If you have been following along with our homestead posts, you know that we dabble at homesteading in the midst of a busy life. We enjoy being outside, learning to grow and raise our own food, teaching our children responsibility, and the taste of a garden fresh tomato!! Since my last post about gardening a couple months ago, we have added some new friends to our homestead, had a few successes and some challenges.
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A few weeks ago we added three turkey poults to our homestead. These, along with the nine that we are getting next week as a part of a 4-H turkey show, will be raised by my oldest three children and then processed in late October or November.
Next, we added guinea keets last week. My children had been asking for guineas for awhile now and we decided it was finally time to give it a try. Guineas are different from our chickens and ducks because they are much more independent. They also need very little feed and will forage for most of their diet. They should be a benefit to our homestead by helping control the snake and tick population. During the spring they will also produce eggs, which my son hopes to incubate and be able to increase our flock as well as sell some keets.
Finally, just this week we were able to find a good companion goat for my daughter’s show goat. This goat’s original name was Amara but my daughter has named her Wilhelmina Amara. Her show goat’s name is Houdini (because he is an escape artist) and the real Houdini’s wife was named Wilhelmina. We are excited for this addition to the homestead and enjoying watching the two goats play together.
Successes and Challenges
One of the biggest challenges we are facing right now are the deer who think our garden makes for a wonderful buffet. We have a fence and first they were just eating what was up against the fence but most recently they are jumping the fence to dine on our garden. I love watching the deer grazing on the grass in the back yard, but we are working on solutions to keep them out of the garden. I have some netting ordered to see if that will help keep them out of the fence. If you have any solutions that have worked for you, I would love to hear about them.
On a happier note, the garden is starting to really yield its harvest and we are enjoying the ‘fruits of our labor’. We are currently harvesting blueberries, yellow squash, and cherry tomatoes. With-in the next week we should also be getting patty pan squash and slicing tomatoes. The potato crop is growing nicely and we have some baby eggplant and peppers that will be ready soon as well.
My children participated in a virtual chicken show this month and did really well. My son did well enough in the first round to move on to the finals and placed fourth in his age group. They very much miss their in-person events but were grateful for the chance to show virtually.
How are things going where you are? I would love to know what you are harvesting from your gardens and any tips about the deer!
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Deals and Freebies
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IEW is offering some great free resources right now.
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