Today's post is an update on what's going outside the kitchen.
Last year I had to downsize a lot of my homesteading adventures because of my divorce and I was left with only a handful of chickens supplying me eggs and a small herb garden.
But this year is different. This year is about growth ❤
This year we are able to add to the homesteading program. So far we have added 2 Toulouse goslings, 16 ducklings of various breeds, and 16 new chicks!
The goslings are for flock protection. We are making sure they are friendly towards people and giving them plenty of cuddles. We named them Wally and Eva. They are growing like weeds and are just starting to feather out.
The ducklings are mainly for eggs, but I also got a male Pekin to breed with our females and raise some meat birds in the future. They are the sweetest and I'm so excited to have laying ducks again.
All the chicks will be laying hens and were chosen to add diversity to my existing flock. A few are uncommon like the blue laced red Wyandotte and Speckled Sussex. Others are more common like Buff Orpington and brown Leghorn.
We've also expanded our garden!
When snow was still in the forecast I eagerly awaited the arrival of my raspberry and strawberry roots. I have two beds of strawberries just starting to grown fruit and the raspberries are coming along nicely. We also took my 4 blueberry plants out of their sad pots and made a permanent home for them along with 4 new blueberry plants.
We've also tilled a 20x30 area where I've planted 4 varieties of potatoes, corn, melons, tomatoes, peppers, beans, kale, pumpkins, broccoli, chard, herbs and other wonderful goodies.
The front of the house still shows off my obsession with mint and is easy for me to harvest. I am planning on potting a few of them up and planting 1 in a field to go crazy. The other plants in the front of the house are awaiting their new homes. By fall I should only have my pots of mint by the door instead of a plant nursery.
I've already gotten to harvest from my patch of Chamomile this year. This patch volunteered to come back after I tried removing them last year. I can't say I'm heart broken with getting more Chamomile, I love drying it for tea, but they did bully the Italian parsley out of the bed...
And last but not least, we got 3 Pigs!
These little ladies are named Fried rice, Dinner, and Pork chop. They will be tilling up an old garden that was taken over by blackberries for the next 6 months and then be butchered (hence why we named them after food). It's a weird balance of love, respect and reality when you take care of an animal that is destined to be on your plate one day. These girls are going to be spoiled, raised organically, and given lots of love while they are here. This is my biggest homesteading project to date.
That's what has been dominating my life outside of the kitchen these days (along with some home repair/upgrades).
If you're curious how the meat pigs turned out check out this post. I explain the dollars and cents of raising them and share the highs and lows of raising our own pigs.