Posted in Homestead

We Manifested a Farm (how to make your dreams come true)

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I have lots of stories about how when you dream up something, write it down, share it with the world, you will manifest it.  You will get it.  Guaranteed.  Isn’t that amazing?!  But a lot of times when I am inspiring folks to do this, to let the universe collide to bring forth your greatest desires, I am avidly dreaming and praying and begging, and waiting for the proper time to see our dreams come to fruition.  It never ceases to amaze me when it all happens…again!  Be careful what you wish for, but if you dream it, it will come true and I find great comfort in that.  I also like to look back and see how things aligned, how things peaked our interest (sharing a home with friends…interns…) then taken back out of the equation, tweaked, changed, but still have a place in the future plan, in a different way.  How we found our way to this homestead, which seemed impossible to get, is just fascinating.  How could the homestead I dreamed up ever actually come true when we have zero credit, little money, and crazy requests like a wood cook stove?  Who the heck has a wood cook stove in a rental?

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You can read just a few of these posts by clicking on the title, Preparing for Dreams to Come True and Self Fulfilled Prophesies just to get a gist of how amazing this dream-come-true homestead is!

Peach trees
Peach trees

Our landlords at the last house called out of the blue (remember, we hadn’t heard from these folks in a looong time) to see if we wanted to buy the house.  We can’t buy a house.  I liked the house there and was really going back and forth whether we should renew our lease.  The bills were pretty high for us, but we loved the neighbors and the house.  When Maryjane started running out into the busy street, I knew I better get out of town.  But where?  The landlords wanted to sell the house so we had our choice made for us.  We thought we had until spring.

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In our price range were run down trailers out in the middle of nowhere.  Potential?  Always.  Something we felt compelled to jump on?…uh, no.  Now, this will sound a bit hocus pocusy and I, myself, am a bit of skeptic but a friend of mine and past student is a respected palm reader.  She took one look at my hand and said that I was preventing the homestead to manifest because I was sure I wouldn’t have enough money.  Let the money in!  I am not a material girl and I hate even charging for my medicines.  Little did I know that that meant that the bills would be so cheap, I could afford it.  She said we’d be moved by October 1st.  By the skin of our knuckles, by golly, we were moved in by that prophesized date.  Hallelujah.

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I was wandering by the computer and checked Craigslist for the umpteenth time.  There was a brief notice.  Not many details.  The sound of the prose sounded like they were a bit fed up of renters.  I called anyway.  In fifteen minutes we were on our way to a town 43 minutes from where we were presiding to see said house.  The wood cook stove, the pantry, the size (850 square feet, just what I requested), the land (10 acres surrounded by prairie), the cohabitants of the land to make it possible but with our own space, the price including utilities exactly what my absurd number was.  Goat pens, chicken pens, large fenced garden.  Twenty five minutes from my very favorite city, Colorado Springs.  My head is swimming with gratitude and awe.

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Get those dreams written down now, people!  Everything is coming together!  I’d love to hear what your dreams entail.  It helps to share them with the world.  Enjoy the photo tour of our new Pumpkin Hollow Farm and look for all the Homesteading and Herbalist classes that will be offered here in the next year.

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Henry Higgin's replacement.  Meet Christopher Robin.  Let's hope he's nicer than Henry!
Henry Higgin’s replacement. Meet Christopher Robin. Let’s hope he’s nicer than Henry!

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Our new cold frame, bartered for with a class.  Veggies in January?  I do hope so!
Our new cold frame, bartered for with a class. Veggies in January? I do hope so!
Potential, potential, potential...
Potential, potential, potential…

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Posted in Crafts and Skills, Farmgirl Decorating

Decorating a Farmstead Kitchen (and making a chalkboard wall)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, where the fires are burning, where memories are made, where the cook stove will stay warm and where  at the breakfast nook near the warm stove we will play board games on snowy winter days.  Where sustaining food is prepared and the baby plays at my feet while I make a pot of tea.  The kitchen is my favorite room.

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In this kitchen I have a bit of space.  Usually my friends crowd around and chat while we all put finishing touches on drinks and food and inevitably a few are pushed out due to lack of space.  In this kitchen I have seating for four and places to mill around.

This is how I turned an ordinary kitchen added on in the early seventies with peeling linoleum into a culinary oasis.  I take inspirations from Amish, Italian, Pioneer, and Country kitchens.  Combined seamlessly together into what my extended family would call a “Katie kitchen”.

Before
Before
After
After

I do not like overhead lighting so twinkly lights are employed to add charm and light to the house.

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The horrid florescent lamp (those always give off a light similar to horror movies in my mind) was covered with a quaint chicken valance.  Another valance was placed above the window in the kitchen.  Doug installed the curtain hardware eight inches over the window so that plenty of light could come through.

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A sunny place to play cards or have a cup of coffee and read.

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An old cabinet piece that I have had a long time is the base for a bookshelf to make a larger cabinet.  My friend, Nancy’s, chicken tea pot, pitcher, and cookie jar stand among pioneer cookbooks and wine glasses.

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Every nook and cranny, every drawer, every cupboard if filled.  I cannot bring one more thing into this kitchen!  Everything in its place is the mantra here now.  My aprons displayed on a vintage hanger along with Maryjane’s apron invite folks to put one on and start cooking!

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The top of the fridge is always a void of inspiration for me.  This whimsical wind catcher and a pretty enamel bowl fill the space with a little fun.

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The unique part of this room is the chalkboard wall.  Simply tape off a section that you would like to use.  Paint on four coats of chalkboard paint, letting dry in between coats.  Let set for two days.  Peel off tape the first day so that it doesn’t become a permanent frame!

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I added my favorite picture to the board by hanging it on a nail in the middle of the chalkboard.  If this little girl was a blonde, it would be Maryjane.  Maryjane loves her chickens!  Notes or menus can be written on the board.

It is easy to add small touches to any kitchen without spending a lot of money.  Any kitchen can benefit from vintage furniture, whimsical touches that bring a smile, and flowers….and a chalkboard wall.

 

Posted in Farming

Moving Time for the Herbs (successful transplanting)

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Not only are we moving our furniture and belongings, but we are moving an entire garden!  All the medicinal plants (save for a few annuals) are heading to the new homestead.  My friend, Deb, taught me how to transplant the herbs successfully when she gifted me with a few of them last year.  It’s pretty easy and only requires that it is done fairly quickly!

1. Place the shovel next to the plant and lodge it as deeply as you can and gently work it up to dislodge the roots.  This may take a few times.  When sufficiently loosened lift the plant into a waiting 5 gallon bucket or pot with a drainage hole.

2. Add good soil around it to fill in the holes and water well.

3.  Transplant within 24 hours preferably.  You want the plant to hardly miss a beat.  Into the truck the plants went the other night and yesterday morning we took them over to the new homestead.

4.  When you get to your new location dig a hole for the plant.  Put a little compost in the bottom of the hole and place the plant into it surrounding it with good soil (from the pot you brought it over in would be good) and water well.

5.  Now if I’d had more room in the truck I would have brought over a bunch of composted straw.  I will do that this week and nestle it all around the bases of the new plants to give a light feeding and protection.  It is a blanket of sorts.

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You can cut the plants down if they are overgrown.  I let the vigorous annuals stay full sized because I want them to drop seeds.

A dusk view of the garden.  It is about 600 sq ft.

This new garden is much smaller than the quarter acre I am used to here.  But there is unlimited potential for new gardens around the ten acres.  The fenced garden is 600 square feet and consists presently of four foot weeds.  I pulled weeds along the edges and planted my plants.  The middle is for another day.  My idea is that the new garden will be surrounded along the edges by my medicinal and culinary herbs as well as berries and perennials.  This will deter pests but will invite in honeybees, butterflies, and birds.  It will be a beautiful ring around the garden.  The trick will be keeping these crazy herbs in one spot!  They do love to jump and grow all over!

 

Posted in Farmgirl Decorating, Homestead

The Magic of Soap and Paint

Here are some before and after pictures of our new homestead.  I will post pictures after I have finished decorating as well once we move in.  One doesn’t need much to make an old, dilapidated looking house look fresh and inviting…like home.  A bucket of soapy water, a few gallons of paint, and some friends can make an amazing difference!

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A few more pictures…

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We decided to leave the bedroom green.  It is lovely and serene.
We decided to leave the bedroom green. It is lovely and serene.
This bathroom was dark brown and took two full hours to clean!
This bathroom was dark brown and took two full hours to clean!

Tomorrow we transfer a truck load of medicinal herbs and fix fencing.  Two week countdown….