Friday, June 8, 2012

Honey Wall Homestead Part 2

Here you go folks! As promised, part 2 of our big push to be farmers...


That's right I said chickens.

Four days after moving in we set up a brooder and picked up 6 Rhode Island Red hens.

The cubs love them. Since the chickens are for eggs and not meat we decided to name them.

Meet the ladies...

Penny, Peep, Camilla (after Gonzo's chicken on the Muppets), Reba, Caliente, and Cena

We kept them in the basement in their cardboard chicken condo until Memorial Day weekend. Then the coop construction began.

Here is the hen house. My Uncle salvaged scrap wood from a deck and other jobs for our coop. Then he pre-built the hen house walls at home and brought it up in a half dozen pieces.

Framing up the scratching pen. We wanted to have free range birds but there are a few hawks around and we don't want to risk it.

Now that the roof is framed we are ready to swap out the temporary supports for timber beams.

If you look hard you can see Little Sister Bear napping on a piece of plywood that she was drawing on. Out cold surrounded by saws and an air compressor. My kids will sleep anywhere!!!

The shingles going on. After moving the sleeping toddler below of course.

We were losing light on our second day so fencing off the scratch pen would have to wait until the next morning.

The next morning a fence was put up, a gate was put on and we were ready to introduce the ladies to their new home. Which they love. They are thriving so much more now that they can safely forage.

We plan to finish the coop before fall by siding it, putting in a window and putting on a door.

One weekend, three men and a bunch of power tools and we got ourselves a chicken coop.

I want to express my gratitude to three exceptional people who went above and beyond to help us get this farm up and running. Without your help it would have taken months to start our dream. No words will convey how much it means to us to have such amazing people in our lives.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Honey Wall Homestead Part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post our family has been very busy. Very busy indeed, becoming homeowners.

We bought our first home! Which is actually a mini-farm! We have always dreamed of moving to the country and homesteading. And for a long time it was a pipe dream. With a whole lot of hard work and a little bit of luck we are literally living our dream.

We moved about 70 miles west, into the woods, to the area of Massachusetts known as the "boonies". Surrounded by farms, country roads and quiet. Ahhh.

With a lot of help from our family and friends we started turning our place into a farm. It took us our first month to get the homestead up and running.

It was a long process which would make for a very long post so I'm going to post in parts. I'll start with putting in the garden. About 80% of the property is woods and everyone knows a garden needs a great amount of sunlight. So it began...

Step 1: Clearing land



Step 2: Rototilling

Step 3: Putting up a fence

We opted for a rustic fence which cost us barely anything because all the wood was free. I wanted the fence to blend in with our surroundings and be harmonious instead of standing out.

Step 4: Planting the garden

Here we have our peas, bush beans and pole beans. Our peas are will grow right up the fence and we constructed pole and string tee pees for the pole beans.

We also made a tee pee for our mini pumpkins. Those were planted along with eggplant and marigolds.

This is our strawberry patch. We have about 24 plants (3 varieties, 8 of each). It doesn't look like much this year but hopefully next year it will be bursting with fruit.

In the far back is all our squash (winter and summer), pumpkins, watermelon and cucumbers. Center is lettuce, arugula, chard, spinach and kale. To the right is basil, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli.

After everything was planted I mulched all unplanted areas deeply for weed control and walking paths.

Our herb garden is planted next to the back deck (right near our kitchen) so I don't have to wander all the way out to the garden for herbs when I'm cooking.

Potted row, front to back: gerber daisies, mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, dill and gerber daisies.

Planted row, front to back: thyme, sage, and oregano with lavender in between each one.

Front row: marigolds

Anything that I couldn't fit in the garden and would grow well in a pot was put into our container garden. Here we have three cute cubs with our remaining tomatoes, peppers, carrots, zinnias, cone flowers and more marigolds.

That's our garden.

Did you plant a garden this year? What are you growing?

Up next: Part 2

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Today this blog turns two!!! I haven't posted as much as intended in my second year. This year has been a busy one for our family.

There is a lot to share with all of you. But right now I'm going to enjoy the start of summer by a fire pit.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Sewing and Crafty Goals

I have set many goals for this year but I won't bore you with all of them. Here's my list of sewing and crafty goals for 2012.

1. Set aside (at least) 1 hour per day to work on my creative projects.

2. Sew an article of clothing (or two, or ten)  for myself

3. Try (at least) 1 tutorial/inspiration from pinterest a month

4. Finish projects that didn't get finished in 2011

5. Make quilts and pillow covers/cases for our bed, sofa and arm chair.

6. Take photos of EVERYTHING I make/try.

7. Blog more often about the things I make and the creative process.

8. Post my first tutorial.

9. Start an etsy shop.

10. Expand my skills.

So there you have it. Looking forward to a creative and productive year in 2012.

Did you set any crafty goals in 2012?

2011 Patchwork and Toys

As promised here's a recap of mostly toys and patchwork stuff whipped up in 2011.
There's quite a bit of paper pieceing here. As well as, potholders, I went on a major homegoods sewing binge due to a lot of people getting married this year. (I slacked and didn't get photos of many of the gifts I made) Looks like I'll be doing a good amount of baby sewing as some of them are expecting this year.
I really enjoy patchwork sewing. It is so fun mixing prints and patterns. There will definately be more patchwork sewing this year as I am planning 3 big quilts this year.

2011 general sewing, originally uploaded by mamabearmakes.
Up next: 2012 Sewing Bucket List and Goals

2011 Kids Clothes Edition

Now that 2012 has arrived I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the stuff I sewed last year for the kiddos. There are pretty much multiples of everything since I usually make things in twos and threes.

2011 kids clothes, originally uploaded by mamabearmakes.
It is so hard to pick a favorite but if I had to choose I'd go with the sweet little O+S ruffled halter (3rd down on left) that I made for Big Sister Bear.

There are so many things that I didn't get photos of (take more photos is on my list of resolutions) like all the Bedtime Story pj pants I made this year. 10 pairs total and I still have 2 more cut out!

Up next: 2011 Patchwork and Toys

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Too Long

Oh how time flies. Seems like yesterday I posted and now I'm realizing it has been 5 months since my last post.  FIVE months! My apologies folks. (Lots of photos in this one.)

New hobbies have taken up most of the time lately.

play silks dyed with kool-aid

dill pickles

garden salsa

peach butter

My fabric penchant isn't lacking (that's for sure).

vacation fabric finds

And my adventurous cooking makes it's occasional appearance.

baked stuffed acorn squash
(I'd link a recipe but, I just kind of made this one up as I went along)

Summer has gone, even though, it doesn't feel like it around these parts. Fall is arriving late to New England.
Despite the lack of typical fall weather we have done our usual autumn traditions. This past weekend we took the cubs pumpkin picking.

Then the cubs helped scrape out the guts.

I roasted the seeds, which were the best I've ever made.

Next up is making Halloween costumes. With a little over a week to go it's crunch time.

I'm also working on some wedding gifts which can not be revealed yet because the bride follows my blog.

More to come soon...