We are off and running

Spent the day yesterday preparing the home away from homestead. I’m learning the things that I thought were hard are really only time consuming. I replaced the seal on the front pop out but it was a bit late. The camper had water in the front storage area. This is currently drying, and was the only spot that let in water. It cost more than I expected to get the truck ready to tow it so progress is being limited. We have a lot of big plans for this camper, so keep on checking back.

Around the homestead things are quiet while we wait for the temperature to become reasonable. There is loads of cleanup to be done after the winter. 

a camper set up on a lawn

this is the mini mini homestead

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The next project begins

Yesterday I picked up the home away from homestead. I quickly discovered how careful one has to be when buying “as is”. Because of a failed seal there is water damage in the front storage compartment. It’s fixable, but still a lesson learned. Today will be devoted to making repairs. 

Around the homestead, things are drying up a bit, it is almost time to break out the rakes and wheelbarrows. I’m also thinking about where to establish the next bed.

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Whoops I am a Facebook noob

Ok so after setting up a Facebook community page, I steamed right on thinking I had it all figured out. Turns out, no I did not. I’m a little closer now. The like us on Facebook button should work properly. 

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Spring is springing, projects are hatching

Todays mission will be to get some seeds started. The standard practice of using trays, pete pellets etc… is going out the window. Why you ask? because Keurig. We use a Keurig brewer here at the homestead, and while i know it is not a sustainable practice there are definatly ways of mitigating the waste. The amazing benifit of these little cups is that each one is its own seed sprouting cup. The plan is simple. remove the foil top and recycle it. Empty and save the coffee, and use the remaining cup and filter as a seed starter. This is not an original idea, but it does make enough sense to employ it. Over the last few weeks i’ve managed to save up enough spent cups to make a small start at this. 

Also i’m attempting to source compost to augment the beds. I’m still arguing with myself whether is is better to buy compost, or find a horse farmer with something of a surplus. I’m thinking the latter but still need to think on it. 

I did a bit more looking into the idea of pellet production here at the homestead. it’s looking like it may not be as great of an option as I had previously thought. originally my thinking was to source sawdust from a firewood supplier and create a mill to make the pellets. Then I found that pellets can be made from grass as well. Natrually my first inclination was that there finally was a use for the useless grass that is all over the homestead. As it turns out, you need serious amounts of grass to pull this off. long story short, I’m still looking into it. I’ll keep you posted. 

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Is it going to end?

as I’m sitting here thinking about my dwindling heating budget, and watching the snow fall yet again. I’m wondering if this is a “normal” winter? Have we been so spoiled the last few years that we were lulled into false confidence when an actual winter hits? There are a thousand questions are running around in my head, most revolve around our current un sustainable heating methods. We currently use a mix of oil heat, and wood pellets. 

I feel like a switch to wood is the way to go, but at the same time we lack ample forest around us to make this hugely affordable. 

After a bit of research I’ve found that creating your own pellets versus buying them could be the way to go. The only thing left is to decide on a pellet burner that can handle the whole homestead. More to come soon.

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Attempting to wait patiently….

hey all quick post today. We are still stuck in the mire of winter here with no end In sight. I’m thinking this year will be a building year for the gardens, or rest if you prefer. The last few years have been so so at best as far as yield, so I’m thinking to load them with manure and mulch them. We have also purchased a camper so time tending gardens will certainly be constricted. Not to dispare though I’m sure I can find lots of homestead type things to do while camping. Keep checking back I’m hoping to increase the post volume as the weather warms. There’s just not much to post about when the weather is gloomy and grey. 

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Time to get back into the swing of things…

It’s been a while since I have sat down to write here. The winter months are always the slowest. Spring is coming now and we are starting to see the snowbanks retreat. I am convinced that it will take until June, but they are moving in the right direction now. It is time to begin writing again.

Last years garden did not do so well. Some of the problem comes from the timing being off. We had a bit of wildlife mischief, and we have lots of beds that are still establishing. We also tried some new things, searching for ways to maximize our lack of horizontal space.

upside down tomatoes seemed to work well. We took quite a few nice tomatoes from these. The amount of work needed to maintain them was prohibitive though. If we try this again there will be some method of irrigation involved. I think ti would not be too hard to tie in the gutters and capitalize on the rain water.

We also tried to use the overhang on the back deck to try out some vine plants. Squash, and cucumbers specifically. This experiment flopped, but it is one that we will be revisiting this year. there is too much space there to allow it to be idle.

troubled plants in a window box

A faltering attempt at a railing garden

 This is the first attempt to fill the open unused area around our deck. the plants did not grow as we had hoped. they grew well but when the weight came in the stocks kinked at the base. The solution I think is more support, or plants with heartier stocks. The other thought I had was that the amount of dirt in the pot was not sufficient to support the plants growth.

Mulched garden bed

A new bed mulched

In addition to experimentation  we also added and updated beds. They should be ready to plant this spring. What cant be seen in the photo on the right are the blueberry bushes that did amazingly well for first year plants. We were able to have blueberries the first year. In the background of the photo in the center is yet another experiment. a pea tee-pee for the kids. That one kicked off late and never left the ground.

a mulched garden bed

Coating of mulch on the hillside bed

This weeks project will be to start up some seedlings, and get the ball rolling.

until next time

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