Christmas decor and mealworms!?!

Yes, you read that title correctly! I worked on decorating the house this weekend, but only a minimal amount. I just don’t see the point in spending so much effort putting up decorations to only rip them down in a month. So, I put up our tree with only ornaments that have special meanings to us, put the handmade stockings on the fireplace and changed out the chalkboard sign.

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Chalkboards are so easy!!
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Handmade stockings made by my momma!
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Worst tree picture ever!

It was so nice having a totally non-stressful decorating session!

Then, I found an amazing sale on mealworms at Uncle jims worm farm and had to get some to start raising for the hens. I guess they were like an early gift! They were sent out yesterday and arrived today!

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Bag o’ mealworms!
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I even think they’re kinda creepy!

I am sure that the hens will fight over these!

As for keeping from being bored, I’ve been able to stay crazy busy! I’m making lots of crocheted items as Christmas presents. I am also busy coaching rec league pee wee basketball. Although I really like playing sports, my love is for gardening and homesteading!

 

 

Thanksgiving break!

We had the warmest Thanksgiving break here that I can remember! It allowed me to get so much outside stuff all finished and let the boy ride his bike, a lot!

It started off pretty amazing when our ladies gave us so many eggs in one day! They have been slacking here lately, so they like this nice weather, or something!!

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5 eggs?!?

And, the ladies got to free range without snow! They’re having a great November!

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Free ranging in November!

I was also able to finally thin out all the strawberry plants for the spring. They look so much better!!

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Nice and things out!

I also spent the break working on some crocheting! I made some cotton dishcloths to give out as gifts and some sweet boot cuffs! These will be gifted this year! And, I have many orders to fill!

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Crochet dishcloths
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Boot cuffs!

My husband made me this sweet chalkboard to use as decor throughout the year. It’s nice because I can change it out throughout the season. Talk about reusable!!

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Reusable decor!

I hope that everyone had a great break, and now to get back to crocheting! 🙂

 

 

What is a homestead (part 2)

I thought that I had mentioned everything that we do to make our homestead work in part one! But, there is more!

  1. Eat what is in season! I know, sometimes you want strawberries in the middle of winter. But, that’s also why I preserve foods. Eating in season helps to keep food from being shipped thousands of miles!
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I miss these veggies already!

2. We grow foods that we know that we are going to eat! I know that’s kind of a weird statement, but some people grow foods that they don’t even like to eat! Not us! We also grow foods with multiple purposes! Like pumpkins for example. We grow them for decoration, carving and chicken food. They don’t ever go in the garbage around here!

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multi purpose crops!

3. Make it instead of buying it! I actually really like cooking and baking, so this is easy for me! It allows us to control the ingredients in our food and eat more wholesome food. (Even if it’s not always the best for me;) and, there is less packaging going into the trash.

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Soft pretzels!

4. We save seeds and use some heirloom varieties. We saved many sunflower and muskmelon seeds. We also used many varieties from a seed vault, with only heirloom varieties.

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Cute packaging for my purple sunflowers!

5. I still can’t believe that I forgot this in my first homestead post! We use red wriggles to make the most amazing food for our crops! Vermicompost is seriously amazing and requires very little work! These little wigglers enjoy eating old banana peels, coffee grounds and other veggie/fruit scraps!

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Some of the wormies that started living in the garden!

I really do believe that a simpler life allows us to be friendlier to the earth and appreciate more of what we have!

 

 

 

 

 

Working weekend

I won’t include pictures of myself cleaning, but the first thing I was able to get accomplished was a clean house this weekend. I have this thing about having to start the week with a clean house. I know, weird.

I was also able to let the hens free range for a while and I cleaned up the coop. Lots of cleaning!

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Hens enjoying some free ranging

I also spent a little time this weekend putting my new to me spider plants into some nice new pots! These plants are supposed to clean the air, so I’ll take them! Hopefully they start growing soon!

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Their beautiful new pots!

Lastly, I was able to work on crocheting a bit. I am making some boot cuff orders for the holidays as well as some hooded towel orders. Making a little extra cash for the holidays is always a good thing!

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Crocheted boot cuffs

I keep reminding myself that I only have to work 2 and a half days this week due to Thanksgiving! Sometimes it’s good to be a teacher!

 

What is a homestead?

Here lately I have been thinking a lot to myself about what I’m looking for in the future and if we really need to move to a place with more land. Here at our place we have less than an acre, but a nice house and a garage that keeps the husband happy. So, I thought about what we are doing here that is working!

1.We are doing a pretty good job of cutting out our single use products and using cloth everything!

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Wet jet refills

2. We raise our hens to give us nice yummy eggs and to help turn the compost win-win

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Playing in the leaves!

3. We also did a really good job of preserving the food that we did grow this year!

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Canned and sealed!

4. We have a nice sized garden and even have plans of expanding it next year.

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Less weeds!!

5. We have also been working on making lots of cleaning products ourselves! We make everything from soap to general cleaner.

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So, we actually have a nice homestead here even though we don’t have lots of land. I don’t think that we would be better off if we did have more acreage. Just some food for thought as if now!

 

 

 

Slower kinda life

It’s been slow around the homestead. It’s really cooling off and not having a garden anymore bums me out! I have some new spider plants that my mom gave me taking up my time. Now I just need a nice pot to put them in! And they are supposed to help clean the air.

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I also must say that I have some awesome friends that like to share their pumpkins! My hens thought that it was amazing!

Left right beside my car!
Left right beside my car!
The ladies love it!
The ladies love it!

Since we are no longer gardening, I am spending some time crocheting. I made some boot cuffs for a friend and they turned out pretty well. I may just put them in my etsy shop!

Crocheted boot cuffs!
Crocheted boot cuffs!

Since gardening has stopped, I’m going to start posting more crafting and sustainable living posts. I’m also thinking about what some of my New Year goals are going to be! Anybody thinking about their goals? Mine have a lot to do with gardening and sustainability!

Weekend work!

We have been still working of fall cleanup around here. That consists of begging leaves off of friends, family and neighbors to use as compost and in the chicken run. (The chickens turn those leaves into amazing compost in days!)

I also started filling up the raised beds with compost and I’m sure it will break down a lot during the winter and will need more in the spring!

Lots of compost!
Lots of compost!

I still need to clean up this bed full of strawberries, but one project at a time!

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This is what I have been working on for several weekends! I’m working on turning a part of the yard that is nearly impossible to cut with the lawnmower into another garden. It’s also going to be where the bees will be kept as well as the new grape arbor. You can probably tell that I have some big plans for 2016!! Hope the mister will be ready to work in the new year! 😉

New garden area for 2016! (And bee yard!)
New garden area for 2016! (And bee yard!)

I also finally got around to pulling up that pumpkin vine that grew almost across my entire yard! It was kinda amazing! (And we got 4 pumpkins from it!) I cut the grass while I was at it. Hopefully for the last time this year.

No more pumpkin vine
No more pumpkin vine

After all of that work, I was ready to sit down and relax with this fellow. He is just such a cuddler!

Some Sherman cuddling
Some Sherman cuddling