Homestead Journal

Dawn’s Daily Homestead Journal

Sunday, June 9

Warm, humid and overcast.
Waxing Virgo

AM Feeling okay aside from my right foot and an annoying cough. Finished painting the last parts of the new chicken coop. Put a couple more loads of soil in the fire rings I got to make raised beds for my sweet potatoes. The soil is heavy ( had 5 yards delivered from the landscape supply company) and I was exhausted and in need of a rest after two loads. So I sat down and cleared the grass away from about half of the Eastern side of the Southwest garden and planted some buckwheat there. I plan to grow buckwheat all around the outside of the garden to block the grass from encroaching, to attract beneficial insects and to provide grain to feed the family and the poultry. Then I weeded a bit more inside the garden until it was time to get ready to go to Peacefest.

Early PM Went to Peacefest. We watched my husband play in two bands and listened to two more bands while holding his hand. Bought an awesome hand-thrown butter dish, (Sunshine chose blue) from Danijo Hawkins Pottery and kiddo got a Hippistick, a hackysack, and a dancing ribbon. All the bands were fabulous.

Late PM Finished putting together the chicken coop in the rain. I will still have to use hardware cloth to secure the bottom from digging predators and maybe upgrade the door latches before having them sleep in it, but they seem to think it’s cool enough to hang out in. I brought Firestar in to look a swelling above her eye. I can’t see a cause for it. I thought there might be a splinter I could pull out or something but I can’t see anything. I could make a poultice, but it’s really close to her eye. It’s soft and squishy and has no heat, but it’s shiny like the skin is stretched and red. She was very uncomfortable while we were examining her and began to pant, so we stopped. We gave her a drink and put her in the barn to sleep. Will call around for chicken vets tomorrow.

Cut some fresh cilantro to season the beans for dinner and fresh mustard greens, lightly steamed with white wine vinegar, olive oil, and nutritional yeast for a side. Dinner was light, we ate a lot of junk food at the festival.

Monday, June 10

Cool, rainy. 1st Qtr Void of Course Virgo.

AM Feeling super-tired today.  Cough is becoming a real problem. Made a tea of mullein, sage, and nettles and going to allow myself some rest. I built a chicken coop this weekend. That’s an accomplishment. Strictly Medicinal sent me a message that sweet grass is in stock. Want to buy some but I am broke until Friday. I’m feeling weird about buying sweet grass, but I won’t sell it, so… Anyway. I will have to wait and hope they don’t sell out before then.

As soon as the rain stops and the sun comes out I would like to harvest some herbs. I also have two meat birds that are ready for butcher. I wanted to do that today, but I am too tired this morning. I checked in with my son and we’ll do that on Wednesday when he has a day off.

PM Didn’t get much done on the homestead today but got the bedding washed. My foot is hurting badly and I’m just feeling bone weary all over.

Tuesday, June 11

Cool, sunny and bright

Waxing gibbous, Libra.

AM Still tired today, foot still hurts. Would like to move some dirt, but it’s all wet and heavy. I put in some fence posts for the fence-to-be. I  will be picking up the actual fencing on Friday after payday and hopefully get it installed this weekend.

PM – Harvested herbs today. I also toasted and ground what was left of last year’s dried cayenne peppers and got an eyeful. The first aid treatment for that is milk, by the way. Hot pepper oil must be diluted by fat; Water won’t do it. I’m much better now. I cleared off the spot on the counter where the dehydrator will live for the rest of the summer and wiped away the dust of storage and set it up. Harvesting rose petalsoregano, lemon balm, and chive blossoms.  My roses smell amazing. I like using oregano and lemon balm in my homemade cleaning concoctions.

Wednesday, June 12

Cool, rainy. Waxing Libra, void of course after 11:15

AM Butchered two meat birds today. It took me all morning. I ended up with 2 packages of legs and thighs, 2 packages of breasts, 1 package of tenders, a package of scrap meat for soup, and of course, giblets for dirty rice. That’s 7 meals from 2 chickens. I will simmer the bones overnight for stock– 6 quarts.

PM I always have a vegetarian meal the day I butcher so I made some pasta and used the last of the sauce I had in the freezer from last year. I made an extra batch of pasta and put it in the freezer for another day. We also harvested lettuce from the garden for a fantastic salad and I baked some bread.

Thursday, June 13

Cool, rainy. Waxing Scorpio

AM and PM I was in the office all day today. We had takeout for dinner and I didn’t get much else done.

Friday, June 14

Bright, cool, Waxing Scorpio. Void of course after 3:45

AM Went to Tractor Supply to buy fencing for the new Southeast garden bed. Installed fence supports for tomatoes in the Southwest garden and transplanted to Opalka and San Marzano tomatoes. Planted some snap peas for succession. We have one ripe snap pea, I gave it to my Sunshine. He said it was delicious.

PM I spent most of the afternoon working on websites and did not get back outside until near dark. I brought Doctor Robert (the rabbit) into the front garden with me while I did some weeding and he had a blast. I noted he needs a nail trim so I will have to recruit one of the menfolk to assist the next time they are around.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Overcast and cool, Waxing gibbous in Sagittarius

AM Food prep today. Boiled eggs and potatoes (chopped up the ones I boiled for last week for the poultry.)  Took out some rabbit to thaw and made a marinade for hassenpfeffer. Soaked rice and chickpeas for curry tomorrow. Made dirty rice. Chopped up extra peppers and onions for curry tomorrow. We seem to have forgotten to get celery at the grocery store. I will add it to my list.

PM We went to the Verizon store to deal with a broken phone. It took two trips. We stopped at Spicer farm on the way back and got some fresh strawberries and popcorn.

Later PM We set up remaining plant supporting fences in the gardens. There are still a lot of uncontrolled weeds in the new garden where I should have already planted corn. We will have to sheet mulch there. We moved some more soil to the raised beds, but they still aren’t full enough for the sweet potatoes. We did get the giant fence roll moved to the back and all the stakes pounded in, but we didn’t get the back fence in yet. I am bone weary and frustrated. We spent the rest of the evening trying to get the skins off of black-eyed peas for moi-moi.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Steady, gentle rain. Cool.

Waxing, Sagittarius.

AM Today I am extra-tired and finding it hard to get going. We have company coming tomorrow morning and I am going to spend the morning cleaning up. I have to work this evening.

Monday, June 17

Company today. My son’s friend from the Marines flew in this morning. Spent the day playing hostess.

Tuesday, June 18

I drove my son and his friend down to my mother’s house this morning and then spent the day at the office. Didn’t get much done around the homestead but I did finish planting my tomatoes in the evening.

Wednesday, June 19

Today we began summer homeschool for my Sunshine. Day one went well.

Thursday, June 20th

Wet, dreary.

Homeschool has fallen apart already. The wet has my body aching and I am just completely tired.

Jack and Bella voluntarily slept in the new chicken coop last night. Let us celebrate.

Friday, June 21st

It’s my birthday.