LET'S CATCH UP: DEC 13 2012

I realize it's been a while since I've written here, but so much has happened.

My Tween has turned into a 16 year old with autism and epilepsy. He has some neurons that didn't form correctly in his brain (in utero) and some lesions and a small tumor.

We live out in the boonies, on a tiny 2 acres. Goats: 2 girls, 1 baby girl, 1 buck and 1 wether. Chickens: about 50 ranging from 3 days old to 2 years old, bantams and standards. Chicken varieties: silkies, cuckoo marans, black australorps, red stars, eggers (standard size and bantam), and all kinds of crosses that we hatched ourselves.

We grow as much of our food as possible but it'll be years before nut trees and some of our fruit trees bear. Loved the red raspberries and blueberries we ate this summer; we're adding even more plus yellow raspberries, purple raspberries, blackberries and currants in 2013.

Started a goat milk cheese share program in 2012 to help pay for my kid's expenses. Going well and have gotten egg and produce customers from it too.

We still have a LOT more to do but yes, we consider ourselves homesteaders and very much use our "backyard grocery"!  Also growing veggies inside during the winter: the greens, parsley, beans and a tomato we pulled from the Summer outdoor garden are all doing well.



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Check out our farm's website we just started: Rosemary Ridge

Suspending This Blog

I just don't have time to work on this blog right now.

Hope to get it back up someday. Meanwhile, please peruse the postings here ... lots of information on how I garden and produce food for my family. Believe me, if **I** can do it, so can you!

Thanks... and enjoy!!

Indoor Garden

I keep meaning to take pix of my indoor garden. Maybe next week. See, in Colorado, it gets cold in the Winter. Brrrr... very cold! (I know, duh!). So we can't continue to grow food outdoors.

About 3 weeks ago, when the daytime weather started getting in the 50's, I brought in all of my potted plants: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, blueberries, asparagus, etc. I put the pots on drainage trays (to avoid messing our carpet!) and set up plant/grow lights.

We're still getting some great looking veggies. Yum! I even planted more seeds for cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, scallions, summer squash and carrots. Good way to get fresh organic veggies during the winter without paying high prices.

Note: since there are (hopefully) no bees indoors to pollinate, if you do this, be sure to take a q-tip and hand-pollinate your veggie flowers. Tomatoes to tomatoes. Zucchini to zucchini. Etc. I use the same q-tip over and over again, leaving right in front of the appropriate pot. That way, I won't cross pollinate.

Just a thought!

Need evergreen vine to hide animal pen

We plan to build a second chicken and goat pen along a weird perimeter line. Since we're on the top of a hill, it will be seen for miles, so we want a little privacy, and to hide it. Most of it will be a 6' tall fence, but part of it will be a 6' tall goat house and a 4-6' tall chicken coop/house. We might even put an alpaca here. Will do sometime in early Spring 2011 so we have plenty of time to decide.

There will be about a foot of space between the fence and the "houses". Enough space for a vine to grow but not really enough for a person to walk through. Comfortably.

Located on the eastern plains of Colorado, it gets very windy here, and can often have negative 25 degree temperatures with huge snow drifts. Summers bring blazing heat.

The pen will be along the south-east perimeter of the property, so will get much sun (there's really nothing on the other side except the neighbor's lawn).

We're looking for an evergreen vine that will grow up along the fence and goat/chicken houses to hide them, plus provide a cooling effect during the summer, and help keep in warmth in the Winter. Needs to stay green year-round. It can't be poisonous just in case the critters nibble on it. Thorns would be good too, to provide our animals protection from the foxes and other predators in the area. Needs to be drought tolerant because it will be a little difficult to water.

Suggestions?

Possible Change to Blog

Posted this on my other blogs, but thought I'd post it here too ...

Keeping up with these blogs is very time consuming ... not that I mind, usually! We're getting ready to embark on an intensive homesteading adventure, and may not be able to work on blogs daily.

So... I'm thinking about combining our blogs (cooking, gardening, homesteading, survival, storage, homeschooling, etc.) into one. I would eventually move posts to the new and combined blog.

We have a lot of readers, and I value your opinion. Thoughts?