June 17, 2018: I moved in to my homestead property in western Massachusetts on December 11th, with my three cats (a ragdoll and two American curls). The ragdoll (Serenity aka Miw) came into my life via a writing workshop also attended by the breeder, so no pricing issues with her. I promptly went into surgery on my knee for a benign but large tumor on the 14th of 2017 (necessitating a few days of hospital stay), and became a legal resident of Massachusetts on December 30th.
Winter was spent waiting for it to stop sn*wing, for me to start driving again, and doing physical therapy to regain range of motion and strength in my leg. And, making plans.
On May 3rd, we (the cats and I) were joined by eight day-old broiler chicks. They’re not Cornish Cross, but they will grow fast and furious. Just not as fast and furiously. GOOD.
Eleven laying chicks arrived on May 8th, although one of these is technically not a layer, as he’s the future rooster of the laying lot. I still don’t know which one he is, other than that he should be one of the silver-laced Wyandottes.
So, ATM, we are now 23 vertebrate critters living on my farmstead, at least inside the house. I see a variety of deer, wild turkeys, salamanders, and other critters outside on my property so far this year. Not to mention a luna moth and certain other moths. Last fall, Monarch Butterflies hatched here. Yea team! Yes, there’s an indigenous population of milkweed, which I try to encourage although it likes growing where it may get run over. (Oh, we won’t mention the mice I’ve found in the garage…)
The below are a list of my Homesteading Post links that I plan to add more and more to this blog as time goes on. Farming, gardening, DIY projects, and various other notions. At the top of this page I will add dated events/discussions as they occur, and I get around to writing about them.
Feedback encouraged!!! And I will update this page reasonably regularly. Check back ever so often if you are inclined.
Raising Up Poultry
This year, it’s chickens, both broilers and layers. Next year, I would like to add in guinea fowl, for their tick-eating fixation. Post links are in ascending date order of occurrence.
Won’t begin to happen until 2019. Thinking alpaca, Shetland and/or Soay sheep, goats. Not everything at once, of course! No dairy. I am soooo NOT milking day in and day out. No posts in this category for a while! You have to walk before you can fly.
Growing the Vegetable Kingdom
Tips and tricks for getting the MOST out of your veggie patch. Or your fruit trees/bushes. Fruits will be first, true vegetables second in the lineup. I’m especially no expert on fruit trees yet — last year was my first to have them aboard, but perhaps this year will provide a difference. I am HOPING. For some reason, I’ve not really posted about growing my own veggies yet.
Gardening 2015 – May Report – Just what was out there. And those Brussels sprouts didn’t make it, but the rest did.
Container Citrus Trees – They’ve just arrived when I made that post, so no info on longevity in this post. (Note, as of June 15th 2018, they are still alive, but not prolific by any means.)
Of Apple and Olive Trees – They’ve just arrived when I made that post, so no info on longevity in this post. (Note, as of June 15th 2018, the apples are still alive, but not prolific by any means. The olive bit the dust.)
The Australian Finger Lime (Paired with Scallops) – A sampling of a finger lime I grew here.
Citrus Tree Update (summer 2018) – this post will appear August 7.
Growing & Using Herbs
For whatever reason, they’ll get their own category. Alphabetical.
Foraging for Meals
I plan to do more and more foraging, and will search through my past blog posts for other appropriate links, too. To be listed alphabetically by primary forage material.
Putting Food By
Canning, dehydrating, long term storage. Perhaps even references to quality products I’ve bought for long term storage. Some years ago, but not that many, much of this town was out of power for 2-3 weeks. I’ve lived through power outages back in my old suburban town in Connecticut as well. While I’ll have backups, it will be nice to not have to worry much about going anywhere… Plus, with farming and being relatively self-sufficient in New England, winter months don’t give you much in the way of good produce, unless you take action. Organization will be by preservation method. Gadgets at the end.
Outbuildings and Farm Equipment
On the horizon… Potentially blocking my view??
Simple DIY Projects
Simple indoor or outdoor projects that can be useful whether or not you are homesteading, farming, or anything else. I haven’t decided how these links will be arranged just yet.
Protecting the wood deck (and the house!) from grilling ash, hot or cold – this will appear as the second half of the citrus tree update post, August 7th.
Critters Stopping By for Photography
Just Because. These won’t always get linked back to a post, because it is the visual record of them running around here that more or less matters. At least to me. (I will try to remember to date these photos.)
Books and Movies of Interest
For now, most of the entries here focus on food, since this started as a food blog and that’s still a major focus, but I plan to get more general (but USEFUL) homesteading books discussed on this site. PS, I don’t have time to waste reviewing books I don’t want to continue in my life! They’ll all be 4 to 5 (out of 5) starred books. Movies may vary in how I report after them; after all one sits through those for around 2 hours… Two hours you may never get back!
Too Many Cookbooks? – What I had back in November, 2013. Just for the amusement and storage factor. I sent many off to the Litchfield Farmer’s Market cookbook swap table, but I also purchased others since then. Sorry, an addiction.
Madhur Jaffrey: An Invitation to Indian Cooking, and Edgar Tharp & Robert E. Jaycoxe: The Starving Artist’s Cookbook, Reviews – Back in March 2011, I decided I’d do a monthly cookbook review. This concept lasted… one month. Those and The Joy of Cooking (Mom’s gift to me) were probably my very first cookbooks.
The Science of Good Cooking and The Meat Book – Both by Cook’s Illustrated, and part of a series I posted late 2017, early 2018. Part I. (I finally got the hang of doing series… lol…)
Vegetables, and Perfect Vegetables – By James Peterson and by Cook’s Illustrated, respectively. Part II of above.
Fish and Shellfish, and Sauces – both by James Peterson. Part III of above.
The Flavor Bible – by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg. Part IV of above.
Don’t know how this category will be used or not, but. At any rate, I am thinking energy use discussions might go here, at least briefly until and when I decide to break them out. And, so forth.