inHabiting the homestead

Flowers in season, my favourite, baptisia. Also the deer’s favourite. But I haven’t seen them since Violet. I’m told they might be nesting, they’re not afraid puppies, even really big puppies.

The chicks are chomping at the beak to get out of the brooder. I sit on a stump by the brooder with the computer on my lap and watch them peck at ants or whatever they’re finding. I keep the cats in the greenhouse. I don’t think the chicks need the light any more. In fact, I’m awfully tempted to christen the coop and put them all in there at four weeks old. They love love love being outdoors. (Me too!)

One night I tried to warm the coop making stone soup. Real stone soup.

The rock’s heat did not last more than a couple hours. It was a LOT of work. And my gut said it was too cold for them. So back into the homeschool room they went.

When to Move Chicks from Brooder to Chicken Coop

Lots to teach Violet: stay on the verandah while vehicles drive away, not to jump on people, to lay down, not bite everything in sight, teach her the yard perimeter with walks twice a day. It’s a busy occupation, having a canine baby. But a satisfying one.

I’m spraying bitter apple spray on the verandah rug, the edges of the verandah posts, the edges of the verandah rocking chairs (you can see where she hangs out, and that she’s teething). She gets dental strips instead. She chomps a couple times then randomly buries them, for reasons I don’t understand: inborn scarcity notions? Now how to teach a dog not to dig??

DIY Bitter Apple Spray

Hiking up a nature trail, I found a few miniature huckleberry shrubs waiting for a replant in one of my orchard patches. Gotta hope the eight snips will root and fruit.

Mid winter, a homestead binder is the happy alternative to being outside. In mid-summer, it’s a bit more challenging, as I actually want to be outside. Organizing the gardening binder…

I planted lilacs. Tiny twig-like sprigs sitting in a forest mulched bed that edges the driveway. Even the dead rotting trees come in handy.

I took cuttings of shrubs around the yard that I want to plant beside the driveway. They’re tiny, but they’re ready for planting.

I’m praying for rain once a week, like a good farmer. Something about that rain that serves the gardens better than even the water from our natural well.

A little kale for lunch.

I don’t know what this is. It has volunteered in my garden, spicy like arugula and we’re eating it.

Volunteer parsnips.

My from-seed cabbage.

Onions as tall as the fence.

The chickens are loving the garden too, free ranging the vegetable garden each morning.

Surprisingly, they enjoy rhubarb leaf.

We brought four more chicks home from the farm supply store. One didn’t look well from the beginning. We titrated sugar water into this little one. We arrived home, one afternoon, to the other three guarding her little lifeless body. First critter loss. Sweet blue cochin, God’s little creature, that ironically was nicknamed Dolla Dolla Bill. The other three are thriving.

Last night, finally, I felt comfortable leaving our five week old chickens in the coop overnight. They didn’t like the dark, and piled into the corner. When I individually placed each on the roost, they all quietened and cuddled happily.

It’s peony season. One for every room. And none left outside.