Vicki is collecting flowers to dye yarn again. The yarn pictures are from the last batch.
Category Archives: Homesteading
Chestnuts on the front trees are huge this year. Often so big that I only get 2 rather then 3 nuts, and even though they are big they are still sweet. I love when I do nothing and things just come out good.
This is my second shot at this feeder the chickens did not like the first one and it was ugly. So here are the lessons learned.
1. Melt the holes in the tub. If you just cut them in the plastic has a tendency to crack. Also too big is ok, too small and the plastic will crack. You can fill the gaps with a little hot glue if the pvc is loose.
2. Cut a 4" 90 in half do not use entire 90 or 2 street 45’s. This assumes your chickens are as picky as myn are.
3. Cut card board to slope the bottom. This is optional but really helps if the feed gets low.
This one works well and cuts down on lost feed dramatically.
Fixing The vine
When I moved in three years ago there was an ugly bush in the back. As I began to cut it down I noticed there was some wire and posts hiding in the bush. Finally I was able to see that it was the remains of a grape vine. I have four others on the property all different so I wanted to see what this one was. The first year all I did was remove the bush so it produced nothing, but I was able to find some heathy new growth over the winter so I pruned it hard and re strung the wires. The year after that it produced a small crop. The grapes were a concord but I had to leave them on until really late in the season almost to frost or the were not any good. Ended up loosing a lot to rot and fungus during the wait. I pruned it again over winter and finally had a decent vine. Last year again I go only a small crop but the grapes were good. I pruned it again this spring and I would say after three years the vines are back to good production. There are a lot of grapes and they look great I actually had to thin out this year. There are plenty for jelly and grape juice. So really I spent about 10 hours spread out over four years at my leisure to get back a forgotten grape vine. I have been bringing back apple trees and berries bushes for the last four years with varying success, and the locational massive fail, but think the grapes are my favorite.
Sunday off to harvest
Took Sunday off and processed some of the garden. I Made bread and butter pickles and pasta sauce. I love to spend the day processing and cooking. But given my skill level I am really happy it’s not essential for survival.
Fire wood project
Did a project with fire wood to try out some new tools. It’s made out of a branch from my apple tree.
Her first distaff
I got to teach my wife to turn today. This is her first distaff. She spins a lot so the design is what she wanted and she has been thinking about it while. It feeds upright and upside down. I think she was surprised how well it worked.
We have a lot of cucumbers so we made fermented pickles. Very easy …
Mix a brine just water 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons of sea sailt to a quart.
Add 2 dill flowers a grape leaf some garlic or Ramps and a couple pepper corns.
Pack the pickles tight keeping them below the brine.
Put an air lock on it and wait 1 to 4 weeks depending on your taste. Just try them off and on till they are what you want. You can refrigerate them at that point to stop fermentation.
You can make a air lock top out of the straw tops they are selling at Walmart with some plastic wrap and a couple rubber bands.
Sunday pallet project with my daughter
My Sunday pallet project was a four slat pickle trellis. I am a pallet addict at this point. I had a lot of help this time… Totally dig the fashion.
Spring garden stuff
Today I cleaned and top dressed my garden boxes. The herb box had a bunch of early oregano and sage. The sage had just started to flower so I am a little late. I picked a bunch to dry. Last year I made a solar dehydrator it’s biggest benefit has been hang drying herbs. Saves tons of time! If you saw my dehydrator last year I added a black corrugated plate to increase the temperature. Others than that it stayed the same. It still needs a sunny day to get the job done, but it works faster now.