My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.
Sarge loves to snuggle up by the fire! I'm still surprised he gets so close to the fire, but he sure loves it! I love to sit by the fire with a nice cup of hot tea. There is nothing like a warm fire on a cold day!
With Peaches and Poppy gone to the breeder for several weeks, we had a major leaf buildup!! Usually they just eat through those leaves extremely fast, but not now! However, the kids loved this! We made 1 big huge pile of leaves and it has been hours of fun!
(So this is a post from several months ago that I somehow forgot to put up!)
We did some work in the front garden and put in some shrubs and mulch. Hopefully they fill out and are beautiful next spring!
Henry and Bryan dug up all the grass and then worked in the soil to get it ready for plants!
Laying in the edging could have been very difficult, but Henry and Addie really held it in place quite well while Bryan went along and secured it in place!
Henry was a great helper and even rolled up and put away all the extra landscape edging as well as putting away all the tools! We also laid a layer of landscape fabric and several inches of cedar mulch. It looked fantastic and somehow I didn't get a good picture of it before everything froze and went dormant...at least I hope its just dormant and not dead :(
It has been delightfully busy around here and I'm doing everything I can just to keep up with it! Peaches and Poppy are home!! They stayed with the breeder for almost 3 weeks just to make sure both girls were "well taken care of" :) Note: If you are considering getting and breeding goats...wow, brace yourself for the smell!! We did not want a billy goat because of the horrific smell they produce but I never considered that my does would completely stink of billy goat smell when we brought them home. Wow, it is bad! The breeder said that the smell would just go away, but its been a week and they still stink. (Ill let you know how it goes and what we end up finding to get rid of the smell.) It has been sad because Henry and Addie are so excited to see the goats and all I keep saying is "AHH, don't touch the goats!". So, if you are thinking about getting and breeding goats, make sure you are prepared for the "after smell" as well as some remedies to eliminate the smell from your does immediately!
While the goats were gone for a couple weeks Henry picked up a few extra responsibilities around here - bringing in firewood, watering the animals and putting the chickens "to bed" at night. It has been extremely helpful because he loves being a "big helper" and those are a few extra things that I don't have to worry about being done anymore :) It does take quite a while for him to do each job, especially since he can only carry in 1 piece of firewood at a time, but he loves it and eventually he will get really fast at each job! He gets really excited to get his boots, jacket, gloves and hat on (all of which he does even if it isn't that cold outside) and runs outside while Addie monitors the back door for him and opens it when he comes back up with an armfull of firewood!
In other random news, we also had a hawk attack one of our chickens! I looked out in the backyard as it landed on the chicken and they both started a rolling flapping fight through the leaves...thankfully it only lasted about 3 seconds because Sarge saved the day! If that hawk would have hung around 1 second longer we would have seen a rolling flapping fight between Sarge and the hawk, but the hawk flew off. Im sure it will be back, but Sarge is definitely on high patrol these days!
In garden/canning related news:
I also canned up 7 jars of mixed vegetables (excellent for pot pie!). I really wish I could find the recipe I used for the mixed vegetables! I'm seriously loosing my mind because I just canned them up last night and I cant find that recipe anywhere!! I sure hope I used an actual recipe and didn't accidentally combine 2 different ones! I would love to share what I did with you all, but I have no idea what I did :) All I remember is that I used about 29 cups of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, onions), covered them with water, boiled for 10 minutes and then filled sterilized jars with vegetables and water, added 1 tsp canning salt, and processed in a pressure canner for 85 minutes. Easy pot pie: 1 Pie Crust, 1 Can of mixed veggies (drained), 1 can of canned Turkey or chicken with stock...bake and dinners done!
Some friends of ours have family with a small sweet corn farm and they brought us quite a few ears of corn. I wanted to try out my new Corn Cutter I got a while back, so I used 18 ears of corn and cut away! It was so easy!
It took about 20 minutes and I had 6 cans of creamed corn!
I was going to put these in the pressure canner, but I decided to freeze them instead.
Its a busy time of year for my side hobby of Teas and Tapestries. I have had several craft shows and quite a few Christmas orders to get out, but I sure do love it!
I used to sew up handmade tea pouches with my tea blends, but it took so much time and I had way too many orders to fill and just not enough time to fill them. So, I started making loose leaf tea tins that have enough tea to make at least 20-30 cups of tea in each tin. I'm very grateful with how well they are flying off my shelves! This has also opened up more time for me to sew tapestries :) I have hundreds of tapestry panels and I am slowly but surely finishing them all and selling them.
I started a coupon code in my Etsy shop for all of my blog readers "homesteadroots15". This coupon code is good for 15% off your entire purchase in my online shop. Enjoy :) Visit http://www.teasandtapestries.etsy.com/ to browse my stuff and use your coupon code!