March 2023 Homestead Update

And just like that, it’s March. Whew!

Things have picked up quickly around here, a lot of it due to the unusually warm weather we’ve had since the end of February, and the fact that March marks when I ease back into farmer’s markets every other week. So, what have we been up to?

Chicken Tractor

Most notably, we finally got a new chicken tractor up and running! (Literally, I finished it yesterday.) Our friend and neighbor who helped build our coop and Tractor 1.0 helped us once again with a lighter, more flexible, just all around better model of tractor for our hilly, grassy yard.

This one is made of cedar, bamboo, and bits and bobs of construction scraps (hello, metal closet sliders!), as well as the old standbys of chicken wire, galvanized fencing, and bird netting. It has perches and “shelves” for roosting and setting their feeders and water, which means less chicken poop getting in, y’know, waterers and feeders.

I still need to add a heavy-duty tarp to the top to give the chickens some shade on hot days, but right now, we and the ladies are super happy with this new setup. Cluck cluck!

Seed Starting and Spring Crops

Of course, we’ve started some seeds: parsley, dill, basil, and cilantro so far, as well as moonflowers. And I managed to get lettuce, arugula, and radishes in the ground and in planters on the porch. I’m planning to get tomatoes, peppers, and a few other summer crops started indoors by the end of this weekend, and perhaps get some snow peas and kale out in the front plot if the weather doesn’t get too ugly.

What’s most exciting is that Toddler Homesteader has been helping to plant seeds – she pokes the holes in the dirt (“poke poke!”) and sprinkles seeds in the prepared ground and planters. She gets very excited to see what’s growing, especially the moonflowers (“moo-flows”), which are starting to take over my grow setup. It’s kind of my dream come true with this little nugget.

Sheet Mulching

The weird early warm weather got me ordering my mulch nice and early (really, at the time I’m supposed to every year, in February), so we’re getting large swaths of the yard sheet mulched before planting season, yay! I spent a morning last week sheet mulching about 100 square feet of the garden bed, and we’re hoping to do a good deal more with the moving boxes my parents graciously saved for us to do so (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

(Did you forget what sheet mulching was? Don’t worry – I have a post all about it!)

Some Pretty Things Growing in the Yard

I can’t control the weather or climate weirding, so I choose to enjoy the beauty that is currently abound on the property.

That’s all for now, folks. Happy homesteading!

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