This Week on the Farmstead – June 19



Welcome to another edition of This Week on the Farmstead! I’m thrilled that so many are interested in the weekly happenings of our little hobby farm, and thank you all so much for your kind comments. Your company means the world to me! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a few minutes, friends—I have so much to tell and show you.

This Week, June 19 - Stone Family Farmstead

This week I’ll start something a little different by breaking up our news into chunks so that you all can pick and choose which parts you want to read. Since we are no longer on Facebook, we have family and friends that keep up with us here, but I realize that family news isn’t always interesting for all of our readership. Do feel free to skip to the headings that interest you, or just browse the post and look at the photos, ok? Happy to have you along today!

Family and Personal News

This week has been a quiet one. Quiet is good right? It was Todd’s second week of working longer shifts, which meant that I didn’t have a car to use (he usually drives the vanpool, but not everyone needed to go in as early as he did). I never worry much about that because I do like to be at home, but sometimes I have pressing errands to do. This week, I had some bills to send, so my son Danny took care of that.

Abi had her first week of theater camp, and I’m happy to report that she’s gotten to know some really good people who will pick her up and bring her home when I don’t have a car. This enables her to do things like take tap dancing classes, rehearse for future performances, and help corral the younger children in the community theater that are doing the same. This has been a fantastic experience for her, and I’m so glad she is enjoying herself so much.

Even though I don’t mind being “stuck” at home, Todd is looking into getting us a truck. Funny–I never thought I’d be excited about something like this, but I am. Right now, we can fit 2 bales of hay in the back of our Chevy HHR, plus any feed and bedding we need, but boy will it be nice to be able to get all I need from the feed store for a few months at a time.

OH–I almost forgot to mention that Kieran-boy came over last Friday night and stayed while all the kids went to the movies together. He helped me with my farm chores and especially enjoyed feeding Willow. I tried to get him to let the bunnies eat carrots out of his hand, but he was only interested in throwing carrots into their hutches. Oh well, the bunnies don’t care how they get their carrots anyway!

Feeding Willow - Stone Family Farmstead

Naomi and Willow were very interested in Kieran that day.

Goat Friends - Stone Family Farmstead

Garden

I’m so excited about the garden. This week I planted 24 feet of organic Blue Lake Bush Beans and 6 different hot peppers in garden #2. I had read somewhere that in order to produce enough green beans for the year, I should be planting 15 bush plants per person, but that’s not happening this year for sure because that would mean 60 plants. I *might* have half that planted. Maybe that might be ok, though–we don’t eat green beans all that often anyway.

Squash Plants - Stone Family Farmstead

Still harvesting zucchini, but now I’m also harvesting yellow squash. There is also the tinyest pattypan squash forming on the plant, which I’m really excited about. You’d think we eat a lot of squash dishes, but we really don’t. For years, I’ve been wanting to learn how to eat seasonally, so I guess now is as good a time as any to learn! I’ve got a few things I am doing with them like freezing shredded zucchini for quick bread, eating them fresh in salads and sauteed in stir fry and fajitas, sauteed and served with homemade pasta sauce and fresh parmesan over the top, or even just a fried over easy egg. Yum! They are the perfect veggie to learn to eat seasonally because so much of it can come out of just one plant. There are plenty of opportunities to learn all the different ways to eat squash that honestly, by the end of the season, we should be happy to wait for the following summer to eat more! *snicker*

Sweet Peppers - Stone Family Farmstead

Ohhh, everyone—we are getting sweet bell peppers too! I am seeing such wonderful differences between gardening here and at our old house! For some reason, I rarely had been able to grow sweet peppers, and it seemed like each one of our garden plants either had pest or disease issues. I’m so glad to say that in this year’s garden, pretty much all of our veggie plants look “happy” and disease free, for the most part. I did have to remove and replace a few plants that had some issues, but for the most part, everything looks healthy and green.

To help out in the garden, I started a couple of spreadsheets for 2015 that will help me to keep track of all that I need to be doing in the garden and about when it’ll be time to harvest certain crops. I had been trying to keep a garden notebook for a few years, but I found that I just get lost in it when I open it up. I think this spreadsheet idea has some merit. Matter of fact, I’m using spreadsheets a lot this year not only for keeping track of the garden, but also for recording nutritional needs for all of our animals, analyses for different types of grain and feed, and even for recording temperature and humidity in the barn. Just so you know, I think I’m turning into a spreadsheet geek. I’m ok with that.

Animals

Willow is 10 weeks old today and growing up so fast. It looks as though she will be the same size as Naomi in no time! She is eating plenty of alfalfa, and she is drinking plenty of water and eating her minerals like a good girl. By the time we wean her from the bottle in a few weeks, she should be good to go. She’s a crazy little spark plug! I call her my “Donkey Girl” because from the side she has always looked like a little donkey. So cute.

Naomi is doing very well, but she always does. She is a beautiful girl, so mellow and tranquil in personality. I would love to breed her in October or November if she weighs enough to carry babies. If she doesn’t, we’ll wait until January and check her weight again. I wouldn’t want to create kidding issues for her in my eagerness to get to the breeding part of raising goats.

The rabbits are doing well despite the heat in the barn–I’m working on getting the temps down to a comfortable level for them, because it can get so hot and even humid in there because of the swamp cooler system I’m using. At the old house, I had become somewhat of an expert at keeping them cool in high temperatures, but keeping them in a barn is a whole different ball game. It’s ok–I’ll learn what works. Ultimately, it’s safer for them to be in the barn than it is to be outdoors, especially where predators are involved out here.

Lucy and Ethel of Stone Family Farmstead

The chickens are doing well, but they are so hot this week! I must say that after not having a roost for most of the past year, Lucy and Ethel are getting the hang of it again. Caroline Appleby (the big “mean girl” from last week) is enduring her separation just fine–matter of fact, she seems happy as a clam (whatever that means). She is not at all upset and Lucy and Ethel aren’t any worse for wear by her confinement, that’s for sure. Caroline has pecked them both up pretty good, which is the reason I have her confined. I’ll let her back out in a couple of weeks and see how she does, and if she has mellowed at all.

Carlotta Romero of Stone Family Farmstead

I had one of my girls (Carlotta Romero) go broody for a couple of days—at least I think that’s what happened. She didn’t want to come out of the nesting box and would just sit in there and coo. I made her get up and drink some water after a couple of days, and I observed her walking around more often later in the week so maybe she’s done? I dunno. I’ve never had broody chickens before.

Wrapping Up

Well, I’m sure I have a zillion other things to tell you, but I really must wrap this up. I’ll bet your cup is drained of its coffee by now, and you’ve got things to do to take care of your farm and family, just like me.

Until next Friday, have a wonderful week!

Shared at From the Farm, Old Fashioned Friday, Front Porch Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Tuesdays with A Twist, Maple Hill Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Homestead Blog Hop, 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. This probably sounds mean, but I’ve heard to flip them upside down when they go broody. Not sure if that helps at all. Lol!

    • Ha ha ha! I have never heard of that before! I don’t think I mind so much her being broody, as long as she’s ok with me reaching under her to get the eggs, which she has been. I had thought it might be fun to someday have her hatch some chicks, but I’m not wanting to chance getting a rooster just yet!

  2. It all looks great! I have Silkies that will remain broody until their rocks hatch… At times they’re so determined to hatch *something* that I have to take them outside into the sun and block them from getting back into the hen house.

    • Hi Robin! Ha ha, I’ve heard that about some broodie hens–stubborn girls! Those would be the best ones to put fertile eggs under, though. I’m watching to see if my girl sets for very long. I might like to try her at hatching and mothering someday!

  3. Fantastic week! Really, 15 bush bean plants per person?! No wonder we never have enough! I’ll have to reevaluate our planting for this year then.
    The babies are just gorgeous!

    • Thanks Jayne! About the plants, that’s what I read! I was shocked. I think I’ll have to do a little more research. I also read that if you plant pole beans the plants are fewer, so maybe I might do that instead, once I get a fence to plant on.

  4. Fabulous goings-on! I love the idea of shredding the zucchini to put in the freezer for sweet breads. Brilliant! Some time in the fall or winter, you’ll be eating zucchini bread and lovin’ yourself!

    Hope your critters are staying cool!

  5. Seems like things are going well and you are figuring it out. I don’t know about the animal things, but I’m sure you are spot on about being tired of squash. LOL Best wishes!

    • Hi Jendi! Ha ha, I’m thinking so too! We’re not at the point where we are sneaking it into the neighbor’s car, but we are getting enough to have it a few times per week! Thanks for stopping by!

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