Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hello!

My goodness, I've been away from this space for longer than expected. I'm sure you all understand sometimes work and life just gets busy and there's not much time for anything else. My new job is going really well, but I am still working at my old job to help wind things up, so that is where much of my time and energy is focused right now. There is lots going on here on the homestead as well, so I thought I'd give you guys a quick update to show that we aren't just being lazy over here! ;)


We finished planting the vineyard! I say "we" but actually it was 99% David and 1% me. He worked really hard on this space, from cutting down trees and cleaning up the mess, to installing the support for the vines and finally getting them all planted. It took us several months from start to finish (check out more on that here) and we are both thrilled that the vines are in! PS - The blue tubes you see are grow tubes which act as a mini-greenhouse to get the vines growing.


The garden is coming along very well! We have so much planted, I can't even remember it all. Again, by "we" I mean mostly David haha. This year we went a bit crazy with starting tomato seeds that we saved from our tomatoes last year and had over 100 seedlings going under grow lights in the garage at one point. I ended up selling some plants to a coworker and we planted the majority of them in our garden. We didn't have enough space for them all in the garden beds, so many of them are in pots and other repurposed containers (like buckets).

Our main bee hive is doing incredibly well, but our split not so much. It's having a hard time getting up and going, and we are trying to figure out what's wrong and help it along as much as we can. But we are hopeful that we will be able to harvest a good amount of honey this year!

The animals are doing well and we actually gained a new guinea friend recently. One of our neighbor's guineas starting hanging around a couple weeks ago and now he won't leave. He's pretty entertaining, so we don't mind the extra company.

All the plants around the house are springing back to life and it is amazing to see the transformation. After the horrible winter, I just can't get enough of all the green out here!

I hope I can post again soon, but in the meantime, I just want to thank each of you who has checked in and sent sweet messages and emails to me letting me know I'm missed. It means so much that you would think of me and take time out of your day to say hello!

We have a busy weekend planned, but hopefully we can get some relaxation in to recharge before the new week starts. I hope we can get in at least a little hammock time :)


~Tammy

Monday, March 31, 2014

Balance

Oh, how I've missed you guys! I didn't get a chance to post last week because I started a new job on Monday that kept me very busy. But it's good busy, because I'm loving it so far (I'm a paralegal in the real estate/finance division of a company). It's much more demanding than my previous job, and I've found it has been a struggle to balance work, homestead demands, and the blog.


We're seeing more and more signs of spring around here lately, and our garden work is in full swing. Lots of seeds planted in the garden already with tons of seedlings growing indoors. Our vineyard is set up and ready to go when our vines arrive, which can't be soon enough! We also recently planted 30 trees (10 pecan, 10 persimmon, and 10 evergreens) as part of our digging in goal for the year since these trees will take many years to grow and produce for us.


Of course there are cats, chickens, guineas, a dog (and a husband) to feed every day, so that keeps me busy as well.

Baby waiting not so patiently for her food.

So with all of that, the blog had to take a back seat this week while I figure things out. My good blogging buddy, Jackie, reminded me that blogging should be fun, not another thing on your to do list. And this week, it was more of a thing on my to do list. She knows a thing or two about balance, so I will listen to her advice.

 This one's for you, Reifyn.

I'm not sure going forward how regular my blogging schedule will be, so if I'm away for longer than normal, things probably just got a little bit hectic around here. With spring and summer coming up and the gardening work getting even more time consuming, I do see that happening.

I had a few people check in on me last week to make sure everything was ok (thank you guys!) so I thought I'd just let you all know what is happening right now. I won't be around to visit you all as often as I did before, but please know that I still care and I do think about you all the time!

~Tammy

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feathered Friend Friday: Happy Girls

Welcome to our "Feathered Friend Friday" series. Each Friday I write a post with facts, photos, or stories about our chickens and guineas. If you need to catch up, you'll find all the FFF posts here

Now that spring is officially here (woohoo!) I can tell the girls have a little extra pep in their step. It's easy to see that they are thrilled with the warmer weather. They can barely wait to get out of their coop in the morning, and they don't want to go back in at night. We humans are ecstatic with the warmer weather, but our feathered friends are happy as well!


It's still very brown out here, but there are small signs of green popping up around the house. In no time the grass will be back in and the girls will be overjoyed to chomp on fresh greens and catch bugs.


They really are getting back into the groove with their egg laying, and we are collecting around a dozen eggs a day, sometimes as many as 14 eggs from our 16 girls. They are definitely earning their keep!


My favorite thing in the world is sitting outside on a beautiful day while watching my chickens free range and happily scratch through the woods. I am so thrilled that soon I will be able to do just that!

~Tammy

PS - This one goes out to my youngest follower, Grace. Hope you liked this post! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bee Update

Our bees made it through the winter! Hooray! We were nervous since this was our first winter as beekeepers and we have heard that many beekeepers have losses over the winter. One main reason why the bees die is starvation, so we left all of last year's honey in the hive for the bees. Of course being their first year there wasn't a lot of excess honey, but we did keep it in the hive just to be safe. We also began feeding them with a sugar board over the last few weeks to make sure they have enough food until they can start foraging again.



We are also working on moving the hive back a little bit to sit on our new hive stand that will hold all of the future hives. In order to make sure the bees return to their hive, it is best to only move it several inches each day and take some time. This way they won't get confused and disoriented when returning from foraging during the day. Apparently they don't like change very much!

Making sure his veil is secure before moving the hive!

It's still a little bit too cold and windy to do a full inspection of the hive, but from the population we're seeing out flying each day, we're hopeful that the hive is strong. We even saw several bees bringing pollen back today. I'm so happy that the bees made it through this harsh winter!

~Tammy