On the Homestead

Spring has sprung around here in this part of our little country life.  We have been busy tilling, planting, weeding, cleaning coops, and making room for new additions to the homestead.  Lots of excitement I thought I would share with you!!!!

Surprise!!!  Mama Banty Hen with three new little chicks that she hatched and brought out to show us, proud as punch!  They are just adorable, and amazing to watch this mama in action as she teaches, protects, and cares for her brood.

I am terribly impressed with her “mama-ness”  It has really opened my eyes to the necessity of the mama in raising a strong and healthy flock of chicks.   These babies were a day old when she brought them out of the nest and started teaching them how to forage and feed themselves.  It was absolutely amazing to watch.  We are so used to the day-old orphan chick experience from a hatchery, that this rare glimpse into how simply amazing the natural world is by design, I am not sure why we continue to try to better it.  I don’t believe it can be improved upon.  

My mom always said that Banty Hens were the best little mamas, and the easiest way to hatch out chicks.  I have now experienced that and am glad that we have had the opportunity to give it a try.  We were luckily gifted with some lovely Antwerp Belgian Bantam Chickens from a dear friend from the farmers market, and they continue to win our hearts, more and more each season.  Davie loves these little hens and is so excited to build his flock.  He has claimed the new chicks as his own.  He has designs on starting his own egg business, a budding entrepreneur in the making!  We also ordered some hatching eggs to slip under another wanna be broody Banty mama!  They came in the mail last week, and we have high hopes that she will hatch out a healthy, and happy little clutch.  She is also a supurb mama, so I am feeling pretty confident.  

An early morning phone call from the post office is always exciting!  I also thought it was quite cleaver packaging!!!! I have never ordered hatching eggs before, so this was a brand new experience for us!!!  

Unpacking the eggs, and getting them ready for the last leg of their trip—To the Coop!!!! 

They are the prettiest sage green.

Presenting the eggs to our wanna-be mama, anticipation was high….would she accept the egg, or peck it and ruin it????

She accepted the egg with enthusiasm!!!! She sits atop her nest queen like and content now.  Sorry for the dark video, but I thought it would be fun to give you all a little glimpse into the coop, and we didn’t want to upset our mama hen with extra lighting and makeup…. it was a very quiet intimate few moments, not something that you experience everyday.  

The bees have been busy!!!  I am seeing all kinds of honey bees in the garden and the flowering trees in the yard.  I am hoping that our little organic homestead is making a sanctuary for them to flourish and thrive, as I have seen more this year than I have in the past several years.  That is good.

Planning out last weeks planting schedule.  Using a biodynamic planting calendar again this year–more on that to come.  

Trying out a few new varieties of heirloom seeds again this year.  It’s always fun to try something new in the garden!  We plant all heirlooms on our homestead, and have for over ten years.  Just say no to GMO seed.  It’s not necessary, and a whole lot more expensive in the long run.  Once again, you cannot improve creation the way it was intended.

Garden is in!!!! YAY!!!  And coming up already!!!!  We lost a few tomatoes in the rough wind and rain yesterday, but luckily I always over plant….

Grapes on the vine this year!!!!  This is our third year after planting, and our first grapes!  We are thrilled.  The starts came from Mark’s dad, who also got them from his dad, so third generation vines!  I think it is extra special to have grapes from Grandpa Snobl’s farm, continuing the tradition.  We have high hopes of our first vinting of Country Wine– a little ‘Homestead Red’ come fall.

Strawberries bloomed heavily, and are now getting ready to bear fruit!  Looks like it will be a good strawberry season again this year!  

Flowers are planted, and it must be the life to catch an afternoon nap in the shade!!!  Maybe next week….