Homestead Update: Chicks, Beds, and Veggies

Lots going on here lately! 7 of our 9 baby chicks come tomorrow, the other two will be here Friday. The brooder is set up, but we’re debating using a bigger box. 

We’ll see once they get here. Finally got the temp to settle at about 95°F under the heat lamp, until about 3:00pm when the sun comes hot through the window, and it spiked to about 110°… We’ll have to figure out a better way to regulate the temperature.

We finally picked out all of our fruit trees and bushes for our orchard and we plan on ordering those later this week. We don’t have tons of land, folks. We’re sitting on 5 acres, about 3 of which are thickly wooded. My goal is to show people that it doesn’t take acres upon acres of space to live sustainably and grow your own food. That said, we’re going all out this year now that we finally have the space. I don’t have an exact location for all of the trees yet, so I’m going with grow pouches for a year. That way, the root balls have time to develop and I can watch the light and water patterns around the ol’ homestead before planting them in their permanent spots.

I also dedicated a spot for a strawberry bed. It required some effort.

Before
First I had to dig out all those doggone flower bulbs. I replanted a bunch of them in a different spot, but most of them went to the compost pile. After digging up all the bulbs and weeds, the soil was exposed, so I put on a cover about 1-2″ of woodchip mulch. 

After
I didn’t want a super thick layer of mulch since I’ll be planting in this bed this year. The bed will be mulched again with about 4-6″ of mulch in the fall.

In any case, working outside is a sure fire way to shed baby weight… Or any weight.

Whew!

We’re thinking we’ll put the chicken coop on the east side of our property beyond the swale and the bees on the west, that way they’re out of each other’s way.

The garden is doing swell. I direct sowed some broccoli to see how it does. I’ve always started it indoors before and it never transplanted well. So this year, I did some inside, and some out. We’ll see.

Small Broccoli row

Also, we have pepper sprouts! Yay!

Still no bell or jalapeños, but I was pleased to see the cayenne seeds I saved last summer have all sprouted and are doing well.

That’s all for now, we’ll show off our Chickies tomorrow! 

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