The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Homestead News Volume 21

We are enjoying below normal temperatures here this week which is a welcome relief to the hot humid weather we have been having. Our hot weather has been similar to what is happening across the country east of here, we have been having daily heat advisories for a while now. We know the heat will return because that is what is normal for this location in the middle of summer, but this morning the low was 61*, normal is about 80* in the midst of summer.

Self discipline has kicked in a little better this summer with rising early and getting out of the house before 10:00am. We don't always, and definitely haven't always in the past. It's easy to sit and drink coffee, visit and peruse the internet. That's more fun than going outside and sweating. But when we do get up and about and get things done, it feels better, physically and mentally. The bonus is that things get done. So, here are some things that have been happening around the homestead.

We have put about two dozen roosters in the freezer, with the last of them butchered today. Now that the chickens are finished we have six wethers we need to get in the freezer as well. That will be next on the meat preservation list.

There are now more jars on the shelf including green beans, turnip greens and beets.

The garden continues to produce a good harvest almost daily. We are currently getting okra, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.

The pinto beans have been pulled and I'm working on shelling them for canning. The harvest would have been much larger if I had realized pinto beans are pole beans, not bush beans. 

Pinto bean harvest

The first planting of cow peas, purple hull peas, are just about ready to begin blooming and the second planting is up and growing well.

We have harvested the first cutting of amaranth. I will be doing a separate article soon. The second planting is in and also doing very well.

Amaranth after the main seed head has been harvested.

New amaranth seedlings

I have pondered doing a Goat Tale for you, but there really isn't much to tell so I will include them here. The doe, Patch, that had mastitis and a retained placenta, is now healthy, and I am still milking her on the 'good' side of her udder.

Patch - you know, see that patch of white on her side?

In the last few weeks all of our does have bred which has happened before, but is unusual. Neither the does or the buck seem interested in breeding during the heat of the summer most years. This breeding means in the next few months our milk supply will diminish and dry up sometime before they give birth in December. Winter babies are good. They tend to be healthy and thrive better than summer babies, but we will miss having our own fresh milk while waiting for them.

Here is a sneak peek at a project Frank has been working on. He will fill you in on the details in a future article.

We have begun reading Leigh Tate's book Prepper's Livestock Handbook. Leigh blogs over at 5 Acres & A Dream which is packed with information about developing their homestead and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Leigh does a lot of research and tracks data covering their successes and failures. This is where I discovered amaranth and kefir. If you haven't been there, go take a look, she has a wide variety of information available. We'll be telling you more about her book after we have more time to graze through it. After all, it is about livestock. 

Frank and I were talking about plans for our activities yesterday and came to the conclusion that this time of year almost everything we do is related to food. It is the food production and preservation time of year. Other things can be postponed until winter when the harvest is in and the weather cools down. 

Life is good on the homestead. Very good. The world? Well, that's another story. I could direct you to all sorts of horrible, troubling things, but you know what is out there. You know what is coming our way. Prepare accordingly. Don't be caught by surprise. What comes may shock us, may devastate us, may end the world as we know it. But until that time arrives, the sun is shining, I get to spend my days with the man I love at my side. The flowers are blooming. There is food on our shelves. We have a wonderful life.

Until next time - Fern


  1. Fern,
    It looks like your garden is doing well with all you are harvesting and preserving. Our garden is beginning to give us some goodies: carrots,beets,chard,onions , garlic and a few green beans and zucchini.We are finally getting warmer weather . I think that has been the reason for a slow start to our season.
    It sure does feel good to have home grown food on the pantry shelf , very satisfying and much healthier than store bought.
    Yeah, the world does seem to be crumbling apart, lots of craziness , turbulence and terrible goings on. We just need to be thankful for each and every day that w have. Keep on enjoying your garden.

    1. Sounds like your garden is doing well, Bluesman. Yes, we are thankful for everyday we have been given. And through the summer one of our common sayings is: I love air conditioning. Hope it stays on all through the season.

      Take care, Fern

  2. I love to see someone is as crazy as me! I actually counted the empty jars the other day to see what i have left to fill! Ha ha ha.
    Getting ready for the fall garden myself...looks like you have a headstart on me in that regard.
    Beautiful post!

    1. Hi, M.E. Good to hear from you. Got those jars filled?


  3. I really enjoy each of your posts. You are definitely using your garden space to full advantage with second plantings. 2019 will be remembered as a challenging year for many who farm and garden, however, we all know it could get much worse. Having the extra stores of food may be great insurance for those willing to do the hard work and prepare. As President Calvin Coolidge once said, "Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance." May God bless us in our efforts, CWfromIowa

    1. Hope you have an abundant harvest, C.W.

      How are the commercial crops doing now? It's always nice to have an update.