Just another “Labor” Day

Today was just another “Labor” Day on the Homestead. Instead of sitting around, eating cheesepuffs and celebrating pension shortfalls, cadillac insurance plans, and 30 hour work weeks, I commemorated the day like most Americans would have prior to 1882: by actually working.

First up, the annual deep clean of the chicken coop was in order. We clean the coop monthly, but this was the *deep* clean: muck it out, hose it out, then scrub it down with a 10% solution of chlorine bleach. We like to do this going into the fall so the chickies have lower bacterial, fungal and viral pressure going into the tough winter, where they will spend a lot more time inside the coop.

Fuel Injector: That's proper broke.
Fuel Injector: That’s proper broke.

After the coop was cleaned it was time for the monthly paddock shift. The Chicken Chalet, as it’s known, is on a flatbed trailer, and moving it requires my pickup. We were two weeks overdue to move the coop because I had a disaster while rebuilding the throttle body on the truck, which necessitated ordering (and waiting for) a remanufactured unit. While I was waiting, I replaced the fuel pump, filter, most of the emissions sensors, lots of vacuum hose, and replaced the oil in the rear differential. She’s gettin’ on in years. Anyway, today’s project was to reattach the bed, which was removed when I replaced the fuel pump. Thankfully I only have 3 bed screws left. I had to sawzall off 3 more last week.

Bed firmly(?) attached to the pickup, the family finally set out moving the sparkling-clean coop, which is a two hour affair since we must take down, move and re-erect what we affectionately refer to as the “Anti-Missile Shield” – a 50’x50’ aviary net supported by 30’ PVC hoops that keeps out our tenacious Red-Tailed Hawk population. The chickens now snug in their new home for the next month, I got out the mower and knocked down the tall grass where they previously were. Just in time for dinner. Taco Night!

Canning Tomatoes
Canning Tomatoes

After dinner I canned up 6 (more) quarts of tomatoes. ‘Tis the season, and we’re doing a canning run of tomatoes just about twice a week now. In addition to the one-off runs of salsa, relish, pickles…etc, etc, etc.

And then I sat down and wrote this blog post.

So, in the spirit of “Labor” Day, I spent the day laboring on various things that simply needed to get done. There’s no fabulous pension plan, or $25 co-pays on the homestead – here we earn our keep, every single day.

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