STATE OF THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

The weather is acting up again – it’s as if winter’s is fighting with her sibling summer.   Hopefully the cooler temperatures will bring some rain.  In fact, there is a chance of rain mid week.  We are definitely praying for rain because we need all the heavens can give us before the long, hot and dry summer.

Bella (aka Hell’s Bells — we call her this because she likes to raise a ruckus before and after she lays an egg) is doing fine.  She laid a perfect egg the other day without complications.  That was a critical point in her recovery whether we were right in our decision not to put her in the dark for a few days and prevent her from laying.

We continue to monitor her condition throughout the day but she seems to be doing fine – hanging out with her pal Sissy, raising ruckus, kicking up clouds of dirt and just being a happy chicken.  And when we look into her eyes (eyes tell you a lot about a animals condition) they are bright and happy.  She certainly doesn’t know she’s a weaker chicken and that’s all that counts – that while she lives, she enjoys a happy life.

Old Clem and one of the ducks wonder what all the fuss is about these days

In other animal news, spring brings out a flush of broody hens – tuck, tuck tucking about. Old Clem (who’s going on 8 years) who’s usually last to leave the coop in the morning was up bright and early.  I guess she just couldn’t stand the fussing and screeching of the other’s.

Have you ever had the pleasure of hearing a broody hen screech with that blood curling tone of “don’t you dare come near me or I’ll do something to you’ll regret”  Hmmm sounds like me sometimes.

Anyhow….

To get the broody broads under control, come afternoon, the coop will go under lock down once the other’s lay their eggs.  Of course the ducks are happily oblivious to the hens plight.  The duckies don’t go broody and rather not have anything to do with the crazy antics of broody hens.

And the goats what do they think of this hormonal hullabaloo well…. see for yourself

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Behind the scenes there have been some interesting developments and just as soon as we confirmations from the other parties we’ll pass the information on to you.

On the gardening front, there’s still work to be done tidying up the place.  We are slightly obsessed with tidy – I guess it’s our Belgian genes but really a tidy garden and homestead makes for a much more productive use of space.

Last week made a batch of nettle leaf tea.   Was able to obtain a bunch of fresh nettle from a local Freedom Gardener to make such a high nutrient concoction. Stinging nettle tea is not only a great overall healthy tonic but it’s also beneficial for plants. It’s rich in silica and said to be great for good-tasting tomatoes.

Will let this batch brew in a bucket till it stinks like the dickens.

On the homefront, canning season might come sooner than expected.  So it’s time to clean all those jars to be ready to start canning on the spur of the moment.

The resident farmers informed me the other day that about 90% of seeds grown and planted this year in our Freedom Garden are free from the controls and ownership of Monsanto Back in 2001 we took a stand on where our food comes from which spurred us to grow as much food as we could and now in this next chapter who controls our seeds.  Over the years we have saved as many seeds as we can here on the urban homestead but we still have to purchase certain varieties.

It was the shocking realization (to me at least) that not all organic, safe & secure seeds are sown equal that spurred us to start digging and tracking down vegetable varieties that haven’t been acquired by the big bad M.   Then why not share that knowledge and varieties with others and up sprouted Freedom Seeds.   It’s been an educational journey for all of us on the seed sovereignty path.

If you are a blogger and have purchased seeds from Freedom Seeds and are blogging about your growing experience, then list your blogs here!  We’d like your feedback, photos, etc.  We are still developing the Freedom Seeds site where we hope to have a bunch of resources that have been helpful to us.

Happy sowing and growing!

Comments(4)

  1. Laurie says:

    I read somewhere that stinging nettle boiled in very little water and lots of salt can be used as a vegetable based rennet for making cheese. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d like to soon.

  2. SuperMom says:

    I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I will say that I am impressed with the germination rate of the seeds I ordered from your site. I’ve started three different veggies inside; 5 out of 6 zucchini, 12 out of 12 pac choi and 20 out of 24 lettuce seeds. Outside slightly less, 65 out of 75 peas planted have grown. But even then I’m impressed… since we’ve had so few days of really nice warm, sunny weather to warm the soil.

  3. Stacy says:

    Hello all,

    I stumbled across your website a little while ago and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it. I watched your youtube video as well and it was so nice to watch.

    Thank you for taking the time to put yourselves out there for our benefit, it is appreciated.

    I did have one question: I am planning on growing 2 different heirloom tomato plants this summer and was wondering if you could recommend something for me?

    Take care!

  4. DoubleD says:

    Glad to hear Hells Bells is doing well. I hear you about the tidy gene … I think food production gardens are more efficient when kept orderly and cleaned up – not to mention they are very attractive if kept maintained.

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