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.
Right now (in late May) we have a dozen (small) bales of hay in the barn. And we did it all by hand. Every step, from scything to stacking, with no tractor power. Now, one might ask, “why?” And, “is it worth it? And, isn’t it a TON of work?” As for the why, the reasons are many. … Continue reading Handmade Hay
We came home from work last Thursday to find our two gilts (girl pigs) missing from their paddock. This was not completely unexpected. The wire fence surrounding their paddock is old and loose in places, and they had pushed under it twice the week before. Once they made it as far as our junk pile, and once into … Continue reading Underestimating the determination of a bored pig
I really admire people who carefully research their ideas and plans of action before they go ahead. I bet they experience little waste and a high rate of success. Josh and I are not those people. We’re the people who jump in and then learn how to swim. It’s a useful strategy for us, because … Continue reading The cost of novice homesteading mistakes
It’s spring, so of course there’s so much going on at Bellfern Homestead, and I’m too tired to organize it all into an interesting and themed narrative. This is going to be a casserole-style blog post: take what you have, mix it all together, add cheese, and hope it holds together. We’ve got over a hundred chickens … Continue reading Spring on the farm
Its not until July 4th in northwest Washington that you can bank on warm weather. June around here goes by another name…Juneuary, because it is frequently 50’s and rainy. That is a hard pill to swallow when the rest of the country is already comfortably swimming! Of course, its also cold in JANuary when tomatoes are to … Continue reading Custom Greenhouse and How to Lay Pavers Imperfectly