I love my chickens. Earlier this year I went through a sort of frenzy and decided we needed chickens, n-o-w. I bought books, asked friends who had chickens, added myself to Facebook chicken groups. I ooo'ed and ahhh'ed over the baby chicks at Tractor Supply and the farmer's co-ops I visited. Then, my neighbor's first eggs hatched. I jumped in the car and brought home two adorable day old babies. We named them Peep and Tom (get it?!).
| || |
We worked diligently on turning the shed/barn across the street into a chicken house. The shed was previously split into two parts, and I thought the smaller side would make the perfect luxury chicken suite. We put up chicken wire and fortified the perimeter. We used a dog kennel to create a large yard, cut a hole in the wall, and added a door. I built a roosting tree, yes a tree, and rigged up three nesting boxes. Then, my neighbor who has a great farm (complete with cows. I want cows!) called and told me they were going to butcher their Rhode Island Reds and if I wanted some of the laying hens, to get my butt over there. So, I went. I came home with four Reds in tote boxes.
The garden is growing. Imagine that!? But seriously, I was worried for a little bit. Nothing seemed to want to grow, but now that I'm getting a little better at combating the weeds, and the natural passing of time, the garden is starting to look like a garden. Two weeks ago I was in town on my weekly trip and I came home with a small tiller. Some women want jewelry or clothes for gifts, I prefer tools. So I brought home a tiller and told my husband that he bought me a tiller. We're both happy. It's a tiny little thing, only 10 inches wide, but it works. It beats hand tilling the last 30 feet of the garden. We now have 15 beautifully uniform rows, ready for planting, and I have the energy to plant! We also had our first harvests! Radishes, lettuce, and spinach all were ready for our hungry tummies. The first succession of fall squash was planted, as well as two half rows of beans. The next half I will plant next week. In place of the radishes that were harvested I planted collards. Carrots, spinach, celery, beans, and squash have sprouted this week as well.
After long days in the heat, tilling, and working until my blisters have new blisters, it's nice to find some cooling relief for my feet. Last week I mentioned I was working on a recipe for a foot soak, and many of you said you preferred a fully dissolving formula. I like to please, so you got what you asked for!
This coming week I plan on working on a new laundry powder formula that will be specifically for hard water! The water here in TN is extremely hard, and while we plan on getting a water softener eventually we have to make do for now. I have been experimenting with different ratios and new ingredients. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have the formula perfected and then I can share with you all!
Happy homesteading, my friends. Have fun, be safe, and always be all natural!