Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barn Hoppin' Time

What have we been up to over the last week?
Mostly finishing up the school year, but you can't help but get out and dig in the dirt as well.

Most of our homesteading work took place on Memorial Day, which is why I didn't post anything yesterday. Other days were just too busy with school and Church.
Earlier in the week I did plant 1/2 of my pole beans, and yesterday I planted the rest. Pole beans are our biggest crop because it is our favorite and they usually do well. It is also one of the few that does do well in our short summer. This comic strip pretty much says it all regarding our weather. Especially the last several years.
Besides beans, I planted crooked-neck squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash (which I'm not sure will have enough time to finish), acorn squash and sugar pumpkin. I also planted lemon cucumbers, slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers. I weeded several beds, including the strawberries which are looking very nice! I just planted this bed last year and am really excited about how well the plants are doing and how full of blooms they are!
My husband spent the afternoon creating the very tall trellis for his 3 hops plants. One of them we've had several years and definitely needed taller support. The other 2 we planted this year and won't be as big.
I have a bed of bok choy and kale that is ready to pick and the bok choy is ready to bolt if I don't grab. Once that bed is harvested I'll plant something else there. I think potatoes. I know I should have planted those weeks and weeks ago, but I didn't think I was going to grow them until just last week. I'd also like to figure out where I can plant some more kale and bok choy to use through summer, but it has to be a partially shady area to block from the intense heat we just might get in July.
Well, another week is upon us. My homesteading efforts are headed indoors for some of this week as I cull and clean to get ready for a rummage sale.
Have a great week!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Homestead Revival Barn Hop

I am hoping to revive this blog a bit by joining The Barn Hop! I happened upon this blog "Homestead Revival" and find it truly inspiring. She, along with a couple other gals" created "Homestead Barn Hop: Cultivating the Homestead Community" which is done every Monday. Today, is my first post.


We've had a busy week and have even gotten to see the sun for several days. Well, it is actually what has allowed us to work on outdoor projects. I feel a change in the weather and it is wonderful. Saturday morning I walked outside and it actually felt warm. Not like WARM warm but the air was different, there was no crispness to it and I thought to myself...spring is finally here.
Last week we prepared more of the garden beds for planting, did lots of weeding and mowing (harvesting grass for poultry) and bucked up a tree that fell a couple months ago in preparation for next winter.

One of my favorite things in the whole world is gardening. Digging my hands into the dirt, transforming gardens by weeding, sowing seeds and watching them grow. Then being able to prepare a wholesome meal from the fruits of those labors. Nothing like it in the world. Last year I revamped all my beds to create raised beds (no built sides, but just mounds of dirt) using the "no dig method" of gardening. Each year you just continue to add mulch and compost never disturbing the ecosystem within the soil. There is lots of information out there on this..just google it. It's also known as "Lasagna Gardening". This is my second year on this method. Last year we had the cold spring possible and this year we are following suite so I have been struggling to get things to grow. Not only has it been cold, but it has been SO wet! We are approximately 5 inches above normal for rainfall since 1/1. For the season (which is recorded since 10/1/10) we are over 10 inches above normal.

Kelsey is planting onions here. Behind her we have peas and spinach. Even the greens that I have planted (kale, chard, choy, spinach) are all struggling, not because the cold but because it is so wet!

The peas are about the only thing that is doing well right now!

I spent a couple afternoons weeding the raspberries. They were so overgrown and thick with grass that there were even mushrooms growing in a big clump in one section. I'm still learning about how to take care of this fruit. It was here when we moved in 5 years ago and I still haven't figured out the whole pruning method for them. I know it involves 1st year and 2nd year canes and whatnot.

Kelsey and I worked together to get two beds ready and planted. We planted 10 rows of onion, 10 rows of broccoli, 6 rows of leeks and 6 rows of beets.

As I mentioned earlier I did lots of mowing. I take all the grass I mow and throw it to the chickens. They are not technically "free-range" due to the number of dogs that roam the area, my own included. They have a big fenced area where they've created a moonscape. So during the winter we throw them alfalfa hay from time to time and in the summer they eat the grass.

Last but not least we spent Saturday hauling these rounds ( and more) out of the forest behind our house. We had 2 big trees go down this winter from storms and so we took God's blessings and started the stockpile for next winter. This was hard work because we couldn't get the truck back to where they were.

Thanks for Do-Sa-Doing with me. See you next week!