Maintaining the Lifestyle

This last week has been all about maintenance. 

The Farmer finished demolishing the deck while The Renovator finished sanding, filling and repainting stage one. It’s going to be a while (and no doubt a great deal of plan revision) before the new deck is assembled, but for now we’re happy 95% of the homestead is sporting the same livery. The Renovator informs us that, all going according to plan, the entire Homestead will be in our preferred colour (Lambs Fleece – no possessive apostrophe) by the time he is once again donning his grown up clothes and spending his days moulding young minds. Happy days!


In the gardens, we have been busy reaping and weeding. The carrots have been de-nettled, another lot of tomatoes (this year we are trialing the Riesentraube – mainly because of the goat reference) and pepper planted, and the morning meal foraging round is taking us longer everyday. One of our favourite crops, runner beans,  has just kicked off. Even those Homesteaders who don’t celebrate a heaping helping of buttered green beans with a light dusting of grated nutmeg (yes, my mouth is watering) love the versatility, freezability, and beauty of them. They can even make our back fence look almost pretty!


The menagerie has been pretty low maintenance of late. Our plan was to debloke the kids in readiness for a future as grass-mowers and pseudo dogs but, as often happens in life, things did not go as planned; the blokes are not yet man enough. Checking later to see whether Farm Girl had diarised the event for next week as instructed, I had to smile at her turn of phrase: Check on the kid’s bits. Succinct – and a little poetic as well.


A trial milking was also proposed and, after last years musical breakthrough, much thought has been put into possible milk-stand serenades. Unfortunately, Miss Geraldine was not having a bar of any of them. Abba was a definite no-go; also shunned were Queen, The Police and a Johnny Cash medley. The Goat Herd then suggested, after last years success coming so swiftly on the heels of Glenn Frey’s death, that our Divine Miss G may be wishing to honour one of the entertainers who have so recently passed. Not so’s you’d notice: David Bowie prompted a performance that would not have been out of place at a rodeo and the bruise received after the Princess Leia recitations (Help me Obi-Wan..) is now diminishing. “George Michael!” The Goat Herd then proposed. I was not keen. “Go on. What’s the harm in trying?” Thankfully I only got as far as “Well I guess it would be nice…” Before Geraldine decided enough was enough and shut up shop for the day by sinking down on her back legs. Milking is now a job for another day.

Today’s task, before we trotted off to Brighton for our shopping and community catch-up, was to introduce the prospective next generation to the ladies in the coop. Princess Nikita has done us proud with a fine selection of fertilized eggs (Barnevelders, Sussex and Barred Rocks) and, needless to say, the ladies we had identified as definite surrogate mothers had not a jot of interest and the eggs are now being presided over by a couple of the most feather-headed of our flock. 


Surrogate Mother One is already AWOL…the future flock at present is looking grim

Some weeks are full of sparkle and some are like this one; just keeping the wheels oiled.




16 thoughts on “Maintaining the Lifestyle

  1. Funny seeing you all so busy in high summer, whilst enjoy the laid back atmosphere of midwinter. I do envy the fresh produce straight from the garden! Any broad beans too??? Cheers, Johanna

  2. I agree, you sound very busy. But good busy. Except for the milking which sounds like a pain (literally). Classical? Seems to work for cows – but don’t say that to Geraldine. The garden looks very lush, and the house is looking very trim – when do holidays end? I must say the house is looking very sharp.

    • I thik the reality of milking is that it happens in Geraldine’s sweet time regardless of soundtrack.
      We’re pretty pleased with both the house and gardens. Thanks for your kind words.
      Schools start back in a couple of weeks but teachers are expected to be back in the groove on Monday. Poor Farm Girl only had a couple of weeks off but is only on light duties…what hard task masters we are 😀

  3. Music critics can be brutal and Geraldine appears to be no exception! Hope you have all recovered physically and mentally from her assaults! The Homestead is looking spick and span – (so good to see some sunshine and greenery!). I love runner beans as long as they are picked before they get too big and woody. My father always left them too long as size meant more than flavour to him. Richard would leave them to grow and grow if I let him – but I don’t 🙂 Poor you and the future flock! It doesn’t sound too hopeful you’ll get any help from the ladies who lay. Hope you are having a good weekend 🙂

    • I agree with you..beans must be small and sweet!
      The knocks we get along the way from Geraldine are just a reminder that she and we are partners in this deal…it will sort out i the end.
      As for the eggs, we split them into two batches. One lot hs been taken on by Sylvia, the most motherly of our flock while the other lot has a plethora of incubators including ducks and spends worrying amounts of time uncovered. Only time will tell.

  4. Hi, It is good to read that events are rolling along nicely at present. When do you ask Geraldine to present her list of demands before she relinquishes any milk? Will you resort to artificial incubation if the poultry continue to be indifferent to one lot of eggs?

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