Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Homestead

Summer is FINALLY here, yippee!  Life on the homestead is getting busy.  We decided to raise pigs again this year. We went out to the farm and Wyatt picked out these two cute little buggers and named them "Muddy" and "Dirty".

Unfortunately Dirty was not feeling well and went back to the farm. Mr. Pinkleman was going to give her some meds and see if he could get her to come around so we came home with this spunky little girl now named "Runner".  I really enjoy having the pigs, they have tamed up pretty well so we can go in and pet them and I even went as far as to put sunscreen on Runner, so her pink little ears didn't get burnt. I know- Jeff laughed at me too but I am all for treating these animals right during the short time they are under our care.

Another one of my little projects is beekeeping. This will be my fourth year and I am still learning about these amazing creatures. But I will have to admit that I am still afraid of them. I seem to be developing a stronger reaction to the stings, which is making me more nervous but not so bad that I am going to stop quite yet. I just bought a smoker this year which helps mellow the bees and I make sure Jeff is home anytime I am messing with the hive.  I really have not gotten stung very many times, maybe a couple per year.  

Our homestead is now home to two Magpie ducks named "Capie" (because she is wearing a cap and "Bitey" (because she was biting one of the baby chicks).  I have never had duck before so this is all new for me.  I think we may have messed up by raising them in the same enclosure as the baby meat chicks because at this point the ducks are imprinted on the chickens and get very distraught when they are separated from the flock. I had envisioned these ducks more as pets following the boys around the yard. But so far they have been really fun to watch, especially when we get them into the water.

They have grown really quickly, the above picture was in late May and below less than a month later. They should grow to be about 7 pounds.


We still have 6 egg chickens that we overwinter every year and we get meat chicks every spring. This year we have 21 meat chickens and also 2 turkeys.

And of course there is the greenhouse and garden.  We got off to a slow start with our tomatoes and peppers, I think we had some bad potting soil and were not keeping them warm enough when we started them back in Late February. But now that they are settled into the greenhouse they seem to be coming along.  Wyatt really wanted to plant some corn, those are his 2 plants in the yellow bucket.

The garden is not much to look at right now. We got everything planted in late May/early June and by now pretty much everything is sprouting. We planted carrots, onions, greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, oregano, leeks, lettuce, corn, squash, peas, beets and turnips.  This year we got a drip irrigation system in place, I am excited about this because it should be a huge timesaver and better for the plants.  

 So lots of work to do around the house. In addition to garden and animals I have completed two sprint distance triathlons, one in Anchorage and one here in Delta.  Jeff has had a month off since he quit his old job and he has kept busy checking stuff off his honey do list, fishing with the boys and doing prep work for his new office.  Jeff is now working for an environmental consulting firm out of Fairbanks and just went back to work this week.  He is very excited about this change and so far it seems like it will be a great opportunity for him and a nice group of people to work with.  He will be gone quite a bit this summer doing field work but when he is in town he will be working from home which we are all excited about.  He is planning on building a small office down at the end of the driveway near our guest cabin so he can have a quiet workspace.  
We are also looking forward to lots of family coming up this summer. Jeff's nephew and a friend of his will be here for 10 days, my dad here for 2 months and my mom and nephew here for 2 weeks.

Wow, this has been a whirlwind of blogging for me!  Time to sign off, thanks for checking in.

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