It's certainly been a while since my last blog entry, but yes, we're still here and doing well. It's certainly been a busy summer and it's turing out to be a busy fall, as well. I haven't had much time or energy to spend on the computer. But, we've gotten a few days of rain, so now I've got some time on my hands to update our (few) blog readers on what's been happening, out here on the homestead.
The first of the changes that happened to the homestead was the addition of a new chicken coop for our growing flock of birds. Earlier this spring, I was doing some work for our neighbour, rock-picking before the new crops got seeded. The gentleman who operated the ground roller (which you do after the big rocks have be removed from the field) had a couple of old wooden grain bins that he wanted off his property. So, he offered them to us. I was able to get the first one moved this summer, while the second one will make it's way here after harvest season.
As for the first grain bin, we decided that it would make a perfect chicken coop, as we really needed the extra space for the new birds we hatched out earlier this year. All it needs is a coat of paint and some shingling on the roof. But, for now, the birds really like their new expanded home. We have the hens and one of our roosters (the partridge chatenclere) in the new coop, while the roosters are in their bachelor pad, which is the old chicken coop.
As for the growing flock, all the birds are doing well and growing big. Our flock from last year are still laying eggs regularly, and the new hens are just entering their laying years now. Our oldest hen, Ray, who was in the first batch of three, started laying last week. So, the other hens should be laying within in next few weeks.
I have to say that they have really turned out to be beautiful birds. The combination of barred rock, orpington, and partridge chanteclere has made some interesting combination in plumage.
As for the garden, well, we certainly had our challenges with all of the rain we got this year, as well as the cooler temperatures. The potatoes and onions did really well, but the rest of the crops suffered a bit. We did get some beans and peas, but the tomatoes were certainly stunted this year. They did produce, but were not as big or prolific as they were last season.
Melons and corn, on the other hand, just didn't get to produce this year. Same for the cucumbers. But, that's just the way it goes sometimes.
The major thing that has been taking up my time this late summer/fall season is my job as a grain truck driver for my neighbour, during this harvest season. For the past month, I've been working some pretty long hours hauling grain from the field, as it's combined, to the grain bins. I've been enjoying the work, as well as the extra money, but the hours have been long. But that is okay. It's only for the few weeks that harvest season lasts and, once it's over, Janice and I can get back to the routine of the homestead. However, It's really great to be taking part in some of the activities that happen out around us, havin a better sense as to what our farming neighbours do throughout the year.
Here's a short video on the work I've been doing for the past several weeks.