Mount Sunapee Homestead

All you can read swine related info!

The Spring Homestead Checklist

Spring Homestead Checklist

The Spring Homestead Checklist Some folks may wonder exactly what we homesteaders are doing when the snow is still on the ground to the time the summer sun shines bright overhead.  Well, take a peak at our seasonal chores below.  Of course, fellow homesteaders may have more or less tasks depending on their holdings.   For those looking to start homesteading, check out the Homesteading 101 post for more chores by seasons! Livestock Order any piglets or poults from farmers or feed stores by late winter/early spring. Prepare brooders check heat lamps from last year review poult care check cage wires to keep mice out if brooder will be in garage or barn Pick up chicks/poults, lambs, piglets, etc Assist with livestock birthing (if not ordering) Check any pasture fences to prevent escapes Install electric fences and train livestock to fence Garden Ensure seeds are ordered by late winter/early spring Start seeds indoors according to packaging Purchase any started plants in late spring to transfer to garden Till the garden when ground thaws  Plant cold-loving varieties (e.g. spinach, chards) Begin to harden off seedlings Prune any fruit trees before budding occurs Bees Prepare hives to install any new bee colonies…
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Homesteading 101 – How to Start a Homestead

Homesteading 101

  Homesteading 101 – How to Start a Homestead So you want to start a homestead?  CONGRATULATIONS!  Homesteading can be a very rewarding lifestyle (or even hobby) for anyone looking to feel a little more independent.  Not sure if homesteading is for you?  Keep reading, because, my friends, homesteading can be so many things.  It’s all up to you to decide what your homestead will look like – that’s part of the fun! What is homesteading? Homesteading is a very broad term applied to anyone with a DIY, self-sustaining attitude.  Although homesteaders can range from full-scale self-subsistence live-off-the-land type farming all the way to people who want to make their own soap, most of us fall somewhere in between!  Homesteading can include any or all of the below activities (and many more that I’m forgetting): gardening canning the harvest soap making raising chickens for eggs raising livestock for meat beekeeping boiling sap for maple syrup home cooking with homemade ingredients (such as vanilla extract or yogurt) Simply put: homesteading is making as much as you can yourself with ingredients you source/make yourself. Why Homestead? Take a look on the internet and you’ll find hundreds of blogs related to homesteading (my…
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How to Train your Pigs to an Electric Fence

How To Train Your Pigs to An Electric Fence

  How to Train your Pigs to an Electric Fence Pigs are smart.  Pigs are fast.  Pigs like to roam.  These are not three things that make a farmer’s life easy.  Especially a farmer who wants to see happy pasture pigs on fresh ground every couple weeks.  Happily, a very smart farmer somewhere down the line had a brilliant idea: train pigs to an electric fence. Why do you need to train your pigs to an electric fence? When I first heard of the electric fence and pigs, I didn’t consider there would be any training involved.  After all, it’s electric!  As a sensible human being, I would know after one touch not to do it again.  Wouldn’t a pig?  Not exactly. While a pig will certainly know when it gets a shock, it doesn’t know what to do next.  Unfortunately, pig instinct says: charge!  That’s exactly what we don’t want them to do.  Then you would either have a piggy wrapped up in an electrified net (not good) or a loose pig (also not good).   We want our piggies to back up, right back into the safety of their pen.  That’s where the training comes in. How do…
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September Livestock Update

Homestead Panorama

Welcome Fall (ok…almost)! As we approach autumn, I thought a quick livestock update from the Homestead was a bit past due!  So, here we go! Pigs Our happy porkers are enjoying some fresh pasture as they were just moved a couple days ago.  We’ve noticed a marked decrease in feed intake from our pigs when they’re enjoying a new spot.  They seem to prefer grass to Blue Seal!  Can’t say that we’re too upset about that – after all, pasture is the point! Turkeys Our turkeys are still enjoying the safety of their tractor home and enjoying the pasture grass!  They’re getting bigger each day and much more vocal.  They especially enjoy listening to their neighbor pigs getting fed as their feeding time is right behind! Chickens Our chickens have had a rough week!  After some not so pleasant experiences with our free range ladies becoming part of the local food chain, it’s reaffirmed that our flock simply isn’t safe free range.  Instead, we’ll continue to use pinless peepers (which you’ll hear more about later this week) to keep our ladies healthy and whole!  At least until we get an impenetrable run built! Bees Our little bees have certainly been busy…
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How To Move Pigs and Maintain A Semblance of Dignity

How To Move Pigs

  Moving pigs is not an easy task nor is it one that will increase your sense of dignity. As first-timers in the pig moving world, we are happy to share the insight gained (such that it is) from our pig moving extravaganzas. Now, I’ll be blunt.  We’re winning 3 to 1 with the pigs.  Of our 4 “big” moves a total of 3 have gone according to plan.  One went very wrong.  All things told, our pigs are all healthy, happy (at least I’m pretty sure they are since they can’t talk) and, much to our pleasure, located exactly where we want them…for now.  I’m not saying the next move will be the same.   Considering our success to move ratio is decent, I hope some of our methods may be successful for you as well!

A Hearty Homestead Welcome!

Welcome to our Homesteading and Homeschooling adventures! A big Homestead Hello and welcome to our new virtual home! We’ve recently changed hosts to provide you with a cleaner, more efficient and down-right better website experience.  Not to mention, the blog has been modernized and auto-posts to some of our favorite social networks (hello Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!) Newest Ventures In addition to this shiny new website, we’re excited to announce our newest ventures: Homestead Homeschool – We’ll post our best activities, share from fellow homeschoolers and offer some great printables!  Can be great for working mommies who want a little educational downtime too! Homestead Writing Services – Need some help with your blog, newsletter or have a story in mind?  Shoot us an email (!  We can help! The Quill – Ok, not technically new.  Just a new name for our blog.  Check us out! Calling all turkey orders!  We have a few birds left for orders:  taking reservations for your Thanksgiving table! For some more updates on livestock additions, Homestead happenings and more, keep reading!   Livestock News! In other big Homestead news, we’ve added 12 turkeys, 6 laying hens and one very lucky Beta fish (name to be determined) to our…
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