Returning my attention to the clay…

I’m busting at the seams this morning with excitement and hope and plans. Let me tell you why. Yesterday at our local Tractor Supply I pawed through the $5 book bin, as I often do. I came across “the joy of hobby farming” by Michael and Audrey Levatino. Hobby farming, sustainable living and homesteading books are something that I have somewhat of a collection of. (And the old timer say we young folks don’t collect anything!)

I posted this on facebook this morning (I tried to embed my post, but it appears that that’s not supported bywordpress.com)

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just so you know I’m not making up fluff for a very neglected blog. 😉

So here’s the thing. Business took off for me this spring. I’m still working full time as well, and will be for some time, but it’s taken off just enough that my back yard looks pretty awful:

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General view of the garden which kinda blends in with the grass, and the perennial bed (left) that’s all green, no flowers.

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cucumbers planted in a hanging pot that’s now set on the ground. Also, can never give it enough water. A few tiny cukes on it.

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Left to right, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, and grass, lots and lots of grass.

A tumbling tomato plant that has tumbled itself into death, no amount of water would keep this thing alive.

A tumbling tomato plant that has tumbled itself into death, no amount of water would keep this thing alive.

We waffled about whether or not to plant the garden at all this year. Our house has been on the market for a year and it’ only shown twice, but with my luck, we’d plant a garden and get it to June 30th, and get a contract, leaving all of the vegies for the new owners. Well apparently my luck has turned. No offers, no contracts, we have some veggies.

I’ve harvested green beans twice now and ate them immediately….along with some tiny broccoli florets. A few of the cabbage plants are heading up nicely, and we’ve had a steady supply of small bell peppers. My daughter says they are great in her salad, I thought they tasted watery and plain. The red cabbage looks like hell, and we have miscellaneous corn, squash and tomatoes popping up from last year.

So I snuggled up this morning with the new book, and was instantly just FIRED UP. Here’s the thing. I have always wanted to buy an old farm. In fact, I used to have one, but life gets in the way and a divorce separated me from my dream. Here I am, clawing my way back to it.

The land we have purchased is 3.25 acres of hills, woods, and clay. No pasture (but we could create some) and LOTS of water. This book just made me nostalgic for my old farm, and how that’s really what I’d prefer to be doing (old barns and outbuildings, and plenty of flat grassy area all ready to use) but it is what it is, and I will have to work with the 3.25 acres for now. I feel fortunate that we were able to purchase it and if the house never sells, we can still use the land for growing/raising food, it’s literally 5 minutes from our house.

I started out with great intentions here on this blog, outling types of plants etc., but I failed, miserably, flopped on my farmer face, but you know what? That’s ok. Life happens, people change, plans fly out the window, you regroup, refocus, and step out again.

I’m back. I hope you’re still with me.

Marie

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The further I go, the behinder I get!

I’m behind! I’m late! I’m out of wack, stumbling in the rear of the crowd!  Seriously.  We embarked on a hurry up and buy before the rates go up real estate adventure this summer that somehow , along with a new job after 8 years of the old one REALLY thew me for a loop from which I have been trying to untangle myself.

Our homestead garden, through beautifully thick with weeds, is producing some lovely corn, green beans, last years tomatoes and two types of “yet to be identified” squash.

The farm garden …. *sigh*  wasn’t so much fun this year, and didn’t have a tremendous yield.  Darnit, they never look as pretty s the gardens in the Johnny’s  catalog, why IS that???  Bless my Mother’s heart because she is a paraeducator who stays home all summer, her job, is the garden.  We’ve harvested red and green kale, beets, carrots, early red potatoes, lettuce, green beans, summer squash,  and zucchini.  It’s nearly time for the regular taters and both red and yellow onions.  We did not yield enough for two household.  I have been too lazy to go pick and can my share because the home improvements to the current homestead are exhausting, especially when coupled with the constant hoop-jumping needed to buy the next piece of real estate.  Thank goodness it’s just land, much easier than buying land AND a house.

Having complained through an entire post said all of that, I have recently become quite fond fond of the following blog, and wanted to share.

The Deliberate Agrarian 

I admire Herrick’s lifestyle, his ideas, his writing style and his commitment to his faith and family.  Thank you Herrick for keeping me motivated to keep moving in the self sufficient direction when the rat race and real estate beats me down!

G’night good people….

Spring is upon us…

mountainview1I have farmers blood in my veins. My grampa used to say, “either you got it or you don’t.” It started growing up on their dairy farm, it continued with a market garden and farm stand in the early 2000’s and I picked it up again in 2007 when I bought a house in my hometown.

About 5 year ago my folks moved back to Vermont from a short stay in Florida. They bought that dairy farm and saved it (literally) from tax sale, and set about fixing things up and making Longmeadow Farm a working farm once again. The barn is filled with cows, there are horses rolling in the pastures, and chickens running around the door yard.

Up above the farmhouse between the spot where Gram’s garden used to be and the house that my folks live in, there is a 1/8 acre “garden”

This year, Mom and I decided to join forces and tackle that garden together. I helped as much as possible in years past, while keeping a small garden here for us, but this year, I’m planting all of our veggies right along with hers! Mom also has a small veggie stand that Mr. Gray built for her.

The lists have been made, seeds ordered, another list of seeds set to order from the local grain store. I’m terrified. No really, I’m afraid of what kind of project we have taken on. I’m scared that I haven’t ordered enough seeds….scared that we won’t have everything planted in time, scared of how much time it’s going to take to maintain it all.

I am a list maker. Writing things down has a calming effect on me. It makes me feel like I am in control of what’s going on. I’m also one of those people who has been known to write a beautiful, neat, ordered list for a big shopping trip, and LEAVE it on the kitchen counter. Having said that, I sure hope that I’m not overplanning this market garden. Here’s what we have planned:

Beans
Beets
Broccoli
Brussell Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Cucumbers
Summer squash
Zucchini
Butternut squash
Buttercup squash
Acorn squash
pumpkin
kale
tomatoes
eggplant
corn
spinach
Lettuce
Radishes
Chamomile
Sweet peas
Basil
Potato
Sweet potato

Wish us luck!