Homestead Update


Well, my Ingrid is 9 days old. Just like peas-porridge-in-the-pot.

We are settling in to “new normal.” Settling never feels peaceful to me. Settling is transition, and transition for us means chaos. And by chaos, I mostly mean a lot of toddler whining and crying and managing behavior. Fortunately, I’ve had family and good friends to help with the kids and dinner and just overall moral support.

Recently I’ve had a lot of success in child training. It isn’t the most ideal time to start something like that because being confined to a chair nursing a baby means the little gremlins take advantage of my immobility and inability to immediately correct their behaviors. That is incredibly frustrating, and I wish someone had taught me about child training 5 years ago… But it is what it is and I have hope it will get better with time and consistency. The boys are doing great with it, especially my oldest. My daughter is really fighting my authority. No surprise there, she always has. I remember sitting around the breakfast table after I brought home my 3rd baby and I told her to sit on her bum and she got this look of defiance on her face and it was like she was a steaming tea kettle that just built up pressure until she let loose a screech that could be heard 5 miles away.

In hindsight, I’ve been fighting that battle for control ever since that day to varying degrees of success…mostly failure, because my methods were wrong and my attitude was wrong. Now I’m having to clean up muddy ruts of bad habits and poor behavior that has grown out of that inconsistent discipline and lack of training.


I have at least one hen laying right now, but that is about it. We have been slow to halted in egg production since about September. Needless to say, I am really missing our delicious eggs. Our flock is down to 9 girls from our 13 after losing 4 to various circumstances.

I’m researching and planning whether or not we want to brood more chicks this year. I’m leaning toward yes, knowing that this year is likely to be slow for egg production based on the age of our hens.

We were offered an Orpington rooster by one of our neighbors. He had been fighting with one of her other roos and eventually got the best of that one. She was left with him and one other and she thought it best to only have one roo. My concerns in taking a killer roo is obviously aggressive behavior isn’t great for us as my kids have a lot of contact with our birds and I wouldn’t want a rooster to fuss at my littles. I don’t know if he is overly aggressive simply because there were too many males, or if the behavior would persist in a different environment. So I’m weighing the benefits of that and will hopefully come to a decision on that soon.


Miss Maggie is about ready to be plucked and sheared again so raw angora fiber will be back on our Etsy shop soon!

I have a lot of crafts from the holiday market to list so that will get done hopefully sometime in the not-so-distant future.

As many of them were Christmas themed, I may run a “Christmas in July” sale, but I have a few months to figure all that out.

I have a list of householdy projects that I would like to spend some time crafting, but this mama bear has been falling asleep at 7:30pm- apparently mom-ing takes it right out of me! So those things will be put off until schedules and routines are more regular… You know, sometime 20 years from now.


I’m planning the spring garden and getting ready to prune all the fruit trees in the next couple weeks. Ideally I like to wait until mid February for pruning, but that’s assuming we get a hard freeze between now and then, and in East Tennessee, there’s just no counting on this weather to stay cold very long.

One of our apple trees- the only one that has made it to year 3- sustained some considerable damage to the bark on its trunk from some small buck. That’s a shame because I would hate to lose the one rust-resistant tree we’ve cultivated. 😞

I’m wanting to try permaculture guild planting around the fruit trees to eliminate having to mow around them, but that will depend upon our time, mulch, and money situation, whether or not I can aquire all of my desired companion plants.

My veggie goal is to grow and put away more root veggies, peas and beans, tomatoes, and possibly mushrooms this year. I’m also looking into growing a coffee substitute/supplement, more on that later.

We also have the two new plum trees, fig tree, lingon berries, lavender, tea olive, and patchouli plants we put in last fall that we hope to see signs of life from soon.

I want to focus on food storage, canning, and seed saving this year with greater intentionality than in years past. The goal being to see how much of our own food we can grow this year.

I’ll do a post soon with our garden diagram for this year and hopefully I will stick to it!

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