The month of April has arrived and with it a host of new projects are in need of attention. Our Two Old Oaks are budding red and beginning to awaken after a long winter. The ground is finally drying out after a slew of storms battered our area for the past two weeks. And of course the grass is growing greener and taller. With all the changes of spring underway, it’s time to get to work here on the homestead!
This is our second year on the property and the first time we are in a position to really begin making things happen. As new homeowners we of course ran into the typical year-one money shortage and with everything else going on, building a dog pen and chicken yard was project enough. Buying the homestead severely depleted our savings, but we got a lot done despite the fact. We built (and exhausted) a winter’s worth of wood, we bought and raised chickens, and we set up a pen for both the birds and our dogs. We cleaned up the property overall (the previous owners having been major litterbugs) and we actively renovated the bedroom as seen in our ‘Renovations!’ post (though this project is still at the 85% complete mark.)
Now with 2018 almost a quarter gone and spring in swing we find ourselves reinvigorated and ready to face the world and make this spring, summer, and fall one for our personal record books. We have been doing a lot and still have a lot to do. We ended the month of March with a mini-vacation so we could step back for a bit and reflect on what we wanted to accomplish but we are back now and ready to go at it!
Like most homesteads and small farms we started off with chickens last year, getting two dozen birds as quickly as we could. We started with twenty-two hens, two roosters and over this winter we saved two Muscovy ducks to add to the flock.
By November 2017 we had begun getting eggs and in no time were getting a dozen plus each day. Chickens are lovely because they are low-cost, low-maintenance, and a pleasure to watch as they scratch around their yard. Compared to other livestock they don’t require much investment and returns are realized quickly in the form of eggs or fresh meat. However our little flock has already begun to outgrow their yard (as you can see) and with several hens trying to go broody they will be in need of fresh grass before too long. We have already sunk two posts for the corners of the new run, now we just need to get the fence and some t-posts and we will be good to go!
We also want to spend some time cultivating the trees on the property. If you couldn’t tell by the title of our blog here, we are tree lovers (myself especially). Our little patch of heaven is a break from the monotonous cornfields that blanket so much of the Midwest United States. It has a little bit of everything; from a marshy section of grassland to a maple grove to an ash and oak forest. However it used to have even more in the way of trees. Since our moving here we have found countless scars and leftover remains of ancient trees brought down for unknown reasons.
While we cannot reverse the damage done by others we can begin reparations. We have 15 or so saplings of various species already established on the property. Unfortunately they are currently strangled for sunlight by the old-growth above them so we are working to transplant into a better location. While most of the little spirits are coniferous varieties we also have a few dwarf fruit trees we plan to move to the chicken yard so one day fresh fruit will help feed the birds.
2018 is going to be a busy year, the preceding is only a small fraction of the projects we intend to complete, but it is a start! Keep an eye out for more projects coming up and thank you so much for visiting!