We are often told by other homesteaders that it is helpful to follow what we are doing on our farm on a weekly basis as it helps others learn the seasonality of things on the farm. Each week there are things to do that prepare you for the months ahead where there is less and less time to get everything done. So, staying organized and on schedule in January and February is important.
So, here is a photo journey through our week at the farm. First, in the garage we have numerous things going. As of now we have started the following vegetable seeds – arugula, broccoli, cabbage, celery, soybean, leek, lettuce, peas, spinach, cauliflower, cayenne pepper, kale, onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, sweet pepper and hot pepper. We have also started the following cooking and medicinal herbs – catnip, mint, parsley, summer savory, sorrel, beebalm, lavender, amarynth, yarrow, horehound, lovage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, sage and tarragon. Last, we have also started cotton and sweet potato slips.
That is quite a list. Here are the photos.
Also in the garage we have two other projects going – chicks and compost worms. Our chicks are now getting quite big and I will need to transfer them into a larger space tomorrow. We have kept them in this little container with a heat lamp and enclosure to keep them warm enough. Now, it is time to expand their space! So exciting.
We proceed outside and near the house we have the garden and the chicken coop. I have been spending time tending to the garden to weed it up and have it ready for a cold frame and some early season starts in the next week. Here are a few shots of the garden and chicken house.
In this herb part of my garden there are quite a bit of herbs here. Calendula that survived the winter, dill, sage, chives, basil which also survived, thyme, tarragon, lemon balm and mint. Potatoes are also there being stored under the dirt mound with the pitch fork!
The first blooms of spring we always see are the yellow flowers from forsythia. It is also a Chinese medicinal via use of its fruits on the plant. Learn more about it here – Medical Uses o Forsythia
Here is Blessing, our sculpture, that overlooks our farm – watching after the place.
We head to the barn and feed the horses, goats, rabbits, ducks and sheep. Here are a few photos of life at the barn right now.
So, down in the main barn we tend to all the animals giving them their grain, hay and water. We also spend a good deal of time just loving on and spending time with all of our flock. We use this time to really monitor to health and well being of each member of our AnFam – our animal family. All our livestock get along very well as you can see from our barn layout. All the livestock can watch and interact with each other. Also, all the stalls open out into the pasture where they all spend time together. So, since this is their life since birth, all our different breeds of critters get along splendidly. If fact we had a baby goat break out. She went through the wire into the sheep stall where the ewes are. They just nudged her back in to her stall with her mama. Below is a picture I took last week of our sheep literally watching our goat give birth – they are that attentive to each other cross species.
We also have tons of quacking going on while we are at the barn when we are almost ready to let all the critters except the ewes and does out to play for the day outside. The loud and boisterious quacking is due to our gaggle of ducks! We have Pekin, Rouen and Indian Runner ducks that we raise here at the farm.
After we finish with the chores at the main barn we head to the lower pasture and tend to the rest of our critters giving them grain and hay. Those critters are our cows and our alpacas.
We spend time in the lower pasture with all our critters down in the lower pasture and bond with them for a while too. It is such a special time in the morning doing our chores.
This whole process takes us about 45 minutes if we are in a hurry and about 1 hour and 15 minutes if we are loving on all our critters, which we tend to do since we are retired and farm full time.
After all of this is done, we head back to the house to have a farm breakfast with our own eggs, sausage and milk from our own farm!!! And, soon we will have a bunch of our own fruits and vegetables too as that time is bursting forth as we speak.
We hope you enjoyed our farm tour for this last week and what we are getting accomplished on the farm. This is such a great life and we love to share it with all of you who also homestead or are thinking of doing the same thing in your own lives. We believe this is a very powerful and fundamental way to live as it teaches ourselves, our kids and our grandkids about resiliency and self sufficiency as well as the huge rewards associated with hard work. As important, it teaches our kids about the cycles of life – both birth and death. This makes them emotionally strong in an era when it appears – snowflakes requiring safe spaces to shield young people from the realities of life – is the norm. Folks, that is not the norm. Teaching our kids about life through the reality of LIFE ITSELF is our role as parents. There may be better ways to show them, but as of now, the best way we have found with our kids is to teach them through farming.
Have a wonderful week going forward and may God bless you and yours!
~ L. Davis