The Goings _ On September 2022

September – the month that Summer turns to Fall. Let’s just say it is the month it is supposed to turn into Fall! August was a whirlwind for us. Between pest issues, health problems, and scorching heat, and extreme humidity it has been one wild August!

The Flock

The chickens are doing so well. They have been the one positive throughout this season. Our girls are growing very well and have the sweetest demeanor. They have now been merged with the 4 that we hatched out in May and our two Welsummers. For our largest flock yet! Twelve! That may not seem like a lot to you but building a run to ensure there is plenty of space to keep the peace was an undertaking to say the least. But using recycled goods, some new fencing, t-posts, and some pallets – we got it done!

There are two cockerels in this flock – Hope & Faith. Faith being the larger of the two and most outgoing has already begin to assert his dominance with the younger girls. It is quite interesting to watch. Hope on the other hand stays out of the way and occasionally will let the girls know he’s a dude. You may remember that Hope is the chick we almost lost. Our daughter took the task of hatching him out herself. We are so glad that we made that decision. He is just beautiful! He takes after his father and grandmother with the adorable feathered feet! And in the blackness of his feathers there is the most beautiful reddish brown coming through. Yes, him is a handsome fella! We are loving learning animal husbandry first hand by watching these traits pass from one chicken to the next. Best of all, we love that fact that each hatchling set seems to become more and more personable with us. As we observe them grow we admire our Creator more and more!

Right now we are at a whopping 25 chickens! That may not seem like a lot for a farm but just remember we are a microfarm. We started with 6! You could say this getting out of hand but we wouldn’t. While we didn’t intend to ever have this many, we have found something we love. Raising chickens is a dual fold benefit for us. We get beautiful eggs weekly that we can share with the community as supplies allow. When hens are past laying age we get meat and of course we use those bones for broth. We really can’t see why everyone doesn’t have chickens. Just saying!

When Spring 2023 comes around we will have a total of 21 laying hens. That is a lot of eggs! We are tossing around the idea of a small member egg CSA late Spring or early Summer. I mean who wouldn’t want a dozen Certified Naturally Grown eggs delivered to their door weekly?! If that is something you would be interested in please let us know. It would be nice to know what kind of market we have for it before diving in.

Fall Planting

Fall Planting has continued though not quite as planned. Our brassicas were doing very well, that is until They got leggy. After reviewing last years garden notes we think the culprit may be our favorite peat pellets! Last year we were able to save a good bit of the seedlings so we thought we could save these as well but when trying to set them out it was clear they were beyond saving. This is a real set back for us. This likely means that we will not be harvesting in Fall harvest on our brassicas. While that is disappointing it is not all a loss as we can still harvest in Spring. Those brassicas included – Collards, Broccoli, & Cauliflower. Late is better than never – right?

For the first time ever we are growing out our own onion starts. We decided to do this because there are more varieties of short day onion seeds versus short day onion starts. We really wanted to include some Granex varieties in our planting this year and we were having a difficult time sourcing starts. Ergo we are starting them from seed ourselves. We have started these so that by January they are hopefully at a sufficient size to set out.

We are not going to put all of our eggs in one basket though. Since this is a new endeavor we will still order our starts as usual. This will ensure we still get harvest if our starts somehow fail.

We planned to do a video but when the time came we totally forgot. We were in JUST GET ID DONE MODE! This is what we did:

  • We labeled 4 cups – one for each variety:
    • Timon (yellow, Grano)
    • DP Sweet (yellow, sweet, Granex)
    • Chianti (red, Grano)
    • Sapelo Sweet (yellow, sweet, Granex)
  • We poured the seeds in to each cup – about a teaspoon each variety
  • We covered with cool filtered water
  • We allowed to sit on the table uncovered for 3 days.
    • By day 3 all had began to sprout except the Chianti (red onion). If your seeds have sprouted be sure to plant sprouted portion down into the soil and part with seed attached up.

We will keep you updated on this journey!

In the Way of Available Produce

There a few times of the year where our farm is looking a little rough. Those time are usually times of transition. Now we are transitioning from Summer to Fall. Sadly there is just not a lot of produce items currently available. Our tea blends, infused oils, spice blends are in stock however. We hope to add fresh produce items to the shop page within the next 30 – 55 days as we have planted some fast growing leafy greens and root veggies. For now our microgreens are available to grow to order and we have opened subscriptions for Fall MICROgreens by BHG. Deliveries will begin October 21st and run through November 9th. We will remain open to accept subscribers until September 30th.

Life Changes

As we all grow and age we come we learn to adjust to the different changes our lives throw our way. Whether we like change or not it comes for us in some fashion or another.

Many that know our family know that I, Shena Nicole, deal with chronic health issues and have from birth. I don’t discuss these issues often as I have chosen to not let them define me. I just live my life. In fact, I forget sometimes that I have limitations and those are the occasions my body will rudely remind me. Recently I have had to deal with far more pain & limited mobility than I have in the past making it more and more challenging to accomplish even the most basic activities of daily living much less homesteading. Not being able to monitor the farm as needed has sadly even accounted for some of our crop losses this year. This in turn just made me an emotional wreck! Something needed to be done! A couple of doctor visits & tests later and we have a potential culprit but only time will tell. In the meantime chronic pain is being managed with new pharmaceuticals. While I am not one who cares for taking pills this is absolutely necessary for my quality of life. It is taking a lot to adjust to the new regimen. At first focusing was an issue which is why this blog is so extremely past due! However, I have already noticed some improvement in pain levels & mobility. Along with exercise & more diet adjustments, I am hopeful that with this improvement will come with more freedom to do what needs to be done to run a farm, a home, a family. Backing down is just not something I know how to do. With many prayers and the support of my friends & family, I do hope to put this phase of life in the rear view soon. There is just too much to do!

By the time we come back to you next month we hope to be installing new raised beds, planting garlic, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, Carrots, & more! Like I said, THERE IS JUST TOO MUCH TO DO!