Weekend Links & Updates

Fall has come to the homestead.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Romans 8:18


We survived the fires. There are still many fires burning and people are still evacuated/evacuating, so keep praying. But we are thankful for rain and cooler weather in our particular area. No matter where you live (but especially if you live in the woods, as we do), fire is something you should prepare for. This unfortunate mix of power line-started and arson-started fires certainly gave us a lot to think about!

But even amid red skies and ash rain, life continued. Our dear Fiona had another litter of rabbit kits. So far, she's always had eleven at a time, and this time was no exception. So far, all have survived. They are a beautiful rainbow of coat colors, which I think is just plain fun. And now they are mostly out of the nesting box. Can you imagine having eleven toddlers to care for - and being stuck in one room with them all day and night? Poor Fiona. Sometimes she looks a little overwhelmed!

Rabbit kits a few days old.

One of the kits last week.

A few does from Fiona's last litter, cooling off with an ice block.

We have decided that Shannon, our Soay ewe, isn't pregnant. She was just fat on summer grass. But Shaun, our ram, is definitely in rut, so we hope we'll have a lamb, come spring.

Shannon eating grain from my scooper.

The quail are doing well. They seem very content in their new digs, spending most of their days dust bathing. They are camera shy, though. Every time I bring out my phone to snap a photo of them, they panic and dash into a corner.

The quail are 6 weeks old now.

The new flock of chickens - all Australorps - are getting big. We have at least two roosters crowing, and all the roosters are (so far) friendly. We have three hens from our old flock free-ranging now. They follow us around the place like puppy dogs.

My garden did pretty well this year, but now that it is fall, the deer have ravaged it. Even the bird netting I put up - which has always kept out deer in the past - didn't do the trick this time. The deer even ate all my outdoor tomato plants...and they've never touched green tomatoes before. Before you say this is due to more deer crowding into our area due to fires...I think not. Even in the spring, we noticed the deer population was much higher than usual. I suspect the cougar that were nearby have moved to a different area.

Still getting tomatoes!

I am still getting tomatoes from the greenhouse. Actually, this is my best year ever with our little greenhouse. When we first moved here, the soil there was severely depleted. I've fed it rabbit manure, sea kelp, lime, bone meal..and finally it's paying off. There are also carrots, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, beets, and a few other things still in the garden. I might even get a few green beans, even though the deer ate their tops off.

The most housecat-like barn cat, ever: Niko.


* You don't have to throw away souring milk! Here are some tips for using it up...except that I advise just saying no to cereal :)

* Confused about the difference between Clear Jel and Sure Jell in canning? Here's a good explanation.

* It's that time of year: Time to clean your stove pipe to prevent house fires! Some good info here.

* The USDA now says selling meat from sick chickens is acceptable.

* How to save tomato seeds.

* Did you know there is a pumpkin puree shortage due to poor growing conditions? If you can't find pumpkin puree in your area, or if you find it over-priced, you can make your own! Here's how.

* Do you have cougar in your area? Check out the article I recently wrote for Mother Earth News magazine on how to keep your family and homestead safe from these formidable predators. 

I am testing out reusable canning lids this week. Expect a blog post soon!


Oldies But Goodies:

* How to freeze apple pie filling.

* How to ripen green tomatoes - and can with frozen tomatoes. 

* How to roast pumpkin (and other winter squash) seeds. 

* Teaching kids how to worship God every day. 

* How to get the most from your freezer.

No comments