-law’s farm, which was once a dairy farm. Since retirement, my husband has purchased a chicken coop and put up fence for a chicken yard. We started some chicks in the house, and have now moved them out to the coop. The fun we are having with them and the grandkids is priceless. Eggs will be a bonus! We are also interested in meat rabbits, but haven’t gotten to that yet. Anyway, I admire your spirit, and your hard work, and all your helpful tips! I enjoy your ‘adventures’. You are a rare breed, I think. Oh by the way…we have seen hawks and falcons flying over. I have several old CD’s strung up on thin wire criss crossing the chicken yard (I saw that idea in a magazine). I am afraid it’s a matter of time before the predators figure it out, but we’ll see.

    • Thank you so much! Self-reliance is so important these days. I am sure your grandkids enjoy the chickens-ours are always a big hit with the kiddos around us. CD’s are a great idea, I have not tried it, but let me know if you have continued success. Thank you for following my adventures. Good luck with your chicken raising and I know you will enjoy fresh eggs every morning. If you do decide to raise meat rabbits let me know, I am continuing to throw around this idea. Take care!

  3. Don’t sweat your blueberries yet. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, it will take three years for the little boogers to produce. And then again we had one that started putting out berries the first year. Of course we picked those off as instructed. To really make you worry ( ha ha) after we had had ours four years and they were starting to produce, both just up and died. Why? We have no idea as they had been handled with kid gloves. Some times you just lose plants despite your best efforts but that’s not going to happen to yours. They’ll be producing soon, I’m certain of it. I read, while working on ours, they appreciate a “mulch” of manure. Tried that yet? With all your chickens you should have plenty.

  4. With blueberries, you have to have at least two different kind for cross pollination to get them to produce. Also, if the weather turns cold at just the right time, you will not have any blueberries for that year. I have had my blueberry bushes for many years and they have produced tons of blueberries. The last two years, they produced only a handful because they bloomed too soon, and the blooms were frozen. This year, our weather was perfect and the bushes are full of green blueberries, more than I have ever seen.

    • So glad you have had better luck than I have with the blueberries! We have three different breeds of bushes, but still no luck. Our Spring has been very unpredictable this year, so I am sure the weather zapped the bushes for this year. There is always next year!

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