Vacation, Kayaking, Garden, and other Stuff

We were gone last week on vacation.  It was nice to spend time with family and friends.  The week found us enjoying food(way too much), playing cornhole and Kan Jam, the kids going to four wheeler driving school(where I decided I really want to four wheeler), going to a water park hotel, walking the flea market in Shipshewana, stopping into the animal auction at the flea market, kayaking on the lake, playing boggle, tubing behind the boat, fishing, and all sorts of other fun.

This was the first time we were able to use the new camper.  It performed as expected and the whole family, minus Homestead Boy #1 who wanted to sleep in the bunkhouse, slept in the camper comfortably.  The water-tightness of the camper was tested as we had some thunderstorms, and everything checked out well.  The air conditioner was nice on the hotter days, but unfortunately I didn’t fill up the propane so we could test the furnace on the colder nights(I didn’t think we’d need it).  Overall it was a nice shakedown outing as we get to know our new camper.

Upon returning home I found that the garden had done this…

The tomatoes had really started to ripen.  We have been enjoying them, especially the “Dr. Carolyn” cherry tomatoes.  They are a sweet yellow cherry, that are easy to down by the handful.


The turkeys really grew the week we were gone as well. The difference between the Tom and the hens is quite obvious. They are slightly eerie to look at as their eyes are all black.

 Before I even knew that there were an abundance of tomatoes I had found a pressure canner on one of the local Facebook sales groups.  A brand new, never uses, Presto 23 quart canner with the canning kit tools with it for $75, which means I got the canner at a $5 discount and the $12 kit essentially for free.  Not a home run of a deal, but I’ll take it.  Now I need to wait for some more tomatoes to ripen when the weather warms back up to give it a try.

The wildflower garden continues to impress me. Much better than looking at septic caps surrounded by grass.

Other than that, it’s back to the grind.  Getting ready for Labor Day weekend and school to start the following week.

I will leave you with a story I am going to hashtag as #farmworldproblems.  It will hopefully be an ongoing addition to the blog and is my spin off of the hashtag #firstworldproblems.  Problems that aren’t really life shattering, but happen on the farm.

Last night when I got home from basketball it was late, and dark.  As I parked the car in the drive I saw a shadow darting away from one of the chicken pens.  In a desire to protect my livestock, in a very manly way, I rushed into the barn and got a flashlight.  After a little bit of searching I found that a young skunk had scurried under our small utility trailer.  I really didn’t want to get sprayed, but I also didn’t want any chickens to perish.  Staying upwind, in case of a spray, I got a couple rocks and threw them at the top of the trailer trying to encourage the skunk to leave while avoiding alarming him to spray.  He was staying put under the trailer.  At the very least I needed to close up the chicken coop, which was what I was on my way to do in the first place.  But the skunk had placed himself in my way.  Giving him as wide a berth as I could and keeping the flashlight in it’s general direction so I could see if an spray attack was imminent I managed to make it to the coop.  After closing the coop, I knelt down on the ground to look under the trailer.  It was at this point that the sheep decided to welcome me home by “bah”-ing loudly.  I jumped, in a very un-manly way, and resumed my search.  I am ashamed to say the sheep got me jumping one more time before I decided the skunk had run off and I headed for the house.  So the poultry are safe, I remain un-sprayed, but my toughness is in question.

Until next time…

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7 Responses to Vacation, Kayaking, Garden, and other Stuff

  1. Tomatoes are one of those veggies/fruits that only needs to be water bath canned. Beans, beets, carrots… essentially anything low acid needs to be pressure canned. I have heard that rabbit is very good when pressure canned.

  2. Jr. says:

    How are the j-orps doing?
    Did you process any?
    I sold you the orps.
    I been following you on the homestead dad.
    I’m raising Pioneer meat birds…they are suppose to be a dual purpose bird…really not happy with them…I’ll be going back to the Cornish next season..since now I have a fenced in pasture for them.
    My turkeys are doing great on the pasture…I’ll be taking them in to be processed the end of September.

    • The jubilees are doing well. All ten were healthy, and we ended up with 6 hens and four roosters. Better than the other way around. I picked the two best and butchered the other two.

      What kind of pioneer birds?

      • Jr. says:

        Glad you had more hens…my Icelandics I only have 4 pullets and a ton of roosters.
        The pioneers are the breed name….there is another name for them Dixie rainbow…not sure.. I ordered 25…I have 6 roosters…and not one are the same size…I have a lot of feed invested in them…going back to the Cornish. I guess the pioneers are a good laying hen…big eggs…we will find out…or they will be a good baking chicken. I raised 25 Columbian Rocks…I butchered one Saturday… Turned out good for Sunday dinner.

  3. Jr. says:

    Also I’m looking for a few Isbar chickens.. If you come across any..please let me know.

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