Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Problem With Free Range Chickens...

... is free range laying.  You would think I would know by now that when my egg supply dwindles and the birds are ranging that I should start hunting.

Yesterday my daughter came to me all excited because she had found the "secret" nest.  My silly hens found an old cardboard nesting box in the barn and had been using it.  Sigh... I give them perfectly good nesting boxes that they used all winter and now I have to check everywhere.  They certainly keep me on my toes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wherein We Set Up Outdoor "TV"

Yesterday we finished building and installing our "big screen" outdoor TV.  It gets one channel.  The chicken channel. It's our fave!

We can also change the channel by picking up our chairs and moving across the street to the big green barn (in the background) they get the cow channel!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunshiny Sundays Are Restful

Sunshine on a Sunday means this...

Sunshine on any other day of the week means this...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homesteading Question On Emmer Wheat

We have some Emmer wheat seed to plant and need to know when the optimal season to plant is.  Is it a spring planting or a fall planting?  A google search didn't reveal much info.  Anybody have any experience with Emmer?

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Deliberate Agrarian: New! Deliberate Agrarian eBook99-Cents

The Deliberate Agrarian: New!My Deliberate Agrarian eBook99-Cents(For Only ...:

The link above is for Herrick Kimball's new offering for Kindles.  I read his blog and really enjoy his world view and his style of writing.  For 99 cents you can't go wrong.  Check it out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Aslan Is On The Move!

There is this strange thing appearing all over my yard.  It is brown and matted but I do believe it is ground!  I could be wrong, though, since it has been so long since I've seen said item.

We've managed to have a few daytime temps above freezing and the snow is gradually shrinking away.  It is possible that spring may actually arrive.

The chickens are enjoying getting to be out and about after being cooped up all winter.  (Keeping chickens really brings that saying to reality.)

The Compost area and cold frame are peeking out.

Bulbs are sprouting everywhere the snow has melted.

And we have tapped a couple of trees to experiment with maple syrup making.

While I enjoyed my winter reading sabbatical (knocking off a good portion off my reading list) it is good to be able to get moving again.  Planting isn't too far off- as long as the weather cooperates!

Well, I'm off to make some cheesy potato soup for dinner, empty my sap buckets and collect eggs! It is good to be back in the blogging world and it is good that Aslan has returned to Narnia... er... Michigan!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When The Snow Blows...

We are solidly in the midst of an Arctic blast.  It is cold, icy, snowy and windy.  It is not fit for humans outside.  Luckily for Creek Cottage Homestead (and me) we only have chickens to take care of as far as farm chores. The chickens get fed and watered, eggs collected, and checked on twice a day.  Other than that I get to hunker down inside and keep warm.

Besides schooling the kids and general household chores I've been staying busy by browsing seed catalogs and coming up with a must read list for the remaining months of winter.  The list is long but I've found every book but one through the local library system!  I love libraries!  So tomorrow I going to venture out and have my trusty librarian order me some books.

1. Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte (Companion Planting)
2. Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon (Survival Gardening)
3. Market Farming Success by Lynn Bycznski (Farming Biz)
4. Flower Farming by Lynn Bycznski (Cut Flower Biz)
5. Great Herb Mixes You Can Make by Jim Long (This is the only book I may have to purchase!)
6. Making Bentwood Furniture by Jim Long (Craft)
7. Making Dream Pillows by Jim Long (Herbal Craft)
8. From the Ground Up by Jeanne Nolan (Memoir and Gardening Advice)
9. Backyard Market Gardening by Andrew Lee (Farming Biz)
10. Chicken Tractors by Andrew Lee (Chicken Housing)
11. Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin (Chicken Biz)
12. Dairy Goats by Gregory, Diana (Goat Education)
13. Goats, Rabbits & Chickens by Hollis Lee (Animal Education)
14. How To Raise Dairy Goats by Martha Maeda (Goat Education)
15. Raising Goats: The Backyard Dairy Alternative by David Weems (Goat Education)
16. Gathering: Memoir Of A Seed Saver by Diane Ott Whealy (Memoir & Seed Saving)
17. Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung (Herbs)
18. The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips (Fruit Trees)

What do you think?  Think it will keep me busy into spring?

You can see from the list what my priorities are for the coming year: Growing and selling produce, growing and selling flowers and herbs, crafting and selling what we can, increasing our egg laying flock and adding broilers, raising a small milk goat herd (after we get fencing accomplished- the actual animals may have to wait until the spring after this coming one), and starting our fruit orchard.  We plan on adding a couple of Heirloom/Heritage fruit trees per year.  This year will be apple trees.

That's not too much to chew off is it?  We shall see!  What have you all been doing this winter?