Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring is here, life renewed.

I can't believe it's been 3/4 of a year since I posted.  I can't believe people still come to look. 
Red-flowering Currant. The hummingbirds love these!

As spring has come to our neck of the woods I'm feeling renewed, energized, encouraged and inspired! 

Just as I posted about last summer,  I'm ready to go, full of vim and vigor. I've updated my project list in my planner/calendar book.  Several things are still on there from last year and many new things. 

The goals are the same, learning to be self-sufficient.  The challenges are the same, disorganization and chaos. 

But I am renewed with the spring.

Cleaning up garden beds.
We've had an amazing spring so far, we've even hit 70 degrees once already, March 31st.  I've been working in the garden, readying the beds. I've planted spinach and sweet pea flowers.  The garlic is emerging. 



Garlic


    The first Saturday of March we butchered our old flock of chickens and put 24 hens in the freezer. My mom was here to help and all the children helped. Everyone is getting used to it. Charissa even tried her hand at helping me with eviscerating.

My emerging echinacea.
My mom is going to be living with us for a little while and while she was here in January/February she did a lot of research on raising meat rabbits.  She really would like to try her hand at breeding and raising rabbit for meat.  So that might be something we do this summer with her in charge.  (She's back in MN right now packing up her place. She'll be back in May.)

Having my mom here is going to be an incredible inspiration.  My mom is very project oriented and loves to keep busy. So I'm excited to have her here to keep me going!

Chives. We used some for dinner last night!
   

Friday, July 20, 2012

Project update

I always have the best of intentions, but when you have 4 children, a flock of chickens, new ducks, unpredictable weather, Church, friends and relatives, things don't always go the way you plan them. 
At first I really felt like I was making no progress, but then I went back to look at the pictures I've taken so far and I see that I really have made a little dent.  I've started many of the projects but not completed many.  I have also forgotten to take before pictures on some of them. 
This was the first project I started and finished. 
This is the area just in front of the barn.  The kids up there didn't know it at the time but they were my helpers. 
After an hour or so this was the end result.

It is astonishing to me how the grass grows up so fast and just totally consumes all that is around it.  We had to dig out tree branches that we threw there next to the fence last fall.  They were suppose to be to cut up and burn.  They still can be.  I just can't believe how they got buried under the grass.

Some other things that I have started is the side of the barn, the garden work area, and one not on the list but finished and completed (pictures to come later) was the front garden bed.  I'm particularly proud of that.  I'll post on that in a day or 2, I need to get an after picture.

Here is a picture of Kelsey's new ducks. The littlest ones are Khaki Campbell and the bigger ones are Blue Runners.  They are a month apart in age which and we were worried we wouldn't be able to put them together but they have really taken to each other.  The Khakis follow the Blues around as if they are mothers, it is so cute.  Kelsey filled this little green sled up with water for their little pool and they love it.

I have a lot more to post about so hopefully it won't be that long until I do.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Summer of Projects

Summer is upon us and this is our 6th summer on our little farm.  I've gotten a little behind on my goals lately.  We don't need to go into the details of that, it just happens.  I just know that after a little backsliding on goals I'm raring to go, full force into catch-up mode. 
It is astonishing how quickly things can grow up and take over around here.  In just one winter (or 2)  there are areas around my piece of land that are totally taken over by trees or blackberries or grass or junk.  The inside of the house has become dreary and old and also has been taken over by junk. 
So I'm ready for change and catching up!  This summer has been titled, "The Summer of Projects" and I have a long lists of them ready to tackle.  I probably won't get to all of them, but I will do my darnedest to try.
I have decided to journal my journey through the Summer of Projects.  I will post before and after pictures of my clean up projects and my redecorating projects.  I think it will be fun to see the progress and change.  And just maybe, MAYBE, it will hold me accountable. 
Here is my list of projects: 

Summer Project List

1. Clean all areas within the garden.
2.  Slowly lay mulch over grassy areas.
3.  Clean and cull side of house.
4.  Clean and cull back of house.
5.  Clean and cull side of barn and front of barn.
6.  Clean and cull in tent. Take tent down or move it to.
7.  Trim trees where hutches are and move hutches.
8.  Clean out barn completely.
9.  Sand and paint kitchen floor.
10. Refinish front deck.
11. Trim trees & landscaping along driveway.
12. Paint LR
13. Paint kitchen & DR.
14. Paint hallway & stairwell.
15. Paint CJ’s room.
16. Finish cabin siding.
17. Build greenhouse.
18. Paint outbuildings.
19. Prepare pig pen for fall wieners.

These really aren't in any particular order except that the ones at the bottom are really the ones that probably are the least of my worries and probably won't get done.  I will do the first 14 in whatever order I feel like it.  For example I've already done #4 almost to completion, but forgot to take pictures.  It wasn't until after that I decided to take pictures.  I am almost done with #5 and do have pictures so will post my first before and after later this week. 

Do you have any summer projects you are working on?  Any big goals? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gardening

It brings me great joy to be in the spring season.  It is my favorite time of year!  The days are longer, the air fresh.  There is birth, clean, new joy filling the air.  I plan my own birth of sorts.  The sprouting of seeds.  Seeds that grow and flourish in the new found sunshine.  Seeds that grow into sustenance. 
My hands have been digging in the earth for a few weeks now.  Plucking out weeds and sowing seeds.  The therapeutic nature of plucking and sowing brings me a renewal of mind. A sense of freedom from the mundane days of winter.  Words truly cannot express this true joy I feel.
So far this spring I've planted chard, turnips, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, two kinds of squash, sugar pumpkin and leeks.  Last fall I planted garlic (my FAVORITE crop now) and they are a foot tall already. 
I still have 5 beds that need attention and planting.  Most likely 3 of them will be all green beans.  Every year I plant more of those and still barely have enough to freeze.  I want TONS of beans in my freezer come fall.  It's our favorite garden food. I cannot wait to pluck those fresh, delicious beans off the vine and munch.  Mmmmm
Weather this weekend is to be another beauty...will get the rest in!

Thank you, Lord for spring and the beauty of rebirth all around me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ordering Seed

I just found a new source for heirloom seeds and I'm thrilled! It's through our co-op Azure Standard and they are called Heirlooms Evermore. What's so wonderful about them is that this little heirloom business was started by a young lady and she has worked hard at growing it up and into something successful. And it's local to the Northwest.
I've ordered these seeds to start me out. They should arrive February 28th and I should get some of the greens in the ground almost right away! Yeah!

Bull's Blood Beet Seeds

Bouquet Dill Seeds
Boston Pickling Cucumber Seeds

Blue Lake Pole Bean Seeds

Long Standing Spinach Seeds

Snowball Cauliflower Self Blanching

Small Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

Purple Top White Globe Turnip Seeds

Nantes Scarlet Carrot Seeds

Golden Summer Crookneck Squash Seeds

Copenhagen Market Cabbage

De Cicco Broccoli Seeds

Amish Paste Tomato Seeds

Black Hungarian Pepper Seeds

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce Seeds

Straight Eight Cucumber Seeds

Sunflower Mammoth Gray Striped

Sweet Pea Seeds

Winter Thyme Seeds

Burbank Tomato Seeds


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Garden Planning

What do I do when January starts "creepin' me out"?
Think garden!!!

A couple years ago I created a map of my garden. Each year I redraw it form scratch. I have no idea why it took me 3 years to realize, oh, I can scan this into my computer and create a pdf file of it and just print it out each year! Yeah, so now I have this to print out...I forgot to mark North. My garden does not lay perfectly east/west or north/south but the corners are the directions. The echinacea is in the east corner and the cherry tree in the north corner. Those things that are written in are perennial or tree/shrub. The rest I write in new each year as I rotate.
I'm excited that the days are now getting longer and in a month or so I can start seeds indoors. I hope to put up at least one hoop house over one bed as early as March so I can start planting spinach, kale, and chard. I might even be able to plant it even earlier if I can get the hoop up earlier than March.
I have a catalog from Seeds of Change and the Victory Seed website and it is my HOPE to do most of my seed shopping via these 2 companies. I want to be able to save seed and these 2 have heirloom seeds. I've never saved seed before, it is a goal I hope I can accomplish. An ambitious goal for this full-plate so we'll see.

There is light at the end of the winter doldrums tunnel. Yeah!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Wonderland





We woke to falling snow and it is still very lightly coming down. We got 4 inches or so so far. Lots of places around us got way more than that. I know further south in Olympia they got over 10 inches I think, just today. North of us were hit hard earlier in the week. Snohomish where my SIL is, they had 7 inches as of Monday night. We are thankful to be home and enjoying this beautiful scene God has created for us.