Photos from the suburban homestead in May 2019 and some updates on our experiences.
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Look at the sky in that picture… one of the things I love most about being out in the “country” (relative to where we were) is the sky at night. It is just so peaceful and that’s frequently what I need to see after a long day. I love doing evening chores after the kids are in bed.
I am desperately needing to clean up around the coop though. We’ve had a few projects out.
Current projects we’ve been finishing:
- Guinea pig outdoor hutch and run
- Chicken coop ramp
- Adjusting goat gate and fencing
- Planning for horse fencing and field location
- Lean-to for our shed
- Re-roofing the shed
The garden is growing well. I’m still moving wood chips around, but the corn and pumpkins are growing great. The goats got into the garden a few times. I need to finish up the fencing around the garden- although the goats do have their own fence. The kids just sometimes forget to properly close the gate.
The summary for this month: Lots of disease and issues, I got shingles, kids got the stomach bug (again, sigh), bugs. I feel like this should be considered a major fail month, but I’m pretty happy with everything. We’ve gotten a lot finished and we’re all feeling better so that’s what is important. My mom came for a visit and helped us clean up a bit too which is fantastic.
Bugs and Disease
One of the most frustrating things has been trying to figure out what is wrong with our old fruit trees. The peach tree has me absolutely horrified.
This is legit the grossest thing I’ve seen this month on our property… and I have three kids so that says something. They’re all like this. I know I need to spray, but it’s too late in the season to fix anything so I’m holding off until the Fall when it will make more sense. I am just not sure how to deal with the branches and fruit that are falling. I need to pick them up but I’m soooooo grossed out by them.
We had this spider come make its home temporarily above our front door… we think it’s a fishing spider. It was huuuuuge. I let her hang out for a while in hopes she’d find her way toward the closest water source and leave my front porch alone. She obliged.
Many friends told me I should relocate/kill her, but I’m on Team Leave the Bugs/Snakes alone and let them relocate themselves (unless absolutely necessary).
I’d like to say I’m a super peaceful, kind bug and snake lover. And I am a little. But I’m mostly just petrified that the spider will jump on me if I try to move it.
Speaking of bugs, check out this nest in our pear tree!
And these aphids, I believe… I found a praying mantis, theoretically a predator of them, and put him on the plant. Unfortunately he didn’t clear them out and apparently went to another plant. It was a nice thought!
Not quite sure what this bug is… but I thought it was a fun shot.
The goats are cute as usual. I dosed them with copper bolus this month because it appeared that their winter coats never shed. Maybe I’m wrong… they were due for their bolus though. But almost immediately after, they seem to have developed fish tail. I am keeping an eye on it.
This could just be an issue of poor quality hay though- I got shingles this month (MISERABLE) and we ran out of hay. I sent my husband to the local store with the kids to get a bale of their hay to hold us over- unfortunately it wasn’t very good hay. I bought better hay this week so I’m hoping it will help.
The ducks are getting big. They’ve grown quite a bit since this photo at the beginning of the month. Their feathers are starting to come in and they LOVE the cement mixing tub that we bought for them to swim in. It’s a long, heavy duty tub about 4″ deep or so.
Flowers, Fruit, & Food
We found mulberries and wild raspberries growing! Lots of picking and lots of eating.
Love these weeds growing in various places in our yard. They appear to appreciate poor quality dry soil…
And I found these hydrangeas at our local nursery. LOVE the color, but I didn’t bring any home. I did buy a borage plant which I didn’t photograph. It’s SO pretty though. Looking forward to it taking over my garden, ha.
We also trying brining one of our meat chickens overnight, then smoked it. FANTASTIC.
And that’s all! Keep an eye out for our various projects in the next few weeks. Looking forward to working my way through all of the video footage and photos from the guinea pig hutch. There’s a lot. Yikes. Never fun to edit video.
Love creative homestead ideas? Check out these posts too: DIY Duck House | Goat Barn Accessories | Framing the Goat Barn | Siding & Roofing for the Goat Barn | Easy Solar Lighting for a Shed or Barn | Beginner’s Guide to Milking Goats | No Mess Duck Waterer
Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.