Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jumpin' Jehosafat


Land sakes, deary me, heavens to Betsy! It's been a long time since my last post. These past few weeks have FLOWN by. We've been treated to some wonderful late fall weather. Right now a few flurries are floating down outside, a herald of colder temps for the next week.

No, I haven't butchered the roosters yet. And it looks like it won't happen before next week anyway. Besides, I've still got three bushels of apples in the root cellar to process. Nevertheless, we've managed to finish up just about all of our autumn tasks. Goat barn cleaned out, chicken coop cleaned out, yard tidied up (mostly), garden cleaned up, garlic planted, fences around two apple trees, and snow fence up.


And our new hens have started to lay! The eggs we get these first few weeks will be smaller sized, aka 'pullet eggs.' But they taste just as good, with their orangey orange yolks and hard, colorful shells. We've got a half-ton of chicken feed stored for them, plus a hundred bales of hay in the barn for the goats. We're set on livestock feed for the winter.

Overall, this summer was a good one on the farm front. Yeah, we had another chicken massacre, and we had some garden failures (potato blight and sweet corn slump), but overall it was a good year. I grew (and processed) more garden goodies this year than in any other year past. The goats are doing well, and my latest shearing might actually be sale-able if I find time to wash and sort it. We've got a new root cellar and a stocked pantry. We put up a new chicken fence and managed to raise fifteen new chickens to add to our flock. So, overall, we're doing pretty good.

There are two things that I wanted to accomplish this year that didn't get done. I wanted to have a hand pump installed on the top of our well, and I wanted to get a woodstove. Both of those things are pretty spendy, and relatively hard to find, and I just never managed to get it done. Hopefully old man winter will hold off on any really bad, electricity-killing blizzards til next season.

9 comments:

Cat said...

Lots of pretty eggs! We only have one green egg-layer, Iris the Ameracauna. The others are all brown or pinkish browns...all taste good, though. Congratulations on your newest hens starting to lay!

Caleb said...

Jo,
Try looking on Ebay for a woodstove. I found a couple of nice ones a couple of weeks ago. Plus I know how I can do the venting for it if I go straight out the wall, then up the side of your house. It's completely safe.

Karen said...

A wood stove? Where will you put it? Really? Are you going to add chopping and splitting wood to the "to do" list?! Do you have your goats back from their honeymoons yet? Let's hope that Dawn/Eve were "in the mood"!! By the way, Mom TOLD me that Kathy needs Christmas stockings (yes, two, one for her house and one for Mom and Dad's house!) for her new baby. That means that you and I have to each make one! Mom has kits if you are interested in going that route. We can let Kathy choose the pattern she likes...what do you say? Yeah, I have absolutely no time to do it either, but Mom can't and I doubt that Linda will want to!

Jo said...

Yup, a wood stove. Right now we're thinking about the dining room. No, the goats aren't back yet, I pick them up in two weeks. If I'm making a stocking, I'd rather not do the 'kit' thing. I like my fugly homemade stockings better! We don't have to get it finished by this Christmas, do we? Her baby won't be done cooking til July!

Erin said...

The eggs are gorgeous! I don't know how you find the time to do all that with those boys underfoot, lol, I only have 2!

Mama Pea said...

I definitely have egg envy. Ours are still on strike . . . and the cold weather isn't helping any. We've been putting a light on in the hen house when we get up in the morning and then again when it gets dark in the afternoon, shutting it off when we go to bed. Doesn't seem to be doing much good but I think our electric bill is going up. And just when I need extra eggs for Christmas baking. Ugh.

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

I am jealous of the eggs Jo. Our girls are not laying at the moment. They are getting a bit long in the beak and I am letting them rest by keeping their lights off for now. We actually had to buy eggs. There really is no comparison. We are thinking of adding some new blood to the flock this spring as I am planning on ordering some ducklings as well.Also still sorting seeds I swear!

Catherine Anne said...

Oh I love your blog. We are two years into homesteading...

Jo said...

Hi Cat! Yes, the green eggs are very nice. I like the color mix too. Thanks!

Hey Calypso -- I've looked on Ebay sometimes, just for stoves locally here so I don't pay a mint in freight. They are so spendy! I'd better start saving up for next year ... Let me know how the venting will work at Xmas. Looking forward to seeing you again.

Thanks Erin! Two boys are plenty enough to cause trouble and turmoil in a house!

Hi Mama Pea -- Yeah, I had begun to give up hope. Maybe if you threaten yours with a stew pot? That might scare the eggs out of them!

Howdy Rick -- Ooo ducklings! A new venture! I've thought about turkeys, but I haven't gotten up the gumption yet. But duck is very yummy too. Take your time on the seeds -- I just got my first seed catalog, but I am being very strong willed and not ordering anything until mid January, at the earliest!

Hello Catherine Ann! Good to hear from you. Good luck with the homesteading, there's lots of friendly people out here who will gladly share their help!