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Long over due update! We added livestock (and poultry)!

It is hard to believe I am so far behind on my blog posts.Spring is a busy time on the homestead, especially a first spring!Two and a half inches of rain last night in about a two hour period has given me some time this morning to write as it is too wet to get much done!So much has happened in the last two months, I will probably on touch on most of it in an attempt keep this post readable! First, we lost our bee hive from last year, the bees ate the stores in the middle of the hive, all the way to the top, but did not eat the outermost combs.From the looks of it they ended up starving themselves out because they moved too far from the edges for them to reach them with the cold weather.We were able to salvage about 15 lbs of honey and a pound or so of wax out of the dead hive. We also managed to harvest a couple containers of virgin honey comb.


I left quite a bit of the empty comb in the hive in order to help this next batch of bees get started.We did restock the hive along with a sec…
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We Have Kinders!!

A little more than two weeks ago I took off my Army uniform for the last time, loaded into a car and headed back to Mn for the last trip of my military career. The ride home was an adventure in itself to say the least. First, we stopped at the Double B Café in Beloit, Wisconsin, this is a small farm café, that is owned by Ms Barbara Beeler, whom we will be purchasing a cow/calf pair of belted Galloway from.Since it was a Friday during lent Terri had an omelet and I had blue berry pancakes for a late lunch.They were delicious!We also tried their “duck butt” blue berry muffins, it is basically a blue berry muffin made with duck eggs.I am starting to see what the big deal is about duck eggs in baking, they were delicious and very moist!We also got to see Candy and Evie, our cow/calf pair.Evie is a little fire ball! I cannot wait for them to get here!After that, we headed about an hour and a half north east of there, to pick up three additional passengers, three 13-month-old Kinder Goats…

Applying for a Grant, Kinders, a Web Page and Bee Poop

It is hard to believe that I am now less than 3 weeks away from signing out of a military installation for the last time and going to the farm live full time. Things have been pretty busy since the last post, I did make it home for a weekend, but the weather was still to bad to do much outside with too much snow on the ground.On a good note I did got a lot of my woodworking and pen supplies organized and set up while I was home and we got the Saltwater Aquarium stocked with some fish and invertebrates, still 6 months to a year out from coral however but after it being in storage for over 6 years it was nice to have it running again.
Most of the work on the farm lately has been behind the screens, working on a business plan and financials in order to apply for a grant from the Farmers Veteran Coalition (https://www.farmvetco.org/).We are applying for the grant to help pay for running electricity to the farm property, the cost of which will be about $4200.We need to get the electric o…

April is Gonna Suck, Embrace the Suck!!

Well this week’s blog is more a personal update then the last few have been.  It is about 7 weeks until I start my terminal leave from the Army, I will leave the Army for home for the last time on Good Friday and get home right before Easter.  The timing is not lost on me that my next chapter will start in full on Easter.  We started doing our taxes today and part of that was figuring out how much we have already put into the farm, not including property or the truck we are over $35K in and that does not even count most of the livestock which we will not have  or purchase until this year.  That is buying mostly second-hand equipment folks and I still have some major pieces to buy, farming ain’t cheap.
That being said, I am still confident this was the right move.  I ran into one of my former NCOs from when I was a detachment Sgt in Korea for lunch this week, he was one of three buck Sergeants I had, who basically made my job easy there (except they could not help me for the 2 AM phone …

Sourdough Fail, it Happens

I am trying to get better about posting my blog every week, it does get difficult at times as I am still in DC for the next 9 weeks or so before returning for good to the homestead.   Some of you have noticed there is more posts lately about things like baking, particularly sour dough bread baking rather than farming/planting/livestock stuff.  That is because that is something I can work on in DC while I wait, and it is skills that will transfer.  I have been working on sourdough bread lately as it is a cultured food, similar to cheese’s and yogurts (which I want to also work on) so it allows me get some of the basics down to dealing with live cultures and further reduces the need for commercial yeasts.
The plan for this weekend was to make a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread as well as a sour dough king cake.  I even bragged about doing it on Facebook before the fact.  Admittedly after last week’s success on the artesian sour dough bread I was probably a little too cocky with my sour d…

Anyone Can Make Sour Dough Bread without Yeast

Making my first sourdough bread




So, I have always been interested in trying to bake bread, but I have never had much luck with commercial yeast and getting my dough to rise.  Not sure if I would use water that was too hot or what, just never had much luck and it discouraged me from continuing on.  Then when surfing homesteading sites/blogs I kept on running into blogs about making a sourdough starter, it piqued my curiosity, so I started reading more on it.   Turns out there was a way to make bread without a commercial yeast!  As I am very much about self sufficiency and eventually want to culture my own yogurt and cottage cheese, this looked like an ideal place to start, learning to bake bread and gain some experience with cultured foods.  Making a sourdough starter is surprisingly easy but time consuming in that it takes about a week from start to finish.  While that sounds intimidating, the truth is it only takes a couple minutes a day.  A sour dough starter is basically made by har…