Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sprouting seeds and making fodder for the chickens

Day 1, sunflower seeds soaking for 12 hours. 600 ml was too much, 400 looks like not enough, so I will try 500 next time.

Day 2, put in shoebox with holes, watering several times a day and keeping in a warm spot. Cover with light towel to retain moisture. 

They did not like being in that window, too cold. So I moved them to my bathroom counter. It stays warmer in there because there are so many vents in a small area. 

Day 3, still soaking multiple times a day, using warm water. Finally starting to sprout from the shells
I also added corn for the 3rd batch. (This photo is on day 4 though, the corns second day. 

Day 4, still watering several times a day with warm water. Sprouting more. I'm not sure the corn will do anything, we got it from a neighbors farm. It is feed corn. 
I added whole oats as batch 4

Day 5, I will be adding another batch of oats today. The sunflowers are doing ok, just slow. No change in corn yet so I am soaking them longer instead of a short soak/rinse.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Time for more chickens

This is just unacceptable. Looks like it is time for more chickens!  We have 5 hens right now, only one has consistently laid throughout the year (what a trooper!) I can't wait until all the ladies come out of their winter season. I'm already dreaming of all the egg-based dishes we will be having...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In my (window) garden

It's winter, and it is very cold. I planted my garlic in early December but that is all that is going on outside. The desire to grow was just too strong though, so we grew some things inside just for fun. 

Left to right - navy beans, basil, celery

The navy bean plant started as an experiment for Jujubee's science. When the bean started growing, we just couldn't kill it so we decided to just let it be. We were not expecting beans to actually grow because it's inside. Don't beans need pollinators?  Maybe I should look into that because this is what they look like right now. 

It only has 3 pods on the whole plant, but we were excited about its success.   

The basil, I planted a couple weeks ago and put it in my plant window. Nothing happened. Miss Kitty thought it would make a nice litter box - but I caught her in time. To keep her out, and see if I could help the little seeds, I cut the bottom of a milk jug off and placed it on top. One day later, and little leaves are popping up! You can kind of see them here. 

While scrolling through Pinterest one day, I saw something about regrowing food from your kitchen scraps. We had celery in our pot roast a week or so ago, so I figured why not try it?  Today, I can tell the little celery plant is starting to come up!  Look at me and my green thumb. I'm so proud. 

I also have an aloe plant in our plant window. That plant is a trooper. It's been from our old house, to my moms, to this house and has hung on for several years. Totally neglected most of the time. I love plants that can tolerate my neglect. At this point, I'm afraid to show it more care because I'll probably kill it if I do, but I think it could really use a bigger pot.

So, that's what is growing in my (window) garden. Do you have anything growing?  Are you planning your garden?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Talking to the land

This morning I decided to take a walk around the property. It was not as cold, and much of the snow had melted so I thought it would be a good time to begin evaluating the lay of it, explore the plants, and figure out what it wants to be.

I talk to my yard. Is that weird?  Well, if it is I don't mind. I enjoy it and I think it does, too. It is so neat to walk around this land and see how it has changed in the few short months we have been here. It's much easier to see what needs to be pruned, cleaned up, and overall what is here. There are going to be so many awesome surprises in the spring, I am so excited. 

Right now my focus is on this patch of land. After our morning conversation, we have decided it wants to be a beautiful garden, full of delicious things to eat. I know I've got my work cut out for me, because it has been farmed for several years. But it promised to forgive my mistakes, and I promised to do my best. We are looking forward to getting to know each other. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Updated planner for January - December 2016

I finally got around to updating the Spiral Watercolor Waldorf Inspired Homeschool Planner.  You can check it out in my Etsy shop, and I do still have a few printed/bound planners there as well!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter chores

It is finally feeling like winter here in Central Indiana. 11 degrees and snow is falling - I love it. 

The freezing temps do cause a bit of a problem, though. Yesterday, we noticed the chickens hadn't come out all day. Their food is in the coop because the moisture ruins it, but their water is outside sitting on a cinder block that has a 100 watt light bulb inside to keep it from freezing. I put their water in the coop to see if they were thirsty and they all swarmed. So, I decided to leave it in there for the night. 
Well that wasn't a great idea, because this morning it was frozen solid. I am so glad I cleaned my bath tub, wouldn't want to clean a chicken waterer (that they kicked a ton of wood chips into, and poop. Yay!) in a dirty tub, right?  That was fun to clean up. 

Once I got the water cleaned up, I suited up in my favorite Berne coveralls (I highly recommend them, so cozy!), got my chisel and hammer and went to unstick the coop door. With no trees, we get weather from all directions. The snow and ice froze the door shut. 

Don't mind the unpacked box on the floor from when we moved. Almost 4 months ago... Ha!  It's an old sewing machine I don't use and haven't figured out where to put it. On top of it is a cabinet shelf I haven't found a place for. The rest of my house really is unpacked, I swear!

I tried to talk the ladies into coming out of the coop, but they weren't having it. I guess they will come out when they are thirsty enough. Keeping water in the coop isn't a good idea for a couple reasons. One, it will freeze. 😁 Two, it will release moisture into the air that will also freeze and can cause respiratory problems, frost bite, etc for the chickens. 

One thing about all this that makes me really happy - all throughout this morning chores, I enjoyed it. You know you're on the right path, doing the right thing when you love what you're doing, even when it's not sunshine and green grass. Not that I had any doubt, I knew this was the right life for me, for us.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

On the mend

Oh goodness!  Between holidays, traveling, and illness it has been hard to sneak a post in. We all still have a lingering cold and cough but I think we are finally on the mend. I hope we don't catch anything else for a long time!

This picture of Miss Kitty is a good representation of what has been happening with me. Resting!  If I don't, my cold will turn into bronchitis. I am still not out of the woods, but I am hoping all the tea, vitamins, and rest will keep it at bay. 

On Instagram, I shared some pictures of our learning space. I am hoping to get those into an actual post within the next day or so.