Friday, February 10, 2012

Homestead Chickens

In my way of thinking the perfect homestead chickens breed is one that the hens lay well but the roosters get big enough fast enough to be good broilers. Add to that my need for a cold hardy chicken and it makes figuring out the perfect one a little tough. The way we have been getting around some of this is to get a batch of Cornish Cross chickens and just doing a batch of meat chickens in the summer. After this last batch we swore (again) that we are not going to get them again. They are pretty nasty birds as well as being pretty unnatural. Once before we had gotten the dark cornish chickens like these.

We ended up keeping one of the hens because she never got as big as the rest and she ended up being the bast layer we have had. So I think we will probably get another batch of those for meat. I am still trying to figure out if we should just keep some of the hens for laying or if I should try another breed. The tiny dark cornish hen (Tiny Bird) was my favorite hen and I just lost her. I think it may still be to soon.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sewing Projects

Sewing Projects

I have been working on some pacifier holders like these.  I am hoping to sell them to a few consignment shops as well as to individuals. Hopefully it will be a little shot in the arm for the homestead budget.

Also I have been working on how to reuse/recycle chicken feed bags. This is the idea I have come up with. They start out life like this.

And end up like this.

Linked to :Monday’s Homestead Barn Hop

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Homestead

                                                               Our Homestead
The home part of the stead :)
This is a picture of our cabin. Our homestead is actually located on my families property, it is a little weird but it is nice to be close to family, we can help each other. We did buy a house and property of our own but then we had Skiffbaby and the house was not big enough, also the property ended up having poor soil and we were to high up to have a good long growing season. So when faced with the decision of adding onto the house or moving back to the cabin until we can afford to buy the property we dream of and build we decided that the cabin was a better plan. This is a picture from years ago of the back of the property were the outhouse and greenhouse were.

The outhouse is unfortunately the same but that greenhouse long ago succumbed to a wind storm. I was thinking that I was going to try to put the garden in the same spot but we may be putting an addition on the house back there. Hmmm back to the drawing

The chicken coop is in the front side yard for now. When we moved in there was so much snow that that was pretty much the only option we had. I think we will be building a new coop this spring and when we place it I will have it faceing south instead of the north facing direction it is now. Then we will create them a yard around the base of the trees in the picture.

Friday, February 3, 2012

More snow, running for your water and the OUTHOUSE

More snow, really.... not what I was hoping for. This is my view from the last blizzard, on a good day there are mountains behind all those trees. The forcast for the near future...  more snow.

So every since we moved back to the cabin we have running water, as in we run to get it. This is not a uncommen thing in Alaska but it still kind of stinks. When we lived in the other house we only had to haul drinking water. We had running water for doing dishes, showers, cleaning and oh yeah an inside toilet. Which brings me to a hole nother topic. The OUTHOUSE. Most people only have a fleeting knowledge of the outhouse. Most people if they have any knowledge of an outhouse at all, runs to the distant past, summer camp, highway rest stops of the past and camping trips. Most Alaskan have a much closer relationship with outhouses.
                                                                                (my dream outhouse)
There is an art to proper outhouse care, one should never put Tp in the hole, Lime cuts down on smells, leave the door open just a little to promote ventelation and regularly move the outhouse to a new hole. That last one is the issue we are having, we moved back into the cabin after the big freeze. this means that we did not have a chance to dig a new hole so we have been useing the same hole that has been there for 6 years. After multipule sets of renters this is a stinky endever. We can't wait for spring for many reasons but this is a very important one.
                                                             (not my actual outhouse but it feels this bad a -15)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blizzard Warnings and Garden Planning

Well we woke up this morning and looked at the weather. Hmmm blizzard warnings until 4 this afternoon... Great. Well I guess we will just hang out at home and plan for this summer. Since we just moved back to our cabin I wont have my greenhouse (sob) I will be making do with big planter boxes. We have so left over plastic from said greenhouse that we will use to make tops for some of the boxes like this

Although maybe if I am lucky I can get BW to make me something like this
I am not sure where I would put one that big yet but I am sure that I can figure it out. Hopefully given we are at a little lower elevation now I will have a slightly longer growing season and maybe I can get a few more things to grow.

I need to get my favorite seed company to send me a new catalog. I think mine must have come just after I put in our change of address. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has a great catalog, wonderful service and great seeds. I love that they are open pollinated seeds and all non-GMO.