On this episode of Homesteady, Aunt, Kendra, and the family update us on the changes on the farm throughout 2017.
A year ago, Aust and Kendra were going to sell the farm and go on a road trip. Instead, they have had the most productive year on the homestead yet! They updated with major infrastructure improvements and even got a cow (check out our family cow episode here– you may be convinced to get one a well.) What happened? With small children who don’t travel well, and a re-discovered appreciation for their home in Connecticut, Aust and Kendra decided staying at their current homestead was the best choice.
Kendra set a goal for the homestead to be NEAT and ORDERLY. 2017 was the year of form and function. Every change, every innovation, had a purpose.
Improving the infrastructure on the farm was the number one priority. Our YouTube Video shows the giant machine that made a road to the barn in just one day! An improved, more accessible barn opens many possibilities for Aust and Kendra, and increased efficiency for all barn related tasks.
Have a new barn? How about getting pigs earlier, as they can be easily cared for and sheltered in the new barn? Aust and Kendra were able to buy their pigs in April, a whole month earlier than they usually do. The combination of an early start, mild weather, and Stone House Grain led to pigs that were 100 pounds heavier than their previous heaviest batch of pigs. Heavier pigs allowed Aust and Kendra to create more flavors of bacon and sausages with their pigs.
Who doesn’t like sausages?
This year, the farm raised 50 Cornish Cross and 25 Ranger Chickens, plus seventeen new egg layers. This was the first year of raising two different types of chickens, and Just was very impressed with the rangers. Pro Tip from Kendra: Keep the two breeds separate, as the rangers were found to be aggressive towards the Cornish Cross!
Raising turkeys seemed like an excellent idea for the oldest Martin child to expand his existing egg selling farm business. However, a shipment of turkeys arrived in very poor health. The two surviving turkeys imprinted on the family as their own flock. With some adventures in turkey behavior notwithstanding, the turkeys have survived the holiday season (so far). Stay tuned…
Raising ducks is something that has been done on the homestead before. However, during the at-home butchering process, a few things went awry…
SHOUT OUT TO NATHAN: In 2016, Nathan let us know that he had an allergy to duck eggs. Aust does too, and was able to recognize the symptoms thanks to his letter.
Between the egg allergy and not wanting to butcher ducks on the homestead, ducks are going to be a “decoration animal” on the farm from this point forward.
The biggest adventure? Dairy Cows! Kendra shares her journey exploring which cow is best, taking care of a cow, and birthing her first calf. Spoiler Alert: A cow is EASIER than goats.
Throughout this episode, we refer to many of our past podcasts and YouTube videos. You can find all of our past episodes here, and search through all of our YouTube Videos and subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any updates.
The Biggest Update of all: Aust is going to be doing Homesteady FULL TIME. This means more of everything: videos, classes, and bonus podcasts.
Plus: We will be opening a new Homesteady Pioneers Forum. Want a sneak peak? Email us at Aust@thisishomesteady.com if you’d like to be a tester.
Wait, are you not yet a Pioneer? For $5 a month YOU can be a homsteady pioneer. You get bonus episodes of the podcast through the Pioneer Library, plus access to our new “one click” feature that will allow you to download 20 episodes of Homesteady WITH JUST ONE CLICK.
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2018 promises to be an exciting year. Stay Tuned!