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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring is Here!

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Did you miss us?! It's been over a month since we have posted anything! That's far too long. That doesn't mean nothing has been happening on the homestead. It's quite the opposite! Now that school is back in session I (Mrs. Agape) have been very busy with homework. I am taking an agriculture class as well as a class on cultural diversity in early childhood education. Two very different classes, but they are both wonderful. Mr. Agape started a new job at a auto repair shop. He went to school to be a mechanic, later got a job on a farm as the mechanic but then fell in love with farming. However, he knew he didn't want to grow 100's of acres of rice and decided to go back to being a mechanic at an auto shop due to water restrictions on the farm since we are experiencing a drought here in California. We have been truly blessed with this new job. God is good! All the time! As part of our journey to a healthy lifestyle, this month we decided to avoid any food that has High fructose corn syrup and corn syrup in it. This has been a difficult journey since almost everything has it! This has forced us to eat at home more which has saved us some money too. We already made most of our meals from scratch so this part was not too difficult, but having to replace food that we had in the fridge like bread, ketchup, soy sauce, whip cream (I love it in my coffee), and ice cream (a must have for Mr. Agape). I am really wanting to get one of these to make homemade whipped cream and this to make ice cream. We definitely have to read all the labels to make sure it's not hiding in there.

Things on the farm have been even busier. Our Buff Orpington went broody and has been sitting on some eggs since mid-February. Last week Wednesday they finally hatched! She had 6 eggs but only 3 hatched. When we opened the other three, only one had anything growing in it, but it was severely underdeveloped. The other two had nothing in them. She is a wonderful momma and takes such great care of her chicks. They are so cute! They love to kick straw into their water and run away when momma tries to keep them warm. It's so nice not having to make sure the temperature is right for them or having to clean them. We were absolutely blessed to have a broody girl! We decided to separate her and put her in her own brooder house to sit on the eggs. I am glad we did, this way she doesn't have to worry about them getting too far away and the other chickens can't bother her.
One day old!

Cuddling with momma


Fresh straw for the chickens to kick around.


We were able to plant our garden the last two weekends. We have a great group of friends at our church who were willing to come out and help for the day. They helped us remove some of the cover crop and roto-till the ground. At the end of the day we finally rented a larger one, since our little one was not doing the job. Our poor friend had used the little one for a few hours and never complained, once we had to do it we realized how hard it was! Renting tools is a great idea and was much cheaper than we had expected. Next year we will do that first thing! We decided to do furrow watering again this year. Furrow watering is where you dig ditches and plant everything on the mounds. This encourages a deep root system and once the plants are developed you only have to water once every week or two! In the garden we have 8 varieties of tomatoes, 2 squashes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, lots of corn, chives, basil, beans, sunflowers, rosemary, and onions. Many of these seeds were ones we get from our membership in the Seeds of the Month Club. It is so fun getting the envelope of seeds each month and seeing what they sent us. I pray that we will have a plentiful harvest, but we know God is the best farmer out there and He is the one who will decide if our plants will grow or not. On Monday we had a reporter come out and she will be writing an article for the local paper about our farm. We pray this will provide some customers for all of the wonderful produce we are growing.
Our friends helping clear the cover crop.


Finished results




We are getting lots of eggs, between 3 and 5 a day and have sold a few dozen and given a few dozen away as well. They are nice to have to give to friends or to trade for other goodies. We might trade for some goats milk soon. We also purchased 6 Blue Andalusian's in the beginning of February so we will have some more egg layers in a few months. In 10 days we will be getting our first delivery of broiler chickens. Broilers are meat chickens. We will be raising them in our front and backyard and moving them everyday. They take about 8 weeks to grow full size and then we will process them, freezer bag them, and sell them.

Fresh Eggs
We are enjoying our Young Living Oils and have been using them for so many things. This week I have been battling a cold and have not used any cold medicine at all! Some of the oils I have been using that are helping a lot include Thieves, R.C, Raven, Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Purification. Last night I had a glass of water with peppermint in it, when I woke up coughing I would take a few sips and the coughing would go away. I am so happy to have a replacement for medicines that usually make me feel worse anyways. It has been less than a week and I am pretty much feeling completely better.


What has been happening on your homestead? I'd love to hear about it! If you have a blog you would like to share, leave the link in the comments so I can check it out!