Mount Sunapee Homestead

A Homesteading and Homeschooling Adventure

Homestead Fall Roundup!

Snow on the homestead

Long time no write!  We’ve been busy buttoning up and preparing the Homestead for the impending cold weather (which seems to have already arrived).  I thought a quick update was in order and, as soon as the livestock chores quiet down, a revival of recipes and activities! Sewing We’ve taken on a new endeavor at the Homestead: sewing!  Take a look at the most recently completed project for the baby (and, yes – I’m quite proud how it turned out).  If you’d like the hat pattern, take a look at FleeceFun.com for some great ideas and free patterns for all sorts of things!   Turkeys Our turkeys are enjoying their last days on the field as they will soon be headed to brighten Thanksgiving tables around the state!  We have one left for sale for those interested!  Feel free to email or connect on Facebook:) Pigs Our pigs are growing fast and eating plenty!  Unlike their turkey neighbors, the pigs seem to really enjoy the warmth of their house and are smart enough to get in out of the weather.  We are sold out of pork this year, but please let us know if you’re interested in any next fall!…
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Electric Fences For Pasture Chickens

Electric Fences For Pasture Chickens

Chickens and fields…a match made in electric heaven.   For those that follow our blog, you may know we’ve had some free-range chicken experiments in the past.   They’ve been epic fails.  I mean EPIC. We’ve got good reason to believe that, with a little help from Thomas Edison, this experiment might go differently. Raising chickens in the backwoods may sound idyllic, but the reality is that it’s fraught with teeth, blood and feathers.  Living close to nature, means that nature doesn’t care if you want to eat eggs for breakfast.  It wants to eat your chickens.  And, nature always wins. After a series of foxes, weasels and God know’s what else, we’ve decided to give the free range thing a try with a little help from our electric friend!   Here’s our concerns for this little experiment and how we’re addressing them: A weasel could fit through the fence.  Yes…so we’re still manually opening the coop door in the morning and closing it at night. The birds may fly over the fence.  At 48″ tall, the fence is intimidating enough that the laying ladies don’t seem remotely interested in leaving their enclosure.  Plus, they’re stocked with food and water….
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How to Move Beehives…and not get stung!

how to move beehives

Step 1 – Lighten the Load Ever think about how much a hive weighs?  Me neither…until you have to lift it.  A full frame of honey from a deep box weighs roughly 10 pounds.  There are 10 frames per deep box.  Each hive has 2 deep boxes and, usually, 1 or more medium boxes.  If everything were full of honey we’re talking the neighborhood of 300 pounds!  Trust me…harvest your honey before trying to move the hives.  You can always put some back after the move!   Step 2 – Get up before the Bees. Why?  Simple, if you don’t beat the bees, they’ll already be flying about.  That means they’ll be agitated.  More importantly, many bees won’t be in the hive to move:  they’ll be flying around gathering pollen! What does this mean for you?  You’re up before dawn, or you’re picking a cold day (which I wouldn’t recommend in case there’s a draft in transit).   Step 3 – Close up the Hives You don’t want bees escaping while you’re on the move!  We used duct tape, but if you don’t have a mouse excluder in the way, you can stuff grass into the entrance.  And, don’t forget…
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Homestead Updates!

Pigs in feeder

We’ve updated a few things on our website!   Don’t forget, you can also sign up to get updates right to your inbox!! Homestead Products: We’re sold out of roasters for this season, but please let us know about future interest! We are currently taking orders for bulk pasture raised pork, ready in the early winter! Also taking orders for fresh Thanksgiving turkeys! Meet the Homesteaders! A new page for all those curious about who were are! Homestead Writing Services This page has been moved to part of the Homestead Products…but we’re still writing!!

Turkeys and chickens and BEARS…oh my.

Bears are cool animals.  They’re strong, have an amazing sense of smell and it’s socially acceptable for them to get really fat and sleep it off. But,  it’s not cool when they eat all our turkey grain.  Although,  it’s preferable to them eating our turkeys.  Tonight, stand by for operation Electric Baited Fence. Hopefully the game camera will yield some cool shots….of a bear running away.