Friday, April 30, 2010

The Movers

Our baby chicks graduated today. We moved them outside, into our smaller chicken tractor. They're a little nervous about this unknown territory, but we're confident in a few days, they'll feel right at home. Mmm...fresh, green grass.

Here's an up-close of the scared little things.

Here's their little nesting box.

The bees that came by a few days ago decided to stay. I really thought they'd make a short inspection, and find that the tree they were scouting out was sub-standard. But apparently not. They're staying. At least for now. I just hope they leave me some honey.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Is In The Air!

It's been a while since I've updated about what we are doing around the homestead, so I thought I'd give a little update.

The Hot Contractor and I have been going to the local Weston A Price Foundation chapter meetings, and have been learning a TON about why eating a traditional foods diet is so good for us.  We are slowly making changes, and most of them have to do with our homestead.  We've also met lots of amazing people, and found some awesome connections there.  Annnnd....they have been offering classes on Urban Homesteading, Raising Poultry in Your Backyard, etc.  In April we will go to the Heirloom Tomato class-can't wait!

After losing almost all our chickens to predators last winter, we were a little disheartened, and worried it might happen again if we use the same coop.  Through the Poultry class, we learned that the most healthy way to let our chickens live is in chicken tractors.  We have a small one that The Hot Contractor built when we moved here, but it isn't big enough to hold ten new laying hens (which we will get this week), and 25 meat chickens (which we will hatch soon).  Here's our old chicken tractor.

There's our two remaining girls in there.  Sniff, sniff.

So, The Hot Contractor has designed and built a new chicken tractor.  We plan on it holding up to 24 chickens.  We'll use a different coop for our meat chickens when they are big enough to be outside.  Here's the tractor he's working on now.

I also thought I'd post a pic of our garden.  We've been enjoying lots of greens from the garden.  We have some cute little carrots growing too.  Right now we are planting lots of things for our summer garden, and even have some potatoes growing.

Here's The Princess after picking some kale for dinner the other night.

Here's our mini greenhouse with our herb starts growing.

And here's our strawberry patch.  I have high hopes of strawberry jam this summer, so I'm praying these things go OFF!

Yesterday the kids and I planted lots of seeds using a method I'd love to share.  The Princess got poison oak in the process (bummer).  I'll upload those pics soon, and share a little more about what we're doing (like getting raw milk, and a steer to slaughter.).