Well dontcha know, another week of learning.
As summer slowly winds down I have found myself in the kitchen baking more, and in my craft room creating more.
I sure do love the crazy chaos that is summer, but damn it feels good to make stuff.
Honing in and perfecting skills that are already in the books, and adding new skills. Having finished product at the end of the day sure does feel good, especially when the product is better than the last time it was made.
& then there was a roof.
Hubs started working on a new shed for the sheep.
This has been such a good project to practice woodworking and craftsmanship. I cannot wait to share different features he has drawn up as they come to life.
For now… the framing is up on the shed including a fully enclosed house that will have a loft for storage. There is framing for a window and a door for myself and a smaller door for the sheep. Off the side is an awning for shade.
We had found extra shingles in our barn that were just enough to shingle the shed.
The addition will allow for us to keep any rams that either don’t sell or that we would like to keep for breeding. It will also give the sheep more coverage from weather and space to be fully sheltered.
Its nice to work on things around the homestead with others. It is a great chance for bonding and learning from others. Everyone has their own way of working and maybe someone has a faster way of doing things, or vise versa.
Stay tuned for more updates because the siding is being built right now.
What do sheep count to go to sleep? Each other?
We have had our sheep for one year. 👏🏻
The ewes came to the farm toward the end of September and with the early snow we got last year, we were unable to get to know the girls as much as we knew the boys.
This summer I have spent many hours outside watching and learning from and about the animals.
Our sweet Leisl has become our most timid sheep. She really has a hard time trusting, but her soul is gentle.
As you can see, her favorite pastime is to take naps. Not just any ole nap, she loves to rest her head on logs or rocks. It cracks me up every time I see her just snoozing with her chin propped up. None of our other sheep sleep like this. She has her eyes gently closed ‘just resting her eyes’ as my grandpa would say.
I will win her heart over by the end of the year, because she will have to trust me enough to help her birth her baby(ies) this spring. 🤗
Dying with Tea.
One thing I have always wanted to learn to do is dye fabrics.
If you know me, I have a passion for textiles. I sew some of my children’s clothes, I alter my clothes, I have sewn chicken diapers and blankets and pillows.
Dying fabrics naturally intrigued me greatly. The natural colors have always been appealing and catching to the eye.
Recently I purchased a few shirts from an online shop that supports wilderness. The reviews were great and the pictures product was extremely cute.
When I received the shirts they were not a ‘natural mustard’ color as pictured but a bright gold color. I was displeased to say the least.
I finally had a reason to push myself to naturally dye my first products.
Since the yellow was to harsh, I had to tone it down. Brown/gray would give the results I was looking for and since we brew kombucha here, I have a TON of black tea on hand.
Seeing as I was dying the shirts anyway, I decided to dye some tea towels to see how they would turn out. I give embroidered towels as gifts and thought a color besides stark white might be nice. Especially because my personal tea towels get stained so fast, the color might hide some discoloration.
The tea towels are still growing on me – it’s hard to look at them as anything but ‘stained’ but I am sure I will see them as they are after awhile. The shirts turned out great. They are a more natural mustard color and much more appealing to my eye.
With a few tea bags, some vinegar to set and time I had nicely dyed shirts and some tea towels.
Next is to try my hand at some adventurous colors – onions, beets, etc…
I. Love. Carbs. Thatisall.
Another thing I tried new this week – MOTHER FREAKING BREAD!
I have been on an adventure in sourdough the last year and albeit finding many recipes that produce good product (i.e. tortillas, rolls, pancakes, etc…) I have NOT been able to find a bread recipe that the family enjoys. Sourdough tends to be a little tough and airy like an artisan bread and convincing a toddler that it is just the same as the white bread from the store is impossible.
Bread recipes are all over the internet. I am aware of that.
I was on a mission for a recipe that was using unbleached bread flour and had as little ingredients as possible that produced a soft bread that had a soft crust.
Y’all, I found it!
We made two loaves of bread and the boys gobbled it up with some butter and homemade jelly.
The recipe of bread is easier for our bodies to digest than the bread in the store and has less preservatives.
The true test will be how long it keeps. I have one loaf in the fridge (we always store our bread in the fridge – we don’t eat bread much). There is also a loaf in the freezer – it will be interesting to see how it thaws.
The bread only took 3 hours for a double rise and baking time, and since we have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, there is next to no effort needed. It kneads the bread for you.
Modern homesteading, amiright?
Stay tuned – there will be a follow up recipe if all checks out. But I am telling ya, I have high hopes.
They Grow Up So Fast.
The spring babies have grown so much. We for sure have three cockerels and the other twelve are almost certainly pullets.
It is getting impossible for me to quick count the babies because I get them mixed up with the full grown hens all of the time.
It would make me so ecstatic to be able to collect eggs from some of the babies before winter sets. There is something about getting a pullet’s eggs that just makes the day.
I am especially excited because I have new colors coming to the basket.
Blue, green, brown, oh my!
All of my chickens are trained to come when called which makes locking them up super easy and convenient.
It has taken a lot of patience but every time the birds are called to the coop I rustle a bag of mealworms and yell (obnoxiously), ‘CHICKIE CHICKIE CHICKIE!’ I toss a few handfuls of mealworms into the run and the birds flock.
Any time I would have birds not come when called I would herd them into the coop yelling and only giving them worms in the coop. Eventually they learned to come to me when called.
I also yell in my obnoxious way when I give treats. If I open my front door and holler as I toss scraps, the birds hustle across the yard for treats.
Having chickens run to you when called makes owning a flock extremely easy. When it is time to lock up at 4pm, they listen. No need to chase birds around for an hour trying to get them to safety.
From hubs making way in the new sheep shed to learning the art of dying and baking, it has been an eventful week.
Funny because living in it, it feels as if we did nothing. The things we do have become much a part of the life we live it is becoming hard to remember that this wasn’t how we always lived.
We were not always testing new skills and building a vat of knowledge. They were always things that looked cool to do or things people you admired did. Now here we are, building some of those skills.
I encourage you to try something new. Something you have been interested in learning. Whether it is baking, or drying herbs, or dying towels, or whatever else…
go do it!
You will never regret attempting to learn something new.
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,