Wednesday, May 3, 2017

January to May 2017

How the winter passed and we found ourselves in the midst of spring, only Allah knows! While we had less snow and roller coaster weather over the winter, we kept busy with a variety of things masha'Allah. We decided to do some indoor planting in January so we could enjoy fresh produce earlier. We planted strawberries in stacking planters and hanging baskets. We planted lettuce and mesclun mix, spinach, kale, and two types of chard in stacking planters and pots. We planted parsley, oregano, sage, three types of basil, cilantro, thyme, chives, garlic chives, and spring onions in stacking planters and pots. Then we planted cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and cayenne peppers. When we ran out of pots and planters, we planted in old wellies. We planted snow peas, sugar snap peas, ginger, turmeric, and micro-greens. We planted and Allah grew those seeds! While others decorate their homes with ficus trees and spider plants, we have 5' tall cherry tomato plants with basil surrounds and hanging baskets of ripening strawberries and fresh cilantro. Al hamdulillah. While people spend hundreds of dollars for oxygen therapy, we have it free by filling our home with hundreds of edible plants.




By early March we were enjoying fresh salads and herbs, pinching off flowers from the strawberry plants, and moving plants into larger and larger pots. By mid spring we planted out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants, lettuce, greens, and radishes in our cold frames, carrots, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, potatoes, beets, and more snow peas in big tubs outside. That is the tip of the iceberg. We have  trays of strong, healthy plants ready for transplanting once we pass our last frost date.  Meanwhile, our hot peppers are fruiting, cherry tomatoes are ripening,  greens are readily available, and we have all the fresh herbs we need al hamdulillah.

The  chickens increased their laying by February and we became egg tycoons, masha'Allah. 15 hens keep us on our toes trying to use and store eggs. We are freezing them, making homemade egg pasta and noodles, whipping up meringues, lemon meringue pies, raw ice cream, quiches, mayonnaise, and a plethora or egg-rich dishes and desserts. Needless to say, it's eggs for breakfast! With over 25 dozen eggs a month, the chickens earn their keep and add value. Al hamdulillahi Rabbil al ameen!


March 24th our oldest ewe, Honey,  lambed. Our girls were there to watch and assist. She had a boy and a girl, named Rambunctious and Honeydew. Our other two ewes, being younger, are not expected to lamb until this month insha'Allah.


With his job finished and a need for new bloodlines, Rambo became dinner. We hung him in a walk in cooler for 16 days and enjoyed roast lamb for our Jumuah dinner. We have 51lbs of meat from him, masha'Allah. We do economic analyses for our farm and only get 10lbs more meat on a one year ram than a 6 month old. Although it was a different situation for Rambo because we kept him for breeding, it is most economical to slaughter at 6 months, meaning each lamb costs $5-$23 to raise. Pretty marvelous when the price for lamb starts at $10 per lb, and that's not organic, zabiha, or exclusively grass-fed like ours! Al hamdulillah!

 



We calculated that as long as we get $180 worth of milk from Daisy (our A2A2Jersey cow), she is covering her costs over the winter when we have to feed her hay. What we actually get is anywhere between $300 - $1200 worth or organic milk from her, depending on her stage of lactation. That is in addition to a calf each year that can be sold for considerable profit once weaned insha'Allah. We are increasing our ways of using our dairy by making mozzarella, yogurt, and more frozen yogurt & ice cream. We hope to get a cheese press soon, so we can start producing our own hard cheeses properly, without the whole family taking turns standing on makeshift cheese pressing contraptions.

3 comments:

  1. As'salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh! Alhamdulillah. Allah, the Most High has provided so much in abundance. I'm still learning how to start plants indoors. I don't know why mine just stunt and start to die. I make sure I water regularly. Allah knows best. Aww Rambo... alhamdulillah, the circle of life. I love the new lamb names, masha'allah. I think that if we're to homestead, the hard part would be the slaughtering of the animals. I get attached quickly, lol.

    Insha'allah I look forward to hearing aboUt your harvest in the next few months out. In the mean time, may Allah bless your Ramadan and make it productive and accept your fast. Ameen

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  2. Have you put any thought into building an earthship or something of the like?

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    Replies
    1. Earthships have have too many things that are not "Green" enough for us. The concrete being one of them. We are planning to build with cob.

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