Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicken Harvest

Our roosters getting some fresh air and relaxation before the end...
Farewell, Gussie, Kung Pao, & Hot Wings! We'll miss your lovely crowing!
(though I don't think our neighbor will)

I really never felt this day would come, but it finally did! We had four roosters and only needed one. So, with the help of a lady down the road with a large flock of chickens herself, we killed and processed our extra three roosters.

Wow! What an experience!

I did feel a little trepidation since it was my first time. I thought a lot about what we were about to do and wondered how I would feel. Doing away with them humanely was not as hard as I thought it would be, but I did feel a great feeling of gratitude and some sadness that they were giving their lives to feed our bellies. I also thought that it was the way of life and I felt honored to finally be apart of it in such a personal way. I love knowing where the chickens lived and what they ate - because we fed them ourselves! They were happy roosters too. 

I helped pluck feathers and clean out one of them. It was good learning what it took to get a chicken ready to eat. We even had to chill them in the fridge and wait a few days before we could eat them which I didn't realize. If we decide to get into meat birds, I now know what that would all entail!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's Been Awhile...

Oh, dear! It's been awhile hasn't it? I've taken a long break from my homesteading blog to nurture my history blog. Lately, though I've been wanting to post things about our homeschooling, gardening, and other such things. So I thought it might be nice to post here again now and then.

Some exciting homesteading updates - we finally got chickens! Out of 12 chicks we ended up with 4 roosters and 8 hens. Right now we're trying to figure out where to send our roosters because our neighbors have late hours and I don't blame them for not wanting an alarm clock at 5:30 am!

I've expanded my garden to 3 raised beds, put in asparagus, some thornless raspberries, and planted a fig tree. It's already got a dozen little figs growing and I'm so excited! The deer have left it alone too, which is a miracle. I even got some rhubarb to grow by accident. I quite gave up on it last year and I thought I planted the dead plant in the fall in my garden, but this spring my husband found a rhubarb plant in the compost and I have NO idea how it got there! Happy day, though! I've had a heck of a time getting rhubarb to grow.

We're also in the midst of some big home improvement projects. As we've stripped away the layers of time, it's been interesting to see the original beams and methods of construction in our 1900s house. It's slow going, but we're excited about getting the house closer to the way we want it.

Also, while we were in northern Montana for vacation I did a little photo shoot of farm equipment. It sounds a bit funny, but I love the look of industrial mixed with other things like nature.

I'm busy planning for our next year of homeschooling and I'm excited! We're studying American history with an emphasis on technology. Some field trip highlights: Robert Fulton's birthplace (invented the first working, practical steam boat) and the Daniel Boone Homestead with a functioning, original saw mill - both in Pennsylvania. We're also studying Physics this year with a fun trip to the Maryland Science Center for their homeschool week. Lots of fun planned for this year!

Well, that's a pretty good update. Happy Summer!
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