Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Country Homemaker Hop #57

Welcome back 
I hope the last week has been good for you and your homestead.  Things are moving right along.  Here's what we've been up to.

In the yard-
This week we brought home our first trailer load of fencing material and were blessed by a friend with the use of her two man auger to dig post holes with. Thanks Gina!

We began removing some of the mismatched "fencing" that came with our house.  It was pipe holding up 2x8 boards,but they were spaced so far apart they weren't keeping anything in or out.  We removed everything in the picture above and have dug/cemented in posts for about half of it thus far.  This will be a long term project, we have about 7 acres to fence eventually.  For now, we are just focusing on keeping neighborhood animals out and our own pets inside the property safely.  That's what we can afford right now.

Today, my husband fell a large eucalyptus tree that was blocking the sunshine for my soon-to-be garden.  We got a bit of firewood out of it and wood chips for a walk path to the river.  This week I also learned how to use the tractor and managed to move dirt and sand from one garden spot to another.  Yesterday, after digging post holes I cut back some overgrown laurel trees and chipped the branches for the garden while Jerry carved up some of the seasoned leftover logs of oak that came with the house.  We're ready for the next storm that is supposed to hit tomorrow.

I completed a long overdue hive inspection and am very happy with this hive. This NWC queen already has 6 frames full of brood back and front in one deep hive box, and is starting to full up two more frames in the lower box with brood.  I saw healthy brood, capped and uncapped and watched as several brand new bees chewed their way out of their cells.  There is atleast 75 pounds of honey in that hive now, maybe more.  I snuck one frame out and am straining it now to save and add to my next batch of sugar water should I need to provide more food this spring.  I also confirmed that I was not just seeing things during the last inspection.  I have a new queen, she's not my marked carniolan, it's her progeny.  She's big, healthy, beautiful, and very busy.

In the kitchen- 
We are trying to convert all of our meals and snacks into healthier GMO free, organic choices.  This has been difficult for us when things are not in season in our own garden, but we are making progress.  I made my first food co-op purchase in the new place last week and I made sure to include a few new snack food choices for my hubby.  The local co-op ladies went together on a Mtn. Rose Herb order and I got a few good deals there too.  I also noticed that our favorite warehouse store is now selling some GMO free organic foods. Things like dried apples, multigrain snack chips, quinoa and brown rice.

Since we are on a fixed budget (retired), with a fixer-upper home that is eating up most of our spare change, I am happy when I can sock away even just one extra item each trip to the store or co-op.  We are stocking up a little at a time.  Every bit counts and it all adds up.

In the sewing room-
This week I plan to carve out a small space inside the house to set up my sewing machine and get to work on something special for the upcoming Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop- 100th hop. Wow!  Stay tuned.  March and April are going to be so much FUN!

What have YOU been doing this week??? 
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