Homestead Update

Lots going on around the homestead lately! Here’s a quick update before I jump back into the work.

We’re expanding our rabbitry by 4 new Silver fox buns today! That brings us to a total of 3 bucks and 2 does. The mother and father doe and buck produced 2 kits, one male one female. So as a breeder near us is getting out of silver fox to focus on another breed, we took the opportunity to build up our rabbitry.

That said, we’ve been building cages like fiends. The one we have in the basement made from powder coated wire is where we have Helmer our starter buck right now. My husband and I put together these wire cages last night and we hope to move all the bunnies outside to their new home on the back side of our goat barn. More to come on that once it’s completed.

Wire cages

My focus today is finishing up the rabbit tractor I’ve been working on since last week. My husband brought home materials and jokingly said, you can slap this together for me if you want. I took him seriously and have been building in my free time, much to his surprise and delight. So it’s not perfect, because my carpentry skills are doable and passable, not masterful. But I like how it’s coming along so far.

Rabbit tractor

We had a friend brood some chicks for us this year so we could pay her for them and not deal with the brooding stage so we could focus on rabbit expansion and dairy. It worked out pretty well so far. I found one of the new birds dead this morning in the run- no clear explanation for how it died. So that was disappointing and a little sad. But the other 4 seem to be doing well.

Today was coop cleaning day, so everything in the coop was swept, sprayed, and freshened up. Our ladies are finishing up their summer molt and egg production is kicking back up again. I’ve yet to see black copper maran eggs again yet. I miss them, they’re gorgeous.

The kitchen project is a hot mess. Time has been a factor in my husband’s ability to work on it with me and the children out of his work space. We have some friends from church that will be helping us out so we can knock out the big tear out/subfloor replacement phase and get this place back into working order.The sink refinishing is coming along. I have some patches to sand and smooth out and then I’ll be painting it. There are some slight imperfections I wasn’t able to fully correct. But… It will be functional, and beautiful and it has character and history which makes it all the more pleasing to me.

The goats are doing well and making headway on the kudzu “pasture”. Unfortunately, the fenceposts we put in have already been consumed by the vines so the goats will be getting moved to clear those off this week.

With everything else going on, “beautification” and weeding has gotten shoved to the back burner but is on my to do list this week at some point. So the gardens are looking a little scraggly and are in need of maintenance.

We’ve got blackberries coming in and I made a pretty salad from what we’ve got coming in the garden.

Swiss chard, kale, broccoli, raspberry and marshmallow salad

The market garden is doing ok. The nasturtiums aren’t doing as well as I hoped, and the cilantro is more or less a failed crop due to the heat of summer hitting sooner than I’d expected. I shall try again with a fall planting. The peanuts are looking good though, above ground at least. I’m choosing optimism and praying for a hefty harvest from them.

Peanuts
Cilantro
Nasturtiums

The tomato plants are looking strong! And I’m also hopeful for our grapes.This years big push however is going to be our autumn garden because I’m really hoping for storage crops and ferments of the cool weather/over winter crops. Hopefully we can get our projects wrapped up and pour attention into the gardens within the next few weeks.

For now, it’s back to work in preparation for our rabbits later this afternoon!

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