We had a little hiccup in our clean up plans this past week when we got hit with a bit of Jonas. We ended up with about 4" of sleet, with a nice layer of freezing rain on top for good measure. Thankfully, we didn't lose power like many did in other parts of the state. It was too cold to be without heat. But between the storm and my working my last weekend at the job, we lost some valuable time to prep for the move.
It's hard to believe it's been since October, since I have updated the blog. I have to do better on that count. There has been a lot going on here, and there are more big changes to come......
We have decided to move back to New Hampshire the end of January. There were a lot of reasons that factored into it, and it wasn't an easy one. My son and I were 50/50 on staying or going. What pushed us over to the NH side? THIS..........
Family. That is what made us decide. This picture above, was taken last week when I did Skype with my daughter and grandson. We miss everyone. Jack is growing up so stinking fast. And my parents both got great health reports from their doctors recently, but with my dad's cancer, we all hold our breath at every single checkup. My son, Tom, also told me that while he would like to go back to NH in a few years, he felt obligated to stay and help me.
That isn't fair to him. He has a right to live his life, and I don't want to stop that. I adore my children, and love that they want to help me, but I won't let it stand in the way of building their own lives.
We will stay with my parents for a few months while we get our ducks in a row. There are several properties for sale that are well within my budget, so we are going to see about buying a place, which is something I never though I would be able to do up there. Prices have been so high the last 10 years. It's equaling out though. No matter what I buy, it won't be anything fancy, as I'm not a fancy person. I can guarantee that it will need work, but I'm ok with that. It has to have land though, because we will still be homesteading.
We will still be homesteading, it's just going to be on hold for a little bit while we get things set up. One of the advantages of this is, we are looking at what we have done here, and evaluating it. Things that worked well, things that didn't. One thing we have both agreed on, is we will not get any animals until their enclosures are fully ready. We made the mistake of accepting animals onto the homestead that caused us to have to rush at the last minute to get proper housing or fencing set up. We don't want to do that again. We will take it slow and steady, getting things set up before we get the animals.
So stay tuned for big changes on the blog, as I share what I am learning, and the new adventure of getting back to family and buying a place. Thanks for your patience.
We thankfully did not get the hurricane, but we did get lots of rain. Twelve days of it, 7 inches total. Too much rain for sure. It was like 2 months worth all in one shot. We took a lot of time to huddle the chicken tractors together, and tied them down due to the high winds. Everyone was sick of it, humans and animals alike.
Homesteading, and life in general, isn't all sunshine and roses. Things happen, both good and bad. How you handle them is what matters, and lately I haven't been handling them well.
Google Satellite is a great tool for helping you plan out your homestead. To the left is an image of our property that we lease, taken about a year ago. Small changes have been made, but nothing major that will affect my layout of my master plan. My inspiration to develop a master plan comes from my dear blog friend Leigh, at 5 Acres and a Dream
Yesterday started out well. But things happen on a homestead, it's a fact of life. Nothing major happened, but for us, it seems to always be mechanical. It's frustrating for sure.
By the end of the day, the riding mower wasn't working, the tiller quit because it overheated, and I had a headache. I woke up with it still this morning, but refuse to let it ruin this day. Sometimes, when we have days like this, I feel like I am running in circles, not getting much done. I decided to actually keep track of all that I did yesterday, to see just how much I got done in one day. I was surprised, to say the least.
6-8am: Drink coffee, wake up, play online
8-9am: Feed all animals, put the goats out on tethers
So all in all, it was a good day, minus the mechanical issues. We got a lot done, with a lot more to be done today. Sometimes it takes a reality check to realize that I am getting things done, even if it's not what I wanted to be doing.
Homesteading and setting up a homestead can be frustrating, but if you take it one day at a time, you will get there. Be flexible.
There are a million ways to garden, and no matter who you ask, they all have different opinions. For a few years now, the big push is on "no till", or lasagna gardening. We decided to give it a try this year, and see how we did. I was very hopeful that it would keep the weeds, particularly the crabgrass, in check.
Two weeks later, this is what the new garden bed looks like. We had 6mil black plastic on it to help kill off any weeds, after tilling. I am very impressed with how much it killed off.
For some reason, I never posted about the new girls I got for our homestead plans. The plan after I got the boys, was to add at least one doe to the homestead so that we could breed, and have milk. Well, sometimes things work out for the best, for them and me.....
We have been hard at work the last two days prepping what will become one of many new beds for the market garden we are establishing. We are using the stale seedbed method that both Eliot Coleman and Jean Martin Fortier write about in their books. So what exactly IS a stale seedbed?