Homestead Update: November 1st

Gosh, it’s already November! The rain is back, the mornings are getting frosty and a whole new set of projects and problems are jumping to the foreground of my brain. Not to mention a certain holiday is coming up and i need to bust some wool prepping for the holiday season….. farming and art making do not always go together easily! Forget the fact that the sun is now going down before quitting time and my studio lighting is still atrocious…. argh! Instead of focusing on the worries plaguing my brain, let us reflect on all we accomplished in October. I’ve added a new angle to the homestead update photo series to help capture the look of the whole farm instead of just the house, since i FINALLY made a real garden plan and we’ll begin executing it in the spring!

So, what did we do in October? I feel like we’e gotten to the phase of maintenance and long term projects that aren’t as fun to blog about as the big change projects like cutting down 80 year old trees… that being said, we did a few fun things. First and foremost, Andy mowed the whole pasture! Finally! (Doesn’t he look like a work clothes model in this photo? <3 )

October also saw the beginning of a long term barn repair project! We cut down a maple tree, ripped off some nasty siding, and I got my rabbit cages hung – well, half of them and we finished one wall and made good progress on the sliding door. We should be done with the exterior of the barn by mid November (if i can keep the men motivated despite my working every Saturday) and if i can just get my hands on 2 6 foot steel dowels i can get the rest of the cages hung and move the rabbits over as soon as the doors are on! Always so many things before things around here, frustrating! Meanwhile, there is about a foot of old manure and bedding in the barn that i’m slowly shovelling by hand (to the bafflement of my tractor loving friends) and spreading into the pasture. I’ll have to have a load of gravel delivered this winter to replace the interior substrate and will hand rake that with a group of friends to spread the work. Work party! Are you in?

Among other items we:

  • Painted the chicken coop
  • Celebrated our first Halloween with some jack-o-lanterns
  • Gathered some unidentified mushrooms
  • Cleared the blackberries and scotch broom for the back fence and put up field fencing to keep in the Pocket dog (one stretch left to fence and she’ll be free to hang out outside!
  • I learned how to use my sythe properly and mowed a whole stretch of pasture with it, plus cleared some fence lines
  • Planted half a dozen baby native white oak trees…. that might reach 7 feet in 30 years. :(
  • Drew out the farm plan and began discussions with the NRCS to join their Organic EQUIP (sp?) program
  • Stacked a giant stack of firewood and continued to whittle at the pile of tree laying in our yard…. it’s starting to look more yard and less tree!
  • Welcomed the local pheasant back along with his new brood, and also IDd a whole covey of quail, a cooper’s hawk and some western bluebirds!

All in all, a good month. But the house is a mess and i’m starting to get a little overwhelmed and depressed. I tend to be in charge of many of hte aspects of running the farm, plus my business, since my husband works in town for a living. It’s getting to be a bit much. perhaps the purchase of quickbooks would help alleviate some of said stress, but i’ve been keeping books by hand since i was 16 and it just might be hard to change the habit!

Anyhoo – daylight savings time calls and i’m late for work. Bring on the duck tolling retriever mobile!

How was your October??

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