It is officially the end of summer, and the cool chill and crisp nights let us know that winter is coming. We are enjoying this beautiful season of transition, enjoying the gifts that nature has given to us during this time, like the picturesque scenery and clear starry skies.
Our homestead continues to take shape, slowly but surely. D and his dad have cleared all of the trees where the house is going to go, giving us a glimpse of what our view will be from the home that will soon take form there. The driveway has been put into place, and we now have a foundation for machinery to get back to our building location to work. The septic system has been installed and is piped and ready to go into the house, and the electricity has been brought in from the road, ready to be placed on the house. Though there are so many things we’d like to do eventually to be more friendly for the planet and more sustainable, we’ve chosen to stick with the traditional route for this season of life. We’ve looked into solar panels, and we may be adding them into our future, but right now the upfront cost was much higher than the cost to put in traditional electricity. And though I’m ok with a composting toilet, or even an outhouse, my family is not, and I’m not passionate about it enough to push for it right now. I don’t like the dependence on others that these systems force us into, but for now, it is what it is.
We’ve spent some afternoons finding small balsam trees to transplant around the perimeter of our field, providing some coverage for deer and more privacy. It’s been beautiful weather to get out and explore our woods more, and the kids have enjoyed collecting pine cones and other treasures they find as they play. Soon we will begin to collect rocks from the various rock piles around the property to use in our fireplace, and we’ll begin to remove the tree from my grandparent’s farm that will form our floors. I want our house to be filled with meaningful treasures, and to me, incorporating the large oak that watched the farm be built and the rock piles that remind us of the work of the pioneers and farmers before us into our home will help make our house that more special.
Our garden is almost officially done for the season. I took a risk and planted a zucchini plant and a second crop of green beans in early August, but was sorely disappointed when an early frost came and destroyed all of them. My zucchini plant was blooming and had 3 small zucchinis on it and the beans were tall and happy, but this year it was not meant to be. Perhaps next year I will try again and have more luck. The only vegetables left now are the black radishes planted by D and the carrots (our second crop, also planted in August). The radishes are doing well, and we’ve enjoyed a few of those here and there as they start to come to maturity. The carrots are very small, and I’m not sure we’ll get any harvest there, but it’s a good learning opportunity, nevertheless. Next year I’ll be sure to plant them earlier. We’ll get the garlic in the ground soon, and we are really looking forward to harvesting it next year! I planted some wild ramp seeds in the woods surrounding our field, and I am also hopeful that we can bring some of those with us to this area, as we enjoyed them so much last spring.
D and I have strung our bird net over our garden now, and nearly everyday we trudge out to the chickens to move them to and from the garden. Our goal is for the chickens to scratch up the garden, fertilize it, and hopefully eat some of the pesky bugs that are trying to hide away there for winter (I’m talking about you, potato bugs!). The chickens have loved to be there, enjoying their time picking away and eating leftover tomato remnants. They haven’t cleaned it up quite like I’d hoped, and hopefully our future will include pigs to do a better job for us! Being in the garden also makes it a lot harder to find eggs, but it becomes an Easter egg hunt every night as we try to track down the places where the hens might have hidden away their eggs. Egg laying has definitely slowed down now as the daylight hours have decreased and many of our hens are molting. Like everything else, they’re ready for a well-deserved break as well. It’s been a fun adventure each evening as we go to lock up the chickens for the night, and we often get distracted from our work as we stare at the magic of the brilliant night sky and listen to the laughter of the nearby coyotes. It’s really been a wonderful thing to get to experience all of this with my children, who look and listen with such wonder at all that is around them. I can’t blame them; I feel the same way. How truly lucky we are!
Our camper life will soon be coming to an end, too, as the weather continues to grow colder. Each week we look ahead at the weather, deciding if it will be ok to stay here or if it’s time to move over to my parent’s house. It’s nice for our family, and for them, for us each to have our own space, but we are all trying to view this as an adventure and try to remember that this is a fun part of our life that is making memories- it won’t be like this forever. We are enjoying this little transition time, and all of the bonding that we are getting to do with my parents along the way.
Though we are eager to be at the new place and back to normalcy, we will continue to try to enjoy the present and all that it has to offer too. This is a great season we're in, and I'm going to work to enjoy every minute.
Until next time,
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