Life on the Homestead

I thought today I’d do something a little different than my usual posts, and that is to share what is going on at our homestead right now.

It will be two years this August since we moved out here.  Before the homestead we lived on 1/11th of an acre in a small town 20 minutes from here.  We loved the town, but we yearned to be in the country where our kids could run and we didn’t have houses so close to us.

Frankly, I never really was sure that dream would become a reality.  When you grow up in mostly low-income housing, townhouses, and apartments (we moved A LOT), it’s hard to believe your dream country home will happen.

So, even two years later there are times I wake up, look outside my window, and can barely believe this is actually where I call home.

Of course, as amazing as it is to live out here, that doesn’t mean it’s a completely smooth ride.  Just like anyone, we have hard days.  Things go wrong, stuff breaks, kids (and adults) have bad attitudes, and we can feel exhausted and overwhelmed.

Most recently I’ve had to personally look at my priorities and figure out how to manage them better.  Turns out, women CAN’T have it all, unlike what we are told.  Or maybe we can, but definitely not all at the same time.  So I’ve recently been re-evaluating and deciding what I need to say no to.

I know I’m not alone in that struggle. I know many of you feel the same way at times.  We need to remember that whenever we say “yes” to something, we are saying “no” to something else.  We want to make sure we are saying yes to what we should be.

And right now, I want my yeses to be to embracing and soaking in all these moments on the homestead with my kids.  Because they won’t last forever.

So, what’s new over here?

Almost 5 weeks ago now we brought home these ridiculously cute little chicks:

This breed is called Ameracaunas and they actually will lay blue eggs.  My mom didn’t believe me when I told her (yes, no farming background here. 🙂 )  I’m pretty excited because that’s just fun.  However,we still have months before we see our first blue egg from these girls.  That’s okay though ,we have a current flock that is supplying all that we need egg-wise.

baby chicks

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And, we are a couple months in now of owning the milking goats.  I would say the milking goats have been my biggest learning curve.  Not the actual milking – much to my surprise that came pretty easy for me.  It has been the adjustment of schedules since we are milking twice a day.

When we breed them again later this year and they have their babies we will do once a day milking next round, but since we purchased these goats without their babies and they were already in milk (which is what we wanted) it’s twice a day milking.

The other learning curve and adjustment with the goats was what to do with all that milk!  I never imagined just two goats would give me SO MUCH milk.  But they have blessed us with a ton of milk!  However, you gotta keep up with it or it will go bad.

So we’ve made mozzarella cheese, yogurt, junket (it’s a thing, y’all – check it out here), pudding, milkshakes, custard, and whatever else we can think of.  I’m still holding out for a used ice cream maker so we can try that as well! 🙂

dairy goats

By far one of my favorite parts of owning goats though, is to see my 7 year old love on them.  2 years ago he was so terrified of animals he wouldn’t even pet a bunny.  Now he loves to come with me to spend time with the goats.

We expanded our garden.  last year was my very first time really gardening because our last property was covered by shade and massive tree roots, so it was always a struggle (and frankly, any container gardening I tried I always killed because I never watered them enough.)

But-true confessions here – my first set of seedlings died.  However, not one to give up, I did some research, asked some questions, changed my setup, and tried again.  The second set thrived!  I think I’ve figured out how to keep them alive now. 🙂

seedlings for the vegetable garden

My newly licensed carpenter husband was kind enough to build me a fence around my new garden to keep out my dog. Oh, how we love that dog, but he thought my garden was his playground.  We used what we had on hand, aside from buying a few cedar posts.  After this picture was taken we also lined the bottom of the fence with chicken wire because, bunnies. 🙂

garden fencing to keep pests out

My favorite part is the crazy cute door and rock path he made for me.:)  That’s love, everyone.

pallet gate

I also harvested my very first, tiniest little bunch of lavender from the plant I planted last year.

lavender

I’m definitely going to need more lavender.

And of course, there has been plenty of food happening around here:

homemade bagels

Homemade bagels, anyone?

And then there’s junket.

junket pudding

I didn’t know what Junket was either, until I found the recipe over at The Elliott Homestead.  Be sure the check it out. 🙂

And there was some heavy fermenting going on:

fermented foods

I love the swing top bottles for my water kefir.

Along with cozy nights with tea and candlelight. (Tea because I gave up coffee.  It’s too soon to talk about – I still haven’t fully accepted it.)

 

Copper pots and candle holders

It’s been a very full season, though we are discovering that most seasons are full on the homestead.  However, it’s a good kind of full.  The full where you lay down in bed at night, utterly exhausted, but feeling so blessed.

As we head into summer we can’t wait to be harvesting the garden, picking berries, canning, and enjoying those long, hot days as a family.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our country life.

wildflowers for the farmhouse

Summary
Life on the Homestead
Article Name
Life on the Homestead
Description
Just a glimpse into our life on the homestead.
Author
Publisher Name
Simple Life of a Frugal Wife

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