Gardner’s California Homestead

GardnerHomestead

Ridin' The Range
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I transplanted some of my bee garden starts this last weekend because i like to live life on the edge and assume it wont freeze anymore this year :fl all good until yesterday.... my husband was doing the spring inspection on our two bee hives, which of course really upsets them. I guess i forgot to mention the hives in the original post. A little background on that.

We are beekeeping newbies. Went in on two hives with my husbands cousin in March of 2019, we eventually moved our hive to our place in April. This was my husbands project so i mostly just help him when he need extra hands. There is a sharp learning curve for first time beekeepers, a lot of upfront cost and so far quite a bit of maintenance cost. We have made our fair share of mistakes, had to re-queen once. Eventually split our overflowing hive in September of 2019. They are amazing creatures. I've been trying to learn more about them so i can be more active in their care. Not a lot of beekeepers where we are so we have been learning a lot online and through the random beekeeper we are able to meet. It has been an experience, both frustrating and rewarding. I love seeing them buzzing around pollinating our gardens and flowers, here's some pictures of our little helpers.

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This is the queen, with the pink dot. Her name is Cardi BEE. Shes the leader of our more aggressive hive.

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To our delight both of our hives survived the winter, one in great condition and one unfortunately just hanging on. We are working on rectifying that now, and despite all our misteps are still trying to learn and do better.

So back to my flower start debacle. My husband was doing hive inspection, our 7 month old puppy: Honey

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decided to scoot under the fence and go to the pasture with dad. Well the bees were all riled up and saw her and got very defensive of the hive, they were stinging her, she was running around trying to rub them off of her in the grass, and then in my flower beds with all my starts. :hit so most of those are dead. we got all the stingers out and naughty puppy hopefully learned something (probably not) :barnie
 

GardnerHomestead

Ridin' The Range
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Beehives! That is so cool......until your dog gets too close and wrecks everything you just planted trying to rub the bees off. Poor puppy! LOL
Lol I have lots of seeds so I will start again. She’s a little swelled up but she will be alright. She seems to find trouble naturally lol
 

BYH Project Manager

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Hello! I am an avid reader on this site but don’t comment much. I would love to become more involved and figured a journal would be a good way to start.

My husband and I have known each other since we were children, raised in the same small town, went to the same school and have been together 18 years this year. We both have day jobs and have three children and bought our miniature homestead in May 2018. We own 2 1/2 acres of semi flat paradise. Before this we lived in “town” on a tiny lot but managed to raise chickens, Flemish giants, and a small container garden. We always wanted to become more self sufficient and this property was our dream. When we moved here the property had been neglected for quite a few years. The previous owners had built the house 60 years ago and in the last 10-15 years hadn’t been able to keep up with the maintenance. His brother and nephew still own the adjacent acreage and have given us a lot of cool history on the property.

Now to the most important part: the animals. When we got here the house came with two chickens. We quickly realized the coop wasn’t predator proof but not before raccoons took off with our inherited birds. 🤦‍♀️ When we got the coop reinforced I ordered 15 Lavender Orpingtons. We have a farm mastiff (English mastiff) and a 6 month old lab puppy. Three (slacker) barn cats.

After alot of research and fencing and preparation we got our first three Nigerian dwarf doelings. Quickly followed by three adult does who’s owners were moving and needed a new home. Eventually we added two bucklings, sadly last fall a mountain lion took one boy. We currently have had 4 babies born this spring. Bringing our current total to 11 Talk about a crash course in goat ownership.

We are also about 4 weeks into our first meat bird venture. They are growing like weeds and we are very excited to be able to provide our family with fresh meat.

Anyway this has gotten really long lol. Here’s some random pictures that give a little glimpse into our crazy life.View attachment 70970View attachment 70971View attachment 70972View attachment 70973View attachment 70974View attachment 70975View attachment 70976View attachment 70977View attachment 70978View attachment 70979
@GardnerHomestead congrats, your homestead has been featured on our homepage! Keep up the brilliant work! :celebrate
 

bethh

Loving the herd life
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Its been awhile, the kids aren't in school anymore and I'm working from home most of the time now so trying to get used to the new normal has been interesting. Its been really nice being home with them and the animals, but teaching 1st, 4th and 5th grade have proven difficult for me. We are doing what we can, and I have been trying to include alot of life skills into my "homeschooling". We have been baking alot, made a sourdough starter and been trying out new recipes. Measuring out stuff is math right? :yesss: The common core kills me, and by the time they go back to school they will know the old way. Sorry teachers :idunno Getting alot done around the property, repainting the chicken coop, getting my garden squared away.

We butchered our meat chickens this last weekend. Kids helped with plucking and did great for their first time. Ended up with 19 birds in the end. Ate our first one for Easter sunday, amazing! :drool there is nothing tastier than a homegrown chicken.

Kidding season is over as of last night my last doe had twin bucklings. Salt and Pepper.
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My favorite doe Selena Goatmez gave us twin girls on the first of April. We will be keeping both. Sugar and Cinnamon.

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I have 16 lavender orpington eggs in the incubator right now on a trial run (new incubator!) they should be hatching this Friday :fl. If all goes well i will put in another 42 when those hatch. The demand for chicks is so high right now I ordered some leghorns and olive eggers about 6 weeks ago and they arent available til 5/12. Will be nice to add some color to my eggs.

In other news our farm cat has been really busy :lol:
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Daddy goat Oreo does alot of the babysitting around here. Its extremely cute lol.

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Wow, your Oreo looks very much like my Cash. I can’t wait to see the babies he produces. Had to share. Hope you don’t mind. Glad I came across your journal. I finally started one myself.
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bethh

Loving the herd life
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Rather than working on my morning chores, I just sat here reading your journal. I will enjoy following along. The lessons nature teaches us is invaluable. Recently we put up more fencing (eventually we will be experts), to keep the LGDs out of the garden beds around our patio. Planted them with flowers and veggies and are loving the look. Yesterday the chickens decided to come check it all out. Chased them out with a hose. Think they will be getting their wings clipped to discourage flying over the fence.
 

GardnerHomestead

Ridin' The Range
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Rather than working on my morning chores, I just sat here reading your journal. I will enjoy following along. The lessons nature teaches us is invaluable. Recently we put up more fencing (eventually we will be experts), to keep the LGDs out of the garden beds around our patio. Planted them with flowers and veggies and are loving the look. Yesterday the chickens decided to come check it all out. Chased them out with a hose. Think they will be getting their wings clipped to discourage flying over the fence.
My husband has put up so much fencing lol I’m pretty sure he is an expert. Freshly rolled dirt is like a chicken magnet. We have about an 8 foot fence around our garden. Mostly to keep deer out but the chickens will do almost as much damage. We regularly clip ours. I love LGDs. Our mastiff is pretty dog aggressive but when he passes I would love to get one (or two)
 
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