Back in the day a blog was a Web-Log. weB-Log. B-Log. Blog. That’s where the term comes from. I’m a big fan of the meditative act of logging things, but in practice most meditative acts in my life tend to get shoved aside.
One of the glorious constraints from the particular way we are homeschooling is that I am required by law to submit a monthly progress report on my children. A lot of the parents at the school where we homeschool (it’s confusing when I write it like that, but just go with me on this) – they kinda hate the monthly progress report.
I overdo them and make them into more work than they need to be, but I fundamentally like the process. It’s really nice to sit down at the end of the month and go, “this is what we did, this is how my son is improving in reading, these are the papers my daughter wrote and the art she did.” It’s a very good feeling to look back at our progress.
So, I’m going to try sitting down and just listing the homestead stuff I’ve gotten done every week. Some weeks there might be a lot to report, some weeks very little. I’m going to work very hard to not overdo this like I overdo everything. (5 Things Friday was supposed to be five lines long originally! Gack!). It’s just a simple list.
I feel like this practice will help keep me motivated and accountable in a way that’s very healthy for me. If you want to join in, please feel free to list your own weekly achievements, or if you have a blog and want to do your own post and link to it in the comments, that’s great too.
Tons! Everything is out from under lights and going into the garden, whether it needs it or not.
- Summer squash
- Winter squash
Not much yet – with my very late start this year I don’t have much of a spring garden.
- Perennial herbs – mint, chives, lemon balm, oregano.
- Basic daily maintenance.
- Patched a leak in the duck tub swirl filter.
- Medium-cleaned coop (not quite a super deep clean, but definitely more than quick daily maintenance.)
- Treated leg shaking – a possible sign of niacin deficiency – in one duckling with extra niacin in the water – she looks like she’s fully recovered. Huge thanks to Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily for taking the time to sanity check my thought process on this issue.
Finances and Frugality
- Checked out a bunch of audio books from the library.
- Pulled down next-size clothing for my son out of storage and added items to his closet.
- Launched my Patreon page to try to make the blog more sustainable – huge success! First goal nearly met! You guys rock.
- Logged every expenditure in GoodBudget. (Mentioned this app a few weeks ago – we love it.)
- Built a compact tool storage rack out of pallets. I love it! Full post later.
- Re-did the rock path leading into the back garden.
Helped my daughter with an awesome project for her Latin class cultural presentation. She looked at the experience of the upper and lower classes in ancient Rome through food, and prepared two different platters of foods representing what foods a patrician and a plebeian would have eaten. Then she shared her findings and the food with her class. It was really cool!
Because I’m super proud mama, here’s some pictures. Elite people food on top; commoner people food on bottom:
Easy designs for mason bee houses. Our old one disintegrated like 7 years ago. I think my dad will help me build a new one. He says re-usable inserts like this will be very easy to make. Might be too late for this year, but should be great for next spring.
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Your turn! What did you do this past week?
David @ Fat Robin Farmstead says
I got most of my summer garden planted at my house and plan to get my other garden plot done tomorrow. Normally I go out there on Saturdays but it’s raining today. Most things are growing well but we’ve really only harvested some chives and other herbs. Lettuce is almost ready for first cutting.
Harvested some rabbits and grilled them Wednesday. The leftover meat is becoming tacos tomorrow. Butchering more this coming week, some for sale, some for us. Instead of butchering a whole bunch at once and then having to wrap for the freezer I’m butchering the biggest ones first and then slowly working through the whole litter over a few weeks, eating the runts last. Working so far.
Financially I’m eager to see what the take-home pay for my wife is going to be like, she just got a promotion with a nearly 20% raise.
Congrats to Mrs. Chief! Your rabbit harvesting method sounds like how I try to do beets.
Weekly homestead post – can I steal that idea? It might get me off my butt both blogging and getting more s#!t done around the place. So discouraging when it is freaking _snowing_ two days in a row. I’m nurturing a gift of sourdough starter by making refrigerator biscuits. And 7 turkeys hatched this week! Glad you are back in the saddle around here.
Steal away! Post back here if you do with a link. Remember when blogging was like that? I’m trying to turn back the clock a bit.
Here it is, better late than never http://www.anntorrence.com/blog/2017/05/homestead-log-week-of-may-15-22.html
Put in a 1/2 pork order from a gal on the Eastside.
I think I’ve found a solution to keeping edges of garden areas tidy without have to constantly weed-whacked. I’m cutting out a few more inches of grass and undersowing with Dutch white clover. I can now right over that edge and everything seems to stay happy.
Made a wild-crafted lemon balm
/ spruce / yarrow soda. Made yogurt for the first time…had no idea it was that easy.
Started the arduous task of mowing / bringing the yard to heel.
Arduous task of bringing the yard to heel! Yes – my last 2 months. 😀
Kristina M says
Transplanted 1 tomato and zucchini. Remaining tomato seedlings are still tiny so waiting to put them in.
A few handfuls of arugula, mint, and oregano. Drying the herbs and freezing the greens. Saw the first flowers on the pea plants!
Husband inspected and treated the bees for mites. As they’re living in a coworker’s yard and I have a weird work schedule, I have yet to meet them. Maybe the next inspection!
Kitchen not much. I made rhubarb curd a few weeks ago which was good enough to convince me to add rhubarb to our future-home-garden list! A few sewing projects are languishing. But my knitting is flying by while I binge watch Arrested Development.
Drove to my current gig almost every day this week, mostly using rain as an excuse for it not being the most fun route to take. It’s sunny this week, so no more excuses!
I would like to know what the dark thing near the cheese and olives on the Rich People Plate is please? Also the creamy thing in the dish near the onions, fish, and barley on the Poor People Plate. I love the way the two meals are being presented, btw. 🙂
I think I’ll give this a shot, at least for this week: https://birchtreemaiden.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/may-long-weekend-in-the-garden-a-productive-home-post-punkdomestic-productivehome/
Walnut-date bread and lard, respectively. Apparently the rich got olive oil and and honey for their yummy yeasted wheat bread and the poor got a shmear of lard and some dilute vinegar to make their not-very-nice, hard, flat-ish barley bread more palatable.
Garden:Planted about half of what I needed to.
Animals: just the dog and some mealworms, not too much to do there!
Food:Had jelly beans for dinner one night, not very gastronomic.
Progress towards goals:Found a house we want to go see on a small island, near a big one. Going to see it on Friday.
Finances: Continued listing things on ebay and etsy, Sourced a couple of things that should make decent money. Not much sales. Boo,
Family: Continue to be very fed up with step daughter not paying any of her bills. Very much enjoying watching husband expand into being more himself as our break for the coast gets closer.
Projects: Resorted the ebay “to list” pile so the most valuable things are at the front.
Garden maintenance: pulled weeds and some week seedlings from raised beds. Mulched tomato beds with leftover straw from the coop bedding and trimmed the lower leaves and shoots from the tomato plants.
Harvested: just mint and eggs this week, plus 3cups of dandelion heads from a local schoolyard.
Frugal efforts: made lemon curd to use up extra yolks, tried dandelion jelly recipe (it’s not bad by insanely tedious!), cooked up from dried black beans.
Nicole A. says
* Squash. All the squash.
* Random potatoes that were sprouting–we’ll see if they do anything
* Garlic and shallots I found 1/2 off at the local Lowes
* weeded out buttercup out of hugel to get it ready to plant antiquated squash seeds
* Continued mulching the other potato bed
* Mowed the lawn, with a push reel mower. That counts as a project, right?
* Got five new Golden 300 ducks. Am still trying to get them to go into their house every night with the other ducks. Stop hiding in the salmonberries, you ducks, you!
* I have preschooler and a 6 month old. Started teaching preschooler Spanish words. As always, singing and rhyming with the preschooler and answering all his questions. Spending a lot of time listening and responding to the 6 month old jabber, giving her things that sound like the sounds she’s making.
Thanks for getting me writing this all down. I like seeing all that we’re doing!
Still waiting for the all clear on my broken arm to actually do much (I tripped over the dog 8 weeks ago and cracked the head of the radius bone right at the elbow joint). The good news is I’m basically pain free at this point (and yes, its normal for a radial head fracture to hurt well into the 6th week post injury!), but I still don’t have full range of motion back yet, and untill I get the all clear I’m not allowed to lift more than 5lbs with that arm. Since its my right arm, and I’m right handed, it’s severely curtailing my yard and garden work.
I hope to get the rest of the seedlings into the garden beds today, our average last frost is May 15th, and it looks like mother nature is going to go with that this year, so I’ve been slowly working the seedlings out. Nothing to harvest yet (though the rhubarb looks good!), but I didn’t get all the rattail radishes picked last year and now I’m finding baby radish sprouts all over the garden…..oooops…..
We had to order new parts for our 7yr old weed-whacker (Cub Cadet has awesome customer service, there’s a reason I’m willing to spend the money on them), and they arrived this week, so hopefully my husband can finish clearing around the garden beds for me today.
Tara Verburg says
Can you write, complain, bitch and/or advise more on how to recover from this late spring start in the garden? Last year this time, I was already harvesting snow peas – this year, vines are just 10 inches long!
Since I believe in starting plants from seeds. I did, but now I feel like a fool. My seeds are starting to sprout – do I wait patiently – or run out an buy some starts and start over? Ugh.
Get your summer garden in asap if that’s an issue, using starts for tomatoes, peppers, etc. Don’t write off your peas, etc. They will grow rapidly as the days lengthen and it warms. Risks for peas is actually we go straight into high summer temps. If enation is an issue in your area be very diligent about aphid control. You still have time to direct seed cucumbers, squash, beans, etc. But get on it! 😀
If it stays cool, broccoli and cabbage will do great, even if just germinating now or in past few weeks. I have a feeling it’s going to surprise us and be pretty hot, actually, but that’s just a guess. Personally I more or less skipped the spring garden and went all-in on summer crops.
Jeanie Boawn says
Your post inspired me to write a post (https://blackcloudreflections.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/new-holiday-sunny-seattle-day/) for my blog this afternoon about our work outside today. Didn’t list out everything we did this week, since part of it we spent out at Cannon Beach (i.e., being lazy), but really enjoy the idea of keeping track of our efforts this way. I spent much of last year not writing or gardening as much as I would have liked, so it’s been good to get back to doing both this year. I hope you’re finding the same, I really enjoy your writing and learn so much from all the things you share.
Congrats to your daughter on her project, that was cool. The rich folks had tastier looking meals but probably the poor folk were pretty healthy with that diet. Love your idea of logging what homestead stuff you got done and thank you for inspiring us to do it too! In my suburban paradise this week I got a lot of the summer garden planted, got most of the transplants in the ground, re-arranged two flower beds to move roses and irises. Added healthy amounts of compost all around after our passive-compost pile got moved (btw, what’s up with worms disliking the skins of avocados?) and adding real-estate-hogging squash to all the flower beds as an experiment. Harvested rhubarb, lemon balm, mint, dill, radishes, lettuce, green garlic and green onions. Also harvested lilacs and lily of the valley because….flowers! Animals? We only have indoor cats and an outdoor feral colony so they all just got the usual feeding, loving, respecting. Finances and frugality- tested some of the 2-yr old apple wine instead of buying an easy bottle at the store. (It still needs aging!) Shared raspberry canes with a co-worker and made sure to use a plastic bag for the transfer so I could keep the useful 5-gallon bucket they were carried in for more garden work. A few years ago I’d just have given him the canes plus bucket but I’m trying to be more mindful of expenses. Projects: Pressure canning dried beans. I’m a newbie so there is a huge learning curve here but so much fun! No homeschooling–my kids are grown and flown. Researched: pressure canning recipes and techniques! Hope you have a great week, Erica!
Tilled new corn/pumpkin patch
Weeded side-yard flowers
Built scarecrow (Fred)
Nancy Sutton says
So glad you’re on this!! especially the mason bee DIY… that is a great idea! (I’ve had hilarious fun trying to drill loooong holes into scrap wood… it was getting them straight that was the challenge 😉 (now that I think about it… the bees probably didn’t care if they were straight, lol) Months ago, I started making a daily DONE list, so I didn’t end up exhausted, and unable to remember the dozen tasks that got me there. Now I feel very productive 🙂 But I also asterisk TO DO jobs, and NOTES for solutions, what didn’t work, etc 🙂 This is just a dated quick-and-dirty list that I keep in one email, saved in Drafts – and searchable for NOTES, etc.