Olivia Does “Karate”

We have been moving for what feels like months.  We haven’t been able to tell anyone where because of red tape holding up our appraisal/title and underappraisal and the $650 delay that went with it. We put offers on three houses before the one we are hoping to move into next week.  The closing was supposed to be April 3. Today is the 7th. 2/3 of the kids’ clothes and toys and my kitchen are packed. We are in limbo. Ugh! Olivia’s actions sum up my feelings.

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My First Home-Grown Meat Processing

Our homestead status leveled up this past month in many ways. After many months of searching, we are in negotiations for our very own property.  Land of our own would certainly allow us a much higher degree of self-sustainability (I already ordered new seeds!).  The other important milestone we surmounted was the dispatch and processing of a guinea fowl.  It had been creating chaos (ultimately, it was this one, another guinea, and sadly, my favorite rooster that had to go). We had to get rid of it (them) and I needed to learn how to process meat anyhow. Here is a little of my thoughts and a little peek into my experience.

The hardest physical part of it all was plucking.  I think I didn’t have the water hot enough.  It was cold out and I had brought the water down from the kitchen just before we killed the guinea,   and it sat for about ten minutes before I could dip the meat. The plucking took FOREVER. I now have a chicken plucker high up on my wish list. Seriously. That was very tedious for one scrawny little guinea.  The gutting was easy.  I did it like a pro, only barely knicking the crop, and removing everything else intact, with no mess.   However, I think our first investment in the new place will be in some meat birds.

The hardest mental part was the killing, which I had a friend do.  It didn’t go as planned, and I ended up cutting its head off anyway with my knife. All in all, it wasn’t too bad for my first time and I can do it all myself next time. It wasn’t enjoyable, but providing healthy, wholesome meat for my family certainly will be now that I leveled up.

I am becoming one  Tough. Mother. Plucker!

Beginner Gardener Tips: Should You Till?

We’ll be doing raised beds from here on out.

The Raised Bed Farm Blog

When we bought our first house in 2000, it had a 1000 square foot area that had been gardened by the 90-year-old prior owner for 20 years.  It was a simple rectangular area, and she had planted her crops in rows, with a big Rhubarb in the corner.

f69f6-andytilling2The soil was hard-packed clay, and while there were definitely crops growing, it was hard to imagine where the water would go.

We had read about raised bed gardening in a book by Edward C. Smith called The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible that we could till up the soil to make raised beds without having to bring in extra soil.  We didn’t have much money, so this made sense to us.

We found a tool rental shop, and it was about $75 to rent a gas-powered tiller for a day.  I had zero experience or fear, so there was a bit of a…

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Back on Track, and Updates

It was hard to put this video out, but I thought you all deserved an explanation.  I had a little slump.  I had foot surgery and it triggered some unpleasant memories.  In addition, we have been house hunting and I tried to give up my dreams only to find out that my dreams wouldn’t let me!  LOTS more to follow.  Thanks for sticking with us!

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