The journey to my homestead was a return to my roots. I was brought up in the seventies in a no nonsense family with parents who were older than my peers. They had me at the age of 44 and were each born in 1924, lived through the depression and were farmers and knew a lot about surviving crisis and being frugal.
I was raised on yard and rummage sale clothes, dirt, fresh veggies, our own meat, home cooked meals and lots and lots of love and real things. I never thought I was missing a thing, it was a time of bliss and my favorite memories are from that time in my life. I can recall my mom making pancakes for supper when money was tight, we thought this was awesome. I would sit in the kitchen and watch her with her magic wand (wooden spoon) creating beautiful things. I’d lay on our big fat radiator and the cozy warm feelings are still what I crave.
Our TV blew up in a lightening storm and after that we had a lot more fun. I remember my dad saying firmly, “I’m not buying another one” and we went on with life, no tears, no wails of pain. We lived on a farm and there was a lot to be done anyway.
I was in the barn, in the field, with the animals and trees and always hot on the heels of my wonderful father. He taught me the value of rising early finding dew on the grass and treasures in the garden. I still like morning the best, it is fresh, real and a new start. I get up first in my house and know that the most valuable time is in the quieter hours.
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Unfortunately I grew up and moved onto the 80’s a period that I still view as confusing and hellish. I detest the music, the clothes and avoid it at all cost. It was when plastic and McDonalds entered my life and bad habits began. Thankfully that was short lived and I have found what I loved so much again, just older and wiser now. Back in the barn, the dirt and the garden…my thinking spot.
Our farm is a work in progress…I began canning and freezing for the winter months and have a long want list or honey do list, however you want to look at it. A cold cellar or a cold tunnel would be so helpful, you can extend the life of your root veggies in many ways. One project that will get done before the harvest this year.
We have been planting our own berry bushes, fruit trees and established an asparagus bed this past year that is coming along nicely. The garden is full already and I’m out of space so we cultivated an area up on our upper plot of land and have the corn, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and squashes there. My son landed a deal on a plow and a disc for $40.00 that made the job much easier.
Our compost system is one of 3 parts, this is so that there is an area for manure to cure and the chickens clean the seeds out of it and the other two hold last seasons and the current dumping area. Making sure to cure compost piles is the best way to allow nutrient dense material to build up. This is the fertilizer we use, no need to buy it and this is way better.
My clever husband harvests lumber from public sales and even what washed up onto our property during the last flood to build things, He crafted this strawberry planter for me so that fresh strawberries are part of our diet. WE also planted grapes this year and he created an arbor for them out of scraps.
I planted my own herbs in pots, they look so pretty at the pump!
We had an Amish friend run water lines from our house to the barn last year after we dug the trench, no small task! This makes life so much easier! We can now water the garden and livestock with no issues. Even in winter, it is a no freeze pump that runs in zero degrees. The clever man also created a hose reel out of an old tire rim that was laying around.
The other gardens are full too and give me fresh greens for salad and juicing my way back to health.
The work is never done and thankfully we have scaled back our lifestyle drastically over the years. We save money by vacationing on day trips, growing and preserving our own food and raising our own eggs and are working toward our own meat. We live simply, pray daily and stop and smell the roses….
I stand back at look at it all and know that my dad would be proud. He’d know that all those hours stringing fence, shoveling manure, picking rocks and pulling weeds were golden moments that created a longing in me for more.
I am home….