My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Ideas for Income from homestead, and critter update

Our short-term financial goal is to to earn enough to put up a greenhouse or two by the end of Summer, and build a perimeter fence so we can let our goats and chickens free-range. Our long term goal is to provide enough income from our homestead to allow Hubby to quit job by end of 2011, and to pay off our new 30 year mortgage within 10 years. Been thinking hard about how to earn money from our little 2 acres ... well, what part the house isn't on.

Everything I've read says to NOT put all your eggs in one basket.... don't have only one way to earn money. Diversify. And I need to keep in mind that I have physical problems so it can't be labor, time or energy intensive. We don't have room for a bed and breakfast, petting zoo, christmas tree farm or corn maze. We could possibly have a pumpkin patch on the front 1-acre... among the fruit and nut trees.

Here's what we've come up with so far:

Ready in a week or two...
-flats of seedlings (esp greens)
-baggies of grown greens
-lavender eye pillows w/slipcover
-lavender drawer sachets
-rose drawer sachets
-regular and gluten-free doughnut-bites (do I need a license or inspection?)
-laminated preschool game boards
-booklets of my e-books

by mid summer.....
-quail eggs for eating
-garden produce (like habanero peppers, beans, tomatoes, zuke, etc)
-edible flowers
-herbs

by end of summer...
-glycerine scrub soaps
-salt body scrubs
-sugar body scrubs
-miniature and other-sized pumpkins
-chicken eggs for eating (blue, green, brown)

by winter...
-gourd candle holders
-gourds for crafting
-luffah scrub "sponges"

by next year...
-bayberry candles
-willow baskets
-fishing worms or worm castings

I guess we could do a farmers market but that involves driving (gas expense) and a day or two away from the property. OR we could post a note on a nearby community bulletin board. Driving around the "neighborhood" on Saturday, we looked for evidence of gardens. We saw a LOT of livestock and very few gardens or greenhouses. So maybe we should post that note/memo when we have fresh produce, thereby reducing our gas consumption... and theirs. We will have a lot of greens in about 2 weeks, and radishes the week after. Perhaps I could even sell the quail eggs, sachets and such from home ... in our garage?

Thoughts?

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Yucky topic but necessary for people interested in starting to raise chickens! 4 of our 10 chicks have pasty butt, and they are all easter eggers. PB is where the poo gets caked or "pasted" on the hind end and if not removed, can back-up the chick (constipation) and cause death. So far we've used paper towels, wetted with warm water, and lightly scrubbed the effected area. Then we put that chick alone and didn't let it join the others until it pooped (to make sure we got it all). Then did the next one.

Last night I fed them all a little goat yogurt mixed with feed but no one wanted to try it! Hmmm... is that a reflection on my cooking?!?! I'll try some cooked egg yolk later. Meanwhile, keep checking day and night ... and cleaning when PB is found!

On a different chick note, we still have them in boxes for now. We found some dowel rods in our workshop and poked them through holes in the box ... for roosts. One of the blackies (black australorp) found it pretty quickly and obviously felt quite at home. Good.

We're still working up plans for the chicken coops. The hang-up is that we want the easter eggers to have their own space because we want them to breed true. We'll need an EE rooster for them at some point (if we have all pullets - girls). The black australorps are gonna have a blackie rooster too because we want THEM to breed true.

And we want one hen of this and one of that.... we are having so much fun observing the difference in the breeds. We'd like to experience some of the others! Not for 4H because the Kid doesn't want to but just for the fun (well, and eggs!).

Thinking:
Coop/Pen #1: easter eggers only (hens and rooster)
Coop/Pen #2: blackies (hens and rooster) plus the other kinds (hens only)

A plan might have possibly emerged last night ... with my researching and price comparisons and measuring and such. Need to get the goat pen made first, and then we'll see.

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Our goaties love us! Ha! Not so much when we ran errands during the day (yesterday), and it started to hail and snow 10 minutes before we arrived back. Hubby slammed the car to a stop at our house, and while he and I ran to the back outside pen to gather up the poor goaties, the Kid opened up the barn door and got the indoor pen ready. Hawkey didn't mind so much about the snow; he was chomping down on the hay. Honey on the other hand was huddled against the fence, but for some reason was not under the tarp! They did both appreciate being in the warmish barn, and immediately dove into their feed. I gave them extra hay and a good back scratch. They were so happy to be indoors that they didn't even bleat as we closed up and ran to the house.

Today is supposed to be kinda ok. I think I'll try out our new nail gun to make the raised beds. We have only 2-3 days before cold weather comes back.... and because it still freezes, we decided to wait a little while before putting the potatoes in their boxes in the garden. Don't want the seed taters to freeze because I got a little anxious!

Have a great day, all.

1 comment:

Eric said...

For the chicken pens-
You only need one for now, since
1. it will be months before they start laying any eggs anyway, and
2. You only have to separate them two weeks prior to when you need fertilized eggs for hatching.

I recommend the chicken tractor method. So easy. And that way you don't need a chicken coop. They can live in the tractor. With the addition of some plywood sides in the winter, it will become a coop.