✞ CrossTies Creations ✞
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Handcrafted Creations from Reclaimed Materials
New Life Reveals Beauty in All Things
Life With Us...
We are on a daily mission to improve our quality of life. We share a common goal of eventually living a self sustainable life. We are currently working diligently towards making this happen over the next few years.
In the meantime, we are running a mini homestead and learning on a small scale. Our family consist of the two of us, four kids between us and the animals. The animals are a HUGE part of our family! We have two dogs, two cats, two rabbits (No we don't live on an Arc!) six laying hens, a ton of fish and a few thousand worms. Confused? Well they all play a part on our homestead! We have a rather large garden and greenhouse and grow the majority of our plants in aquaponics and hydroponics systems (hence the need for hundreds of fish).
Everything has it's purpose and nothing goes to waste!
We are quickly outgrowing our half acre lot and are looking to soon relocate to a much larger homestead with more acreage. This business will play an integral role in our future and we can't wait to watch it grow!
Never a dull moment around here!
Vino & Valentine
Vino and Valentine get garden treats on harvest days!
Chickens vs. Snake
Without fail, there is no better form of homestead entertainment that to watch the hens fight over a garden snake they get occasionally! Even the dogs get excited watching them chase each other and steal the snake as if its a game of "Keep Away!"
What's Happening on The Homestead
An ongoing look at our life and a bunch of other useless information ...
The "KING" of Saw Dust!
February 24, 2019
Not a day goes by that we aren't dodging the dogs or crossing over the chickens underfoot. I have to admit, I was shocked to learn how much all the animals love the sawdust ! Today, King (our oldest dog) laid in the shavings as we were planing and enjoyed the one and only dry area in our yard and the rare sighting of the SUN that we all enjoyed today!
Mistakenly Missing Hen...was Actually a Hoarding Hen!
March 16, 2019
So last Saturday , after spending a long day at the winery (as a vendor) we came home to only 5 hens greeting us in the driveway. We quickly checked all the nesting boxes and continued to walk the property looking for the missing Zinfandel a.k.a. "Zinnie".
As a chicken mom my heart raced and I panicked! I quickly got on our neighborhood app and without thinking...posted...MISSING AMERICAUNA HEN! PLEASE HELP! (This is a normal response right??!!)
We looked everywhere and were actually discussing the possibilities that she may have literally "flown the coop" since her wings have recently grown back. Or maybe she was the victim of a chicken hawk that we have witnessed lurking overhead lately.
My better half then kneels down in front of storage shed and peeks underneath. Keep in mind there is no more than 6-8 inches of clearance under the shed. I hear him say "You won't believe this!" So I finish my text to all of the neighbors begging for any info on my missing baby and use the flashlight on my phone to peer under the shed.
It was like we had stumbled across the Easter Bunny's secret lair! What appeared to be tons of beautiful blue eggs scattered all over the concrete ! Then I saw her, a small bundle up against a rafter that we weren't even sure was actually Zinnie. So he grabs the rake and decides to poke at it to see if it moves.
First he had to pull all of the Easter eggs out to be able to reach her. As I stood back watching in amazement I counted as he repeatedly pulled more and more eggs out until I stopped counting at 17!
Then the rake must have spooked her because she came running out like we had just lit a fire under her! He grabbed her so I could do the obligatory mom check over to ensure she was in fact safe and in one piece. We took this opportunity to clip her wings again and scold her for hoarding her eggs.
Sometimes our kids need a little tough love!
Here she is looking a little ticked off at us...Love this girl even when she's broody!
The Garden That Feeds Us All!
March 17, 2019
The garden that feeds us all!
We spend a lot of time outside in the garden and in our greenhouse. We try to grow what we know we will eat and sometimes we experiment with new items. Everything we harvest has a purpose.
Usually the purpose it to feed us! If bugs got a hold of some of the leaves on our cabbage or lettuces, then we feed those leaves to the chickens or rabbits so that again, nothing is wasted.
Even items that have spoiled get tossed into the worm farm...that's right I said worm farm. It's actually a great way to quickly compost everything and it also creates an amazing liquid fertilizer that sets our garden apart from most.
Regardless, Today was harvest day in the garden. It was also Spring planting day for all of the seedling we started in the greenhouse.
So up came all of the carrots, kale, bok-choy, lettuce, spinach, green peas, etc.
We seeded some of our plants, so we were left with flowered bolting plants that had far surpassed where we like to eat them. SO I tackle the process of dividing up the leafy greens for the rabbits, the crunchy stems for the chickens and I pile all of the thick stalks on the ground for composting when I'm finished.
Well, the dogs had a better idea. Evidently they love their greens! Both dogs devoured the majority of the stems as well as any carrots they could manage to get from me!
Guess we have to worry about the dogs getting into the garden now and not just the rabbits and chickens!
Fresh from the Garden!
April 2, 2019
As we were planting our Spring garden, we had to harvest what was left of the winter garden. Up came the rest of the carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, kale, etc.
This is such a bittersweet time for us as we say goodbye to our lush green garden and start all over for another season. It's time for melons of all kinds, bright and fragrant leafy greens, and of course Tomatoes and Peppers!
Trying to get ready for Summer and Beach weather these amazingly sweet carrots came at the perfect time! We take these beauties and snack on them all day to help curb my crunchy cravings!
While the onions and garlic have been stored and the rest infused in our signature olive oil collection that we let slowly "sun-infuse" till all the flavorings blend into the oil for the garden fresh taste all year long!
Pictures of the Spring Garden coming soon!