Tuesday, July 4, 2017

June 30 - July 4, 2017

Wow, today is an ending and a new beginning.  Today is the last day of my full time job, and marks more time for projects on the farm.  I am so looking forward to it!  I am torn between homesteading and farming, and hope that I venture forward slowly enough so whatever needs to take place, happens naturally and doesn't put too much stress on anybody.  I am also looking forward to helping my husband on summer projects full time (as he is a science teacher.)  This summer we are working on taking up the clay stained carpet and putting down hardwood floors.  Of course this has also led to other projects along the way, like finally getting to the pantry shelves, the home theater wiring (while taking up the old osb and putting down plywood subfloors), and who knows what else will pop up before we are through.  We are trying to fit in the last of the big projects before we work more slowly with less income.  Of course more time will lead to being able to do more money saving activities, so there will be compensation.  Life is an adventure!

Projects we have done since the last post include the wiring for the
lights in the barn.  We have taken them off of the current photovoltaics and made them independent, using 12 vdc led light bulbs, a battery, and a trickle charger (which means we don't have to invest in a charge controller.)  Also, my husband is thrilled that he finally got around to wiring a light switch for both entrances of the barn. They are for our newly organized workshop that seems to be so important for all the diy projects we do here on the farm.  We could never live in a tiny house, as doing all of this diy stuff requires tools and materials, and you need somewhere to store them.  The first time you do a project, it pays for the tools and equipment, so everything else you do with the tools is free.  That is hard to ignore.

Tomato Jungle
Mashed Potatoes
While all the chaos of the floors is going on, it is still the middle of the summer and we are harvesting peppers, tomatoes, and we just finished the potato harvest.  Our potatoes did not do well this year.  We are blaming it on the new variety of russets we were forced to get as the Burbanks we did the year before and did really well was not available.  Anyway, to maximize the crop we went in with the tiller after the potato digger to churn up any potatoes that were left in the ground.  Of course, this turns up cut potatoes that need to be processed right away, so I made mashed potatoes for the freezer which included homegrown dried cayenne peppers and some cut up chives we grew right here on the farm.  It also included butter and salt which we didn't grow - maybe butter is in our future.

Okra interspersed with sweet potatoes
Sunflowers and Corn
It is also about time to harvest our sunflowers as I can see the yellow finches are coming in.  We use this for our chickens, as they love them.  I will leave you with a few pictures of our garden.  Got to get back to work.  By the way, as you can see by the range of time, it took me a while to figure out how to download the pictures from our new camera, and figure out where the computer was saving them to, as well as figure out that we had not set the date on our camera so it was telling the computer that the pictures were from May of 2015!!

Also, on a homestead, it really helps to have more than one person in case the unplanned happens (and it will), such as the cattle getting in the wrong paddock.  In this case, one got in with the chickens, which probably wouldn't be a problem, except it was intent on eating the young oak tree that we had planted to one day provide shade and acorns for livestock.  It took one person to guard the oak tree, and one to get a bucket of feed to lure him out of there.

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