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 two new rows.
Because of the sudden space opening up, I decided to get a lot more seedlings started! Mr BirdCat whipped up a quick nursery to hold everything, and away I planted.
(either straight into the ground, or started in pots in the nursery)
- Onions (three different types)
- Tagasaste trees
- Brussels Sprouts
- Bamboo (Mr BirdCat’s project)
- Russels Lupins
This month has been the first where we’ve really been able to have meals mostly from the garden! Our Northeaster beans have been in full swing, and mixing them with potatoes (gathered a whole bowl full of them…not too bad after tossing an old potato from the shop into some soil!) has kept us from heading to the shop quite a few times.
Harvests for this month include:
Inside the Homestead
There’s been a number of projects going on inside our little cabin as well! The days are growing cooler, and we need to justify rugging up inside with getting things done!
Some family friends let us know that there was more than enough fruit on their trees and they were happy to share, so we headed over there and picked buckets of apples and pears. The apples were affected somewhat by codling moth, but we didn’t mind at all as they were quickly processed, and offending chunks cut out and given to chickens. The apples turned into jars of apple sauce, stewed apples, a couple bottles of (non alcoholic) spiced apple cider, and an apple crumble! After passing out jars between friends and family, and eating through a few ourselves there’s not a whole lot left…but it was great to work through it all and to have something that we could give to people during this time.
With the temperature cooling, I also decided to get back into making sourdough bread. Normally I can start up a new starter no problem, but this time it didn’t want to work at all! I bartered with a friend (six eggs, some beans, and peas) for a dollup of her aged sourdough starter and some garlic. The starter is quite happily bubbling along, but so far I haven’t been able to get a good loaf out of. It’s a bit disappointing after knowing I’ve had perfect sourdough loaves before, but I won’t let it dissuade me, and am seeing it as a bit of a challenge now. Apparently working with an older starter can be a little more finicky than working with a baby one. I’ll post my findings once I have one that works!
Last but not least, I’ve started up this blog! Already its been a great tool like a journal, looking back on things, and I’m sure it’ll become moreso as time goes on.
Livestock & The Yard
With Mr BirdCat home much more during COVID, a lot has been getting done around the yard! He’s fixed up the chicken coop, made a sheep tractor, worked on the veggie patch fence, and the nursery box. Mr BirdCat has also been creating “cow poo stew” collecting manure into buckets of water, letting them sit for a bit, and then pouring out that nutrient boost over the paddock to try and help boost its quality up. We’re hoping to see differences in that pretty soon.
We let Mort out into the yard at the start of the month…before we had the veggie patch fence up….or a halter on him…and he did not want to go back in! He then learned that if the gate isn’t closed just right, he can pop it open, and we woke up one morning to find him outside our window, staring up at us and asking for an early breakfast (after he demolished the rest of the silverbeet of course).
He’s been going great with his halter, and we should be able to take it off soon. So much has changed with him just in the course of a month. Now we’re able to let him out and he’ll happily come back to us, or walk (sometimes dragged) along with his halter on. So much easier to work with a calf when you have control over where he goes!
I thank everyone for reading so far, and helping support our beginnings. In case you missed any, here’s the other posts for this month!