Been a long time since I did one of these. Have some awesome progress pictures of the garden, greenhouse, and a few other projects. For once, there’s only one actual live goat… Y’all got plenty of those pictures earlier.
Let’s start with one you haven’t seen in a while. Studio parrot- that would be Cora- says SQUAWKHELLOSQUAWK!! She’s learned a few new words recently, like ‘scared’ ‘OK’ ‘outside’ and ‘water’ and she uses them appropriately. But she still bites like a fiend.
Eve doesn’t know I’m using this picture. Really I just want to prove that she does do things other than looming or glaring. She also sheds all over the (ugly) rug!
Just outside the studio is my current project. This is the skeleton of what’s going to be a solar dehydrator. I’ll keep you posted.
Next outside, I finally got my hide stretching racks all in one place, with all of the tools gathered, and a good fleshing board ready. There are two hides in the freezer right now waiting for some dry air for me to start working on them. It could be a while.
Here’s the first hide I ever tanned, since I never bothered to share it before. It has a decent texture but the hair is already slipping. I didn’t get it dry fast enough. It’s a learning experience. This hide, being my first, is not for sale.
Here, for comparison, is the second hide I ever tried. Both hides were salted, stretched, brain tanned, and smoked by hand. The top hide did not get thinned enough and is too thick and stiff to be good for anything but a decoration. It’s very handsome fur, though.
For real though- look how thick this fur is. And it’s holding rock solid. I could possibly be convinced to sell this hide, for the fur quality even if the leather is too stiff.
At the top of the hill along the fence you’ll see the very raggedly mowed lane. I never mowed anything with a scythe before. I have some interesting new blisters, but the tool is AMAZING. Harder to keep sharp than it is to swing. The second patch looked better than the first, so I can’t complain. Just keep swinging.
87 bales of hay in the hay hut. No, I didn’t do that with a scythe. I’d be dead. It’s not enough to get through the whole winter, but it’s a very satisfying start to the hay season.
Returning to the chicken house, you’ll see a couple of Owl Hill hens hard at work making my breakfast. Yes, that used to be a bookcase. Now it’s nesting boxes.
Speaking of things that used to be something else, take a look in the greenhouse. It’s finally functional. Yes, those tables used to be pallets. Some of those tables came out of an old bar that went under, and they’re definitely sturdy enough to dance on. Or hold heavy pots of dirt and plants.
Speaking of plants, the spider plant babies that I potted for sale earlier this season are starting to make babies of their own!
We have indoor tomatoes…
And outdoor tomatoes!
The outdoor tomatoes look more like a tomato jungle. Crushed eggshells and composted chicken manure. Seriously. That’s all there is to it.
Every plant in this picture is edible. Beet tops and nasturtium blossoms are delicious in salad.
Marigolds are definitely helping keep the bugs away (and the pesticides unused!) from the carrot bed.
Echinacea is a favorite of bees and butterflies. I haven’t seen too many honey bees this season, but the whole herb bed is swarming with mason bees and at least three types of butterfly.
I never take all of the flowers at once. The bees need them, and I depend on them to re-seed themselves each year. I’ll dehydrate these and grind them up with rose hips and orange peel for the best tasting cold tonic you ever tried.
Grinder says come and visit! He’s all done with his winter coat and looking much sleeker than this picture now, thankyouverymuch!