Homestead Update: Part 1 (New Family Members)
This post is totally overdue! It's been over 6 months since our last homestead update and O-M-G we have so much to talk about. Our vision is steadily unfolding before our eyes and we can't wait to show you what we've been getting up too.
Most of you will probably already know we introduced some new furry + feathered family members onto the farm since our last update. Our little farm family is slowly growing.
We have had our six chickens (cinnamon, turmeric, dill, parsley, clove and pepper) since they were just a day old. They have recently started laying (much to our excitement!) and I am absolutely loving baking with our farm fresh eggs!
If you would like to know the best ways to care for baby chicks you may like to read my guide on how to set up a chick brooder.
We are fortunate to be able to allow the chooks to free-range during the day and they take themselves to bed at dusk. It's truly beautiful to watch the chickens peck and scratch at the land until their hearts are content. Of course, the veggie patch is fenced off as yes they can be messy and destructive but otherwise, they are very easy to keep.
At the moment we are feeding the girls an organic layers feed but are currently researching how to create our own chicken feed. As you know I make up the dogs meals from scratch (read why our pooch has never eaten kibble and what we feed her instead here) and would love to do the same for our feathered friends too.
The new man of the house is Scooby the Cocker Spaniel. He is just on 6 months old and boy is he a handful. Sunshine (our Golden Retriever) was a breeze compared to this little man. Whilst he is incredibly intelligent he is also very defiant, stubborn and oh-so-loud.
He is, however, a beautiful little boy. He shares his dinner with one of our chickens when she comes up to visit, he hates getting wet and thinks he is super tough (definitely some small man syndrome happening there).
It has been rather hilarious to watch both Sunshine and Scooby get to know one another. We've had to make up two separate dog beds at night as whilst Scoobs is a real smooch and loves a cuddle, Sunshine is adamant on having her own personal space. Scoobs is that annoying little brother but I know Sunshine wouldn't be without him.
On the garden side of things, we have started planting out our fruit orchard, the pumpkin patch is going wild, we've built a vegetable garden and over 150 lilly pilly trees have been planted along our fence line to block out those pesky neighbours of ours.
One of the biggest projects we achieved this year was building our boundary fence. Although we didn't install it ourselves it was a huge and absolutely necessary financial investment. For those of you who don't know, Sunshine would go wandering (pre-fence days) and was poisoned a few months ago. Whilst we will never know whether this was an intentional act or an accident we are so incredibly grateful to still have her. Due to the extensive damaged Sunshine's liver suffered, we have been working with an animal naturopath to get her back to full health. She is doing wonderfully well!!
Whilst it's still early days with our garden bed project we do have one bed up and flourishing. It is our vision to have at least 8 of these beautiful beds (the more the better right!).
At the beginning of the year, we enrolled in The Healthy Patch Formula (which we would highly recommend!). For anyone wanting to learn all about healthy pest control, how to create nutritious soil, planting guides, and the recommended materials and templates for building your very own raised garden beds (just like the one below) this is the course for you!
There is something so dreamy about a big lush veggie patch and we absolutely can not wait to expand! Our next garden goals are to build a scarecrow, a compost bay out of pallets, start a leaf litter pile, build a greenhouse, grow potatoes in old sacks, install fairy lights and of course add more garden beds.
We have added an avocado, orange and mandarin tree to our already existing lemon, grapefruit and mulberry tree as well as two passion fruit vines which I am training to grow along the fence. Whilst it's only early days yet, the satisfaction from picking fruit (or vegetables for that matter) from your own garden is incredibly rewarding. You should try it!
We also had a bumper crop of pumpkins this year. The vine came up on its own in the compost heap and ironically of all things I tried to grow, the pumpkins did the best.
To read part 2 click here!!
If there is anything you want to know from what you've read so far please let us know! We would love to hear your questions or comments.