Homestead Happenings – Preparing the Pig

“Homestead Happenings” posts are an overall glance at what’s going on here at the homestead; a little taste of everything that will include animals, garden, ministry, events, canning and cooking, etc. Here’s where we are at this week –

IMG_3068We are preparing for a Welcome Pig Roast party for our new teammates and friends. The party will be happening tomorrow – pray for good weather! – in the afternoon. The entire expat community has been invited along with many Congolese that would be beneficial for the Dimon’s to know. It should be a very fun time and we are already preparing for it now. The pig is being butchered, scraped and then will be hung in a fridge overnight. Kuddos to my husband Dave, who will have a very early morning to get the pig on the spit and to our workers for dealing with the pig now while Dave has to work.

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IMG_3073Our cat Sadie has been in heat for about a week and a half now which includes all the usual yowling, calling, and rubbing. In trying to get her bred this time (she’s a year old now so it wouldn’t be a detriment to her health) we brought the neighbor’s unfixed male into our house. He was nervous so we fed him some tuna and in no time he was sleeping and relaxing on our furniture. After his feast and nap he laid down on our carpet to watch this insane female rub herself on the rug and purr, etc. If she got near he would hiss and chase her off. This happened three or four times before he started looking around for a place to go to the bathroom. Since we didn’t want to let him out of the house I picked him up to bring him to the litter box. Right then he decided it would be a good time to go, and not only go, but go with force. He literally projectilled poop across our living room and then proceeded to spray diarrhea all over our living room rug and floor. He got a quick toss out the front door before I had to clean up the worst smelling cat poop EVER and still ended up with an annoying female cat calling ALL DAY. Great. Worst Blind Date EVER.

IMG_3055The garden is doing well and growing. Dave surprised me with an amazing on-the-back sprayer that I don’t have to bend over with or even stop spraying to pump! It’s changed my life . . . .well at least it turned a “bare-minimum” spraying that took 45 minutes into an “entire-garden” spraying that takes 30. The “bare-minimum” spraying literally takes about 5. It also saves my back (which is already bad and inflames easily) the trouble of having to bend over to spray. Time-saver AND a back-saver! Amazing!

IMG_3061The vine from South America is doing great and looks like it may even be putting on more fruit at last! It had to recover from it’s back-from-furlough trimming and rearranging first. The original fruit is changing color, noticeably now, and even has tinges of the red it will become. I’m excited for it. All of the other plants are doing well though I’ve been disappointed in the new winged-beans I brought back with me. Only 3 have come up, even with a second planting. The cucumbers have also seemed to struggle this time around, even though this is the variety that has done the best for me last time. I did a second planting of them and hopefully they will germinate. It is possible that it hasn’t come up simply because the seeds are getting old. I believe this is also the case with my onions because after two plantings I’ve gotten nothing; not one. I would keep my seeds in the freezer so they would last longer if we had more precious freezer space but we are lacking in that area. I’ll probably have to get some more sent out in a package sometime. Everything else is doing well!

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The rutabagas and turnips really seem to be thriving!
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Our okra patch and beans
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The okra is the same beautiful red okra as before but this time around they are less bug-eaten because I’ve been spraying them too.
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One of the newly developing fruits on our special vine
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One of the three winged-bean vines to come up
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Our sweet corn, a different variety than before
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The artichokes have come up! I’m experimenting with them.
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Our poor special red papaya tree that got eatten is recovering and sprouting new leaves – as are the other five that the pig chowed down on
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Our pineapple tops that we planted almost a year ago are doing great and should start producing our own pineapples this year

IMG_3076The new hatchlings take up some of my time each day and they will be an ever-present part of the homestead life from now on with doing hatchings for my ministry here and our own needs. We are eagerly awaiting the day that we start getting our own eggs again but we’ve got almost another three weeks before I can even get any eggs in the incubator for us – from today it will probably be around 8-9 months before we can get our own chicken eggs going. Seems daunting but hopefully it will go fast.

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The eggs for the animal micro-loan program
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Cooking away

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