The seeds are on their way!

For us, late fall and winter are seasons to get crafty for the upcoming holidays, shop from our pantry, reflect on our year and plan plan plan. Holidays are behind us and the good Lord knows we reflected…so now for the planning mode–seed ordering! A few weeks ago, I placed an order with Seed Savers.  It was so much fun to go through all the cool seeds and select the ones we will be harvesting come spring and summer.  I tend to go into my own little world when I order seeds, and have many visions about the upcoming garden.  I reread that sentence and sure, it sounds like I am crazy, but its true–I go to my happy place!

Last year, we used up most of our seed reserve, so this year, we needed everything.  I also ordered some additional seeds for people in our community–a small co-op group of local backyard farmers/homesteaders/gardeners/.  Here is a photo-list of what is on its way.  To say that I am excited is a HUGE understatement!  I can’t wait until late February-early March to get these guys into soil…some as starts and some directly sown into the ground!

0001-chervena-chushka-pepper-organic 0046-five-color-silverbeet-swiss-chard-organic 0107-amish-paste-tomato 0201-black-valentine-bean 0205-kentucky-wonder-bush-bean 0207-scarlet-runner-runner-bean 0229-dwarf-gray-sugar-pea 0236-feher-ozon-paprika-pepper 0277-grandma-eincks-dill-herb-organic 0320-bulgarian-carrot-pepper  0357-danvers-carrot-organic 0365-early-fortune-cucumber-organic 0367-golden-bantam-improved-corn-organic 0394C-yellow-borettana 0420-french-breakfast-radish-organic 0602-arugula-arugula-organic 0609A-sieva-lima-bean-organic 0610-bulls-blood-beet-organic 0620-pingtung-long-eggplant-organic 0623-lacinato-kale-organic 0630-red-romaine-lettuce-organic 0645-aurora-pepper-organic 0655-america-spinach 0661-beams-yellow-pear-tomato 0825-gold-medal-tomato 0829-thai-basil-herb 0844-bunte-forellenschluss-lettuce 0912-aunt-mollys-ground-cherry-organic 0937-baby-oakleaf-lettuce 0939C-amish-snap-pea 0993-empress-of-india-nasturtium-flower 1057-kelloggs-breakfast-tomato-organic 1217-strawberry-spinach 1218A-australian-butter-squash-organic 1299-joes-long-pepper 1302-philadelphia-white-box-radish-organic 1303-black-beauty-zucchini-squash-organic 1431-maules-red-hot-pepper 1460-japanese-trifele-black-tomato 1478-mcmahons-texas-bird-pepper-organic 1532-russian-pickling-cucumber-organic 1604A-paul-robeson-tomato-organic 1608-winter-luxury-squash 1616-gulleys-favorite-lettuce-organic

My mouth watered and my heart was happy looking at all of these photos!  Thanks for reading! Like us on Facebook for daily updates, news, recipes and pictures of our journey.

 

 

Yet Another Revelation

A revelation, conclusion or an admittance to ourselves, whatever the proper word here is, Paul and I made peace with the land we have. After spending much of our time trying to move our homestead to acreage, we decided that its time to live and not dream.

Staying put in our home had many deciding factors. The kind of land we want and can potentially afford is too far away from family.  Having my whole family within walking distance or a short car ride away has been a life saver for me. Four kids is no joke. Plus, my kids adore their cousins and the idea of separating that bond is unthinkable.  We grew up in a very tight-knit family. My sisters are my best friends. I want my children to have the same experience as I did, not just among themselves but with their whole family.

Another factor in this decision was what we can afford.  Our pocket book did not match our vision.  The kind of land that is within our price range would require a lot of additional finances and time, that we simply do not have.  Although it would be fun to get a wild piece of land and mold it into our own homestead dream, we simply don’t have the means.

The last, and very important reason for staying on our current property is our kids!  We home school and LOVE it.  The plan was to show our children as much as we can outside the textbooks.  We are looking forward to taking trips and learning together once the boys are bit older.  It is much simpler to find a sitter for bunnies and poultry than for goats and cows.  Maybe once the kids are out of the house, we can revisit other live stock.

We have a fifth of an acre, doesn’t seem like much, but its enough land to keep us  busy. We have a garden that is very productive but there is more land that is not being utilized, we have room for a few more fruit trees and a backyard that will one day be an awesome outdoor kitchen for fun BBQ and food preserving.  Our current children per room ratio is two to one. We are looking to expand our home, so every child has a bedroom to call their own.  I think sharing a room is important in building a bond between siblings and solving some of the “entitlement” problems (not mine, but ours), but it  would be nice if everyone had a corner they can call their own.  In reality it will be a while (if at all) before each kid of ours has a bedroom, I am hoping that they will experience the best of both worlds.  We are going to talk to an architect soon about adding a story with four bedrooms and and a bathroom.  I dream of having a guest room and an office.  Whether the dream of expanding our home will become a reality or not, we love our home and want to put down roots for our kids.  We are staying and making the best of what we have.

Paul and I sat down and made a few lists (we like to make lists).  One list of improvements for the outdoor and one for our home.  The home list is always on going, this needs to be fixed, that needs to be replaced, so I won’t bore you with details.  The outdoor list is a bit more exciting.

A fence!  We have been working on a fence for almost all seven years we have been at this house.  I think we have narrowed it down to what we want and if it turns out how we think, it will be super cool.  The fence will be a big part of the garden as it will be used as a trellis for many of our perennial edibles.  We will also build planters into the fence to add more vertical gardening space. Hopefully this will increase our harvest and attracting more pollinators.

If you have been to our home, you know about our Pagoda and the 30 year old non-functioning hot tub.  The pagoda is our temporary rabbit barn, but one day it will be an awesome out door dining room.  The hot tub is from the 80’s. The heating and electrical part of it is so huge, it required a whole side building, placed near the pagoda.  This structure will be converted into a wood oven and grill.  It is perfect for this project as three of the four walls are made out of cinder blocks and there is already natural gas and electricity there.  Paul’s dream of having a fancy outdoor wood burning oven will soon be a reality.  He is thinking grilling…yum, I am thinking canning in double batches–we each have our reasons!

We have a lot of space in partial and full shade that are currently under utilized.  We hope to turn some into garden beds for plants that are sun sensitive (spinach, kale, lettuce to name a few) and leave some as areas for the dogs to go potty on.  One of the shaded areas will one day have a pond, fish and maybe two ducks in it.  I am working on Paul to give up some of the drive way space for a few raised garden beds–the theme is vertical and container gardening to maximize space.  He is not super keen on this idea, so I really have to sell it to him.

This post turned out to be much longer than I thought and more of a dear diary moment but I am so excited to finally start living outside an unrealistic dream and start putting down roots in a home that I really love and realizing its full potential.

Thanks for reading!