What a whirlwind month April has been!!!
We have had something almost every day on the calendar this month.
Some of the more exciting things have been the arrival of some springtime babies!
Heather's babies came first. She's prone to overlarge litters of 8-12 and she just can't manage that many babies. I typically like to have two does bred to kindle at the same time so that we can foster/shuffle babies if we need to. But that did not work out this time. She kindled 7
This time of year seems to be very busy. That's because it IS very busy!
We started our indoor seeds using a soil blocker this year- a first for us! So far, it's been a wonderful change from the usual peat pots, plastic pots, or other makeshift containers we've planted in before; Just pack in some dampened dirt, compress, plant your seed, and voila! Simple. I like simple.
We are also getting prepared for our first dairy goat to kid out next month (April) That means mucking
It comes as no surprise to me, as a Christian, that the world, having fallen in sin, should be full of empty deceit and lies.
Our society has so far separated itself from the reality of creation, and of Creator for that matter, that there are "facts" we take for granted- presumed wisdom- which in fact has no basis in reality.
One of the biggest ways this plays out in my own life is through my efforts to build a permaculture system on our homestead.
Over the last
I have a hard time sitting still. As such, I made a bargain with myself that during the cold months, I would rest, and that rest didn't have to be sleep, necessarily, and that I could keep my hands busy with knitting or crocheting.
I had a favorite sweater. It was one of those magical garments that saw me through pregnancy and postpartum and never stopped fitting. It was like the sisterhood of the traveling pants but with non-maternity maternity clothes. One homeschool cooperative day
Winter on the homestead is a quiet time. A time we usually spend mostly indoors, enjoying the break from urgent and demanding chores like weeding the garden, or goat milking. But with winter's dearth, the rest is dependent upon what was grown, harvested, and stored away during the spring, summer, and fall. In order to rest well in winter, one has to make some provision during the more bountiful periods of the year.
This seems like an obvious statement, especially in light of the Scrip
I was listening to a podcast recently on the seasons God built into our earth and into our lives. The book of Ecclesiastes paints a portrait of those ever-changing seasons:
"1To everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven:
2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to break down and a time to build,
4a time to weep an
We're settling into life with our newest family member and getting back into all our routines. Funny story, we've had a lot going on around here, not the least humorous of which was an escaped calf wandering about our property. Somehow the neighboring pasture had a week spot on their fence, and this little guy came for a hike through our woods and a taste of our garden! I told my husband he should adopt the title, "Cowboy Extraordinaire ??" He was not nearly as amused as
Today is another beautiful late spring day on the homestead, starting to feel more like summer. The last of the spring blooms are fading, and the heat and the insects are here in full force.
Some exciting news- we officially registered silver fox breeders with ARBA! I've spent the morning familiarizing myself with the organization and looking for shows near us...which are actually few and far between. But, it's nice to get to look at everything and think about 2023, even if we don't m
(Originally posted on whollyholyliving.com, May 13, 2022 by Eden)
Well, I’m one tired lady this morning.
Yesterday evening, we noticed we were short a chicken. Something had gotten into the hoop coop and eaten it. Fox? Raccoon? We weren’t sure. But I asked my husband to help me think through some solutions because we were so confident in our hoop coop build as being predator proof.
So, we looked for weak spots and holes, and did a quick patch job before the
Luna had 2 sweet little bucklings this afternoon. The birthd were textbook smooth, optimal positioning of both kids, and no interventions we're required! Praise God!
The thing that has us scratching our heads is the percentage chance of her birthing only males 2 years in a row. Last year, she had ShaggyMaple Tumnus, and this year, she had another two bucklings, one almost solid white, the other golden.
The white one was born first, followed nearly 30 minutes later by his g
Lots of stuff is going on here on the homestead. Each day I ask my goat, Luna if she's still pregnant. She looks back at me as if to say, "...Yep... are you?" To which I answer with a sigh, "...yep... not too much longer, girl, let's hang in there together!" I've never been this pregnant through the springtime, and into June, so with the weather heating up, I'm ready to no longer be expecting. But, it's one of those things that happens in God's timing, not mine, and I jus
Today was a pretty good day on the homestead.
In the Chicken Run Garden, we planted our first potatoes. As the season goes on, we'll continue to layer in more. I had lots of help from my girls and they loved getting to play in the dirt.
Additionally, I've been playing with the garden management notebook, and seeing how I can best utilize it as an effective tool. Today, I came up with a seed storage hack.
I've been using presentation notebooks for reorganizing al
I have been a' workin' this week! And since the weather decided to be wintery again (folks around here refer to it as "dogwood winter") I decided to do some of the more "inside" work. As I was sitting at the computer desk, it actually snowed for a bit Saturday morning!! IN APRIL! I'm not used to East Tennessee not having designated seasons like the midwestern states where I was born and raised; it just decides to host winter weather at random.
But, with the chi
We planted the first market row with lettuce and greens mixes! It's being providentially watered in with a nice spring rain today!
My husband also began a no-dig flax patch. We like flax for a number of reasons, 1) nutritional benefit of flax seed, 2) textile value as fiber, 3) pollinators drawn by the lovely blue flowers. We put down our newspaper weed barrier and began topping it with aged compost. Once that is completed, we will sow flax, likely next weekend so that we can take ad
We had our first ever litter of silver fox babies born on the homestead today! There are 9 kits, all born alive and doing well so far!
The first 24 hours we plan to check, but mostly leave them alone to keep warm and let miss Heather rest and mother them.
She built a lovely nest at the very last minute! When I checked on her this morning at 8:15, she had not pulled any fur, and when we came home from lunch after church, the nest was FULL of fur, and 9 wiggly little kits!
The virtue of patience was explained to me as being, "the art of waiting without complaining." There is nothing like life on the homestead to really cultivate that virtue.
Right now, we are waiting for our first ever litter of silver fox kits to be born. I am so nervous and excited! This is our doe's first breeding, so I have a lot of questions that I'm waiting for answers to, like, will she be a good mama? How big will her average litter size be? Did we wait too late to start breedin
It's time for another homestead update!
The daffodils, crocuses, and forsythias all in bloom may lead you to believe that Spring has finally sprung! I know that I am sorely tempted to get out in the garden and plant all of my spring crops already. But... alas, it's not quite Spring. In fact, we got snow! Our overnight temperatures are in the teens, hard frosts, and all the pretty green things and blossoms are burried under an uncharacteristically late blanket of white!
Whether you're starting seeds indoors for the very first time, or you're an old pro, here are some simple tips that serve as reminders for us year in and year out to get the most out of our seed-starting process and work smart, not hard.
1.) Don't break the bank!
Chances are if you're wanting to grow your own food, you don't want to go into debt to do it. Rather than spend big bucks on seed trays or peat pots, try using things you already have on hand. If you have plas
When my husband and I first purchased our property 5 years ago, it was a lot of rolling open grass- the kind of lawn that suburbians would kill for. I looked at it and said, "Very nice, I'll change it all though- I can't eat manicured lawn." So the first thing we did to convert the property to "homestead" was to plant a ton of fruit and nut trees.
My husband is highly skilled in digging into the reasons for doing something, especially if that something is going to cost him time, money
It's early February, and as such, I'm absolutely positively fed up with dark, cloudy, wet, wintery weather.
To make up for the feeling of discontent with the lingering winter season, I'm spending my time doing a bit of pre-spring spring cleaning, planning out the garden guilds and plantings, getting a lot of reading done, and continuing to add to our homestead store inventory.
I've got to prune the apple and chestnut trees, the grape vines, and "hedge" the Osage hedgerow.
We're very excited to be utilizing a new platform! For those of you who have been following us at Wholly Holy Living for a long time, we're glad you're here! For those of you who are new to Shaggy Maple, welcome! We hope that we can continue to share our homesteading adventures with all of you, and continue to do so all to God's glory.
We're still learning the platform, and figuring out how to flesh out the website so that it's easily navigable, and also beautiful! Because we value th