Homestead Mommas

This weekend was definitely Mother’s Day here at our little homestead. We didn’t go to Yellowstone as planned but we were blessed with good weather, good food and ten little ducklings that one of our Muscovies hatched out for us as a special present just for the occasion!

We have a second momma duck who should be hatching her clutch any day now, too, so I’m keeping an eye out for them to appear out of the nest she’s sitting on.

We had to rescue the first batch and put them in the brooder because that mother isn’t a particularly good one, apparently, and kept stepping on them (!), nearly killing one. So we gathered them up and got them set up in a safer environment. They seem happy enough.

Some of us just aren’t blessed with good mothers!

Speaking of mothers, our resident robin has laid two eggs so far in her windowbox nest. I put a little web cam up to watch her and she doesn’t seem to mind it even though it looks like a giant eyeball staring down at her.

She isn’t sitting full time yet and takes long breaks to go eat worms and bathe in the pond and other birdie stuff so I was able to safely sneak another picture with my camera to see how many eggs she has so far.

I figure she’ll probably lay one more before she hunkers down to hatch her babies out, too.

Other things are really starting to come alive here, finally, as well! The lilacs are filling out and the apple tree is full of promise with lots of lovely little baby apple buds appearing on almost every branch.

It has taken a few years for it to really start bearing fruit, but it’s been worth the wait. We’re adding more fruit trees this fall and I’m also looking into adding more perennials that grow in our climate. I found this guy who has 30 edible perennials planted in his zone 5 “food forest” for inspiration.

I especially want to try those Egyptian walking onions!

I also found out by happy accident that we can cut our tax bill here in Idaho substantially by applying for a homeowners exemption. No one has ever mentioned this to us and I had no idea it even existed until this morning when I was googling “Idaho homesteads” to find places for field trips for the blog and up popped this link to an article entitled Idaho Homeowners Exemption: Save On Your Property Taxes.

A property tax exemption reduces the net taxable value of your home and up to one acre of your property. Instead of calculating your property tax percentage based on the full value of your home, the Idaho Homeowners Exemption subtracts $100,000 and determines your tax rate based on the resulting amount.

Apparently they don’t just give it away (ha); you have to apply for it but once your application is accepted it’s good for the entire time you live at your primary residence. It could seriously save us some money! So I’m getting on that right away (even though we just missed the deadline for this year – dangit!).

I’m not sure about other states, but it might be worth checking into!

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