As we mentioned in our last post, there is a chance in the next few years we could loose our home to eminent domain to satisfy a money hungry water resource that is a taxing entity, LNRA. And while this dark cloud is over our head we are cautiously moving ahead with partial self-sustaining plans, at least those that are portable.
With the chicken coop finished and all hens kidnapped and safely in the pen we are on the road to all things chicken. At first John snatched all the eggs that the hens laid and placed them in the incubator with target date of May 1st being the first hatch. Since the first few "egg snatching" days, some of the smaller bantum hens have been laying a clutch and it seems there is another hen or two who is also laying a clutch. We will give these until the end of May to hatch then we'll clean it all out and just take eggs for eating.
We certainly hope we'll have some hatched chicks to add to our ever-growing assortment.
Next plan is to build another coop. Smaller in size, with 2-3 laying hatches so that we can add a rooster to fertilize the hens then remove him so that the hens can sit their eggs. Not sure when we'll start that but its on the agenda.
At last count we have 40 tomato plants in beds re-purposed for vegetables, 20 bell peppers, 20 squash, and about 10 jalapenos. I gave all the rest of the seeds to John's best friend who just moved to the county and who has a massive place for a garden. We'll be sharing our bounties.
The tomato plants I started in January have blooms and look fantastic! The rest I started February 3rd and they are really growing after several cooling off snaps we had. Even the squash are trying to start babies and I hope there are enough bees and breeze to keep the pollen moving between the male flower and the female flower.
As for the pasture, it's full of dewberries. That will be a chore removing if or when we get that chance but the good news is that they were full of blooms a few weeks ago. 3 acres of thick dewberries that only the bravest will tromp through (snakes!). There is enough room around it though to pick safely and some ol' timers said they'll put on chaps and come pick. At least all isn't lost!
I dream of retiring and tending to gardens and animals, making braided rugs out of scraps material and tossed aside clothing, making our own bread and even milking a goat for milk and cheese. I envy those who take a step back in time and live the life that built this great country. Things have changed though that force most us to move away from even considering a homestead lifestyle and to continue to be a part of current society. And while we've become frugal seniors we still need medical insurance and to pay bills. If alternative energy companies would create affordable methods of energy so that we could get off the grid we'd buy into it. That's another post someday....
John's got a big slab of pork ribs in the smoker. I've got a ton of catch up to do...
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