If you're curious about what we are up to as we take our strides toward self-sufficiency and homesteading, consider heading over to our Youtube Channel!
You can get a behind the scenes look at all things Boreal Bloom. We feature plenty of content on some of the projects we undertake here such as planting our many food forests, chicken keeping, gardening, and more.
Each video serves as a reminder of how far along we are on this journey and will hopefully inspire others to take the next step in their own journey of independence too.
We believe that it’s important to share both successes and failures in order to create a lasting impact so we document the process as honestly as we can.
A much needed family vacation has us questioning if it's actually possible to leave the homestead. Check out how we prepared for our absence.
Chicken Coop Projects
In part 1 of the coop project, we discuss why we wanted chickens and how they'll benefit the homestead. See the undeveloped plot of land, how we cleared the dense brush, and the beginning of building our predator-proof run. Kevin explains how we're going to use a builder's level to ensure that the pad is prepped and ready for the big move.
Part 2 might be one of the most exciting! Because we purchased a coop that was built in situ, we decided to hit the easy button and pick up and place the coop with a picker truck. But life is never that easy - we did have some limitations on this move, and we discuss them in the video. We re-arrange a few things in the coop and finally move our birds in!
In part 3, we are tired. It's been a long grind and it's crunch time! Kevin shares how he is predator-proofing the coop by using skirting around the coop, shares the supplies we used - including the fence post spikes. We discuss the importance of being able to divide and conquer for large projects, we take a little break, and Kevin sings a song, haha! We FINALLY release the chickens!!
Part 4 sees the conclusion of this project. Kevin and I talk about local predators and our interactions with them, the price of lumber, and which supplies we used. Kevin sings another song. We share how we installed and secured the wire mesh along the top of the run, as well as how we secured the mesh around the trees we left in the chicken's run.
Kevin was doing chicken math. It was time to upgrade the dog crate brooder and build something a little more permanent for our brooding projects. With a few pieces of lumber and a will, we built a 4x8' brooder that will serve us well for years to come.
Winter Chicken Keeping
In this video, we discuss the steps we're taking to winterize our chicken coop and how several small steps can add up to make a big difference. We discuss our planned projects and why we're building a covered area for the feeders and waterers, why we added a vestibule inside the coop, and how we installed our automatic chicken door. We also discuss coop cleaning safety, cleaning the coop, and starting the deep litter method.
Our winter coop tour goes through the changes we made in the winterization video and share how they are working, what changes we'd make, and how we would improve on what we did last year. We talk about the deep litter bedding method and the critical things you must do if you're doing deep litter, how we keep our waterers from freezing, how we keep the dust bath dry, and how we manage the straw in the run. We also talk about the heat lamp debate.
In this video, I check in to see how our chickens are doing after being hit by a nasty cold snap. We reached temperatures as low as -65f with the windchill factored in.
Our flock and the systems we put in place kept them safe and healthy through this unimaginable cold.
Deep Litter Bedding
It's been a year since we cleaned out our coop, and we thought it would be valuable to show you what we've learned and our experience with deep litter bedding. This video talks about our cleaning process, what materials we used, and also visits the chickens and the pigs on a beautiful fall day.
Follow the process as we plan and create our first 30-tree, cold hardy food forest. This was a huge undertaking requiring a massive amount of work, fill, mulch, and even landscaping to ensure success in the food forest. See the process I used for washing the roots prior to planting to ensure success and the importance of being adaptable.
It was a long, cold winter, and we were seduced by the thought of spring projects and the tree catalog. This food forest was planted with bare-root trees. We share our thoughts on bare-root trees vs potted trees, how having heavy machinery makes everything easier, our bad luck, the fancy shovel trick, and planting without a plot plan.
We have poor topsoil on our homestead. For many years, a garden was out of reach for me, but this easy-to-build and inexpensive raised garden was absolutely the ticket for us. We share the products we used, how we built the garden, mulched our walkways, and discuss no-till gardening. Kevin lets his perfectionism show, haha!
Check out our process for soil blocking on the homestead. I share my secrets for what I've found works best. We've created thousands of soil blocks and started thousands of plants from seed, right here, and we've learned a little along the way. I also discuss my perfect soil-blocking mix!
Oops. I got busy and didn't get to transplanting my pepper seedlings until they had been in their soil blocks for 7 whole weeks. Did I make a mistake?
I discuss the importance of the homestead kitchen and talk about egg safety with regard to handling and washing farm fresh eggs. There is a lot of valuable information in this video if you're new to fresh eggs from your backyard flock.
In this video, I share my passion for sourdough baking and a little bit of knowledge regarding feeding your sourdough starter. My goal is to demystify what can seem like an overwhelming and complicated process, and I share my tips and tricks to keep the process running smoothly.
Kevin ordered pigs, and now it's time to get down to business. We discuss the importance of planning and how proper planning can improve the development of your homestead. We share how the pigs fit into our larger homestead goals and talk about our next steps to get ready for this undertaking.
The planning is done the work begins. Through this video we share our process of building a safe, permanent pig paddock in the forest for our two feeder pigs, Frank + Franc.
2023 brought bees to the homestead and we were more than excited to harvest our first batch of honey. Check out our amazing harvest!