Saturday, April 23, 2016

Around the homestead- April 2016

April is always a busy month for us. So busy that sometimes it seems to fly by so fast that i'm left wondering what i did all month!  This year has been no different, except that we've made some changes around the homestead so we can actually see all the progress we've made this April.

One of the things i'm most excited about is my new greenhouse!!  A greenhouse was on our 5 year plan, when we moved here 16 years ago.  We just never had the money for it, and so it wasn't a huge priority. i loved the idea of building our own, but Kenan didn't have the time and i didn't have the skills.  i bought a mini walk-in greenhouse last year, and it worked really well for me. However this year, a day after setting it up we have crazy winds come through and they pretty much destroyed it. All the pvc joints snapped, and the plastic around the zippers ripped.

So having a real greenhouse is a dream that has been a long time coming!   This one is quite large, 10 feet high and i think it's 10 x 12 inside. It has sliding glass doors, and vents at the top. i need to find some sort of screens to use over the vents and door, as one of the things i am most looking forward too is growing cucumber without those dreaded cucumber beetles!! We are planning to put raised beds inside and a garden bench in the back. i'd also like to get some wire shelving, so i can have a place to start seeds, but be able to remove/move the shelves as needed. 

This old shed was here when we bought the house 16 years ago. Kenan added on to it, to make the glass shop he used for almost 190 years, i think. The shed has been a horrible eyesore in the middle of the yard. At one time it was painted brown, but over time it faded to a rather sick shade of pink.  This photo was taken when during the process of taking the shed down. Kenan walked away for a minute and the chickens made themselves right at home! 

Down it came!  It was a little bittersweet, as this was the last remaining original structure from when we bought the property.  It was also Kenan's glass shop for most of his glass career.  He spent many long hours in that little shop.  Without it though, it really open up the yard and i can now look out and see the goat field, and the kids play area. So it's really nice to finally have it gone.  

Another reason for tearing it down is that we now have a new shed that is larger and nicer. The main part of the shed has a loft for storing hay, and we can keep all of our animal feed, gardening supplies and extra fencing in it. On the end is a run-in for the goats. Their is a wooden platform on one side for my milk stand and a dirt floor on the other side. We are working on connecting the run-in to the goat field, so we'll have a second smaller fence area for mama/baby goats, when that time comes.

Delilah approves of the new run-in. :)  Once it's fenced in, this can be used as a dog kennel for when we are gone for the weekend. i currently have an injured hen hanging out in it. It's a good way to separate her from the flock, without having to bring her inside the house.

So things are moving along. i have quite a few seeds started in my new greenhouse, and this weekend we are working on building the raised beds. i'm hoping to grow a few cucumbers, tomatoes and squash inside the greenhouse this summer. My cucumber and squash are typically attacked by insects and my tomatoes are always plagued by disease, so i'm really hoping to avoid some of that this year.

Spring is my favorite time of year, so much hope and possibilities! The flowers and butterflies have returned, and seedlings are beginning to pop up in the garden.  i'm really looking forward to a productive garden season and truly believe that this will be a good year!


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