So, I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what it’s like to run a homestead.
Whooo Boy… is that a story…
It turns out a lot of my homesteader friends have been getting the same questions, so we decided to put together a series called, “A Day in the Life…” showing the reality of farming and homesteading from our own perspectives.
It just so happens that our everyday life may be a bit more interesting than we thought it to be, so we decided to put it out there in internet land for the entire world to see, and maybe learn a thing or two.
Here is my life, take it as you will.
Drag my butt out of bed and shuffle straight for the coffee pot.
I can’t even function without caffeine in my system, so I spend the next five minutes blearily staring at the coffee pot, willing it to go faster.
I need to bake a loaf of bread today, so I will my tired arms to mix together some water, yeast, and honey to get the dough started. I’m so glad that the yeast needs some time to proof because my brain needs some time to proof as well…
With a mug of fresh, steaming coffee in hand, I check up on ImaginAcres and Backyard Chicken Project websites, shoot some emails, and hop on social media for a bit.
I scan through Facebook and put up a few posts while responding to reader inquiries. Hopping onto Pinterest for a bit to drool over delectable dishes and fun projects helps me to wake up and get started on the day.
At this point the yeast I started proofing is nice and foamy and ready to be turned to dough. I mix in some flour and a bit of salt and knead it for about ten minutes, all the while reminding myself thoroughly that kneading dough is great exercise for the arms.
The finished dough is set into a bowl to make it’s first gallant rise of the day.
((Our coffee pot is a Le Creuset Stoneware French Press and we LOVE it!))
With a whole french press of coffee in my system, it’s time to really get started on the day. I feed and water Dolly the Angora rabbit, making promises that she’ll be allowed out to get some exercise later in the day.
I give similar promises to the eager chickens when they receive their feed, along with some leftover rice and beans from the fridge. Next I check the nesting boxes for fresh egg and find three new ones! The chickens have been busy!
I spend a few minutes washing the dishes in the sink and toss a load of laundry into the machine. The cleaning, it’s never ending…
On the way to my home office I notice the ten window boxes in our sunroom are plentifully growing lettuce, arugula, spinach, and parsley, but they’re mighty thirsty. I spend some time watering them and thinning out the lettuce. The thinned microgreens make a great mid morning snack, which I happily munch on while feeding the dog, cat, and fish in our aquafarm.
I gather up my foraging basket, bottles of water, and hiking boots and toss everything into the car along with Nico for our daily trip to the park.
An hour flies by while foraging for berries, greens, and roots while Nico chases squirrels and runs out all her herding dog energy. Living in the city can be tough on a high energy dog, so these park trips are essential for her health and happiness.
Nico carries her own water supply on the trip in her Doggie Backpack, leaving room in my foraging basket for the dandelion leaves, raspberries, and mushrooms.
We return home with the goods. I let Dolly out to run the yard for a few hours, she has a lot of pent-up energy and takes off across the grass as soon as I put her down.
While she’s out I empty her cage into the compost bin and fill it with fresh pine shavings. While the compost box is open I realize it really should get turned over, so I grab our trusty pitchfork and get to work flipping and turning until it’s sufficiently mixed.
I also check on the garden and see that a lot of crops are ready for harvest. I gather handfulls of lettuce, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and herbs for lunch and dinner.
There’s really nothing better than grocery shopping in your own backyard!
The bread dough has sufficiently doubled in size, so it’s knocked down, kneaded, and set into bread pans to rise again.
I put together a nice lunch featuring today’s findings; a large homegrown salad with cultivated and foraged greens, radishes, tomatoes, and berries. A few farm fresh eggs are boiled to go on top.
No salad is complete without dressing, so I step outside to harvest chives, parsley, and basil to toss with balsamic and olive oil for a tasty salad topper.
It’s time to gear up for a few hours in the garden.The mosquitos are brutal due to the wet weather, so long sleeves are essential to this operation, even though it’s 90 degrees outside.
I tackle the weeds first in all five raised beds as well as the raised herb planter. After a week of non-stop rain, they’re practically taking over the spaces. After weeding I lay down some fresh mulch in the gardens and take some time to re-rake the mulch bordering the yard.
The chickens love to kick it into the grass, and I can see them eyeing my motions from their chicken run, plotting to put the mulch back where it belongs just as soon as they’re let free.
At this point I remember the bread dough rising away inside and get to it just in time. It gets popped into the oven to bake for the next 45 minutes and I go back outside to finish garden chores.
Next I drag the hose out to the front yard to water the front garden as well as the hops and pepper plants growing in large containers around the front porch. The hops are getting a little wiley and need to be re-directed to their lines.
All this action reminds me that I also need to water all the gardens and containers in the backyard. I lay down a soaker hose in the largest garden and attack all the other beds with water and fertilizer.
At this point the bread is done and the house smells heavenly. I take it out to cool and then mentally prepare myself for the rabbit chasing that’s about to commence.
I chase Dolly all over the backyard for ten minutes until I finally catch her to put her back inside. She was very much enjoying the beautiful weather, but it’s time to swap the yard with the chickens.
Once I get her situated in her nice clean hutch, I open the door to the chicken run, only to be absolutely bowled over by anxious birds. They dart this way and that, trying to decide if they want to spend their time taking a dust bath, or eating weeds, or chasing bugs, or plotting new ways to get into the fenced garden.
While the chickens roam the yard I take the opportunity to get some new photos for the blog. The babies are growing more and more every day, and it turns out they’re not so adorable when they get into trouble as they were six weeks ago!
Nico stays outside with the chickens while I go in to upload my photos and get to work on the computer.
Time to get to work on blogging! I spend the next three hours writing and editing posts for both websites, editing images, and interacting with my lovely followers on social media.
I also spend some time writing and editing my newest book, Patio Raptors, due out in Fall of 2015. It’s been a long time coming and every day with our flock of insane barnyard fowl adds another chapter to the never-ending list of things a new urban chicken keeper needs to know.
I work with my darling husband to put together a delicious dinner which we enjoy while watching a movie on the couch. I spend the rest of the evening knitting, hoping to finish the foot of my new muk luks so I can begin the leg tomorrow.
Bedtime, and much needed too. I’ll be getting up early to do it all again tomorrow!
Just cause I’m going to bed doesn’t mean you have to!
Check out what my homesteading friends have been up to today, I promise it will be entertaining and informative!
A Day in the Life by Ashley of Whistle Pig Hollow
On The Farm: A Peek Into Our Life by Ashley of The Browning Homestead
The Answer to “And what did YOU do today?” by Chris of Joybilee Farm
A Day in the Life of an Urban Homesteader by Connie of Urban Overalls
A Day in My Shoes by Emilie of The Toups Address
Homesteading Rhythm with Little Kids & A Bump by Isis of Little Mountain Haven
Homestead Truths, Minus the Sugarcoating by Janet of Timber Creek Farm
A Day of Homestead Living by Jessica of The 104 Homestead
A Day in the Life of a Homesteader by Katie of Livin Lovin Farmin
A Typical Day of Homesteading by Laurie of Common Sense Homesteading
It’s Not About The Work by Leona of My Healthy Green Family
Life, Unfiltered by Melissa of Ever Growing Farm
A Day in the Life of a Homestead by Quinn of Reformation Acres
A Day on Acorn Hill Homestead by Teri of Homestead Honey