• 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…

  • Chooks,  Fauna

    A Fix for a Coop

    Awake or asleep, chickens are messy. Messy chickens are good if they spread that rich soil repairer throughout the yard. Chickens that are sleeping can be good too, if that mess is being made on straw or the like that becomes compost…not so good if said chickens decide to sleep in their nesting boxes! No one likes a messy egg, and we were getting far too many. The chicken coop was one of our April projects, and I’m glad to finally be getting around to writing up about it! You can read more about the start of our chicken journey, and how we inherited a coop by clicking this link,…

  • Flora,  Permaculture,  Veggies

    Garlic & Onion in the Ground

    With the cooler Autumn weather here comes time to plant out garlic and onions. We’ve had a little bit of experience growing onions before and recently harvested our delicious shallots (perfect for chopping up for a sandwich or two!), but haven’t tried normal onions or garlic before. We’re super hopeful that these all take off as it’ll save us money, and nothing beats organic and fresh! The Garlic Mr BirdCat and I eat a lot of garlic! Nearly every cooked dish has at least some in there…and more often 2-3x the amount the recipe will say. It isn’t unusual for us to go through a whole bulb a week for…

  • Cattle,  Fauna,  Flora,  Fruit,  Hearth,  Month in Review,  Veggies

    April in Review

    Despite COVID lockdowns in place, April has been a deceptively busy month around here! I say deceptively as it doesn’t feel like a lot has happened…until thinking back on the way things have changed for us over the past month and the adventures we’ve had in our very own backyard. The Veggie Patch A much needed fence was installed around the veggie patch to keep the chickens out, and so far its done a wonderful job! We have plans for improving it, but for now it definitely fits the bill. With the fence, we also extended the veggie patch area to make the current rows longer, as well as added…

  • Hearth,  Permaculture

    Can TV Inspire Homesteading & Self Sufficiency?

    When Mr BirdCat and I got married in the beginning of 2018, neither of us expected to live the life we are living now! I was definitely in a more homesteady mindset than he — but even then, my thoughts wouldn’t land me where we are now. Growing up I had plenty of opportunity for gardening and farming, and while I liked the idea of it, I usually preferred to stay inside and work on websites or the like. It’s still a work in progress for me to knock back my natural tendencies wanting to stay holed up inside, but there’s been leaps and bounds made so far, and each…

  • Cattle,  Fauna

    Halter Training an Eight Month Old Calf

    Three days ago, we finally found our clean new rope halter in the mail. Three days ago we placed that very same halter on our calf knowing full well what it’s going to be dragged through! Our homestead has become a lot quieter and calmer since selling our “future” dairy cow (read more about why we did that here). That being said, we decided to keep her calf to grow out. Unlike his mother, Mort is a gentle soul, and doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body. After the first few days of separation had passed, he comfortably stepped in with our daily routine. Despite being a…

  • Chooks,  Fauna,  Hard Lessons

    Chickens, Coops, & a Fox

    Chickens pave the way to regenerative agriculture and permaculture practices, and here at Innisfree Homestead, we count ourselves lucky to have six of them. All six have names (Red, Blondie, Ros, Cinder, Coru, Crookshanks), and their own personalities to boot! So far only our Isa Browns Red and Blondie are laying, but any day now the rest should start, and help feed us (even more important during these Coronavirus times). Originally the plan was to have a chicken tractor with five hens moving around the yard. As the restriction in the city limits we live in is ten chickens per property, Mr BirdCat’s parents (who share the land with us)…