As part of the Blog Expansion, I invite you take a glimpse of my doings around the homestead between writing & nerding out!
Since this is the first Blog-Hosted Homestead post (I was up to #56 for the year on the Book of Faces), I’m going to give a quick rundown of the things I have going on. It will be a State-of-the-Homestead, if you will.
If I had to describe it with a single phrase, I’d call the State of the Homestead ‘Neglected Due to Hellish Temps’
It’s averaging 90 to 95 degrees for highs. Lows in the early AM are running at 70-72, so there’s only a small window of time from daylight (7 ish) to 10 AM that any outside work can be done without me dying of heat stroke. And, since I don’t really do morning, that means about an hour. Thus all the things are neglected. The grass in the garden is out of control. The ‘cleanup’ projects are incomplete. It all looks rough compared to my spring-time endeavors.
Now ask me if I care? The answer is ‘Not enough to get up early and fix it.’ 🙂
Let’s take a tour…
I currently have 19 chickens, 13 ducks, 15 guineas.
Here is the main pen & run. It was completely covered in leaves, weeds & brush when I turned the birds loose into it in the spring. Now it is clean as a whistle up to 1 chicken-neck-length through the fencing.
Overall the Chicken area is 18′ x 30′. The Duck area is 18′ x 20′. All covered. The outside that is fenced but not covered about triples the area. I adjust/expand as needed.
The Chicken Flock:
7 French Wheaton Maran Hens, 2 Roos
4 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Hens, 1 Roo
4 Buff Orpington Hens
2 Ten-Week old Lavender Guinea Keets & 1 Adult (out of picture)
The Main Coop is 8′ x 8′ with 5 nesting boxes in front.
The Duck Flock
7 Blue Swedish (6 ducks, 1 adult drake, 2 young drakes)
6 Welsh Harlequin (4 ducks, 2 young drakes)
The main duck house. The sides fold up for clean-out. The front has 6 nest boxes with a lift-able cover. The whole roof lifts up to give me access inside if needed.
My 2nd batch of guinea keets that I hatched out. They are about 4 weeks old here. 8 Lavenders & 4 Pearl.
The view of the very weedy garden from the back porch. The chicken pen is in the background. Many ripe tomatoes that I need to get and can up.
Pink eye purple hull peas that decided to become runner beans. They used the trellis I built for my failed English Peas.
One of six eggplants in the garden. Soon to be collected.
A giant pumpkin that has decided to climb the fence instead of run on the ground. I will need to build a platform for that one big pumpkin that is growing 3 feet off the ground so that it does not tear my fence down.
Anaheim peppers. Soon to be part of some salsa!
The garden gate with all the ripening tomatoes in the background. The green beans were in front of this, but they are dying back in the heat. Did I mention there was uncontrolled grass?
Okra I planted for mom. It’s finally blooming and producing in a few spots. This ground is so dang hard though!
The raised be in front might end up giving me some carrots this time. The radishes are done. The beets melted too, so *shrug*.
And this is ole Irma Lee the New Holland TC33D 4 Wheel Drive tractor that makes all this stuff possible. She’s been broke in half twice and beat to snot, but she’s still pulling her weight.
The Non-Garden Plants
The nice thing about Canna Lilies is that they get big and hide a multitude of flowerbed sin. I have not weeded this season.
Elephant Ear bulbs I got this year. I hope they continue to do well in the pots.
Porch Plants #1: Strawberry grown from store bought seeds I saved. Wisteria vine I have yet to determine where to plant. A lemon tree I grew from a store bought seed. A Christmas cactus & a lavender.
Porch Plants #2: Marigolds with a tomato sucker that I stuck in the dirt. Several pineapples that I saved from store bought and got started. One large Chicory I grew from seed. Et Cetera.
My potato harvest from the raised be. It still needs work. I’m learning. I still tripled what I put in though.
Batch #2: Rest of the reds. Most of the Yellows. They didn’t do as well because the ground I planted them in is basically rock. Amendment and more effort needed… so I probably won’t!
This is homemade vegetable soup. I grew the tomatoes, green beans, & squash in my garden last year & this year. I bought the rest and mixed it up for the pantry.
That’s enough for now.
As you can see, the REDNECK part of me is apparent. Things are not shiny and manicured around this place. I am but one man, and I cannot do all of it and make it look pretty at the same time, so FUNCTIONAL is the name of the game!
I’ve put a lot of hard work into what I DO have, though. And it suits me. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and will stay tuned for future Homestead Updates!
Oh, wait, I almost forgot….
I should recommend at least one book…
How about this one! I have a story in there!
Until next time…
Help Feed the Chickens! Go buy a book!
If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.
Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.
In this volume:
Quicksilver (short story)
The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.
Null Gravitas (short story)
New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.
Escaping Aurora (novella)
The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.
If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!
Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.
Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?
Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.