This Week on the Farmstead – July 24

Happy Morning everyone! It’s Friday again, and time to grab your cup and see what is happening this week on the farmstead! Welcome!

This Week on the Farmstead - Stone Family Farmstead

Summer is definitely here but it’s been a really weird one! It’s unheard of for July to be in the 70s and 80s in our area, but it’s been just that with a few 90s sprinkled in there. I’ll take it! The heat really does take a lot out of a person. We did have plenty of humidity last week due to a couple of thunderstorms, but the lower temperatures really did help make it less miserable.

Family and Personal News

Our weekend sleepover with Kieran was fun–and tiring! I was hoping to get some practice before he comes to stay with us in August for 8 days while his mama and daddy take a much-needed vacation. I learned a lot about myself and our house, that’s for sure! I learned that I need to add more child safety locks around the house for the grandboy because I use a lot of glass (mason jars and other glass food storage). I find that I’m constantly nagging for him to close the cupboards because I don’t want him to get hurt, and that’s no fun for anyone! I also learned that I need to have a huge box of goldfish crackers here! (Check!) And finally, learned that I need to plan to go outside with Kieran A LOT when he is here. He really enjoys the outdoors and you know what? I’m glad for that! It will be no time until he starts enjoying video games and spending more time indoors. I want to make the most out of this time!

Here are a few photos of things we did while he was here.

Visiting the Goats - Stone Family Farmstead

visited the goats

Looking for the Chickens - Stone Family Farmstead

looked for the chickens

Rainy Day at Stone Family Farmstead

waited for the rain to stop

Puddles - Stone Family Farmstead

got our feet wet

Wagon Ride at Stone Family Farmstead

rode in the wagon

Hugs - Stone Family Farmstead

shared a hug with Bella


I keep mentioning our berries every week but they seem to be growing by inches each week. I was able to collect a few branches that Todd removed from the blackberry plants, remove the leaves and dry them, but with all the rain and wind, they got dirty. I fed them to the chickens, who appreciated them, but I was bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to use them for tea or some other medicine.
Berries at Stone Family Farmstead

And the lemons just keep on growing. We are so happy with how citrus grows out here that we’ll be adding one more hybrid citrus tree to the farmstead today.
Meyer Lemons - Stone Family Farmstead


The herb garden that I put in before last weekend is doing well. Everything seemed to bounce back nicely, but the oregano leaves dried out almost completely, though there is still a bit of green growth that might be new.

I tried to make some compost tea, but though I am totally into this idea, I tend to forget about it and end up making some kind of smelly liquid instead. I am a little nervous to put that in my garden because I’ve read that it’s bad bacteria that smells like that. I’ve read that I can put it in my compost pile, but I’m not sure it wouldn’t harm the chickens. Anyone know this? For now, it’s just sitting in this bucket growing a film on top. Yuck.

Failed compost tea - Stone Family Farmsteac

This photo was taken after the rain. Oddly, the rain made the smell go away, but it quickly returned with the heat.

The peppers are still doing awesome despite the fact that the chickens keep stealing the leaves off the plants. I am getting some cayenne peppers already, and I see some others forming as well. My green bean experiment didn’t work at all. My guess is that there was way too much nitrogen in the soil since I planted them in peat moss that was surrounded pretty much by all partially-composted horse manure. They are all dying. Bummer. I’d love if anyone could give me some more insight if I am wrong in my assumptions.
Stone Family Farmstead


The chinchilla girls are all settling in nicely despite last week’s humidity. It is said that they cannot survive high humidity, but the honest truth is that they did just fine. Todd and I both visited them often and watched them closely to observe their behavior all week long. They continued to be friendly and alert through the week, which tells me that they are a much heartier animal than most on the internet seem to want to admit. At least mine are!

Lucas, our two-year-old adopted feral cat proves his worth and our wisdom in adopting him more and more. Here he is hunting gophers. If you don’t know the story about Lucas, I’ll give you the short of it. We discovered him on the day that we got the phone call that our daughter Allie was in labor to deliver Kieran. He was outdoors in the early morning meowing–I think he was calling his mama. He was only around 4 weeks old, and just adorable. We were hoping that he would be a replacement hunter for Storm, our elderly mouser, who is now 19 years old. He has proven himself to be just that, and we are so blessed to have such a great new mouser while we allow Storm to live out her twilight years with the rest she needs and the peace she has earned.
Natural Gopher Control at Stone Family Farmstead

On Thursday morning, I did a little experiment with the goats and the dogs and allowed them all to roam the property and interact with each other. It really yielded some goat and dog hijinks that were hard to capture with the camera, but they sure did have a lot of fun. Here are a few photos that I was able to take of them hanging out together.
Willow and Bella - Stone Family FarmsteadDSC03435DSC03438DSC03439

And here are a few photos of Willow and Naomi investigating.
Discovering the barbecue pit - Stone Family FarmsteadWillow of Stone Family FarmsteadNaomi of Stone Family Farmstead

Ok, I could chat all day, but I really must get out to let the dogs and goats run, and everyone needs fed. Talk to you next week!

Shared at Weekend Blog Hop, Front Porch Friday, Awesome Life Friday, Good Morning Mondays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Homemade Mondays, Making Your Home Sing Mondays, Hey Momma! Link Party, (Mis)Adventures Monday, Maple Hill Hop, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuesday Garden Party, Dream. Create. Inspire. Link, Homestead Blog Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, 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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  1. Kristi your site looks so good. Did you do the pick up top? I love how you made it a website landing.

    • Thanks Elaine! Nope, I sure didn’t. I hired my daughter’s best friend to do our artwork, and we couldn’t be happier with it. She even chose the background color, which is exactly what I was looking for.

  2. He’s so cute!! Love his hair. Give him a plastic/tupperware cupboard. I did with mine and they would drag them out and play drums with them.

    • Aw thank you, Elaine! You know–I wish I had one but I use pretty much all glass for storage. I was letting him get into the canning lids and measuring cups drawers, but he LOVES to throw stuff across the house, so I needed to redirect him from there. We’re working on making the house way more Kieran-friendly, which will make everyone much happier, I think! 🙂

  3. The good thing about peas and beans is that they make their OWN nitrogen, so they are happy in quite ordinary soil. When they die after harvest, it’s smart to cut the tops off for composing but leave the roots, with their nitrogen nodules, still in the ground to enrich the next crop.

    It’s midwinter here but my broad [lima] beans are flowering beautifully.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Heather! I didn’t know that about peas and beans making their own nitrogen, and it makes so much sense to leave some of the plant in the soil for the next crop. Thanks for sharing that with me! So glad your beans are doing nicely! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Your farmstead looks like a wonderful place to live! I’m hoping to get goats soon too.

  5. Everything’s doing well there and I have to admit that your temperatures are making me envious.
    Thanks for stopping by The Maple Hill Hop!

    • Aw yeah, but it can get SO hot here, which is not so great for the plants and animals! I’m sure everyone’s weather has their issues, you know? Yours is probably FANtastic when ours is hotter than heck!

  6. Another great update, thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. We don’t have gophers here but they sound very interesting. Blessings

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