Hello, all! It’s time again for a January homestead update – what are we up to this year?
We have fewer overall tasks and additions this year, since we did so much in past years, so it’ll be nice to focus on cultivating what we have rather than adding new perennials and animals. This will also give us a chance to install a few things we’ve had on our list for three years running.
Bat Boxes, Hoop Houses, and Mushroom Logs
I mean, the heading pretty much says it all – we’re getting these danged things installed this year. My birthday is coming up, and the only thing I want is a hoop house. I’ll even settle for a cold-weather cloche.
The bat box, like last year, is still sitting in our laundry room, just waiting to be installed. Mushroom logs are at the bottom of the list, but are not difficult to start, so here’s hoping we get to them!
So far, we’re good with our eight ladies, who are giving us lots of eggs this winter. My two goals with our feathered friends are:
- Eradicate chicken mites to at least a reasonable level, if not completely
- Built the chickens a new, lighter tractor
These two items go hand in hand, as we need a separate movable coop pushed fairly far away from the big coop for several weeks in order to eradicate mites. Our other tractor, as you may recall, broke late last year, at a level that we may repair it as a stationary second coop. However, as it was very heavy and difficult to move uphill and throughout the property, I’m looking forward to a lighter version to move our ladies to new boundaries (i.e. the front yard).
Plants and Planting
Ah, the fun part! We’re not as detailed this year as in past years about locations in the vegetable plot itself, as we plan to test our soil and see what needs amending, where, and what plants would do best in which spots based on the test results. We’ll have a good deal of maintaining perennials as well as starting and planting annuals. We’re planning for the following items:
- Strawberries (if the chickens haven’t completely destroyed my strawberry bed, ugh)
- Cantaloupes (one more time, dangit)
- Tomatoes (Cherokee purple, Mr. Stripey, and San Marzano. We’ll likely have a cherry tomato on the porch again, if Toddler Homesteader doesn’t steal every. Single. One. Again this year)
- Sweet Peppers (California Wonder, Aji Dulce, banana, and Corno di Torro Rossi)
- Hot Peppers (poblano, habanero, and jalapeno)
- Corn (Golden Bantam 8-Row)
- Cucumbers (Marketmore 76 and Arkansas Little Leaf)
- Okra (Mr. Bill’s Big, Clemson Spineless, leftover seeds from last year’s Utopian Seed Project experiment, and probably another one or two varieties)
- Candy roaster melon (I finally got them on time!)
- Spaghetti Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Bush beans (Provider)
- Pole Beans (Fatman)
- Snow peas
- Lacinato (AKA DINOSAUR) kale
- Mustard greens
- French breakfast radishes
- Black radishes
Flowers, Herbs, and Lettuces
- Sunflowers (Teddy Bear and Chocolate Cherry)
- Coleus (yay, finally!)
- White Daisies
- Arugula and Lettuce (Drunken Woman)
- Basil (Genovese and Thai)
- Scarborough Fair (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme)
As usual, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, which I’ll edit in later. I’m pretty excited to start seeds with Toddler Homesteader, and have her learn about how plants grow, as well as have her help plant more seeds this year, yay!
Husband will continue meadmaking and experimenting, as he enjoyed it so much last year, and I’m happy to let him be in charge of it. I’m hoping to get back into more cheesemaking, since I’m getting the hang of life with a toddler, as well as getting more time in general with sending her to preschool a few days a week.
And, of course, as announced in the last post, I’m super stoked to get baking classes going, as well as some possible mixed baking/homesteading classes around the homestead itself. Woohoo!
Other than that, we’ll be living our crazy homesteading life out here, and looking forward to hanging up laundry regularly again in the coming warmer months. Until next time, happy homesteading!
Fingers crossed your strawberries will be spared. We pulled ours out this month so we can sow some new varieties from seed