Hootenanny Homestead

A Homesteading Journey

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Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah to all!Happy Hanukkah

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all of you are enjoying your Thanksgiving and have a lot to be thankful for.  There is an awful lot of the homestead to be thankful for and perhaps not the smallest part of that is that a chunk of the things on our Thanksgiving table come from our garden.


Happy Thanksgiving

Fall Garden Update

Well, as we move into the colder weather it is time to consider what to do with the garden.  I’ve seen some people write about how you need to clear everything out of the garden so that pests don’t winter there.  Well, I definitely don’t want a lot of pests in my garden.  Others write that you shouldn’t clear everything out, that way beneficial insects have a place to winter.  Shoot, beneficial insects sound like just the kind of bug I’d like in the garden.
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The Fate of The Roosters

As I have gone over, this past year I’ve been taking care of some ducks and chickens.  I had originally set out to get just egg layers, but over the course of getting birds and raising them, it seems that a few males snuck into the group as well.  Since they were vastly outnumbered I decided that I would let them stay, as it is cool to have a slightly more diverse group wander around.
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Glassblowing, eh?

In another support of local small businesses, there was recently a tour through the area of various artists and studios.  While a large number of them ended up being things that I wasn’t all that interested in, I can’t say that I’m one to go spend a lot of time at art galleries and the like, there was one that stood out.  A local glassblowing set up was having a few demonstrations on glass blowing, and that just sounded interesting.

We first got to the shop and walked through.  It was the standard that you might expect, with various pieces about.  Inside was a lady demonstrating her glass etching.  She pretty much had a small grinder wheel with a small water hose Glassblowingto decrease the friction and as it got fired up she would freehand designs.  She had some lovely pieces and it was amazing to see her make these markings on the glass and watch them become a stunning design.

Next, we stepped outside to find a small scale glassblowing set up under a tent.  He had a small torch, a little table top kiln, and some hollow glass tubes.  It was pretty darn cool to see him just heat up the end of a tube and then use his tools to manipulate it.  Then he would blow through the cool end of the tube and the ornament he was making would expand.  It was cool to see.  If you would like to see some of his work you can find him at TmannGlass

GlassblowingThen we got to head into the big studio.  While the first demo was at the cool, I could see myself picking up some equipment and giving this a try, this second demo was “the big league”.  This was the long metal blow tubes of classic glassblowing and huge furnaces to keep a bowl of molten glass for days at a time.  It was amazing to see how he formed a hurricane lamp.  He had a lot of information and talked us through the whole process.

I must say, I found this intriguing.  I may at some point have to take a crack at glassblowing myself.

Another Farm Tour Post

Well, where does the time go?  Sometimes you just turn around and it is a new month.  I hope all of you had a great Halloween and all other associated holidays.  Now it is time to think back to last month, on another of our farm tour posts.  This time we stopped at an Alpaca Farm, to balance out going to a llama operation last year, due in no small part to the fact that both my wife and daughter really like alpacas.  This time around we visited Greenfield Farms Alpacas.
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Happy Halloween

A happy Halloween to all!


Making Salsa

So I would say that the tomato harvest hasn’t been too shabby this year.  Even now into October, we are still getting some that are turning red and ready to be picked.  Sure, we’ve had some split open on the vine or have bugs get to a few.  Last year these would have gone into the compost pile and there is nothing wrong with that, but it is soo much more rewarding to toss them to the chickens and ducks.  It is a lot of fun to see the flock run after them and how everyone tries to get a piece of the treat.
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