Our homestead land is beginning to come alive with this warm weather, and we couldn't be any more excited. Each time we go up to "the land", we rush over to the garden to see what is new that day. Nature really is quite amazing; the beauty and relationships you find there continue to amaze and encourage me. Well, come along now, I'll show you what it is that keeps us so excited.
Oh, the garden....it is a beautiful and terrible mess all at the same time! Following Ruth Stout's method of no dig, no weeds through mulching, we've found that we just cannot have enough mulch. I mean...the quack grass is the most persistent thing I've ever met. It's ok, though! Despite the weeds, the garden is beginning to grow and is producing more and more each day. We've finished up our radishes, which is a huge bummer, but we are excited for the next round of things that will soon be available like lettuce and peas!
The cucumbers are all up and starting to get ready to vine out. Blueberries are completely covering one of the new bushes, which makes me SO excited! I cannot wait until they come. AND- there are a ton of wild raspberries and black berries all over our land, which means we are going to have a wonderful time picking them later this summer. Foraged food is the best food- Mother Nature took care of it after all!
The peppers are doing absolutely wonderful, too! There are a lot of Hungarian Hots and Jalapenos on, and the green peppers are just starting too. The tomatoes have their blossoms, and soon we'll see small little tomatoes making their appearances.
The corn and beans are both doing exceptionally well; it seems their companionship planting is paying off for us! The potatoes have all sprung through the hay layer, and we will soon begin to "hill" them by adding more hay to the plants. We've also noticed that the potato bugs have found their way to the plants, but we've had fun picking them off and throwing them into the soap water to drown. In fact, the kids enjoy it so much they argue about who gets to throw the bug in the water! So far, we've been able to keep up somewhat with the bugs, but I know it will get worse. I tell the bugs to see what is happening to their friends and to stay away, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work. Anyone who knows a great organic way to get rid of them besides picking them off by hand, please share your secrets!
The garden changes so quickly...it's hard to keep you all up to date with what's happening! I'll do my best though!
Our new chicks arrived last week, and they are just the cutest little fluffballs ever! We decided to go with three Red Stars, aka Isa Browns, as we have four of them right now and they've proven to be excellent layers and have a great egg to feed ratio. We have yet to have a day where the Isa Browns have missed laying, plus they are extremely friendly, gentle chickens. I might even argue that they are too friendly as they really allow my children to manhandle them as the kids rush to catch them and then carry them around proudly as they walk around the yard. They've also allowed the kids to send them down the slide, help them drive the battery-operated police car, and give them a bike ride....all without running away, pecking, or showing any signs of discontentment. They've been great chickens to have, so it seemed to be a good choice to get that breed again when we were considering what kinds to get.
We also added four Silver Laced Wynadottes. They are going to grow up to be beautiful chickens, with a very pretty black and white feather pattern. They also are excellent layers, which is the main reason we wanted them. Our goal is ultimately to find consistent customers who would like to purchase eggs from us so that we can really be sustainable when it comes to raising our chickens. To have the chickens pay for their own feed through their egg production would be wonderful and is our goal. Let me know if you'd be interested in joining us and being one of our egg buyers!
My days have been spent weeding the flower beds here at our current house, laundry from my spitty baby, and baking lots of sweet treats and bread for my family. I have a sewing project, too, that I am hoping to share with you all sometime in the near future.
We were able to go on a fishing trip with my parents one day, and the kids were excited to bring home a fish dinner to their daddy. It's always nice to be out on the water...especially with those you love.
Our homestead plans are continuing to make way. We learned some disappointing news last week that could have changed everything, but we are trying to stay positive and hopeful. I continue to pray and ask God to lead us, and though things aren't working the way that I think they should work, I am so hopeful that God will provide us with a way to have the life we are yearning for. I do have to remind myself sometimes though that our God is the creator of the universe, maker of all things. I do not know more than Him. I don't know better than Him. Like Natalie Grant sings, "I try to take life back right out of the hands of the King of the World. How could I make you so small when you're the One who holds it all?" I am trusting that things will be okay, and strangely for me (I am generally so anxious), I have peace with it. God is still good, even when life doesn't seem like it's going the way you think it should.
What have you been up to this week?
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