by Texas Homesteader ~
Much is going on these days here on our 100-acre Texas Homestead. We’re still dealing with a continuing gripping drought, I’m struggling to keep my fall garden going and we’re inspecting beehives & weaning calves. Come see what a day looks like for this Texas Homesteader.
The gripping drought continues in our part of Texas. It’s been a tough year with drought lasting for months, including record high temperatures and prolonged & significant lack of rainfall.
Because of the drought I’ve been trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to limp my garden along. I’ve relied on what little captured rainwater I’ve been able to harvest to try to keep plants alive.
I’m using all my Rainwater Capture Systems, but for my garden it’s primarily the deep underground cistern that provides irrigation.
I’m currently using it to water my garden about 3 times each week, implementing all my Water-Saving Measures to make it stretch as far as possible.
The cistern is almost empty so we’ll see if we can stretch it enough to finally see some rain and perhaps even be able to enjoy a small fall garden.
But I see a random but super-cold temperature blast coming up in a few days. I may have to protect my plants to get them to survive that dip in temperatures.
Aaaah Texas weather. 90’s one day for a high, low 30’s a couple of days later for the low. WHEW what a ride!
I will say I’ve managed to keep my Ancho Chile pepper plants alive and if I can squeak them through there’s about 20 peppers for me to harvest in the next few weeks.
If the weather changes too quickly I’ll still harvest them – less ripened ancho peppers are simply poblano peppers.
Fingers crossed I at least get a small harvest either way!
Maintaining Honeybee Hives
During a drought there’s precious little blooming out in the pasture. So we’ve had to feed our honeybees most of the summer this year.
Today we’ll be inspecting the hives. We’ll check their honey stores to make sure they have plenty to get them through the winter.
If not, we’ll start feeding them again. This time of year we typically mix them a 1×1 ratio syrup of granulated sugar and water for them.
Given that we’re seeing a cold blast coming up we’ll also add the bottom boards to the screened bottoms of each of their hives. This helps retain heat when the weather gets cold.
Weaning Calves Done Right
We have several calves that are now 7 months old, time to wean them away from their dams.
Weaning helps the dams recover physically from the requirements of providing milk for such a large calf. We want those dams healthy going into winter.
So the calves were immunized a few weeks ago & released back with their dams. This helps their vaccinations to be more fully effective since stress causes their immunizations to be less effective.
Now it’s time for us to bring the calves back up to wean them. Yes this double handling is more effort for the rancher. But we do it anyway for a healthier outcome for the calves.
When weaning try to be as gentle as possible for them. So we fence-line wean so that the calves and the dams are close together & still see each other. It eases the weaning stress for both calf and dam.
After weaning and when the initial stress of separation is eased we’ll give each of the calves their booster shots. Healthy happy calves are our goal!
RancherMan often travels to our satellite pasture to check the animals grazing there. This time of year I usually stay behind because something’s growing over there that makes my severe ragweed allergies look like child’s play!
Anyway, he came back stating that the new neighbor’s bull got into a tiff with our bull and busted down the fence. Now all his cows are in our pasture. (not a good thing at any time, but especially bad when pond water & grass is this sparse during drought!)
This new neighbor actually lives in Dallas so it took him a while to get back to our neck of the woods.
RancherMan met him over there and they got his cows into the correct pasture and both RancherMan and the new neighbor worked to get the fence repaired.
We’ll need to keep an eye on things – up until now there have been no cattle on the property next to us. I hope repeated bull fights and resulting damage (and potential injury) don’t become a thing over there!
Other than that, I’m just battling harsh ragweed allergies and staying inside where possible.
I’m more focused on working in the kitchen to make sure our food is fully utilized. Isn’t it crazy how much food prices have spiked??
I’ll make sure none of the food we have is wasted.
I’m slicing cooked meats thinly and making hearty chef’s salads to use up all our perishable salad fixings while they’re fresh.
For supper I pulled some charcoal grilled chicken from the freezer and heated it in the microwave. Then I steamed some fresh broccoli and some chopped carrots each with a sprinkling of salt and a small touch of real butter.
I’ve made Endless Soup for our lunches, so I’m just dumping any small amount of leftover cooked veggies & veggie juice from our suppers into the soup pot to keep it going.
A Sweet Treat – Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
After supper RancherMan decided to make homemade peanut butter cookies. I love when he does that!
Peanut butter cookies are favorites of ours. And he loves that he doesn’t even need a recipe – only 3 ingredients and gluten free to boot. Yeah bebe!
Winding Down For The Day
We’ll use the end of the day to wind down, schnoodle on the couch and watch tv.
We typically stream a series of some kind for our tv entertainment. Over the last few months we’ve gone through Bosch, Justified, and Eureka. We’re currently looking for another series to watch – any suggestions?
A Busy Day Well Lived
I’ll go to bed tired and rest peacefully tonight from a full & busy day of Homesteading. What do your days look like now that fall is upon us?