Adding Muscovy Ducks to the Homestead

Nothing worse than opening the mailbox and being greeted by a bunch of bills.

Nothing better than opening the garage’s brooder and being greeted by a bunch of bills.


That’s right.  We are now are the proud caretakers of six baby ducklings.

Muscovy Ducklings.

Gentlemanly Muscovy Ducklings.


I’d been considering adding ducks to the Homestead for some time, so when our good friends at Shady Coop Farm mentioned they had a broody ducky mama, I quickly called “Dibs” while making a mental note to ask for spousal permission later.

Here are a few reasons why I sought out Muscovy (Cairina moschata) for our specific situation and goals.  I will write a follow-up post all about where these guys will call home and how I’m integrating them into my overall Permaculture design… and you’ll see then why some of these are very important to me.

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An Important Independence Day Tradition

Tomorrow is Independence Day.  A national holiday.  A day of celebration.

More importantly, I believe it is a day for reverence, reflection, and respect.  A day I spend extremely thankful for many reasons, one of which is a tradition I hold dear.  A Family Tradition you are now formally invited to join.

Before you and your loved ones dig in to your BBQ feast, beverages, and fireworks… after your prayer (if you’re so inclined)… I invite you to join us in reading the Declaration of Independence.  Yes, the whole thing.  If you’ll be blessed to be surrounded by friends and family, have everyone take a turn reading a small section aloud… even the little ones.  If you’ll be blessed to celebrate by yourself, I still recommend reading it out loud. (I have!).

Read those words and give some thought to their meaning.  In case you don’t want to Google up a copy, I’ve included it below so it’s easy to print out.

It’s easy to forget their reasons and rationale for declaring Independence from their own government and King.  Do any news articles over the last few years, even over the last few decades… and more importantly – issues you rarely see in the news… relate to their list of grievances our Founders listed for us?

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Companion Planting for Grapes

I’m a big advocate of companion planting.  A couple driving principles of Permaculture are “Integrate Rather than Segregate” and “Use and Value Diversity”.  If we’re going to try and implement those anyway, it makes sense to put some thought into the different plants we put together in our systems. Some plants are friendly to each other. Others… not so much, and should be avoided.

Today we’re talking specifically about beneficial companion plants for your grapevines.


I recently shared the Shade Trellis I built for my Chicken Coop.


Well, a couple days after I took that picture, my bare root grapevines arrived and I was ready to plant the trellises’ raised beds.

There are other options, but I chose to go with these for reasons we’ll discuss.

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Free Workshop on Keeping Backyard Chickens

Just a reminder that tonight, Wednesday June 18, I’ll be hosting a free workshop as part of the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District Speaker Series.


I hope you can join us to learn everything you need to know to raise backyard chickens.  If you’re just starting out… or looking for a way to manage a healthier and more natural flock, this workshop might have something for you.

We’ll discuss local laws, breed selection, how to house, feed, and care for your birds, and much more.  You might be surprised just how easy it is, especially considering the many benefits chickens provide in addition to a healthy breakfast.  This program will be presented by Mike Kinsey, Owner of Gentleman Homestead Consulting.

Registration is encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome.

The program begins at 7:00PM at 2751 Washington Mill Rd, Bellbrook, OH 45305 (<– Google Map link).

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Chickens

Who’s the Big Winner?!

Mikey’s the Big Winner!!


That’s right, ladies and gentleman…

I came.  I saw.  I commented.  I won… A blog contest.

In particular I won some rocking chicken art from the very talented Sarah Hudock of Lighthearted Art thanks to a contest sponsored by Tilly’s Nest, one of the most informative and entertaining chicken-centric sites out there.  Seriously, if you haven’t been reading… you need to be.

Just don’t expect to win this.  It recently arrived and is already complementing my coop.


Sarah’s art is perfect for sprucing up anything – inside or out – as her tin easily wipes off and resists the weather.  Since this  beautiful piece has a little bit of a feminine flair, I figured our girls would love it.

To digress for a second…

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