Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lucille is in Labor!


Mr. Farmer and a farming friend are now down at the barn being Lucille's midwives. Never thought Mr. Farmer would be ready and willing for this adventure. He grabbed the olive oil and some rubber gloves in case a piglet is turned sideways and he has to help turn it. I am so excited. I wonder how many piglets Lucille will have and I pray she has no problems. She is such a beautiful hog

.I hope to go down when it's light out and take some pictures of Momma and piglets tomorrow.

Lucille picked a good night to go into labor. It is suppose to be sunny and warm tomorrow, With all the snow storms we have had lately it has been cold.

I just realized I have not posted any of our many small snow storms, so here you go. This is what I have...

This was one of our earlier snowstorms. It is a wonderful thing to watch the flurries come out of the sky and land so beautifully on the landscape. Hint, it covers my mud bowl! That's a good thing.

Now the last snow storm we had was Tuesday, just a little stressful because I had to drive to the doctor's that day but the road were clear. I was very grateful but still stressed out during my 40 minute drive on these mountains. I wonder if I will ever get use to driving these mountains. Boy are they beautiful even in the dead of winter.    Blessings!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring


Today is the first day of spring and we are expecting snow tonight. We also had alot of snow all day on Saint Patty's Day. Which we celebrated Easter with my son and his wife because we thought they were going to be away on Easter. Come to find out they won't be away so this year we get to celebrate Easter twice. YEA...

It's the first day of spring and I already I feel like I live in the mud bowl. Hopefully our mud won't get any deeper. The mud is already above my ankle and growing deeper because we live on a mountain side and it seems to drain under my home. Now I understand why our home was built up off the ground.

This is actually looking out my front door going down our driveway towards the barn down the mountain. You can probably call it hill but to me being originally from flatland, it is a mountain.

I finally remembered to take a picture of my pretty blue/green eggs. They are so fresh and delicious and another benefit, I do not have to dye Easter eggs, save a step for me.

 
I love my chickens and would like to just get a few Rhode Island Reds again. They are the kind I have raised over 20 years and love the huge brown eggs they give you. But I am very please with my Ameraucana ladies. Now we will see when it gets a little warmer if they will set on fertilized eggs and I will have some hatchlings. That is my hope anyway.
 
No piglets yet. We were not given an exact due date when Mr. Farmer picked up Lucille. I can't wait to see some little piglets running around the barn. It's all protected so no wild animals will be able to get them.
 
 
Well, enjoy the first day of Spring! It is 46 degrees here with expectation of snow. Boy I cannot wait until it is more sunny and slightly warmer here but I would not change living here on the Homestead for anything in the world.
 
Blessings.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Homestead in Progress


I may talk about the homestead making it sound complete except for all the animals and gardens we want to raise. But that is far from the truth. Yes we own 60 acres of mountainside. It is a beautiful but very muddy area and boy is this mud slippery. I feel I am on my butt more in the mud than on my feet making progress. But overall I am in love with our homestead.

We have been living here but with circumstances beyond out control our home is not as far along as I would have liked but I am still very grateful to be here. It is beautifully quiet. We are the last home on a small very windy road and one gentleman owns the top of the mountain. So, there is not much traffic except for an occasional 4-wheeler going by. We built our home up on a ledge of the mountain away from the road and protected for privacy by trees. I see no other neighbors no matter what window I look out.

Here is our home as is at this point in time...


This picture shows the front of our cabin. I just realized this picture is 3 pictures in one. The front of the house is flat, the left side of this picture is actually a separate picture of the side of the house and the right is the herb garden. The steps to the right is our front door. The sections to the right with the double window is my kitchen and the small window is the bathroom. Sorry for the odd picture, not sure what I did with the camera. That is another thing I am learning. The right half of the picture is my herb garden that is actually about 30 feet in front of our home. The roofing is evergreen colored tin. I love the sound when it rains.

I have been promised by Mr. Farmer the outside of the home will be completed before next fall.  This next picture shows what it will look like once it is completed.

 
This is a board and batten cabin with the green tin roof, just like I have dreamed of for over 20 years.
 
Not sure where I got the above picture from but it was in the web at one time. This is how I explained to Mr. Farmer how I wanted the cabin built. So far so good.
 
Inside has alot of work to be done but I will be fully content with the outside getting done. Mr. Farmer just needs to get a couple extra hands to help him complete this project.
 
Well that's where we are with the home building, livable but will be beautiful once the exterior get on there this year!
 
Blessings!
 





Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Woman on the Homestead


Lucille has come to live and produce on Bountiful Homestead. She is a beautiful Tamworth Hog. Mr. Farmer went to Virginia to a Hog farm and had chosen her. He built a special box/crate that fits in my son's truck perfectly and Mr. Farmer took the 3 hour drive to pick her up. She sure is sassy. Weighing approximately 400 pounds, she lets you know what she is thinking by using her size. She was bred before we bought her and she should be due to deliver shortly. Mr. Farmer states she is getting grumpy so we are assuming she is coming closer to delivery. Today Mr Farmer and our farmer friend built a special nursery box in the barn to help keep the piglets more contained.

We had such a good experience with last years hogs, Bacon and Porkchop and the meat was the most delicious pork I had ever tasted, so tender. Lucille and a couple of her female piglets are going to be keepers and we will need to purchase a bore when it becomes time to breed them next fall.

We also own 3 new chickens this year, they lay blue eggs and they are finally all producing their eggs everyday. My old Rhode Island Reds went to my DIL stew pot. They were no longer producing and had become mean. A farmer neighbor friend felt the girls needed a male companion. So one day he came over with a beautiful red rooster in a burlap bag. Needless to say he was a surprise but a wonderful suprise. He did not crow for the longest time and now that he crows, it is not a normal crow, it sounds like a mans voice out side. He gives me a good laugh and he is a gentle rooster. His name is Spartacus. I still have to think of names for the girls come to think of it.

This week has been busy on the homestead, loads of manure have been spread in the big vegetable garden and our farmer friend came and plowed it under for us. Then I looked out my front door and my Mr, Farmer was spread manure in my herb garden by hand. We will need to till that under shortly. I now have to think what herbs I am going to try to grow again this year. Last year my herb garden was not so successful. But hope prevails.



Beautiful Lucille when she first moved to Bountiful Homestead. I really hope all her piglets look just like their momma. Raising pigs and chickens have been such a blessing and a learning experience for both Mr. Farmer and myself.

My next goal is to get two Sanaan milk goats that will be housed and pastured up the mountain near our home. This way it will be easier for me to go out the front door for milking morning anf night. We had goats approximately 25 years ago but then moved where we could no longer have them. So I am excitedly waiting for the day Mr. Farmer build my goat house with an attatched milk palor. I will be in my glory, I will have plenty of milk to use in cooking, drink, making cheese and making homemade soap. I have been honing these skills now so when my goats make it to the homestead, it will feel like a natural process.

I will try to be more diligent in what is happening on the Homestead.

Blessings!