Hair Sheep

 

Animals on the Homestead: Hair Sheep

 

 
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Sheep are a great addition to the homestead.  They’re a small, docile animal that doesn’t require a lot of space and fattens up on grass. Sheep will follow you everywhere with a bucket.  And I mean everywhere.  Most people immediately think of fiber sheep, that tend to be high maintenance.  Have you ever considered getting hair sheep?

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Homestead Goal: Simplify

Goals on the homestead: SimplifyHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

At the beginning of every year we make goals that we like to accomplish for the coming year.  Projects to start or complete, financial goals, adding animals, selling animals and so forth.  This year we have a resounding theme: simplify.

When we started our farm, we wanted to try it all.  Do all the things!  Get all of the animals!  We knew we couldn’t do it all, but wanted to see what we did like.  We had experience with poultry, rabbits, dairy goats and gardening. We added pigs, sheep, cattle, dairy cows and meat goats to our farm.  In addition to the garden, we added an orchard.   Now that we’ve had these animals for a while, it’s time to look at which direction to go.  It’s time to simplify.

Wait, simplifying the simple life?

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NRCS High Tunnel

 

Get a free high tunnel with an NRCS grant

 

Homestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

One of our big summer projects this year was building a high tunnel.  A high tunnel has been on our want list since we moved to our farm in 2014. A high tunnel is essentially a large greenhouse in a hoop shape.  They come in all sizes, from small to very large.  There are some nice advantages to using a high tunnel, including controlling temperature, erosion and water.  In some areas of the US, winter gardening becomes possible, even with an unheated high tunnel.  The winter gardening is what we’re the most interested in.

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Electric fencing supplies

 supply list for temporary electric fencing

 

Homestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

On our farm, we practice rotational grazing while still getting our perimeter fencing fixed up. This means that we use a lot of electric fence.   We have purchased a lot of movable fence posts, poly wire and reels and have found that they are not all created equally.  If you’re getting started with electric fencing, it’s good to know what do you really need and what works. Here is the supply list of what you need to get started  and our top picks of what we use.

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Woodchucks in garden

How to get rid of woodchucks in the garden

 
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Woodchucks are very destructive to a garden and very frustrating to a gardener.  A woodchuck moved into my garden in last year and I have been trying to reclaim my garden as my own ever since.  I was starting to think that I should just abandon the garden and start over in a new location.  Finally with the help of some experienced neighbors and persistence, I have reclaimed my garden.

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Fall Garden Tips

Tips for a successful fall garden

 

Homestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

At the end of this post is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss; winning some seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds! 

Fall is my favorite season.  It’s no longer blazing hot and the leaves turn into their magical colors.  Have you ever considered growing a fall garden?  The temperatures are more moderate, most of the problematic bugs have gone and a lot of greens thrive in the cooler temperatures.  What’s not to love about that?

Starting your cool weather crops in the summer, whether transplanting seedlings started indoors or direct sowing, can be a challenge.  Some crops need to be started when the sun is still hot.  Those tender seedlings can wither in a hurry if not cared for and protected.

The effort of protecting your seedlings is well worth it!  A lot of cool weather crops taste so much better with the cool temperatures.  Plus going out and picking your own salad in October or November never gets old.  You don’t need a greenhouse to keep your garden going well into late fall. 

Baker Creek Fall Garden seed giveaway

 

What can you do to protect your fall garden?

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Grow Sweet Potatoes

Trick to growing sweet potatoes

Homestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to grow in the garden.  Once planted, they are low maintenance until it’s time to harvest them. Their vines and flowers are beautiful!  But there is a trick to having more than just beautiful vines and flowers. 

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Milk Kefir

All about Dairy Kefir

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Milk kefir is a fermented milk drink that is usually made with goat’s milk or cow’s milk that is incredibly good for you.  The best way to describe milk kefir is that it’s kind of like a drinkable yogurt, it tastes tangy and a little sour. It is much easier to make than yogurt. Homemade yogurt and kefir are staples in our kitchen, I make them on a weekly basis.

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Guinea Fowl

Guineas on the homestead

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Guinea fowl have a reputation for being loud and going where ever they feel like.   Rightly so, they are constantly making noise and refuse to go into the coop at night.  Despite that, guineas are an essential animal to have on your farm or homestead.  If Guineas are kept right by your house, their noise may be a problem.  We have a large property, so our barn is within walking distance from the house, but not right by the house.  We hear their noise in the distance, but it is just another barn yard noise.  Roosters crowing, cows bellowing and guineas calling.  

why guinea fowl should be a part of your homestead:

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Getting Started Making Hard Cheese

What you need to know before making hard cheese at homeHomestead in the Holler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

One of the biggest benefits of having your own dairy animal, be it goat or cow, is plenty of fresh, raw milk.  An abundance of fresh milk means making dairy products yourself.  Yogurt, kefir, butter and cheese.  Several friends have told me that making hard cheeses sounds difficult and are intimidated by the process.  Not so!

Cheesemaking is really not difficult and quite fun! Once you get started, you will soon want to make all the cheese and may be talking your husband into making your very own cheese cave.  Ahem.

 

Here is what you need to get started making hard cheese.

 

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