In the Garden






This week in the garden...

::  tiny flying creatures of all kinds

::  alfalfa, clover and other wildflowers

:: tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, winter and summer squash, pole beans, bush beans, sweet potatoes, corn.  This week I hope to get much more in the ground, especially herbs.  We've missed the boat on a lot of the early season veggies, so we're working toward a bountiful fall garden instead.  

::   removing more sod... a task that seems to never end

::  working a few hours in the cool late evening air, watching the sun set over the forest


What's growing in your garden this week?


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Off Grid Homesteading: Laundry




I thought it might be fun to show you how we are doing our daily chores around the homestead.  It's been almost two weeks off grid and each day we find ways of doing things easier - better- more efficient.  

Laundry is a biggie for us.  With garden work and being outside all the time in the heat, our clothes get a lot more dirty than they did in town.  We now have a wardrobe of "gardening" clothes and "town" clothes.  We try to wear work clothes for a couple days before washing.  

To wash, I start with a kettle of water on the grill {half for the dishes and half to dissolve the homemade laundry soap}.  It gets heated on the grill while our meal is cooking, so no extra fuel is wasted.  

For small loads {about three items}, we fill two 5 gallon buckets with water - one to wash, one to rinse, add the soap and clothes.  With a laundry plunger, we plunge the clothes 200 times {or about 3-5 minutes}.  It forces the water through the fabric and washes the dirt out.  For stubborn stains, I will let them soak for 10 minutes and plunge again.  Then it goes through the wringer washer and into the rinse bucket where I plunge it another 100 times.  Through the wringer one more time and then onto the line {aka , a 2 x 12, until Mike finishes my clothesline}.  The wash water then goes to the garden and the rinse water becomes the wash water for the next load.  Water is so precious on our homestead right now, that not a drop is wasted.   

It sounds like a lot of work when I type it all out like this, but really it goes fast and I've got some nice biceps to boot!


If there's anything you're interested in seeing, we'd love to hear from you!  




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Knitting and Reading


Joining in with Ginny


Knitting:  The yarn is Cascade 220, in Brown.  It's going to be a custom order for the Tangent Spiral Cowl.  

Reading: The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins


What are you knitting and reading this week?
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Building a Wood Pallet Shed






Using this as a guide, we're building a storage shed/future sheep barn out of wood pallets we've collected over the year.  If we can swing it budget-wise (about $300), we're going to side it with red steel siding.  I've always wanted a red barn!
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Summer Solstice










Summer Solstice

We took the day off from all but the basic of chores to celebrate the changing of the seasons.  Most of the day was spent at the lake, and on the way home we took a detour that led us to a secluded series of lakes and trails.  In the evening, we made our way home and cooked over the fire, read chapters from One Woman Farm, and watched fireflies dance in the dark.

Wishing you all a magical start of summer...
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This Week







 This week...

::  One last family photo in front of our house

::  Finding ways to slow down, amidst a week of hurry up and get {insert task here} done 

::  Lots and lots of snuggling {with humans and chickens}


What have you been up to this week?



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Four Words









Four words to sum up the weekend: sorting, selling, giving, packing.

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Knitting and Reading


Joining in with Ginny


Knitting:  The yarn is Cestari, in Coxcomb.  It's going to be a custom order for the French Creek Cowl.  

Reading: The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman


What are you knitting and reading this week?



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Sod Busters





With the help of all our boys and a few extra friends,  we were able to remove all the sod from the first section of the garden.  It's looking really good and I'm so happy that we haven't had to till and disturb the soil too much.  The little guys helped Mike spread straw mulch where we'll plant the tomatoes later this week.  

Do you see the tractor in the background?  That's the neighbor, tilling his field to the west of us.  As he stirred up clouds of dirt, it made me all the more certain of what we're doing on this small piece of land.  He sits perched on top of his tractor, talking on his cell phone (desperate for a connection, I imagine) and I feel sorry for him.  He seems so detached from the soil and the seeds he's about to plant.  Our way is slower, for sure, but we receive so much more.  We get to touch the ground with our bare feet.  We are able to talk and laugh with each other.  Our bodies grow stronger and more able to do the work ahead.

The second section of garden beds are still waiting, but for now, I'm satisfied in the work that our fourteen hands have accomplished.


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In the Garden



The garden.  It was the next task on our homesteading list, after the well.  Oh, the well.  It took so much longer than we planned and so the garden was put off much longer than we had hoped.  In fact, we're still waiting for the hand pump, but decided to go ahead with the garden in the mean time.  

Yesterday, Mike and I conceded and rented a sod cutter after spending a previous afternoon with a manual sod cutter.  {Oy, what were we thinking!} We realized that if we wanted any kind of a garden at all this year, we were going to have to rely on heavy machinery.  It took a few hours to get the hang of it, but then the job went quickly for him.  I tried to follow behind, rolling the sod.  As you can see from the photo, his task went much faster than mine.  Lets just say that today, I'm grateful for  ibuprofen, a large glass of iced tea, and my spot on the sofa.  Later this week, we're hoping to have a young man or two around to help.

While we were mowing out the garden areas, we found a patch of Ajuga.  The  bumblebees were dancing all over the flowers, so we decided to incorporate it into one of the beds.  They are known to be rabbit and deer resistant and can also be used to treat wounds.  With a bit of management, they'll be a welcome addition to our medicinal garden.

What's growing in your garden?
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June Sponsors



Welcome back to our June sponsors!  
Please take a moment to view all of their handmade wares.


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