the farm restart

Moving back to the farm has been so great for this family. All the convenience and ease of life we sought moving into the city was a huge let down.  We are starting up our life again here.  The simple and quiet rhythm here is truly what our hearts long for.

The city was convenient, but here is restful.

The first order of business is preparing the garden for a bountiful crop.  Our garden has rested since the great hailstorm of 2014.

Five Years.

My soul is longing for black compost under my nails, dirt on my face and a famer’s tan.  The glorious smell of fresh cut basil and bees buzzing around and pollinating the food that will be set upon our table is the kind of therapy I thrive in.

I have in the most nerdy fashion been researching.  Some of my favorite resources for gardening are found at Charles Dowding’s No Dig Garden, Roots and Refuge, and MI Gardener.

I have realized through these videos that I have so much the learn about gardening. I think this year is the most researched and planned out growing seasons we’ve had.  I mean I am over-flowing with information and am eager to start putting to practice new-to-me principles.

There is something so exhilarating about the first little sprouts pushing through the dark soil and stretching for the sun.  Every time I witness this miracle of life I am in awe.

In addition to the garden in its beginnings, we just received our baby chicks!  This time around we ordered Easter Eggers and Welsummers from Meyer Hatchery.

They are all being loved on by this family.

Is there anything sweeter than a baby chick chirping and scratching and learning to forage?

Well, perhaps a tiny anything is the most adorable ever.

There are many more dreams and plans being made here. I can’t wait to share them with you.

What are you dreaming of?

Advertisements

i’m living

It’s been forever and a month since I’ve posted here.  For the record, I started some great ideas, and never finished them.  Does that count?  No.  Okay.  Let me say I’m living.  Sometimes better than others.  What is my point?  Everything.  Also, I’m in a weird and funky mood, so bare with me.

Farm first.  The piggies are off to market…all four of them.  We have sold our dairy goats because I have nursed five children and milked two does for three seasons. I really needed a lactation break.  We miss our gals, but they are loved on by a family with more time than I.

Homeschooling has been going well.  I really need to post some reviews on here and YouTube.  I’m loving our system with workboxes.  Some of our curriculum is worthy of its own post.  Would you like that?  Do you care?  I know you do because somehow with all my random rambling, you still come back.  *muah*  I love you.

Nick has a new career. UPS.  That’s a big deal.  We’re still praying he gets onto a permanent position after the holiday season.  He really enjoys the work.  The pay is good and the benefits are great for a family this size.

Our precious poodle Luke died about a month ago.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a photo tribute to him.  We all miss him so much.  Nick and I have confessed to each other never being this sad over a dog before.  It has been hard.  On that note we are looking into adopting a puppy in the near future.  Stay tuned for lovableness.

I have been busy growing my new YouTube channel.  Have you subscribed yet?  I would love your support.  I have lots of grand plans for getting back on track here.  Thanks so much for staying with me.  I appreciate your support and love always.

humble homesteading: our garden prep

Over the years, I’ve attempted gardening on several occasions.  I’ve grown things in tiny peat pots, bought from the nursery, and direct-sowed.  Varied success has resulted.  This is our third spring here at the farm.  I think we’ve finally figured out what works for us and what works in our area.

First we till and make ditches.  Luckily, our neighbors are gracious enough to loan us their machine.  We then flood each ditch and fill in low points.  I also like this done because planting is easier when it’s wet.  It’s also better to plant in moist soil.

IMG_1574

IMG_1576IMG_1581IMG_1583IMG_1593

Now for planning.  I like to sketch up the plan so I know what and where I’ll plant.

Planting time comes next.  After each row is planted I flood the ditch again.  Notice we plant in the ditch- not the hill.  This give the plant a great soaking.  The soil stays moist for 3-5 days (depending on the weather), and it catches all the rain during monsoon season.  We stomp the hills down to make a sturdy walking path.

We have a few garden boxes set up.  I’m making one of them the permanent strawberry patch.  Onions are in one, and the other will have pole beans soon.

We spent two eight-hour days in the garden this weekend.  I’m so glad it’s almost fully planted.

I filled the rows with seeds.  Every child had some part in the prep and planting.  Little ones love dropping seeds into the holes.  Nobody likes pulling weeds.  Me either!  IMG_1567IMG_1587IMG_1589IMG_1594

We have found through trial and error that I can’t grow peppers or tomatoes from seed too well.  I’m working on it.  For this year we decided to buy plants from the nursery.  I buy bulbs for onions and garlic.  Everything else is seed sown directly into the ground.  I’m worried about the carrots coming up.  I had no success last year.  Any tips for carrots?

Here’s our list of what’s in the ground right now:

pickling cucumbers, corn, tomatoes (variety), peppers (sweet and hot variety), bush beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, romaine lettuce, blue dwarf kale, zucchini, spaghetti squash, onions (red and yellow), garlic, asparagus, herbs (variety), pie pumpkins, and eggplant.

IMG_1611 IMG_1612

By the end of next week I hope to add:

potatoes, blueberry bushes, raspberries, black berries, pomegranates, strawberries, pole beans.

What are you growing?  How do you adjust for your climate?