Homestead Happenings – 2 weeks back

Staring at your empty draft folder is one of the worst things in blogging. Taking time to write up a nice post full of good information and witty banter (ok I try) and put in all of the coordinating pictures, pressing the save button multiple times and then to have it disappear is frustrating. All that to say, I got a dose of that this morning when I went to go do the final proof read and publish an update post of our first two weeks back. So now you get the nutshell version (practically bullet-points) that wont read as smoothly – my apologies.

Coming back has been harder than I anticipated and I’m suffering from what I’m calling “furlough blues.” Saying goodbye to your family for two years, knowing they will miss out on your life (especially our son’s) is really hard. I realized yesterday that I’m grieving this.

I’m happy to say that we are pretty much over jetlag now but are still hanging onto our colds we picked up on our way back over here.

IMG_2880We’ve managed to get most of the garden cleaned out and replanted. A lot of the seeds we planted are already coming up: two varieties of beans, okra, tomatoes, rutabagas, turnips, Chinese mustard, and lettuce. We are still waiting on others: summer squash, corn, zucchini, cucumbers, winged beans, kohlrabi, fennel, collards, swiss chard, and five varieties of onions.

IMG_2887I’ve mentioned before that melons and squash struggle here. I believe that part of the reasons are squash vine beetles that bore into the stem of the plant. I’m attempting to protect our plants by covering them with netting until they are large enough to have tin foil wrapped around the base of the stem. I’ll have to change the foil every week so it doesn’t strangle our plants.








The incubators are up and running and one week ago I did our first candling of the eggs. We brought back pheasants and khaki Campbell ducks (one of the best, if not the best, ducks for laying eggs). 10 of 12 duck eggs were developing and 15 out of 25 pheasant were developing. Not counting my eggs before they hatch – that’s just where we were a week ago. I’ll take another peek tonight.


We have another pig already. We actually bought one before we left for furlough and had a friend look after it. This pig is for a welcome party for the new family that is moving in two houses up joining the team next week. We are very excited because we already know this family and are already friends.







I started brewing kombucha to hopefully help improve our family’s health and immune system. Maybe in the future I’ll try water kefir too.





IMG_2898Things have been going well but not perfect for us; there have been little things that weren’t right or little things that have gone wrong in our two weeks back so far (like loosing a blog post). like seed being eaten by bugs and our pig getting loose and eating things in our yard, etc. but that’s life.

So there you have it – Homestead Happenings for the two weeks we’ve been back so far, in a nutshell. Now to press the save button – again.

Amaranth heads drying for later use with our birds
The turkey pen cleaned out and covered in passion fruit vines
How the garden looks this week
Fattening up our pig
How our special red papaya looked BEFORE the pig ate it
A beautiful spider who made a web in the empty chicken pen
Another beautiful spider in the chicken pen
The okra – the little is what stage our planted ones are at. The large was a self-seeded one
Dragon’s Tongue beans
Yard long beans next to the trellace
rows of turnips and greens
The sweet potatoes next to the ruined patch of gooseberries
The garden this week from the other side
My little garden helper

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