Homestead Happenings

It’s been a minute since I’ve last posted.  We’ve just been so busy with our jobs and with work around our little homestead.

Our two little pigs have adjusted well to their new lifestyle.  These two seem much more settled than the last generation of bacon and bar-b-q.

The gardens were slow getting started because we’ve had a bit of a cooler spring, but now they are starting to take off.  We are getting a steady supply of snow peas, green beans, zucchini and squash.  The cucumbers aren’t doing so great this year.

I told you about the little orchard the Z Man put in for us.  All the trees seem to be doing good and are showing small signs of new growth.

I’ve finally figured out how to make (good) yogurt with the right consistency from raw milk.  Usually raw milk yogurt produces a thinner consistency yogurt, but the trick is to strain 3/4 of the yogurt as you would to make a thick greek style yogurt then whisk the last 1/4 of the thinner yogurt in to the thick yogurt and it produces the perfect creamy yogurt texture.

The chickens are happy and blessing us with fresh eggs daily.

I made and bottled my first batch of kombucha.  I even got the Z Man to try it and he liked it, once he got past the fear of it maybe poisoning him.  But, I have a confession, as much as I want to get into the kombucha thing, I’m just not into it, and I’m ok with that decision.  It was fun to try it, but it’s not something I’ll continue to do.

I’ve been washing and organizing my mason jars getting ready for the canning season.  I expect I’ll be canning green beans next week.

I made my first meat purchase from Polyface Farms of a chicken larder (fifteen whole chickens).  The best way to describe the taste of these chickens is to say they just taste more chickeny.  They are so good, and lean, not bloated with all the salt water that store bought chickens are loaded with.  I’m fortunate that Polyface delivers to my area on a monthly basis.  The Z Man thought I was a bit crazy when I asked him to go with me to meet a van in an ally behind the co-op to buy chicken, but let’s face it it’s pretty common for him to think I’m crazy anyway, so… you know just another day in our life.  I will continue to buy from Polyface Farms, because the meat just taste so much better, it’s worth the little extra cost to us.

On a sad note, our old yellow lab “Charlie” passed away.  He lived a good life, but now he is in heaven chewing the arms off sofas and steeling food from the tables.  RIP Charlie.

Two days after Charlie passed, I found a little kitten in bushes outside my office window.  I called around, but no one in the area claimed her, so off to the vet we went.  She weighed only 1lb.  I had always said I would never get another cat because I would never find another one that was like my beloved Maggie who passed about 10 years ago.  Maggie was a wonderful cat that would greet you at the door with kisses then turn around and chase dogs out of the yard.  This little kitten is just like Maggie.  Loving and feisty.  Some people say it was a sign to find this kitten right after Charlie passed.  I don’t know about that, but I do know that she has given us lots of smiles since bringing her home.

Meet Roxy Y’all.

(The Z Man named her, and she has completely turned into daddy’s girl, she just L-O-V-E-S her daddy!  I mean I just saved her life and all, that’s all, no big deal)

 

I hope Y’all are having a wonderful start to your summer.

Till next time…

Lori

4 thoughts on “Homestead Happenings

  1. Roxy is so cute! Will you keep your pigs just until fall, or are you going to keep them until they get to a certain size?

    I’ll have to see if Polyface delivers in my area, thanks for mentioning them.

    1. Hi friend 🙂 We will harvest the pigs / hogs in the fall. The Z Man says that last year they turned out at almost 500 lbs and that was a little too big for us, we would like the harvest them closer to 400 lbs. We try to wait for cooler weather to harvest too, so it gets to be a wait and see kind of thing. Thanksgiving is the best time because of the extra time off from work, but if it’s too warm then we have to wait till it’s cooler. I don’t think Polyface delivers that far, and they don’t ship either. 😦 Hey, maybe we could meet in the middle, you bring seafood and I’ll bring you chicken 😉
      Roxy is cute alright, a cute little monster 😉 I need to find some more cat toys to save my ankles. I believe she is going to be a hunter for sure, she is always squatted down waiting to pounce.

  2. Hey Lori,

    I hope you will give kombucha another try. I felt the same way as you but we experimented with different juices to flavor it as well as “brewing” times. I finally (now) love drinking our kombucha. My favorite juice flavors to add are strawberry watermelon, grape juice (purple kind), organic pineapple juice (I was the only one in the family to like this one) and white grape peach … I choose juices that are 100% juice. The only kinds that don’t work well are any citrus juices – yuck! Oh and apple cider is good too …

    1. The crazy thing is that I actually liked the way it tasted, I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around the process. It’s one of those weird things that I can process a deer or hog, but I don’t like the visual process of making kombucha. But my local health food store sells it on tap and I can take my bottles in to get filled, so perhaps I can do that from time to time, until I can get past my weirdness. 🙂

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