*ahem*…an announcement

We have some news on the homestead, and I’ve decided to let Piper share it with you : :

That’s right, folks! We’re expecting another little farm hand at the end of March! We couldn’t be happier.

Morning sickness this time around has been much more bearable, but it is the reason that my posts since being back have been scarce and I’ve been lacking the motivation to take photos. I’m currently 7 1/2 weeks along and I’m hoping things will get back to normal in a few weeks once I’m in my second trimester.

Goat News / /

Rosie May keeps kicking/getting her foot in the milk pail lately (which she wasn’t doing before), and so I’ve lost quite a bit of milk this week. Fortunately the ruined milk has been able to go to the pigs (I hear milk-fed pigs are very tasty).

Garden News / /

Joe was able to pick some early potatoes for us yesterday and a couple of more summer squash! It’s so lovely to have food in the yard. He is also digging more beds for our autumn crops (peas, lettuce, garlic, brussel sprouts, cover crops, and more that I can’t remember or don’t know about).

Piper News / /

We have been teaching Piper sign language for communicating to us while she’s still not using words. She has been saying “all done” for quite some time. She understands the signs for “down,” “eat,” and “more,” but won’t do them. She blows kisses when you ask her to say “thank you”. And her most recent favorite is “please,” and she will even say “pee pee” while signing it! However, she’s still not sure what the context for “please” is yet.

we’re really doing it!

Here’s a confession. Previously to this week in my postings I have felt like a huge fake at this homesteading thing. I’ve really tried to write posts that are homestead related, but a lot of the time I felt like I was a lot of talk talk talk and no action.

Not only did I feel this way in the blogging world, but also felt it with my husband. He gets pretty down on himself and says the same kind of stuff I just admitted to, “I just feel like I’m faking it,” and so I know I need to be the voice of encouragement in is life. I do this, not to lie to him, but to give him hope to keep plugging away at his dream to one day be totally self-sustained. In the beginning of a huge venture such as this there does seem to come a lot of setbacks and discouragement, and since I love him, I try to do my best to cheer his spirits.

Between the loss of animals (did I also mention we lost all the chickens to either a raccoon or a fox?) and unexpected physical ailments, it has been easy to get down on ourselves. But now I am looking out at our garden that Joe has dug and planted entirely by himself both from seed and from plants given to us by friends. I open my refrigerator and see that I have one shelf almost entirely devoted to milk that has come from our own goats that I milked myself. I am filled with a sense of pride in our work. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to God that He has helped us every step of the way despite our weakness, laziness, and ignorance. We are really doing this!

Photos are:
one – compost heap / / two – hops / / three – broccoli / / four – huckleberry / / five – potato / / six – wheat / / seven – peas / / eight – corn

thursday thanks

1 – our 1st ripening tomato / / 2 – pretty purple potato blossoms / / 3 – summer squash / / 4 – nursing kid / / 5 – goat hugs

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

Thanking God this week for:

  • restoring my computer to me!
  • the added blessing of a second goat in milk
  • fresh raw milk every day and homemade yogurt from said milk
  • learning new skills
  • the provision of food that is brought forth from the earth whose source isn’t the supermarket
  • cheap thrifted finds
  • a long afternoon nap for the little one
  • keeping me humble when I start to get a little self-righteous
  • my husband; without whom, my life would not be what it is. That he works so hard to make a reasonable place for our family and animals and that he challenges me to become more industrious, a harder worker, and a gentler wife, mother and woman.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

new arrivals!

Ye Ol’ Homestead has recently acquired an influx of new livestock! Of course we couldn’t be more excited. Not only were we gifted with a new dairy goat (whose milk we find we love), but our pork on the hoof has arrived as well!

5 little piggies! Is it bad that the first thing I thought when they arrived was, “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…?”  Just a little insight as to what a dork I am in real life 😉

The pigs arrived late this year because we got behind in setting up the new location for the pig pen and my dad, the man who takes care of them, got very inventive in the process. So even though we have late pigs, they have a pretty sweet spread; pallet fencing, equal opportunity trough and water feeding (hopefully no more slop fights), and even – yes believe it – a shower for those unbearably hot days (pigs don’t sweat)!

As for our new goat, she is very sweet toward us, and very good in the stand. However, she definitely asserts her dominance with the other goats. She was the queen of the herd we got her from, and she’s making it known here that she will be the queen of the herd wherever she goes! Belle is so sweet and submissive that I don’t think it will take long for them to establish their pecking order.

Her markings and coloring terrify me. She looks at me and I have to remind myself to not discriminate. Just because she looks like a demon doesn’t mean she is one!

And Piper likes to keep her distance !

In other news: Hipster Homesteading now has it’s own Facebook Page! You can link to it in the sidebar on the right —->

while I was away

Hello Monday!

We got my computer this weekend, and being able to blog again really feels like having an old friend back.

Here are some things you’ve missed while I’ve been away!

Our garden has taken off! If you ask him, Joe will tell you that it’s not much, but this garden is quite substantial in comparison to what we’ve had in the past few years. Currently we have growing :

  • Indian corn (good for cornmeal!)
  • wheat
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • peas
  • beans
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • brussel sprouts
  • eggplant
  • summer squash
  • cuccumber
  • 2 different varieties of melon
  • huckelberry
  • parsnip
  • a variety of different herbs

Today we got a new goat, Rosie May, who is currently still in milk! So starting this evening we will be milking 2 goats at once!

I feel enormously blessed in the goat department. From our point of view, Joe and I feel so under prepared and ill equipped to raise these beautiful and generous animals. Over the past year, we lost two goats. One was an unexpected and strange death, and the other was lost to sickness last month. We felt like terrible goat owners for not knowing enough to catch it in time. However, we have been blessed with generous friends who were willing to bless us with replacement goats for the 2 we lost, and we have been plunged into the world of milking!

I have found milking to be one of the most soothing things for me to do. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I do. Our new mother, Belle, is a little feisty in the stand, and we’ve lost a couple of pails of milk due to her either kicking or planting her foot in the bucket, but I have learned to just keep a watch out for the hoof and be faster than her in pulling the pail away. Aside from that, she and her kid are very very sweet.

This month Piper:

  • started walking!
  • got to go to her first parade for the 4th! She was absolutely fascinated by all the sirens, cars, and marching bands.
  • turned 1-year-old last week! She had her first taste of cake and frosting, and she absolutely loved all her gifts!

That’s all for now. I hope to share with you a look at a few things that are exciting me lately, and also hoping to share some big news in the month to come (fingers crossed)!

photos from the cell phone

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how I can be posting more often without a computer. I guess I’ll just have to use cell phone photos and my parents computer when i can. I hate both of those options, but I hate my lack of blogging even more!

So this is what life looks like lately…

Things are popping up in the garden! In the first photo you can see tomatoes, onions, and cucumber. In the second photo, that is crimson clover. Other items we have planted and sprouting:

  • peppermint, lemon mint, and spearmint
  • hot peppers, sweet peppers, and purple beauty peppers
  • lots of herbs
  • sqash
  • hops
  • potatoes
  • wheat
  • corn
  • tobacco
  • strawberries
  • honeydew melon and watermelon
  • and much more

Piper is getting so big! She can stand up by herself for short periods of time. She understands some words, but isn’t saying anything. And she’s just so tall!

In other news we had to put down 2 goats last week. One for food, and then one unexpectedly because of sickness.

On a happier note I will be starting to milk this evening!

Joe and I are feeling quite a bit overwhelmed with our homesteading endeavors and wondering where we will find  the time for our goats and our garden along with taking care of a time demanding baby and time consuming outside work for Joe! We know we are on a huge learning curve at the moment, but hopefully God will reward our efforts eventually!

goat baby!

Just kidding. It’s actually a boy.

Joe and I have named him Bjorn. Marigold turned out to be the favorite for doe names though so it will be held for whenever we get one!

Sorry for the short post on Friday, but I had my hands full between taking care of Piper and checking on a goat baby and mama every couple of hours. That morning I was faced with the challenge of going in green and making sure the kid was able to latch onto it’s mama (apparently domesticated goats have lost that instinct?) and making sure that mama goat was getting taken care of with enough water, grain, and molasses.

A friend from church who has a farm of many animals came over to see our new arrival and helped me realize my error in figuring out the gender. Oops! She will also be over today to disbud (remove the horn nubbies) him.

Belle is such a good first-time mama. We didn’t have to deal with her rejecting her baby.

And he is a fun-loving little guy who jumps and prances and is so affectionate. He’s absolutely adorable!