This Week on the Farmstead – July 10



Happy Friday, friends, and welcome back to our farmstead! Grab a cup of whatever floats your boat this morning and set a bit while I share what’s happening here on our peaceful little farmstead in Southern California!

This Week on the Farmstead, July 10 - Stone Family Farmstead

This week has been a really nice sort of busy. I think what has made it nice is the cooler weather, which is weird for July in SoCal, but hey–I’ll take it! It’s been in the 80s and very low 90s all week, and after last month’s upper 90s and low 100s, we have been more than comfortable.

Family and Personal News

Our first sleepover with Kieran went great. We think he likes it here with us! It’s such a joy to watch him walk around the property–he smiles practically the whole time that he’s outside, as if he’s excited, but doesn’t know what to do next. (Sorry, but this section will be a bit “Kieran-heavy” for our family’s sake. Skip to the next section if you’d like!)

This Week on the Farmstead 1 - Stone Family Farmstead

The constant “I’m outside” smirk.

We spent part of our evening outdoors doing our final animal chores, then watching him play with my garden wagon. He loves to push it all around the lower part of our property, and is always happy to get a ride in it.

This Week at the Farmstead 2 - Stone Family Farmstead

Kieran and Bella

This Week at the Farmstead 3 - Stone Family Farmstead

He gets upset that he can’t get the wagon up on the bricks.

He had to look under some of the dirt to see what was there.
This Week at the Farmstead 4 - Stone Family Farmstead

And he had to help Grandpa with the watering of the trees.
Watering the Trees with Grandpa - Stone Family Farmstead

This one he insisted on doing alone.
Watering - Stone Family Farmstead

When all the trees were watered, he wanted Grandpa to pick him up.
Grandpa Todd and Kieran - Stone Family Farmstead

After all that playing, he got to play some more in Grandma and Grandpa’s big bathtub. The rest of the evening, we played, watched TV, and relaxed together, ending the night with a bobble (Kieran’s word for bottle) and an old Godzilla movie.

The next day, Kieran’s mama, daddy, and Great Grandpa Craig came over to make tamales and eat together. It was a lovely 4th of July with family, but I was so beat by the time nighttime came around that I slept through any fireworks we might have been able to see from our property. We sure did hear them, though! Next year, we’ll make sure to enjoy them.

Farmstead

Remember our endeavor to cool off the barn? Well, the last phase (for now) of that job is finished, and now it’s time to test it out. I’ll be sharing more in-depth on that next week, but suffice to say that Todd did an excellent job at adding some things that have really been helpful. The bunnies seem cooler, and so do our new additions to the barn (more about that under the ‘Animals’ section).

Orchard

Todd is working hard to take care of the trees, and his work is paying off. Our meyer lemon tree is doing really well, has loads of green fruit on it and carries so much promise for delicious lemonade for 2016! All I need to do is make sure that I have enough space in the freezer for all that juice!

This year, Todd is growing goji berries, blackberries, and fall gold raspberries. So far the only plant that is producing delicious fruit for us (but just a little) are the blackberries. They are SO good, I can’t wait until we have berries to freeze, can, and eat fresh!

Goji and Blackberries - Stone Family Farmstead

Our goji berry and blackberry plants are growing nicely, and the fall gold raspberry we thought wouldn’t make it is really giving an all-star try.

Garden

It looks like our squash plants are slowing their production and getting old, really. I so wish that I was better organized in the garden, because it sure would have been nice to have some new squash plants to put in the place of these tired ones.

Spent Squash Plants - Stone Family Farmstead

Our poor squash plants look so spent already, and the chickens aren’t helping them either!

The sweet pepper plants are fruiting nicely, but the peppers are still very small. Still, they are yummy!

Sweet Peppers - Stone Family Farmstead

Our sweet peppers are coming along nicely, even if the fruit are still very small.

The green beans are coming along nicely now that I’ve thinned them out a bit. Some of them are getting quite big. The hot pepper plants are doing so great. We have six varieties planted: Anaheim, jalapeno, serrano, habanero, ghost pepper, and one more that I can’t remember. All of them are growing rapidly and a couple of them are flowering. I can’t wait to be able to pick garden fresh hot peppers from our own garden for our meals again!

Green Beans and Hot Peppers - Stone Family Farmstead

The green beans are doing pretty well, but the hot peppers are really growing fast in this heat!

The tomato plants are growing nicely and doing a little bit of flowering, but they aren’t really setting fruit at all. I’m sure it’s the heavy nitrogen content in the bed. The plan is to keep feeding them phosphorus and potassium to see what happens, but I’m not holding out hope for much more than pretty plants at this point.

Flowering Tomatoes - Stone Family Farmstead

One of our flowering-but-not-setting tomato plants.

Because of the chickens, I’ve had to get creative in protecting my herbs, roses, and blueberries. I have moved some and for some reason I’m losing a few-it could be the chickens, or it could be the heat, but nevertheless, I’m seeing some losses. Another issue that could be happening is overwatering. I’m not well-versed in container gardening and of course, this is my first year at this house so I’m in the ‘learning-curve’ stages.

Animals

The chickens are still enjoying their freedom to roam outdoors each day, and they have found my potted herbs. Let me just say that they are getting their daily greens between my herbs and some of my garden plants. They ate one of my young tomato plants. No worries, there weren’t a whole lot of leaves on it, and most of my other tomato plants are older and the leaves are not as tender and interesting as that one. They have been nibbling on my squash leaves and almost demolished my Bocking 14 comfrey plant, which is now being protected.

Bocking 14 Comfrey Plant - Stone Family Farmstead

My poor Bocking 14 comfrey plant that the chickens have been helping themselves to. It is now fenced in so they can no longer get to it. At least I know they were eating healthy!

The rabbits are now getting some outdoor time as well in the fenced off area of the garden. They don’t do a lot of nibbling, but they seem to love to lay on the cool ground under the plants, and Michelle is a digger, so she gets to blow off a bit of steam out there. The garden is lined with hardware cloth, so she won’t be able to dig too far down, thankfully.

I have to admit that because of the busy holiday weekend, I haven’t gotten back to treating the chickens for scaly leg mites. However, their legs look awesome in comparison to what they used to be before the first scrub and treatment. Another examination, scrub and treatment with VetRx is slated to happen this Saturday, when I’ll have time to catch them.

I’m happy to announce that we have a couple of new boarders in our newly-cooled barn. These new girls are two chinchillas that I acquired from a friend who needed to rehome them. They are really sweet girls, and part of a herd of 5 girls total. The rest of the girls will come once we’ve established that the living conditions in the barn are workable for them.

Catherine and Anne of Stone Family Farmstead

This is Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Catherine is in the front.

These girls are Anne and Catherine. Catherine is Anne’s mother, and is the sweeter of the two; while Anne is the busy one. They both love their wheel and their daily shredded wheat puff, and they sure did eat up the timothy hay we offered them.

We love them already, and they especially enjoy Abi’s company. She has a special way with them that has enabled them to trust her even from the first day they came to live here. I was able to hold them yesterday, and they really are very nice little creatures. I have a feeling that the more we handle them, the more fun they will be.

Shared at Weekend Blog Hop, Awesome Life Friday, From the Farm, Front Porch Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Good Morning Mondays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Mondays, Homemade Mondays, Hey Momma Monday Link Party, MisAdventures Monday, The Gathering Spot, Maple Hill Hop, Tuesdays with a Twist, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop



 
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Kristi Stone

Kristi Stone

Honestly? I'm the author of this blog...sometimes. My family and I live in Sunny Southern California on a one acre hobby farm where we are working diligently to one day produce our dairy, eggs, and produce. That takes A LOT of work, so if you don't hear from me as soon as you'd like, give me a shout out in the comments and I'll chat back as soon as I can between the garden, goat kids, chickens, husband, human kids, and playing with my grandboy, Kieran. And in the mean time, if you'd like to see more frequently what goes on at our farm, please feel free to join my Facebook group (see the right column) where I am more active. I'd love to get to know you! 🙂
Kristi Stone

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Comments

  1. Your grandson is adorable! Everything looks great and I’m loving those trees. Keep up the good work you all are doing amazing!

    Carole

  2. Todd is sure to be a fine young lad one day. Lovely photos and the farm looks great! #heymomma @HeyMommaCasey

  3. What a fun time working with/playing with the little guy… that must have been great. 🙂 Your garden looks good… and the fruit trees sound wonderful… our tomatoes are forming… and we have quite a LOT of them on some plants- especially the Romas, but none are showing any red or orange color yet… It is an odd growing year.

    • Is it for you, Gentle Joy? I can never tell if it’s a weird growing year, but then again, it’s my first year in this new garden, so I wouldn’t know. Lucky you with all those romas! Mine failed miserably, but I am getting a few beefsteak, early girls, and phoenix heat tolerant tomatoes. I do hope I get more than the three that are on each plant, though!

    • And also–YES, it’s always great fun to have our grandson over. He’s so independent and loves to just find things to do. He’s definitely all boy, with no qualms about playing in dirt, or even manure (and having a bath afterward!).

  4. Thank you for sharing this update with us at Good Morning Mondays. It all sounds very exciting and busy. Blessings

  5. What a little cutie!!!!! Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop. I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

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