Monday, August 9, 2010

Homestead Happenings

When you work full-time, there is always a lot to catch up on, around the house, on your days off. Sundays are usually spent with the husband, which leaves Monday as the day when I attempt to make a dent in the house and yard work. Today's tasks were: bake bread, deep clean the coops, do a couple of loads of laundry, and make some apple butter/apple sauce.

I started by doing the laundry, hoping it would get dry before the rains came. It got about halfway dry before I noticed it sprinkling. Fearing a deluge was immanent, I brought the laundry inside and hung it on the drying racks. It never did pour, but one can't be too careful in these parts.

Next I disinfected the coops and when they were dry I sprinkled them liberally with some food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) and replaced the litter and nesting materials. I feel bad for the poor girls in the tractor. It must be awfully boring for them and they don't have a place to do what chickens love most, take a dust bath. I decided to make them a little sandbox. I placed some sand in a Rubbermaid shoebox, and added some DE to it.

The sandbox was a big hit! The chickens loved it, and took turns rolling around and throwing sand all over themselves. Here it is Shirley's turn, as Joanie looks on.

The Bantam run also got some attention. Their coop got the same treatment as the big girl's. I also placed some DE under the hay in their yard. My husband installed a lockable hasp on their coop door and fixed their ladder so it doesn't fall down. I have added a blue tarp roof in anticipation of the coming rains. Blue tarps are very popular here, in the Pacific NW. I am hoping the tarp and hay keep their yard from becoming a mud puddle. We'll soon see.

Here is a picture of Lenny & Squiggy. They are doing great in their little pond.

The garden is also coming right along. Here are my basil, no longer little stumps that get munched by the slugs. I may get pesto this year, after all. Better buy some pine nuts.

I've got my first 2 zucchini of the season. I need to hurry and eat them, before they turn into baseball bats.

And look at all these green tomatoes. I have my fingers crossed that they'll turn red here, real soon.

And yes, I did get the bread baked and the apple butter is cooking away in the crock pot. I still need to make a huge batch of applesauce, but that will have to wait until later in the week.

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