Welcome back to the Gubba Podcast! I’m Gubba, a first time homesteader following in the footsteps of my homesteading forebears. Today’s episode will be a little different than the others. I am going to tell you a little bit about myself and updates around the homestead. I realize I haven’t don’t that really on this Podcast, so I figured now would be a good time with all of the updates on the homestead.
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My name is Gubba, and I moved out to 38 acres at the end of last year. I had been dreaming up a homestead for the past few years—especially after the pandemic happened. I truly didn’t expect for it to happen so fast, and I thought maybe a homestead was later down the road for me. I was actively searching for some property, and eventually found the property I am at now. It truly was a miracle and I am grateful I got to watch God’s hand work in my life, and I am grateful every day to be living where I am.
I am learning every day and I have my hands full out on the farm trying to build it into what I want it to be. When I first moved out here, it was pretty overrun with garbage and junk that had accumulated over the years. To be honest, the junk was pretty overwhelming and I eventually had to get a dump trunk and loaded up five loads of junk that went to the dump. I couldn’t believe how much stuff there was. I vowed that I would never accumulate stuff that doesn’t serve a purpose. I moved in right before winter though, so I had to deal with the junk through the winter. As soon as spring was in the air, I got that garbage out of here.
My first real struggle moving out here was heat and keeping warm. My house isn’t set up with a traditional HVAC system where I can just press a button and have the vents blow out warm air. Yes, it does have a HVAC, but the HVAC was mainly set up for the piping and the hot air from the furnace in the basement would blow into the HVAC then travel through the vents to heat the house. I had never in my life used a wood stove, so that was a learning experience for me. I was heading into winter and it was either learn how to do that, get am HVAC person out (which is near impossible), or freeze. I decided I would utilize the massive wood pile I have and learn to use a wood stove. It was a struggle at first because I felt like I was constantly babysitting the woodstove with keeping the fire going, but I eventually go the hang of it. Now, I save all of my newspaper and cardboard and use it as fuel for the fire. I have excellent kindlin wood and a ginormous pile of wood to gather from. I have multiple videos on my youtube showcasing both the wood pile and my heating system.
After I figured out the heating and got my house from 58 to a more manageable number in the 60s, it was time to get to work. The house was a bit of a disaster with dark corners and grungy areas, so I had to deep clean everything. Bugs ran absolutely rampant inside of the house. To think of it, bugs may have been the first struggle I had before it got cold. I moved in and bugs were crawling everywhere-the walls, windows, and floors. It felt like everywhere I was looking, bugs were running about. I was vacuuming bugs throughout the day and before I went to bed and I had a bug zapper set up inside that popped throughout the night. Wasps were even finding their way into the house.
How do I keep bugs out of my house?
I took the time to landscape some of my house to fight the bug problem. Because grass was running up right next to the house, the bugs were also running straight into my house I pulled the grass back a few feet, tarped the ground, and put rock on top of the tarp. The bugs don’t like the rock because they get hot in the sun and it is so much more surface area to travel about on. I also sealed up around my house with caulk. It was apparent that the house hadn’t been sealed in a long time, so there were a lot of cracks that the bugs were crawling into—no thanks! I noticed after I landscaped and did some sealing—the bugs decreased. So far this spring, I haven’t seen any bugs inside of my house. And I’m hoping it stays that way as things heat up. I’m also in the middle of landscaping the rest of the exterior. I can’t stand having bugs running about in the house. The basement is a bit of a different story because it is a traditional concrete basement that is partially finished. There are hidey-holes down there that I know bugs and spiders have probably lived in for generations. I would rather the spiders be down there, though, then upstairs with me. Sealing my house helped with the bug situation down there as well.
I saw a tiktok of someone using a ton of pesticides inside of their house to rid of the bugs and people were so upset in the comments saying we should just coexist with the bugs. Like what in the? Sure, but not in the house! I don’t think you need to use pesticides though if you keep a clean area and have your house properly sealed. Probably varies by area though. You can also use a natural pesticide called diatomaceous earth that will dry bugs out if they crawl over it and kill them. Get the food grade if put it inside of your house. You have to sprinkle it around and it makes a little bit of a mess, but it’s chemical free.
Anyway, bugs and keeping warm were my first struggles on the farm. I learned through them both and now know how to better my situation going into the next fall and winter. My downstairs wood stove is falling a part, so I’m hoping I can find some parts for it this summer. If not, I will have to get a new wood stove.
Another journey I went through was cleaning the existing chicken coop on the property. It was absolutely disgusting. I vlogged this adventure because I couldn’t believe how nasty the coop was, and how far it has come. The coop was filled with garbage and was a mouse house filled with mouse poop literally everywhere. I had to go in there with cleaning equipment and a huge bottle of bleach. Oh, and also a shopvac to vacuum everything up. I wanted to clean up the coop, so I could have a nice home for the chickens I was going to get. I definitely didn’t want to throw the chickens into an unclean area. Now, I would say my chickens are pretty spoiled and loving their coop.
Chicken Coop Before
Chicken Coop Remodeled
Chicken Coop Fire!
I got chickens on the homestead this spring. Ten leghorns—one rooster and nine hens. I build them a nice roost, insulated their side of the coop, and add another layer of flooring because there was a bit of a sink hole in there. They have a super cozy coop now. I did face a coop fire due to a heat lamp. I would never suggest using a heat lamp in your coops or barns by the way. I was aware of the danger, and I still used one anyway. One morning I went out, smelled smoke, opened the door and smoke came billowing out. The heat lamp fell and burnt through the floor. Surprisingly, it didn’t burn down the whole coop because the whole coop is wood. I know that it was absolutely a miracle that it didn’t burn down, and I learned my lesson. I fixed the hole in the floor and now have the cutest and happiest chickens.
Besides chickens, I have bees that have recently joined the homestead. Two hives to be exact. Bees are neat and an important pollinator, and I have always wanted to try my hand at beekeeping. I researched and read about bees through the winter and my bee families finally arrived towards the middle of spring. I built them a bench to set their hive homes on and welcomed transferred them in one sunny day. I’m so happy I vlogged this experience because it was one of my coolest homesteading events so far. I loved hanging out with the bees—it was peaceful. I thought I would be more nervous, but they were friendly and happy to be moving in.
I most likely won’t be collecting honey from them this year, but it all depends on how well they do and how much they make. My first priority is to make them strong and keep them healthy then it’s the reward. Honey can last indefinitely, and will be a great addition to my prepper pantry. Eggs from my chickens will also help me be self sufficient, and that is the goal of my farm—to become self sufficient. I realized that I wont be able to do it in a year, but as long as I make progress each year, I will be happy.
I wanted to have a massive garden this year, but I realized that won’t be happening. I planted some garlic in the fall that is doing well, but I wont have a massive garden. I need to build some more garden boxes and clean up my garden. My biggest problem right now is deer because they come through and eat everything. I have to learn how to use electric fence to keep the deer out. I left some blueberry bushes I had gotten outside and came out and wondered why all of the leaves were gone—it was the deer! I was so annoyed with myself. Learning how to do electric fencing is on my to do list. At the time of this recording, I am actually going to be building some fencing tomorrow. I will be using t posts and field fence. I built my own fence stretcher. I don’t know how it will go, but like I said as long as I am making progress and learning, I am happy with myself.
I plan to eventually have a massive garden and a more productive farm in terms of raising my own meat, but I realized I have to take it a step at a time and rome wasn’t built in a day—neither will my homestead be built in a year. I am happy that I have more storage to store food. I have a huge pantry and a cellar that I can put my food storage into. If you listen to any other episodes in the podcast, you know that I am into food storage and preparedness, so having a big pantry and cellar and a huge bonus to me.
I want to thank you all for coming along with me on this homesteading journey, and I cant wait to see what it will become and you get to see it in real time. Thank you for coming along with me and thank you for listening to today’s podcast! I hope you have a wonderful day and don’t do anything that a gubba wouldn’t’ do.