What a crazy week we had last week here on the farm, and it’s going to get even busier before it calms down!
Home & Farm Projects
We had three long-awaited construction projects finally completed: you saw Sam’s new window last week, and we had a new sliding door to the patio put in (the old French doors didn’t work very well, and the glass was all fogged on one side). Now we can let Luke out either door which makes life easier, and I have a clear view to our new memorial garden (not seen here)!
The third project was getting a new chicken run built, so the birds have more space, a higher “ceiling” net, and a door so that we can go in and out of there easily. We had been letting the chickens out to free range some because we hadn’t seen the fox in two weeks. Unfortunately, on one of the days they were out, it appeared again, but no one was hurt. We had just been outside, and it was warm enough so that we had the whole house open. The Dadz heard a couple chickens squawking and immediately saw the fox and scared it off. So, the poor girls are back in their run for a while. At least now it will be easier for us to get in there and give them some plants and hopefully a perch they can sit on. We’ll try free ranging again in a while.
The guinea hens have started laying eggs! We were hoping to get them to hatch some, but we’re not sure how that will go. At first, they were just laying them in random places, but then we saw them hanging out in my flower garden and thought they were starting a nest there. They only laid one egg there though, and now have started on another spot (Dadz said there were 6 eggs in the new nest on Sunday. Supposedly they won’t sit on the eggs until there’s 30 or so.) We were hoping they’d stick with the garden (both females are laying and we read they’d use the same nest) since it would be safer because it’s closer to the house; but the new nest is behind the garage. I only found that nest because Harry was over by it squawking while Violet was nesting. They are such a cute couple!
Initially when we were finding the eggs in random places, we had tried moving the eggs into one of the nesting boxes inside the coop, hoping they’d get the hint or that one of the chickens would decide to sit on them. However, the eggs just ended up broken, and they kept laying more eggs in random places on the floor!
It’s difficult to find information on what to do, but one person I found on Instagram told me that if they know you (or a predator) found their nest, they’ll move it. We’ve decided to just let them be and see what happens. We can eat the random eggs we’ve found. They are smaller than chicken eggs but are higher in protein so even better for you.
The new chicks are growing quickly, their legs are getting longer, and our cat Samantha is still spending most of her time upstairs with them. I’ve been busy hauling plants in and out of that room to give them so outdoors time. When you start plants indoors, you then have to “harden them off” so that the outdoors weather isn’t a shock to them. We’re getting close to time that they can finally be planted outside, and I hope to sell a few herbs and tomato plants too. Plus, you also saw last week that I’ve gotten started on the new memorial garden and I’ll share more about that when I’ve made a little more progress.
I’ve also been spending some time painting inside the house and wanted to show you this fun sign I found when I took a little break from everything and went shopping with the girls last weekend. I’ve been working on the kitchen/living/dining room area a little at a time (I can only do so much because my hands bother me if I try to do too much at a time), and I hope I can at least get the last area finished before I lose that extra time I’ve had at home!
On the Work Front
In other good news, I found another part-time job! I will be working at a local farmstand for the summer and fall, and I’ll also be able to sell our farm products (eggs, organic dog cookies, and eventually fresh produce) there! I will be meeting with the owner this week to work out the details, but she told me I could pretty much make my own hours and do as little or as much as I’d like. I think I’ll be able to work it out so that I can still take Luke on his daily walk before I go there, or after, and to start at least I’ll only work a couple days so he doesn’t have to be alone for too long. The Dadz has flexibility in his schedule as well, so the birds won’t have to be stuck in the coop all day either (even the run is not 100% secure, so they will not be left in there for more than short times when we’re not home).
I need to get busy now before it opens working on my homemade all-natural hand & body butter, and sugar scrubs to sell along with my all-natural lip balms. I have my own personal “focus group” in my sisters and girlfriends – they give me feedback on my products, and I recently just made the first batch of hand & body butter and they loved it!
Pets Come First
Luke and I have settled into a pretty good routine lately, and I’m relieved that I can bring in some more money without having to take away the walks he’s come to love. I think since we’ve been walking almost daily that he is more relaxed and calm. He was SO good when we had the contractors here doing those projects. Yes, he barked at them some, but for the most part he stayed quietly in the bedroom when needed (I wanted to keep him further away from the loud noise so we didn’t use the crate this time), and he didn’t seem stressed out about the noise. He got a little lonely on the longer stretches of being in there, but the Dadz or I would go in and hang out with him for a bit if he started whining. I’m very proud of how well he did and how quiet he stayed.
Putting it All Together
So there’s a little insight into why I had to cut back on the blog a little! I’m still behind on some of that, but I just keep plugging away at it as I can. While it seems crazy busy, I am doing things I mostly enjoy, and I think the farmstand job is the last piece of the puzzle to make it all work. Even though it will only be for a few months, my hubby and I are hoping it will get the farm name and products out there and known and benefit that in the long run. My real dream is to have our own farmstand here at our home, but we are kind of out of the way, and that will be tougher. The stand I’ll be working at is on a main road with a lot of traffic going by, so I think that’s going to be a better place to start for now, along with giving me some income as well.
I feel like we’re on the right road, and as much as I’d like to be home with the crew 24/7, I think this is as good a compromise as we’re going to get for right now. The Dadz’ job will be changing in the fall too (he’ll be moving to a new store in the chain he works at), so we’ll still be in a little flux for a while, but I think things are starting to come together. The important thing is that we keep everyone here safe and happy and hopefully this all works out that way!