Homestead Update – April 2014

Happy April! The daffodils are blooming, fruit trees (new!) are budding and baby animals are being born all over the farm. Feels good to be alive!

Last year:

This year:

Funny that there is electric netting on the east side of the driveway again: last year it was the old chickens and this year it’s for the new geese! Obviously we hadn’t put in the yard fence yet last year, nor the new upstairs windows. The chickens are now under the hoop house helping me till up in preparation for planting and the pasture is slowly getting greener thanks to all their little beaks and butts.

Last year:

This year:

The biggest difference in the view of our farm/homestead this month – the south pasture fence is clear! Check out this new view:

March saw several new improvements inside and out. The most impressive is the fence line – that was quite the task but only took a few weekends of labor with the scythe, chainsaw and weed wrench (plus a sweet flame thrower). We need to get on the next leg of fence soon but have some other tasks that are taking priority, like strewing manure across the pasture and playing with baby ducks! We put in a few new fruit trees in the front yard and added two new members of the Birdsong Farm bird family: a pair of geese. I also got my shovel in hand and started scalping the veggie garden area…. we’ll see if that project happens in time to plant this year… there’s always next year (and the farmer’s market in the meantime). I’ve had the birds on this area since January with hopes they would kill the sod. Chickens do that, i swear – but apparently i don’t have ENOUGH chickens…. the grass is just more fertile! Grr. SO i’m scalping off the sod and using the chickens to till in manure from the rabbit barn. They better do SOME of the work. πŸ˜‰

I’ve also been working on my mental health a little bit lately. Lots of gray hairs and wrinkles have been springing up…. which made me consider my stress levels. At some point i turned into this type A person who has to get everything done, be in charge, excel at everything and not waste any time. Ever. So, lately I’ve been focusing on taking things more in stride – not EVERY project needs to be done RIGHT NOW. We have the rest of our lives ahead of us on this property…. one thing at a time and focus on the victories, not the to-do lists. Well, focus on the to-do lists too… but consider prioritizing a few fewer things at a time and be more realistic with my goals… or at least allow myself to change those goals and just shop the market if i can’t get the garden done in time. πŸ˜‰

Back to March projects: Inside, i did some tidying in my rabbit barn – re-hung some cages and built a nice office area with some shelves, storage and bulletin board to help keep myself organized … and remember who belongs to who! Check out this little tour (cue the Life Aquatic boat tour music):

March was also a month of boredom for our little muscovy hen, Sugarplum who sat in one place for 40 days…. but on April first – she welcomed 13 little ducklings to the world!

Cute, right? I am having a REALLY hard time getting anything done with those just outside. Sugarplum has gotten really tame as she was brooding, since i messed with her all the time. She lets me pick up and pat her ducklings, but will snap the head off a hen walking by – i hope she’ll stay this tame once i let them all out of the brooder pen. I can’t wait to see this little things grow! We will be butchering or selling most of them, but plan on keeping at least one little hen.

Spring is in the air, so it’s time to get back outside and on the to-do lists πŸ˜‰

Is it feeling like spring in your neck of the woods yet?

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