Moles, what a scourge, right? Busily making mounds in your front lawn and tunneling through the garden nibbling on roots. Gasp! Although our days of upholding a certain amount of curb appeal are over, I’m still occasionally annoyed by the active mole population here at the homestead. I like to mow grass and cut hay with … Continue reading Mole mix; making potting soil out of what you (might) have lying around.
I have a farm mentor, and for this I am blessed. Her family farmed “in the old days” for generations, and they’ve passed down stories about the ways they used to do things, before modern technologies like refrigeration. She’s a treasure trove of tidbits of wisdom, and now and then she dispenses them to me. … Continue reading In the old days: how to store pork
Before we even started homesteading, I had a handwoven basketful of homesteader skills already under my hand-tooled leather belt. Not only did I make soap, but I made it out of tallow and lard that I rendered myself, and I made jams, sauces, and marinades out of the fruits and vegetables I grew myself. Long … Continue reading Some homesteading skills are more fun than others
I often joke that you can grow a chicken to table-ready faster than you can grow a cabbage. The modern variety of meat bird, Cornish Cross, is bred to grow very fast, from hatched to 4-5 lb roaster in just 8 weeks. Some homesteaders think this is terrible and unnatural, and opt instead for slower … Continue reading 8 weeks to chicken dinner
My previous batch of hay got spoiled by rains while still in the field, although it did get used as compost and mulch, so not it was not a total loss. Last week, with a clear forecast and some time off from the day job, I spent two mornings scythe cutting and a half hour … Continue reading Better weather for hay making and ultralight bales.
Our homestead lies on the border of the two cities: Bellingham and Ferndale. Hence, the name, Bellfern. Our short road is a less traveled and rolling one, dotted with old barns and hayfields with a wooded creek meandering across. Yet, blinking into our living room at night is a giant LED screen advertising the casino down the … Continue reading Living on the Edge
Near our house in the back is a steep weedy pugged (highly compacted) slope. Pretty much good for nothing other than a headache and poor footing. I had the idea last year to cover it with mulch to smother the weeds and perhaps level out the slope some. Well, our über free range layers (little … Continue reading Wattle retaining wall.