Apr 29, 2016

Spring around The Homestead

My roses are blooming like crazy - and they are huge this year!
Spring has sprung here in California! With my parents in town over the Easter Holiday, we took a tour around the property. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Fig Tree already has large green figs forming on it. Before I know it, it will be time to harvest and make more of my Fig Preserves. 

Our wedding arch and the grapes
Those preserves have been a huge hit with the people I have given this to as gifts. I've even had people ask for more, which, of course, I have happily obliged. But that also means I am almost out of my stock from last year! The sad part is I could have made more but instead I dried and froze a bunch of harvests instead - which still sit in the freezer to this day. The goal had been to make fig bars. One of these days...

The garden is coming along great. Almost all of my spring and summer crops are planted. Unfortunately, my tomato and basil sprouts from the laundry room didn't survive the hardening process this year. We broke down and purchased 6 tomato plants at Costco and 6 more plants at a local nursery. We also purchased 6 basil plants from Costco. 

My pepper seeds took forever to sprout and by the time they did, I had already purchased other plants. I managed to get 6 of 12 bell pepper seeds to sprout and I did plant those in the ground without hardening them. Only 3 survived and are still quite small. It's as if I need to plant tomato and pepper seeds in November to have the plants ready for garden planting!  I may just stick to purchasing plants from the nursery from now on. 

The chickens have been growing fast! And we're pretty sure we have at least 3 roosters. At least it's not 6 or 8. They've been moved into the coop outside for a few weeks now. This was after Cameron not only improved it so we don't have a repeat attack by a coyote and expanded it!  The expansion will allow us to separate the Turkeys from the Chicken food when they get too big. 

The Turkey Expansion Area

We purchased two bronze Turkeys a couple of weeks ago. They are currently smaller than the chicken but were much older than the age we got a turkeys last year. We've brought them out to the coop a few times for some socialization with the chickens, but until they get all their feathers, they will spend their nights in the garage. We think we scored 2 Toms this year!

Lloyd & Harry (or Henrietta if Harry turns out to be a girl)

Cameron is also working on building a coyote-proof pen just behind our main backyard area, too. That's because we're getting baby goats! These are Boer goats, which is the preferred breed for meat goats. These two little gals won't be dinner just yet, though. We plan to breed these two and raise their offspring for meat. Of course, we have plenty of people asking us if we will be making goat cheese. We're not quite ready for that kind of work and commitment, sorry. 

London's Goat - Sunny
Sydney's Goat - Roxie
When I told London what these goats were for, she got upset. Apparently, she wants a pet goat. So she is currently doing chores around the house to earn money for a Pygmy Goat. Amazingly, she's already saved more than 1/2 the money she needs. And she can't earn more than $8 a week. Some of her chores involve taking care of other animals around our house. She has to let the dogs out each morning, feed them both in the morning and evening and monitor Jake & Kelsey's food bowls. 

The soon-to-be Goat Pen
The Goat House - soon to be painted Red
We'll see how the goats like being next to the dogs
London is quite motivated and on top of her chores most of the time. We added these chores as we want her to understand that if she gets a pet goat she needs to be responsible for it and take care of it. Right now, Cameron and I are both impressed. 

London was feeding Sophie in the mornings, but that chore now belongs to Sydney. One morning Sydney burst into tears when we explained that feeding Sophie was London's chore. Sydney said she wanted a chore board, so guess what my weekend project is?! (Of course, things have been so busy, that has been a weekend project for a few weeks too). 

Sorry for my absence - I'm behind in all areas of my life right now. Just trying to stay afloat is hard. 

1 comment:

  1. wow it must we so much fun with all the animals.. what a great experience the girls are having