This Month On The Homestead: June 2018 - Wildlife, Blueberries, Chickens & More!

If you’re just tuning in, this is a brand new ongoing series in which I document each month of our lives in our transition to a simple, homemade life on a modern homestead. We ditched town and moved to the country in 2008 and we blog about both our successful and not-so-successful ventures in homesteading, switching to natural products, and embracing a whole foods lifestyle.  Check out the entire series here.

The garden is going well!  Oh how I wait (and wait and wait....) for those beautiful green tomatoes to show their first blush of red.  How I long to pick them fresh off of the vine.  Fingers crossed this will happen soon.  Our veggies are a tad bit behind because I started them about 4 weeks late.  The good news is we are at farmers markets every week so we still get to enjoy the veggies as they come into season.   Then, once ours are producing, we can switch to eating right from the garden.  I did downsize my garden this year but I think I will go back to a large garden next year.  It's just so satisfying!

I don't want to jinx myself by saying this, but so far the wild bunnies and woodchucks haven't eaten much, just a few pea plants.  We really need to fence the garden in next year.....

And we have added to our wildlife....we have skunks.  Ugh.  They join the fox, whistle pigs, deer, possum, fisher cat, etc.  A mama and baby.  Can I just tell you how absolutely adorable the baby is????  (if he sprays any people or critters he will officially no longer be cute)  I've put J on skunk relocation duty.

Our blueberries are just about ripe.  The plants are currently not in good locations (we have a LOT of shade, so finding full sun for any plants is difficult) and we plan to move them to hopefully help them grow.  Our local PYO blueberry farm is officially open.  We'll be picking in the next 2 weeks so we can get them put up in the freezer as well as get some jam made.  This year I'm trying Blueberry-Maple Jam.  Doesn't that sound divine?

All of the home projects are now on hold.  The kitchen sits without cabinet doors, the bathroom is without a second light & new floor, and outdoor projects such as the front steps will wait for fall.

The Coop Girls are, for the most part, doing well.  The two girls who you see in the photos above are not playing nicely.  As a matter of fact, they are downright nasty at times to a few of them.  We are hoping that once the littles are introduced, with the inevitable change of pecking order, maybe, just maybe, things will shift slightly.  If not, well, I'm not sure what we will do.  Hazel (the chicken directly above) stands on the girls backs who are clearly at the bottom of the pecking order, and pecks and pulls out their feathers.  Usually she figures out how to jam their heads into the fence so they can't move.  And when they are out and about on the property, she hunts them down to ensure they understand she's still in charge.  Such a bully, isn't she?

Speaking of the littles, they are doing very well.  They will be ready to enter the full coop in about a month.  They are currently enjoying their very own coop space and outdoor run.  We've just started training them with the mealworm trick so they can free-range.  The mealworm trick is that since chickens LOVE freeze-dried mealworms they will go wherever the mealworms are.  So, in order to ensure we can get them safely back in the coop when they are free-ranging, we train them to the sound of the shaking bag.  I shake the mealworm bag and they come running.  Their reward is a handful of mealworms.

The dogs and Jack are doing well.   They are all very busy supervising anyone and anything that comes onto the property.  The mailman calls them his fans.  If the dogs aren't barking to greet him on the days he runs a package up to the house he asks "where's my fans?"  Oh how I wish they didn't love barking so much.  But they do.  I've had many people tell me they want French Bulldogs because they don't bark.  Huh????  They don't bark like most small dogs, I suppose, but oh yes, they do bark.

The soap & skincare business is in full gear, of course, because summer is officially here!  We are keeping up with products much better this year (at least so far) than last, but trying to balance it all makes it difficult to introduce any new products.  I fear falling behind again.

Like any business, trying to balance all of the pieces remains the largest challenge.  Because it's just the two of us we wear many many hats.  We both love working for ourselves which means we happily wear all of those hats.  We've been better this year about not working 7 days a week.  It's hard, but we are figuring it out.

If you would like to see more of our day-to-day, please join us on Instagram.

How was your June?

1 comment

  1. So much going on there. Thank you for the garden update. I just love hearing about what you are growing.

    Good to see everyone is well.

    Do you make your jams sugar-free? I would love to be able to make my own, but I try not to do too much processed sugar.

    Your soap looks so lovely. Almost too pretty to use. Almost.

    Enjoy your weekend!


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