A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Rainy days, kids, geese and the garden
Each day I move this poultry shelter on wheels. The last few years we've raised turkeys and chickens in here. The three geese and two ducks are in here right now. They need to be moved twice daily, but I'm only moving them in the morning. I have been letting them out for brief periods when we are nearby. But instead of going off on their own, they prefer to follow me around through the garden, (which I also enjoy) except I have to keep a close eye on them and not forget about them as they can do significant damage in just a couple minutes. Soon they will join the ducks and adult layers who free range during the days when we are home. There are enough good things to eat near the coop, so fortunately our unfenced garden has not come under frequent attack by the laying flock.
Here are two plants that are growing around the property that I believe reseeded last summer and the seed was hardy enough to winter over. The top plant is rape, I think. The below plant is a fodder turnip. Over the last year we have tossed out various fodder crops and grain seeds; rape, turnips, fodder beets, hardy alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye, barley, clover, peas and buckwheat. The turnips have by far been the most successful root crop, growing into decent sized roots on bare un-worked ground.
Much thanks to Grannie T, the kids now have their very own playground. After much deliberation we decided to build it up above the garden. It is my ardent hope that soon they will start playing independently and without the need for me to be a full time swing pusher. So far it is a great lure to get up the hill and into the garden/geese zone.
This week has been the first consistent rainy week of the summer. As you can imagine the garden is fast becoming a jungle. The weeds are taking over, tomatoes and peas need trellising. Beans, squash and peas are flowering. We picked the first couple zucchini. The beets seems as though they should be bulbing by now. I have been enjoying the rain, with high aspirations to tackle some house cleaning, but I've had a challenging time doing anything but making meals and supervising the kids. This morning they were ready to go out in the rain, so we geared up in rain pants and coats and headed up to the garden. Low and behold the sun came out for the first time in days and it is warm and humid out. After being outside for a couple hours the kids are indoors and playing well together, whew. Time to tackle a few things indoors so we can get out and enjoy the sun and lack of rain.
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!