Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our
Homestead.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Yeah! The camera is working.

Finally got the camera to work again,so happy about that! Here's a few photos from around home.





Clusters of soon to be Red Currents.


The first of the Italian Prunes.

One half of the living fence.

Hops taking over the porch-rail.

Newly built trellises for Cucumbers this year.

The Clematis that has grown high up into the Pear tree.



Our shy Goldfish in the rain barrel.













                                                                          I have yet to mention the fellow below,he's a new addition to this years projects.We have an ugly fence we share with the back neighbor that needs replacing next year.Chance decided that instead of looking at an ugly fence for the next few months,lets see one full of art.And so began his Wheat Paste Graffiti project.  See video below for more thoughts.
Wheat Paste art on the back fence,more coming soon.






Have a great weekend
Rois

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Celebrating Issac

Today our Issac turns 18 ! I can't believe we are already here.It's been making me a bit weepy even though he's not flying from the nest yet.

Here he is our handsome son,Issac.
  Issac is such an amazing young man,tender in heart,quick minded,brave beyond belief,forward thinking,full of life and laughter.It was all because of Issac I started my blog,dug a bigger garden and really started to think about what good food can do for a persons body. I thank him for not only being who he is but for helping us start this journey of homesteading.

See that smile on his face and the twinkle in his eyes? That sums up my son.In spite of going through medical hell at the age of 13 and continued medical problems all through High School he still smiles.He didn't make it to graduation but is going on to get his G.E.D and then on to college.Issac missed most of his Freshman year and struggled with medical ups and downs,he was behind 14 credits.He did his best to catch up but couldn't stay healthy and reach his goal. But he is still smiling and moving forward in the way that works best for him.Issac is just learning to roll with the punches Crohns disease hands out.Crohns has not stopped him yet,it may slow him down at times but he is still moving forward with that gorgeous smile on his face.

video
I know I have shared Issac's video before but cut a proud Mama some slack! Issac's bike and riding are his passion and stress release,you gotta love that,living with your passion not letting the hard knocks knock you down.

Thank you Issac for being such a wonderful gift to us.


Rois

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The year things suddenly went Pop.

I really,really wish our camera was working.I have so many things I would like to show all of you.

This year the espalier fence in the front yard is finally coming into its own.The grafted apple,Italian prune and kiwi's have all grown so much.We have lots of apples and a few prunes set and getting more hopeful everyday.As for the kiwi's,we had thought last year we might lose them but they have bounced back full of vigor. There is also the Gravenstein apple we planted,thought it was lost but came back.It's still just a bit thicker than a chunky marker pen but it has leafed out.

Under the fruit trees the berries are lush,full of blooms and set berries.I spied the first pinkish strawberry last night.The blueberries after 2 years in the ground are looking like they will give us our first real picking.

Mixed into the fruit and berries we have flowers blooming.Chance and I had saved two pink Floribunda roses from a dumpster a couple of years ago and they have come into their own beauty this year.Both plants are chest high on me and full of blooms.They are planted at the end of our walkway and as I come up or down the walk I smile to think someone thought that these two lovelies were not pretty enough and had been doomed to the dumpster.

This seems to be the year of lushness.We have worked hard over the past 4 years to get where we are,patiently waiting,tending and feeding.We were willing to put in the work and knew that planting fruit is full of years waiting for the labor to pay off.

We have also been working in the back yard on the garden beds there.We have dug and are prepped two new areas for growing food.

The spot where our old compost site has become our lettuce beds.This area is shaded but has some very nice filtered and direct sun through out the day.When we plant the lettuces in the big garden it will always bolt on us once it is warmer out. So far it's looking like a good idea and place,the lettuces are small but up.

The other new garden beds are in a unused corner that gets full day sun.I have not planted this bed yet and still need to add in some compost to amend the soil.I think I may plant a couple more tomatoes and maybe a vine type squash.There would be plenty of room for a squash to just ramble all over without interfering with other things near by.

Every year we try some new thing or idea,this year we have ended up with three.The first was the lettuce beds.The second is we are trying the "Three Sister's" planting of pole beans,corn and squash in one of the big garden's beds. I figure it should work but worry about the corn growing at the right rate to support the pole beans.The back up plan is we can always string up the beans if we have to and the corn will do what it will do.

The third new thing we are doing is we have added some goldfish to our open water barrel.We had both read about people doing this and thought why not.We purchased 10 of the cheap "feeder" fish at the pet store for 27 cents each.We are down to only 6,that's life with fish,good thing we went cheap.The purpose of the fish is to eat any larvae the mosquitoes lay. We do feed them some fish food everyday. Our barrel is an old wine barrel so it is tall and deep,this will keep the fish safe from critters and give them different temperature zones to be in as needed. From our reading we learned the fish should be fine over the winter here.We sometimes get a thin skim of ice on the top of the water but the fish will be able to dive deeper and stay alive unless we get a really cold spell.

Today we celebrate our Issac's 18th birthday with family,cake and ice cream.I have no clue where the years have gone that he is already at this milestone of a year.I guess in the same way our garden has come into so much potential,with love,tending,nurturing and patiently waiting to see the fruits of our labors.

Rois



P.S, I almost forgot the raspberries are looking like bumper crops as well.It's going to be a fruit year which means there will be plenty of Jam of all sorts for the winter.Yum.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Busy and more busy.

Man, am I busy these days.Busy time of year at work,busy time of year in the garden and a busy household in general.A topic I am slowly writing about in some depth,which I hope to post in the next couple of days.

In the mean time jump on over to Finnegan Begin Again and see what I've gotten myself into now.Margaret is a huge inspiration to me and sometimes it's her nudging that keeps me writing and thinking about doing something bigger with my words.Go check her blog out.

Rois


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Over there..

I ignored the sun filled morning today,the house was quiet,I was home alone a rare treat and sat down to write on my other blog.I can garden this afternoon but a quiet house was not going to wait.

Here's what I wrote if you care to hop on over.


Rois

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quick link Love

 A few links to share for now.My head is full of thoughts but until the weekend no time to seriously write about them.


Here's one about Kosher VS Pickling salt which has me revisiting the use of ratio and weight when cooking.Which means I need to go pick this book up and take a better look at it.

My friend Heidi is an amazing woman.Not only is she a very genuine person but she is a talented Lady Blacksmith.All of that beauty is hand done people!

This one could be a problem for me.I have a very difficult time leaving vintage handmade textiles behind when we go thrift store shopping,with this idea etched in my head I may be doomed.I have not looked through the whole website this posted on but it looks interesting and I will be back to explore it over the weekend.

Marianne left me a comment on my last posting so I went to visit her blog.What caught my eye was her little bio up in the right hand corner.It's so open and honest,the way people should be.Go visit her too.

 Living with Chickens brings flies in the yard during the warm months,I found this cool idea  on a environmentally easy way to keep the flies away when we dine out side.I may experiment with bags and clear jars.

And here is the song that is stuck in my head this afternoon.Very random.




Anyone else have a link or two or three to share from their week?

Rois

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Homegrown egg tip # 1 or..ew that smell.

Today we are invited to a Cinco de Kentucky Derby party, it was suggested to bring party themed foods for  the potluck.My first choice was to bake a Chocolate Cake with a bit of warm chilies and cinnamon to give it a Mexican vibe.Well,it was a good idea as long as nothing went wrong.Oh boy did something go wrong...

Let me back track a bit here.Way,way back when I was just a young teen and taking Home Ec,our teacher always wanted us to crack each egg individually into a separate bowl because you never knew for sure if an egg would be a good one.I can remember rolling my eyes at her but doing it. I remember thinking "I've been baking with and without my Mom since I was 3 lady,never seen a bad egg yet." Teen's and their angst.

Flash forward to just a few years ago.Once we started keeping our own hens I did start using the Home Ec teachers egg tip.Every blue moon or so there would be an egg that had an odd yoke or a really big bloody spot that I didn't want in what I was making. But it was only every blue moon or so and I fell off doing this.

Back to this morning.I had exactly enough Chocolate to bake my cake and make the frosting for it.Once I got to the eggs going in the batter I learned an important lesson.The first egg was just fine.The second egg though it was not right from the start.

As I cracked the egg open it squirted at me as I dropped the egg into the mixing bowl.Then a smell came and I was gagging.I had a rotten egg in my bowl of chocolate goodness.I quickly ran with the mixing bowl out to the trash and dumped the whole thing in.There was no way it was going into the kitchen trash bin.

Have you ever seen an ad about why the gas companies use rotten egg as the smell for leaking gas? I am dang sure now it would work,there's no way anyone would stick around with that stink going on.

I moved on to choice number two a southern inspiration- Coconut Cupcakes since I did not have enough baking chocolate left. Sounds a bit fancy maybe but all you do is use coconut milk in place of the milk.You can also add some coconut to the batter to bring up the flavor which I did.

While I was baking I tried to figure out how this happened.We always float our eggs for freshness,even if they just came in from the coop.



We also try to keep track of a rotation of the eggs but with 4 of us using the eggs I am sure they get out of order.And with so many eggs coming in everyday who knows what really went so terribly wrong.

So my now #1 egg tip when using your own eggs, crack them one by one into something before you add them one at a time to your mixing bowl.

#1 Used to be to float your eggs no matter what.Still important so maybe the two should actually be a tie.

I have set the bowl of eggs to one side until later today when I can go back and float them.My first thought was to dump them all but I'll see I how much I trust them after we float them.Something about that smell has really turned me off of the idea of eggs today.

Wish me luck today,there will be a betting pool on the race today.$1 gets you a ticket,winner takes the whole pot.

Rois