Summer already! The arrival of summer at The Homestead was marked by the changing of the salad. Goodbye 2016 potato salad and hello fresh garden salad! Much has happened since we returned from Cuba and before more time gets away from us here are the highlights of the last few months.
After being home for a few days we were joined by four beautiful Galloway heifers. The sheep were wary of their bovine pen mates for a few days but soon were sharing hay bales.
Inspired by the year-round abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in Cuba, we brainstormed ways to produce greens year round. A friend and inspiration of ours who runs Sunrise Organic Gardens graciously toured us around her operation and answered our seemingly never ending questions.
A couple weeks later and we had pea, sunflower, and radish shoots at The Homestead booth at the Grande Prairie Farmers market. Soon after that, we were offered a permanent booth.
The first ever animals born on The Homestead were a set of triplets, followed by twins, then more twins, then twins again, and a few singles in between. In a span of two weeks, there were eleven lambs bounding around The Homestead.
In the three days between the thawing of the ground and the almost daily rains that followed, we managed to work the garden and get it seeded.
The planting bug wasn’t quite out of our system so we also planted three varieties of apple trees and three varieties of cherry trees. The deliberations on where to plant the trees took about ten times longer that it did to actually plant them.
In anticipation of even more additions to the farm, we towed home an old school bus and began converting it into a chicken coop. Like most of our projects, this ‘weekend job’ quickly morphed into two weeks and it was finally ready for the chicks the night before they arrived.
The Homestead grew by leaps and bounds in the month of June. Chicks! More cows! A puppy! Bees!
The chicken bus (we’re looking for name suggestions) was ready the day before the 150 newly hatched chicks arrived.
A couple days later two more Galloway cows and their calves joined the herd. Just in case a walk around The Homestead wasn’t cute enough with the lambs, chicks, and calves, we added a puppy to the mix. His name is Knute and he is a Maremma and Caucasian Shephard cross but look like a ball of fluff.
On a sad note, none of our three colonies of honey bees made it through the winter. The early snow and large temperature fluctuations were too taxing and the last colony survived to the end of March. We purchased two nucs of Russian descent that are known for their hardiness. I’ve missed having bees around and it is refreshing to see them flying again.
Happy Canada Day to all of the friends of The Homestead! We’re going to spend the afternoon canoeing down the Wapiti River.