|Chickens, in a faint dusting of snow, gobbling grain earlier this week.|
We're staying in the area, but moving to a bigger house on more land with a real barn.We move approximately 2 months from now. With all the hustle and bustle of selling and preparing to move, I will simply not have time to continue blogging.
That, coupled with the fact that in the short time I've been opining, I have certainly come a lot closer to fulfilling my mission.
Our goal has been to "turn our rocky, overgrown 5.4 acres into a flourishing, self-sustaining farm, and become just a wee bit holier while we do it." With all of the improvements I've made to the pastures, and in implementing "the system," I've certainly taken great strides toward achieving the first part of that. My spiritual life has developed well during that time, too. I can honestly say that, even though I'm not continuing my mission here at this property, I have nevertheless achieved my goals - at least as much as possible in the short time I've been writing.
So, for this final post, I'll give one last Homestead Update, and add some closing thoughts after that.
Bridget and Latte are doing great. I haven't been milking much lately, since there's been so much to do, so Latte has been growing really, really well off all the milk.
|Latte taking all of the milk.|
The sheep are doing well. I was going to butcher Meatball recently, but with Brisket going to the processor, our freezer has been too full to handle the extra meat. I actually don't know when it will be. It seems strangely fitting to have my first butcher task be Meatball in my new barn, though, so I may just hang on to him until late March. I don't know yet.
|The sheep are in the lagoon system this year, |
because the little chickens are in the sheep pen.
But on the other side of that, it looks like Pot Pie is pregnant again. Maybe I'll get twins, and can add at least another ewe.
Porkie is no longer with us. She passed away the day after Christmas. I came out for their morning feeding on the 26th, and she had moved to a corner of the paddock for her final moments. I buried her. She was the runt.
On the other side of that, the two piglets are doing well, though still small, and I think BB'q might have a litter soon. I'll be using them in a similar situation in our new land, using their unique tilling talents to turn the garden plots. I'll re-design it so it's a lot less work on me, however.
The chickens have slowed down their laying considerably. I think we get between 3 and 10 eggs a day out of all 40+ of them right now.
|These are the "little" chickens|
I have yet to combine the two flocks, and wife and I ares till trying to iron out a management system for our new place. The barn has a chicken coop area built in to it, complete with nest boxes and roosting bars. We were initially thinking of doing a 100% free-range with them, but wife is concerned about chicken poop in the creek water, I'm concerned about losses to predators, and we are both are concerned about random egg laying spots and missing eggs. The benefits of it would be huge, in both dollar and time savings immediately, compared to a managed pastured approach. TBD.
Oh, those cotton-pickin' buns. I've had them for 9 months and have yet to produce a single litter. I've essentially given up for the winter, since the last time one gave birth, the kits were born on the cage floor and they died.
|"It's COLD out here!"|
Our new barn will have a dedicated space for them, so they will be more protected from the elements. I'm hoping the reduced stress will help them breed more successfully.
The Guineas, Bees, and More
The guinea fowl are very loud. We'll be bringing them with us to help control the tick population. The bees are hibernating, so there's not much on them right now. It's been cold and wet. The grounds are very sloppy right now. The garden is fallow, and our greenhouse was shredded in a hail storm. Whoopee!
I absolutely believe in the potential for my system to thrive. I would love to see a 5 acre property utilize it and really take off. That would be cool. Our life has taken off, though, and we'll be utilizing a different type of space with what it has to offer. So, I will be adjusting and tweaking as necessary to epitomize my philosophy: use God's creation as it was intended, and things will go well.
I plan to keep this blog active as a diary of sorts. I hope that through my documentation work, others might benefit, and hopefully some of my post help others achieve their dreams and goals a little easier. I hope people (and myself) have learned form my mistake as well as my successes. I also plan to stop moderating comments and writing completely. So, pardon the spam, but it's been minimal up until now. Thanks, Blogger TM!
Goodbye, readers. And may God bless you.