Some of my friends think I sit at my computer on Facebook all day. Others think I just sit in the garden playing with my lambs and kids and enjoying life. And still others suggest that, it must be a lot of work. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between these extremes. Today I joined up with a few super awesome homestead bloggers, to reveal what really goes on day in and day out on the homestead.
A Typical Morning at Joybilee Farm
My day started at 6am with two glasses of water and an hour of catching up on Facebook and emails. I scheduled a few Facebook shares that will encourage my readers. I answered questions that came up during the night.
By 7am the rest of the house is awake and coffee is brewing in a stainless steel stove top percalator. I add to my mental to-do list with blurry eyes. I don’t bother to write it down because I always forget where I put the list. As each one comes in the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, I check to see what their plans are for the day.
At 7:30 the farm fresh eggs are frying and breakfast is cooked in less than 5 minutes. Mr. Joybilee took charge of the eggs and coffee today so that I could get a head start on my week and then let him have the internet cable. We are on satellite internet via a wire cable. No wifi and no cell service here. It necessitates being kind and taking turns — sort of like when people lived in a house with one bathroom. (We used to.)
I leave the dishes beside the sink to wash later.
At 8 oclock Mr. Joybilee takes the milk pails out to the barn and milks 3 of the Saanen goats. Sarah takes the baby bottles of raw goat’s milk to the 2 orphaned goat kids. I sterilize a pail and get ready for the incoming milk.
By 8:20 The milk is strained into the pail for cheese. I add a 1/2 tsp. of mesophilic culture and stir it in. Then cover the pot with a lid. An hour later I add 1/2 tsp. of rennet and stir that in and cover the pail again.
Meanwhile, Mr. Joybilee catches each lamb from the flock, and puts them all together in a stall. He gives them hay and water. We used to let them go out to pasture with their moms, but 2 years ago predators (coyote, wolf, cougar, and bear) killed half our lambs in a two week period. Last year we kept the lambs back and never lost any. So each morning Mr. Joybilee catches each lamb and makes sure they are safe, before he lets the ewes go out to pasture. Homesteading is a team effort.
I remember to take two packages of ground lamb out of the freezer for dinner. (Lamb burgers, pesto, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, lettuce leaves, cheese slices, and strawberries with whipped cream for dessert. There the menu plan is done!)
I start a load of wash — towels mostly.
I schedule a few more posts on Facebook, and help Mr. Joybilee work on a couple of pictures for his website, Turning For Profit.
It’s 10am. Mr. Joybilee and Sarah head out to a gold claim on the Kettle River, to practice Sarah’s fledgling gold panning skills. I take a basket outside to check on the garden. It’s an overcast day and there was a heavy dew last night.
The greenhouse looks like a jungle. Each tomato plant needs it’s blossoms gently shaken to ensure good pollination inside the closed greenhouse. There are no bees in there. I harvest some basil. I try to handpick the grasshoppers hiding under the basil leaves but they are too fast for me. I make a mental note to get Mr. Joybilee’s help later. Maybe I could vacuum them with a shopvac
In the garden, I harvest the ripe strawberries and spend an hour weeding between the strawberry plants, the cabbages, kale, broccoli, beets, and carrots. In the spring we mulched the ground heavily with straw (The Back To Eden Way), and so the only weeds are the ones growing in the rows with the vegetables. That’s a time saver.
It’s 11:30 by the time I get back in the house. It’s started sprinkling and the day is cooler. Nice. Since it is going to rain this afternoon, I put the wash in the dryer instead of on the line. I check Facebook and answer a question on my page. It’s time to cut the curd on the cheese and wash the strawberries and slice them. The cheese curd has to separate from the whey and then I’ll heat the curds in a sink of hot water.
I wash the dishes and tidy up the kitchen. The bread dough is rising for pita bread. I punch the dough down and divide it into 16 balls. I roll each ball into a round flat tortilla, while the oven preheats to 450F. There will be warm pita for lunch with hummus, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. I dine alone, sitting at my desk in the kitchen.
At 1pm I outline a blog post, and transfer some pictures from my camera to the computer. I pick a few pictures from the assortment to edit for my blog, resize them and slip them into a computer file to make them easier to find later. The phone rings. It’s someone from the Founder’s Day Committee. Sarah’s name was chosen — “Nugget Nancy” — for one of the Founder’s Day Mascots. She can pick up her prize at the Motherlode Ice Cream in Greenwood, BC. “Thanks for calling. I’ll let her know.”
At 1:30pm I put the cheese pot in the sink of hot tap water, to warm gently. I make a cup of chai to drink. Remember to drink a glass of water. The phone rings. It’s my friend asking if I’d like to come to the lake. She even offers to pick me up. I have awesome friends. I say, “No,” this time, as there is too much I need to accomplish before the Joybilee Farm crew return from their gold panning excusion.
The laundry is dry and it takes just 5 minutes to fold and put it away.
2:15 pm: It’s raining gently. I’m grateful for the rain. We’ve had a dry summer and there are wild fires all around Western Canada in the worse fire season in decades. We’ve been praying for rain — not thunder and lightening that makes more fires — but a rain just like this one.
I place the heated curds of cheese into a cloth, stir in fresh chives, chopped, and twist the cloth to help it drain. It sits in the sink over a dish, firming up. I’ll flip the ball of cheese before bed, and let it finish draining till morning. This all takes longer to write down than it took to actually do.
I’m back to work on my blog post with a cup of chai between me and the keyboard. I’ve written 1000 words and I’m over half way.
It’s 3pm and Sarah phones. She is on her way home from the gold claim. I tell her about her “win” and she is excited. I ask if she found any gold? She says 3 microscopic flakes. But she isn’t disappointed. It’s gold after all.
Yesterday a friend gave us 20 lbs of blueberries from her mom’s blueberry farm, near Vancouver. I take a break from writing to wash and bag blueberries for the freezer. They’ll make yummy smoothies next winter. Blueberry smoothies are a favorite. We get 18 quart bags from the 20 lbs of berries. I keep working at washing and packaging the blue berries between other tasks. And I finish packaging them at 7:30pm.
Mr. Joybilee and Sarah return at 4pm. Sarah won $25 for her name suggestion and a gift certificate for an icecream cone from the Motherload IceCream Bistro. She’s happy. She takes 2 baby bottles outside to feed the bottle lambs. I start making hazelnut garlic scape pesto with the basil I harvested from the greenhouse in the morning. While the pesto is being prepared, I also start mixing the ground lamb (1 egg, 1/2 red onion chopped, 2 lbs of ground lamb, 1/2 tsp. herbed salt.)
Mr. Joybilee cleans up the barbeque grill and takes the patties outside to grill them — 8 patties from 2 lbs of ground lamb. I edit the video to upload with this blog post (watch it here.). I lose the internet connection. It is raining hard now. The rain interferes with the satellite reception. I shut off the computer and the internet and work at dinner preparations.
Sarah slices tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese for the meal. I clean up the kitchen and bag more blueberries. Dinnertime. We sit around the table together and eat. Everyone is tired. There isn’t much talking.
6:30pm Mr. Joybilee volunteers to do the dishes. (Love that man!) I put away the leftovers. The internet comes back. I finish uploading the video. And while it’s loading, bag the last 10 lbs of blueberries. I check for interaction on Facebook and answer two questions.
7:45pm I shut down the computer and get ready to go for a walk with Mr. Joybilee and Sarah.
8:30pm It’s nightime chores time. Mr. Joybilee takes the buckets outside again and brings in 4 quarts of raw goats milk, which need to be strained, poured into wide mouth jars and put in the fridge. The sheep and goats get their grain before bed. The dogs and cats get their raw food — raw liver tonight. Sarah will give the male sheep and goats, and the older lambs their bedtime hay and grain, and close their door to keep them safe from predators.
11pm The day is done. The cheese is draining in the sink. The animals are in bed for the night. Everyone is fed and safe. We talk about plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week. We give thanks for a good day. Sarah is still working on a beta reading gig she got through Fiverr. She’ll go to bed soon. Mr. Joybilee will turn off the lights after he’s finished a chapter or two in How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul. We talk about blogging, and online biz, and how we will manage the ewes this winter with the hay harvest being down due to lack of rain and the job interview that Mr. Joybilee had last week and the job interview coming up in a few days and zzzzzzzz.
And that, my friend, is one day in the life of a homesteader.
A Day in the Life of a Homesteader
But I’m not alone. Satisfy your curiosity and learn how other homesteaders spend their days. Each one is unique. Each one is in a different season of life. I’m transitioning into an empty next, while some of my friends are getting their nests feathered for the first time. I live on 140 acres in a remote log house in Canada, while some of my friends live on a city lot or in the suburbs. We are all homesteaders. Welcome to our lives.
(Clicking one of these links will take you off my site. Just click the back button to come back here).
A Day in the Life by Ashley of Whistle Pig Hollow
Homesteading On The Farm: A Peek Into Our Life by Ashley of The Browning Homestead
The Answer to “And what did YOU do today?” by Chris of Joybilee Farm
A Day in the Life of an Urban Homesteader by Connie of Urban Overalls
A Day in My Shoes by Emilie of The Toups Address
Homesteading Rhythm with Little Kids & A Bump by Isis of Farming My BackYard
Homestead Truths, Minus the Sugarcoating by Janet of Timber Creek Farm
A Day of Homestead Living by Jessica of The 104 Homestead
A Day in the Life of a Homesteader by Katie of Milhorn Farmstead
A Typical Day of Homesteading by Laurie of Common Sense Homesteading
It’s Not About The Work by Leona of My Healthy Green Family
Life, Unfiltered by Melissa of Ever Growing Farm
A Day in the Life of This Urban Homesteader by Meredith of ImaginAcres
A Day in the Life of a Homestead by Quinn of Reformation Acres
A Day on Acorn Hill Homestead by Teri of Homestead Honey