Still, I'm not out of the woods. I have one more family member keeping me on edge.
Today, my mom is having surgery to replace one of her knees. She's elderly, so I'm naturally worried for someone her age to be anesthetized. The whole family is on a call tree so we can get the latest updates. I won't know until later today how she fared.
I called her yesterday just to touch base and to let her know she's in my thoughts.
State of the Homestead
Garden: The spring garden was only so-so, but it came back to life a couple of weeks ago when the grasshoppers made their exit. I'm a little concerned for the watermelon patch because I'm not sure there are enough warm weather months to see them all the way through, but I think we can make up a tent for them and keep them warm.
I've planted a fall garden of winter squash, beets, carrots, bok choy, kale, garlic, onion, and Brussels sprouts, along with the existing tomato and pepper plants that are still blooming.
|Heidi doing what she does best: Eating|
Chickens: Oh, those girls! The Marans have been a pain. They have a bad habit of eating their eggs. Despite my efforts, I might have to start over with new chicks and put these girls in the pot. We can't have egg-eaters in the coop. It's a bad habit, one they can teach to new chickens.
The black Astralorps give me no trouble, and they lay like clockwork.
Rabbits: I'm at a loss to find the right male for these girls. They are quickly becoming pets which is kind of a no-no for a farmstead. They've been living in my house for the last two months to spare them the brutal summer heat, but it's cool enough now to allow them back outside.
Reality: We eat meat. The dogs eat meat. So I don't make any apologies for raising my farm animals for food. It's part of daily life here. Although I don't discuss it much, some of you have emailed me asking how we dispatch the animals. Since this isn't a full time homesteading blog, I don't think it's necessary to go into detail, but if you're interested in the process (especially if it's research for a book) feel free to write me and I'll answer as best I can.
Conservation: We live in a drier climate than our home in southeast Texas so we've taken steps to tighten our water consumption. This includes rain water storage and drip irrigation directly at the base of the plants. It's a work in progress but this should save many, many gallons of water. I'm awed by Greg's engineering skills to get this done.
Happiness is a (mostly) full hay shed.
Last year I ran short of hay for the goats and I had to buy it for twice the price from a feed store. I usually buy it direct from the farmer.
This year I was able to calculate more accurately how much hay I need to make it until the next hay cutting season. It's critical that goats get good hay and I take their nutrition seriously.
Goats don't need high quality hay (like horses do) but they do need clean hay that's not full of weeds and dust. I was very angry at one farmer who sold me hay that was full of thorny burs. Never again.
|Iko never gives me trouble.|
If I can get my mom back on her feet and we can finish this year without any more incidents, I'll be happy. After that, my only goal is to sell Greg's house and get him up here as soon as possible.
2014 has been a struggle, but I still have hope that it'll all work out in the end.
How has the year panned out for you? Easy or hard?