Homestead Happenings

We have had a lovely weekend of more snowy weather!  Luckily, this time it was mainly wind blowing around a very little bit of snow, but it did make for some not so fun conditions to get outside in.

I had great intentions of getting some seeds started this weekend, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Luckily, we found out Friday afternoon that Matt actually had President’s Day off.  Now, I know that most people enjoy this Monday holiday, but this will be the first time since college that Matt hasn’t been working on President’s Day.  Seriously exciting news!

Our chickens seemed to have weathered our crazy Maine winter quite well.  I have been nervous every night that the temps got really cold, or the wind was really strong.  Surprisingly hardy, those chickens!  And, this past week we officially had all the ladies laying eggs again.  Our two araucanas gave up laying right around Thanksgiving…apparently they needed a break.  Our 6 white leghorns gave us 5 eggs a day through the coldest parts of January and the beginning of February, but are back to laying 6 eggs each day now.  So we are back in the egg business!

My kids are itching to get outside and start digging in the dirt (as am I!).  As soon as those seeds came in the mail, Emma decided that it should most definitely be spring, and we should be able to plant outside.  She absolutely loves the snow, but I think the draw of giant sunflowers waving in the summer breeze is calling to her.

Today I plan to at least start tomatoes.  We shall see how it goes.  I haven’t ever started tomatoes from seed, and I know that I will continue to rely on my lovely backup greenhouse if it all goes badly.  Perhaps I should rely less on the greenhouse…then maybe I would make sure that my seeds get started on time, and that I have good seedlings to put in the ground come spring!

What is going on at your homestead?  Are you already planting?  Still looking at a snow-covered garden?

Linking up at Clever Chicks, Homestead Barn Hop, HomeAcre Hop

Similar Posts


  1. Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can't wait to see what you share this coming Thursday 🙂 Here's the super easy link to the next hop!

    If you haven't checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! 🙂 It's a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here's the link for tomorrow's hop:

  2. I'm hoping to plant veggie seeds this week as well. I have a portable greenhouse system that has been successful to me in the past. I'm hoping to include a post featuring it in my blog next week, so I'll be taking pictures of the process so I can share. Can't wait to get into the garden!
    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, TX
    (visiting from Homestead Blog Hop)

  3. Our egg production is back in gear as well! I think they know spring is coming soon 🙂 We have been trying to get some lettuce seeds planted outside, but it keeps raining! We need to till up the garden before planting, but the weather keeps putting our plans on hold.

    We have started seeds indoors for several years now, and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. When they don't work we just buy the seedlings from the store! A lot of our seeds were getting too leggy because the grow light was too far away, and we often crowd them too much. We are still learning!

    1. I am still learning too! I think it might be a life long endeavor for me 🙂 But, it is still so much fun, I can't give it up, even when everything fails!

  4. Congrats on the chickens picking up production for you, that always makes me feel that spring is just around the corner! I started tomatoes indoors for the past several years. For me, one of the secrets has been to transplant them into bigger containers often. It helps keep them from getting too leggy and develops a nice strong plant. Have fun playing in the dirt, even if it is inside! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tip! Tomatoes are my favorite thing to grow (maybe because it is my favorite thing to eat!), and I would love to figure out how to grow tomato seedlings well so that I can grow a lot of different varieties. I am always nervous about starting seeds, and still rely on the greenhouse a lot 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Homestead Happenings

I had a very productive week last week, and also have some sad news on one of hens, so let’s get to it!

Last week I received the box of peaches I had ordered from the co-op downtown.  I was so excited to find a good source of local(ish) peaches!  A girl can dream of having all the tropical fruits in the world, but when one lives in Maine, one gets very good at accepting berries and apples as the fruit of choice.  And don’t get me wrong, I love berries and apples…a lot!  But, there are times when I wish I could also have a banana tree in my back yard 🙂

With all those peaches I was able to make 13 jars of peach salsa and 8 jars of (very spicy) peach BBQ sauce.  I still have enough peaches to make another batch of peach salsa or another batch of slightly less spicy BBQ sauce, but we might just eat them.  They are absolutely delicious, and perfectly sweet.

I was able to use all of my own green peppers and jalapeno peppers for the recipes, which made me extremely happy.  I did not grow onions, so those came from the farmers’ market.  I still have PLENTY of jalapeno peppers left to work with for regular salsa as well.  In fact, I think I have enough jalapenos to do next years supply of salsa as well!

this isn’t all of them – i have a gallon freezer bag full and already frozen 🙂

We dug up our small planting of purple carrots this week as well.  I didn’t get a ton, but from what Emma planted, I think we did amazingly well.  These will most likely be eaten raw, because Emma doesn’t eat cook carrots – not sure why, she just doesn’t.

In other news, we also had to say good bye to one of our easter egger hens.  On Friday morning I went out to give them some kitchen scraps, and noticed that she was straining a lot, and looked to be pushing out a very red egg.  She is several weeks younger than the white chickens, and I knew it was way too early for her to actually be laying eggs.

A lot of googling took place, and I finally found something that made sense.  A prolapsed oviduct.  Her insides were falling out of her.  And I felt horrible.

There were only two options really.  One was to take her to the vet, but typically when a hen has a prolapsed oviduct, even if it is repaired, it will most likely happen again.  The other option was what we chose, to kill her so that she wouldn’t get an infection and be in pain.

Even though I strive to be vegan leaning, it has never been because of not wanting to kill an animal for meat, so I was surprised at how difficult this was.  I think that it was made even more difficult by Emma, who had an amazingly rough time of it, and was only calmed when I distracted her with news of us visiting her Aunt and Uncle for their baby shower.

I knew that we might have some issues with health, but I still wasn’t prepared, and I am not sure how you could be prepared for that either.  I wanted to write this post so that hopefully it can help someone else when they are searching for “hen that is trying to lay red egg.”

Have any of you ever had issues with this before?

Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil, it is a great giveaway!

I am linking up at the Barn Hop.

Similar Posts


  1. So sad–I can imagine it was extremely difficult to do. 🙁 It definitely sounds like it was the right decision though, especially to take away any pain the chicken may have been having. Those carrots look amazing and congrats on the peach concoctions!

  2. Sorry about your hen. I've heard of that, but never experienced it.

    Last year I made 5 batches of jalapeno jelly. It's fantastic! Everyone wanted it for Christmas! We still have a few jars left. I wrote about it on my blog – the first time I made it I made a big old mess, but it turned out yummy!

  3. So sorry about your hen. We've been raising chickens for a while now and have had our fair share of hens pass for a variety of reasons. It isn't easy.

    By the way, I love all your canning! I just finished putting up three baskets of peaches into salsa, jam, and in light syrup. Yum! Although there is a variety of peaches that can grow well in Florida, I just don't have the room for anything else in the yard! We have a lemon tree, a mango tree, and blueberry and blackberry bushes, and a friend just gave us two banana trees! Good thing I can dehydrate bananas! Lol! Enjoy your homestead!

  4. I have not had that experience but it sounds horrible! I'm glad you did what you had to so she wouldn't be in even more pain.

    I do find those carrots so interesting! Purple. I'd love to grow some for my granddaughter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *