I originally thought starting a homesteading blog in autumn was going to be tough. After all, the year is winding down, and having just moved with no gardens established it’s not like we could post about harvests or anything of the like. I’ve come to realize I was wrong. Well, only partly wrong. Autumn IS a tough time to get a homesteading blog going, but not from lack of blog topic material. It’s been quite the opposite, actually. I’ve been so busy working on homesteading I haven’t had a minute to even think about the blog! I’m serious; the threat of winter coming is all too real here. We’ve got so much to finish before the snow flies that pretty much every last free moment is spent working outside. And of course there’s only so much daylight left out these days to do it in!
However, the biggest change was actually an INSIDE project. We’ve put lights in the barn! Let me tell you, it is life changing. Having to go out early to feed everybody when it’s too dark to see is enough to make this homesteader rethink all his ambitions. Being able to flip a light switch rather than fumble around by the light of my cell phone while trying not to accidentally drop it from my full hands into the duck’s water bucket changes everything. This project was a big thank you to my father-in-law, who is an electrical engineer and let me ‘apprentice.’
Also done is the fencing. The posts were up for about a week and everything sat there without the woven wire. I couldn’t bring myself to buy a fence puller to actually get the woven wire up. In trying to simplify, we’ve been trying to limit the number of single use gadgets that we have – especially $60 ones! Yes, more fencing is in our future, so $60 isn’t much amortized over time. Still, for what amounts to a board and some bolts, it’s a lot. Then, while in the hardware store my father-in-law suggested these:
I got these 4 straps for $12! They can be used for more than 1 thing, and they worked out wonderfully when afixed to a RAV4. With that, the fencing project was over.
The ducks are now outside during the day and consuming less feed due to being able to dine on grasses and such outdoors. As an unexpected side bonus of them being outside during the day, we don’t have to change their bedding as frequently. A time AND money saver!
We’ve been picking broadleaf plants for them to eat and bringing it to their pen so that they don’t deplete all the plant growth in there. In addition, the boys’ jack-o-lanterns from Halloween were put to good use:
The ducks LOVED it. I’m considering going door to door on November 1st next year, offering to dispose of my neighbors’ softening jack-o-lanterns for them. Anything to cut down on the feed bill!
With the fencing up, the barn lit and dead trees and branches felled, we’re well on our way to being ready for winter. The list is still a mile long. The lawn is way overgrown and covered in leaves, and we have blueberry bushes needing transplanting. We’ve already had snow flurries around here while I was digging fence post holes, which reminds me that time is running short. With a full time job, homesteading really only has opportunities for a few hours a day at most.
I’m looking forward to winter, which should be a quiet season with little to do aside from feed and water animals. Then again, that’s what I thought autumn would be like!