I thought it would be appropriate to try to keep track of how things are going and how we are progressing on our homestead goals. We’ve been here a little over a month now (moved in April 20th). Feels like its been longer than that!
-Our biggest project has definitely been building the garage/workshop. We are finally wrapping it up, just a few more things to do on it. I know I am pleased with how it turned out, and I know Alex is ecstatic about finally having a place to store all of his tools. I will be so happy when they are out of my living room!! I am looking forward to him being able to build me some bookshelves or other projects for things around the house! Now we need a table saw!
-The second biggest project has been getting the garden in. I know this is a learning year so things aren’t moving along as quickly as I had hoped, but all is not lost yet! My plants are finally growing, and I am hoping they will “take off” here shortly. We have been getting plenty of rain and my woodchips are working beautifully I hardly ever have to water. I did go an get a load of mushroom compost last week and spread a few inches on the garden, I am hoping that will help them along. So far I have 3 tomato plants, about 7 squash plants, 4 cuke plants, 11 sweet potato plants, 6 pepper plants, a couple acorn squash, watermelon, and pumpkins growing. Oh and a basil plant. I have some seedlings to plant as well that are a few more tomatoes and some more herbs. Overall, I am happy with how things are going!
-We are mostly unpacked, all except books really and craft stuff. I need shelves badly! We are still trying to figure out what to do with our spare bedroom, which is currently where all of our storage stuff is. I think we are going to turn it into a craft/sewing room for now until we need it for more kids. LOL (no that’s NOT a hint). It would be nice to have an area where I can set up sewing projects and not have to clean it up to eat dinner on the same table! However, I need another table and some storage bins of some sort. So that’s a work in process.
-Grass (or rather weeds) are finally growing which is helping take over the MonroePost mud lake. The front yard is almost covered and the backyard is getting there. We have some low lying areas on the sides of the house which get flooded in rain, so they are pretty much mud all the time. I think we will need a few loads of dirt to truly remedy that problem. The septic area is not really growing anything, and I think that’s mainly due to the high sand content. They brought in loads of sand instead of dirt. Sooo, we might just have to keep working on that area.
-I got my clothesline built (or rather Alex built my clothesline). So far I love it! Its so nice to save energy and have sun dried clothes! I think hanging clothes does a better job than even ironing Alex’s work shirts! So windy out here, wrinkles don’t stand a chance! Yesterday I washed and hung sheets for the first time. Quintessential country living there. Haha!
-We have also been talking with the farmer who cares for the land around us (and who once cared for these 5 acres). We have decided to sublet the back part of our land (about 2.75 acres of it) to this farmer and allow him to care for it for a while. This was a tough decision as we really don’t like what he will be growing, but we have decided its the best plan. We have a long journey ahead of us before we can really care for 5.5 acres by ourselves without a real tractor or a cow or something. We are letting him use the back and leaving a good 300 feet from the house before he will start planting. We felt comfortable with this distance. I have voiced my concerns about the pesticides ect to the farmer and he is extremely understanding and cautious. He is very supportive of my gardening methods and will do his best to support me. He even said if they wind direction was wrong (towards my house) he will never spray. I felt better knowing that he was supportive of me and cared about the safety of my family. All that being said, we knew that moving to the country, we would be experiencing commercial farming. There is really no way around it. I am glad to at least have met the farmer (he literally came to my house!) and feel that he is supportive of my values. He even invited me to come down and visit us at his house down the road. I like that. I will forgive the fact that he is planting death seeds in my yard. For now. Someday, I really hope that we can care for all 5 acres and plant our own crops, etc. Maybe goats can help us care for the land. Who knows! So much going on! For now, this will be a convenient way for us to not get overrun with weeds and also a little bit of extra needed income.
Stay tuned for more updates!