Hey folks! I'm sure you've noticed the homesteading updates and posts have been few and far between lately. Things have slowed down a bit in regards to that around here. With the gardens being finished, we have moved on to some “winterizing” projects for the animals (and the house, in a way) and still have tons we need to do!
Our biggest project (which, admittedly, I didn't really help with besides moving the pig himself) was setting up Mr.Bruce's winter lodgings. He's hanging out in the garden by the house now. It's smaller than his old area, but we this is the first time we've let him run around freely outside of his “baby pen”, so technically he has a lot more room to run around now.
We're using him to eat our leftover veggies, root up our garden, and get it ready for next year. He's done a surprisingly (scarily) good job of it so far. He's only been there a few weeks and most of it has been rooted up already!
He's eating cheese I left out on the counter over night. Oops. Fun fact: Guinea Hogs can eat anything but salt and chocolate. Some of them are allergic to chocolate, others are not, but there's no way to know unless they try it! Needless to say, we'll steer clear of the salty stuff and chocolate just to be safe. ;)
Even though it hasn't even been that cold out so far, I have to admit it's nice having him close to the house too so I don't have to deal with unscrewing the hose when I need to use the shorter end for the chickens, having to walk back there, blah blah blah...Especially if I forget something! He's getting spoiled even more now that it's easier to remember to take scraps to him. ;) No garbage disposal? No problem! Mr.Bruce is happy to eat (most) things you might have for him! (So long as it's not rotten, of course.)
He seems to be a much happier piggy now, no surprise. More room to run around, nicer house (thanks to my father in-law helping my hubby build it), more treats, more attention. What's not to love, right?
We're also experimenting with how well a tarp works over the big window in the chicken coop, but I didn't get a picture of that as the weather was nasty the day I wrote this. I don't think it's going to work well, but we'll see. Better than nothing for now, I guess. At least it's less drafty. Worried about it keeping too much moisture in, though.
The yard is going to look like sh!t, but it's not like we ever get visitors besides our parents, so who cares, right?
Speaking of moisture, we have some major, MAJOR issues with this in/under/around our house as well. Problem is, there's multiple aspects that need taken care of which equals more money, of course. I won't go into lots of details, but basically we need all new gutters and to regrade (? not sure that's the word I'm looking for) the hill behind our house to take care of the moisture issues around and under the house...So then we can replace the rest of the floors (subfloor and all) that we weren't required to fix before we moved in last year. We are getting a lot of soft spots popping up and it makes me worry. A lot.
Anywho, as a temporary way to at least help matters, John did clean the gutters out this weekend while I dug a small drainage trench to help with the water running down the slope behind the house. I need to at least make it a little deeper, but I'm glad I actually got it started because it rained practically all day the day after. Oh. And I raked the leaves away from the house. Again. (Always with the Godforsaken leaves!) Luckily, they were pretty close to the compost pile (although it sure didn't feel that close trying to rake wet leaves!), so I was thankful for that.