Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life on the Farm

Blessings to you all,

It has been so long since I have written ANYTHING on this blog, I have almost forgotten how.  There have been many, many changes around our place.  One of the biggest is our major steps to get off of the grid.  We have been trying to simplify, declutter and doing our best to live a different way.  It has been challenging, two steps forward, one step back, intermediate steps, rethinking........ Anyway, it has been fun.  A lot of work..... but fun.  Our life has changed to very quiet, simple homebound routines.   Some of our upcoming projects include a root cellar, ice house and spring house.

As part of that process, we have gotten more serious about our garden.  In the early spring, we dug trenches with the help of the backhoe and put manure in, then refilled.  It broke up some hardpan, stirred around our minerals and really improved our soil.

After reading several wonderful gardening books over the winter, we laid out the plants differently.  Every plant was put in carefully with consideration of "root room".  We wanted to give every plant plenty of room to thrive.  This meant that we placed the tomato plants 4' on center.  It was hard for me.  I was limited to 50 plants...... OK, I might have snuck a couple extra in.  I also gave room to the squash, cukes, melons, peppers - everything got enough root room.  They marked up a piece of pipe for me so I could easily plant.

My sweet hubby made new tomato cages for me this year.  We didn't have enough material for all of the tomatoes, but hopefully by next year we will.  I will use fencepost and wires for the rest of the plants.

We have been harvesting raspberries, beets (they are yummy just rinsed, rubbed with oil and salt and baked) greens of every type, tomatoes (from the coldframe) squash, kohlrabi, turnips, parsnips, radish, peas and we are just beginning to get cucumbers.  Our meals are simple and revolve around soaked grains, greens, eggs, milk, garden produce, our own chickens, grass fed beef and raw cheese.

The cow produces wonderful milk and the chickens are laying beautifully.  My sister continues to turn chicks out of her ever revolving incubator.  The roosters we butcher, the hens we either keep or move on to someone else.  We have lots of chickens.  We used the broody hens and chicks to keep the coldframe warm this winter.... that is why we have early tomatoes.  I'll be working a lot harder on the coldframe w/chicken heat this winter.

The Spring and Summer have been filled with hard work, family, new experiences, adjustments, and the Hand of the Lord always giving us guidance.  I can say again today that He has NEVER left us.... NEVER forsaken us.  We can depend on His mercy, His abundance and His grace.

Be blessed, healthy and well