• Flora,  Hard Lessons,  Hearth,  Land,  Permaculture,  Veggies

    From the Ground Up

    After over a year of rough pregnancy and recovery, Innisfree homestead looks far different from the picturesque vision of our dreams. Little Miss E is five months old now. That entire time I’ve spent less than five hours in the garden, and it shows. Weeds smother. Fences lean. Bits of garbage blow and scatter. It’s a dismal sight, giving me “animal farm-esque” feelings when I stop to look at it all… So that’s where we start. Completely from the bottom now, somewhat backwards from where we were even when we first moved onto the property with a clean slate, but with consistent work it can only go up from here.…

  • Hard Lessons,  Hearth,  Permaculture,  Simple Living

    Pregnant & Overwhelmed on the Homestead

    About two months ago I was at the end of myself and decided to reach out to the folks on the Permies forum which I figured might have a better idea of what I was going through with managing pregnancy and a Permaculture homestead at the same time. This line that I wrote sums it all up quite well: “I really want this homesteading and permaculture thing to work, but just so overwhelmed at the moment with the amount of things to do.” I left the post feeling even more disheartened having everything written out, but it couldn’t have been a better thing for me to do. The amount of…

  • Finances,  Hearth,  Land,  Simple Living

    Seven Tips for a Debt-Free Homestead

    This past week has been one of looking at finances, playing with spreadsheets, and exploring budget options, which has led me to reflect on our journey to a debt-free homestead and what things I might say to someone looking to follow the same path. None of this is ground-breaking news to anyone, but I hope it could help even just one person with one little aspect on their journey too. Each step brought to you by a Milo photo as our pup doesn’t get nearly enough screen time here as he deserves ❤️ 1. Pay off Existing Debt as Soon as You Can Feels a bit funny to say that…

  • Hearth,  Simple Living

    Finding Innisfree

    It’s been years since I first read the Lake Isle of Innisfree poem, and I loved it from the start. I was in a very different place in my life then, at home with my parents, just starting off in the tech world. As much as Innisfree sounded like a place I wanted to be, I didn’t spend too much time thinking of how I could get there.

  • Hearth,  Permaculture

    A Permaculture Pregnancy

    Fresh out of my PDC (Permaculture Design Course), and seven months pregnant, it’s no wonder these two subjects have been taking up my thoughts. When we think of Permaculture, it’s typically in the realms of gardening, land management, and the household. I’ve been curious about applying it to pregnancy as well, and the easiest way for me to do that is to go back to the twelve Permaculture Principles. Principle 1: Observe and interact It’s no surprise that pregnancy changes your body in all sorts of ways. I’ve had quite a rough time of it with most of the symptoms coming my way, but despite the aches and pains, and…

  • Cattle,  Chooks,  Fauna,  Flora,  Hard Lessons,  Land,  Month in Review,  Permaculture,  Sheep

    A Year in Review 2020-2021

    And just like that, a year has traveled by. My last post was nearly to the day one year ago, and it’s amazing the amount of things that have happened in our lives since. It marked about the time when I started working from home building websites, meaning to be just part time on the side, but as those things tend to do, it demanded ever more. The garden lapsed. Our meals became quicker, less nutritious. My health continued to plummet into the ground, and stress in the household was at an all-time high. It simply wasn’t worth it, and by the end of November I quit. It was such…

  • Fauna,  Flora,  Hard Lessons,  Hearth

    Running the Homestead While Unwell

    Running a homestead can be difficult work at the best of times, but what happens when you fall ill, or something happens where you can’t look after things as you thought you’d be able to? These past few weeks have been a bit quieter on the blog front, because exactly that has happened. Unfortunately, I find myself catching most things that go around. These changing of the seasons have been no different, and have left me somewhat couch-bound — not fun, and not a whole lot happening out on the homestead! That being said, I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think, haha, so here are some of…

  • Flora,  Permaculture,  Veggies

    Bean Harvest – Northeasters & Yin Yangs

    We planted four types of beans in the beginning of February (Northeaster, Christmas Lima, Yin Yang, and Egyptian Brown?? not too positive of the name on the last one there…), and roughly three months later came time for harvest! The Christmas Lima beans never really took off (whether from chickens, birds, or both), and the Egyptian Browns are still in full swing. The Northeasters, and Yin Yangs, however, both seemed to time perfectly! This being our first year of planting, we decided to try a number of different varieties, so we could figure out what works well for the property, as well as what we like! Northeaster Beans Purchased from…

  • Fauna,  Permaculture,  Sheep

    Lambs on the Homestead

    We never expected to get sheep. Mr BirdCat would say now and then that he wouldn’t mind if we got one as a lawn mower, but that’s about as far as it went. This week, we welcomed two East Friesian ewes home after a three hour drive with them inside the back of our car…. We knew from the start that we’d like a dairy animal, and figured that a cow would fit the bill nicely. The city council here doesn’t allow goats, and we didn’t even consider sheep. It wasn’t until we had problems with our dairy cow, and asked around about the best ways to fix our half…

  • Hearth,  Recipes

    Innisfree Sourdough Bread

    Sourdough bread is an art, but I am no artist, and like to have fool-proof methods in place! Recently inspired by others getting into the sourdough bandwagon, as well as having watched the bread supply vanish from the stores, I decided to get a sourdough starter back up an running again. I don’t have an oven (yet, but very soon!) in the house, so I understood that this undertaking would mean I’d need to walk up to Mr BirdCat’s parents’ house and cook it there. A little extra exercise doesn’t hurt, so I went ahead with my plan. Sourdough bread relies on a “starter” that needs to be fed and…