Monday, March 14, 2011

My Mountain Homestead

Okay, so I can’t really call my place a homestead but I can dream.  I would love to have a couple acres to have a few more farm critters than just chickens but with my life I am sure that is not even practical. 
I shall content myself with what I have now.  Saturday afternoon we had lovely sunshine.  I spent it tidying the greenhouse and getting more seeds started. Like Brandywine tomatoes, Vallecito peppers, baby broccoli, purple brussel sprouts and lots of lettuce.
  The sun now hits the greenhouse more and it warms up well. The longer day light hours will also help the seedlings once they pop up.  It was 80 degrees inside the greenhouse all afternoon as I worked, I had to strip down to my tank top.
I do have auxiliary lighting along with bottom heat but I must be careful, if it is a very sunny day I have to be sure to turn off the bottom heat or the seedlings will get too hot and cook. 
I moved my strawberries to the left side so to make room for the newly sprouted seeds and my pelargoniums I moved from inside our home where I overwintered them.
I started all the pelargoniums (also known as zonal geraniums) from seed last year and to make sure they made it, brought them in the house for winter.  Some are still in the studio but I will move them into the greenhouse soon as well.  All the gallon jugs of water I use as heat sinks.  When the sunshine shines on them the water heats up and releases that heat  as the air cools around them protecting the tender plants from cold snaps that can strike any night.
I also started the lettuce in the window boxes on the floor of the greenhouse.  We will eat the baby lettuce as I thin them and some will be transplanted out in the raised beds when the snow melts.
These are what my raised beds look like right now.
Barely a corner showing..sigh!
Still a lot of snow to melt.  I will content myself with my seed starting in the greenhouse and pop the starts into the ground as soon as it is workable.
My repurposed pallet composter is finally clearing of snow, and it looks like all the garden debris mixed with the chicken litter has composted down quite well.  Plant debris was heaped past the top and now it has cooked down to lovely black compost.  All that lovely black richness will go far in feeding my garden this summer. It is most likely squirming full of worms as we speak!
I also spent some time with the ladies.  I made sure to give them some alfalfa to munch on and scratch thru.  With all this snow on the ground they are lacking access to any greens, other than the veggies scraps I give them.   They love the alfalfa, this bale I bought has been especially full of leaves and flowers, a very lush crop.  The egg yokes I get now are orange and nearly impossible to whip into the whites, from what I have read that is from the chlorophyll in the alfalfa (or fresh grass if they have access to it). You can see the alfalfa on the ground with the straw I toss into the pen.
They look fat and sassy, don’t they! 
They dig down to the dry soil underneath and make themselves a dirt bath tub. You can see a Speckled Sussex wallowing around and kicking the dust on herself.   She kinda looks dead in this shot but trust me, she was just having a good ol time. DSC_0138 The Columbian hens are waiting for their turn.
And the other ladies come rushing out of the hen house wondering what all the fuss is about.
All in all, a very relaxing day, but then I even enjoy raking out the hen house.  Does that qualify me as a farm girl??  Until next post....Ta


this blessed nestCherry World 1


  1. That's 2 funny. I understand that ash from the fireplace & things like that R good for the chickens to dust in ... something about it that is suppose 2 B good for them. Luv UR blog. I bet U will be glad when the snow is gone. Here in Arizona things R growing. Have a great one.

  2. Yes it does qualify you as a farmgirl Pamela! In fact, I'm hosting a farmgirl blog hop starting this Friday to celebrate some exciting news! I'll be writing for Mary Jane's Farm twice monthly now as their Beach Farmgirl Blogger! Bring this post( or another ) and link up with us! I'd love it!

  3. Your chickens are beauties, and your creative place is gorgeous! I think my hubby needs to talk to your hubby:) I look forward to coming back for another visit, and hope you stop by and visit my blog. God Bless!

  4. Yep, I'd say you're a farm girl. My dad always complained about me being a city girl. I never was into the 'great' outdoors - until I started painting, ha!

    Shoot me some picks of your geraniums when they're in bloom. One of my all-time favs! (just posted a tutorial on them today ;)

    And by all means, YES, offer how-to's on your painting techniques. I have a Master Plan (mwah-ha-ha) and would love to include some of your tutorials. Oh, it's a big dream right now, probably a pipe dream, but ya gotta start somewhere, right?

  5. Not a homestead? Looks like one to me! You've got a lovely green house and composter and chickens... PERFECT! Oh, and I loved your water jug idea - thanks for sharing that!
    Thanks for linking to the Barn Hop!

  6. I am SO JEALOUS of your greenhouse! It's my dream to have one. I planted some lettuce too! I have no idea how much to thin it though. Any suggestions?


  7. Your girls look so healthy and happy! Love your greenhouse and can not believe all that snow! Living in the desert I forget about how much snow really accumalates.

  8. LOVE your greenhouse and your *ladies* !
    We still have snow that needs to melt too!

    happy day!

  9. Nice to have things ready for spring...Snow still there wow...Happy rednesday...

    mine is here

  10. wow, great post. blessings on your garden and plantings. I love the idea that you are tucked in your secret shed working away while that white snow is piled so high..just plotting and planning a soon coming Spring season. :)

  11. I have greenhouse envy! Not enough seeds started yet. Mister has been cleaning/ rearranging the basement and piled stuff in front of the fridge where I store my seeds - I've been complaining all week!

    You use tube lighting for bottom heat? What an awesome idea! I love the racks you store your small pots in - mine are in a plastic bin under the back deck, lol!

    Nothing in the world beats gardening, I say!

  12. One of my pleasures when growing up was to feed the chickens and gather the eggs. I would still like doing that. I wish I had a green house like yours. You can have so many more pretty flowers with one.

  13. We just started preparing our garden this past weekend. I love this time of year - when I can get outside and dig in the dirt. Your feathered friends know how much fun that is. ;)

    Thanks for linking to the party. I would love to have you join me for "Funny Faux Pas Follies," this Friday, as well. Just click the party button in the sidebar for details.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  14. Yes, I'd say what you have definitely qualifies as a homestead. ;) Good job! And I'm quite jealous of your greenhouse! Enjoyed your pictures, thanks for sharing this post at the Homestead Barn Hop!

  15. I popped in from Fishtail Cottage. What a lovely blog. Love your greenhouse. Looking forward to your blooms this year.

  16. Jep farmgirl all right! But i do want to borrow your green house... ?


  17. Yep-I definitely think this qualifies you as a farm girl!! Your hens looks gorgeous and very healthy. I want a green house so badly. Neat idea with the water jugs--who knew? Learned something new for sure.
    Thank you for sharing with FFF!

  18. Great pics of the girls and I love your greenhouse!

  19. Dear Pamela,
    I'm happy to return to your lovely post. You must be in the mountains to have snow in Ca. So you can call yourself the Mountain Homestead in my book!
    I'm from Massachusetts and we stil have lots of snow that we just can't seem to get rid of! Hope yours melts soon.

  20. I am so envious of your beautiful greenhouse! I keep dreaming of a greenhouse to start seeds. Your ladies are very lovely. Mine were all out enjoying a good dirt bath today as well.


  21. Love your spring chickens! We've been considering getting a few, but are hesitating because of our cats. Hmmmmm....

  22. oh how fun! i love fat & sassy chickens. maybe one day we will get some.

    thanks so much for linking up with the SPRING FLING!
    have a super weekend.


  23. Your rolling chicken cracks me up. Our egg yolks get darker this time of year too, but I never knew why.

  24. I loved seeing your chickens!! I wish we had some! I found you via Swing into Spring!

    I am your newest follower...I hope you will drop by to see me sometime! I am a brand new blogger; therefore, I am just learning!!


  25. How are so a farm girl. I love it. Thanks so much for linking up to my Swing into Spring party. Hope to see you again next week.

  26. Wow, you're making my seed starting look like "small potatoes"!! I've never heard of the water jug trick, that's a great one.

    Love hearing about your chickens too, I really did think you had taken a picture of a chicken that had passed on! I was so relieved it wasn't so....


    PS came over from BOTH Verde Farm and Fishtail Cottage

  27. I have green house envy! I so love what you can do with it. I adore your darling chickens -so fun to see other chicken owners and the coops! Thanks for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday's this week - great having you link up & share with your followers! Thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...