Since it seems that I'm incapable of posting with any type of regularity lately, I think it's more reasonable for me to just give updates from time to time. We've been on our property for six months now. I've discovered that this time of year is extremely busy if you're trying to grow a garden and keep an orchard alive! So, with that said, this is what we've been up to...
Andrew is turning into a great little homestead helper. (Isn't he a cutie!)
The chickens are now free-ranging in the afternoons. This photo was taken on their first day out of the pen. They spent that first day going no further than the shade of the barn, but now we often see them up by the house later in the evenings. I love that they're helping control the bugs around here and we've noticed that we're going through less grain feed than before.
Shawn spent several days cleaning out the root cellar. The previous owners left a lot of unwanted items behind when they left. So, after Shawn sorted through the old bicycles, mildewed clothing, Reader's Digests from the 70's and 80's, and jars of mysterious liquids...this is what we were left with.
We know that we have to find where water is coming in and fix the leak, then kill off the mold that's in there, possibly replace the shelving because of mold, and replace the exterior door. Just more stuff to add to the "To Do" list.
Shawn already managed to build a very nice woodshed and some crates to use in the root cellar. He loves building things with wood and is really quite good at it!
Finally, I'm pleased to show off our first ever potato harvest! For being our first year growing them, I thought that we had a pretty good crop. We're estimating that we have about 50 pounds of potatoes. The crates that Shawn built will stack one on top of another and we're putting them in my laundry room for now. The laundry room is on the north side of our earth-berm home, so it's built into the ground and stays pretty cool all the time.
Other than this we've been spending our time watering the orchard and garden since we haven't had any rain on our property for about two weeks. We're also trying to control the weeds in the garden by putting down newspaper and covering it with straw. Oh, the areas we already have done look SO much nicer! We're starting to pick blackberries and enjoy some on a daily basis. I'm researching putting in a fall garden. I have some empty space in the garden now where the potatoes were and I have several raised beds that will be empty once I pick the garlic and onions soon. I'd like to go ahead and put something in their place instead of letting it sit empty. We've also been spending a lot of time with the Sears repair man since the brand new Craftsman riding lawn mower that we purchased two months ago breaks down every single week...but that's a long rant that would be a whole post by itself. Needless to say, I'm starting to think that we should've saved our money and just invested in a couple of goats instead!
Anyhow, that's the most recent update and the closest I get to having an "excuse" for not posting more often. We're still loving our busy, sweaty, itchy, achy, productive lives as homesteaders!