We Sold a Goat and Now We’re Out Drinking (a field trip)

old colorado

The light filters through the vibrant greens of trees in the park across the street through the large windows.  I sit in Jives Coffee Lounge in Old Colorado City admiring its black ceiling, wooden floors, amazing coffee (dark chocolate mocha with cinnamon, ginger, and paprika…died and went to coffee heaven), guitars in the corner, comfy lush chairs, sprites painted across the walls.  Youth reverberates through this neighborhood infusing it with spirit, hope, unlimited potential and dreams.  The rain lets up.  An older artist in painted smock walks down the sidewalk.  I suddenly long for canvas.  The library beckons from the corner and shops line the main corridor.  Festive twinkly lights outline yards and the urban homesteading scene is alive and thriving in this little pocket of Colorado Springs.  Goats are allowed, as are chickens, and clotheslines, and bicycles with baskets.  Bees, backyards, and life fill the West Side.  If I were to move to the city, this is where I’ll go.  But alas, they probably haven’t allowed sheep yet.

We finish our coffees, close our books, and get back in the truck to go get chicken feed.  A stop here and a stop there and we still don’t want to go home.  We head out to Bar Louie for a happy hour drink and a snack.

For a moment we are city people, sitting on bar stools, holding hands, watching the rain on the outdoor patios, imagining sun and summer.  Never have we been so late to plant.  I swirl the red wine in my glass as he tells me about a rule change in the NFL.  The waiter comes over and inquires whether we’ve come out for dinner.

“No,” I say, “We are farmers and this is supposed to be our busiest month.  But we can’t plant in all this rain so we sold a goat and now we’re out drinking.”

Silent pause.

“That sounds like a good story line.” he says.

(Elsa was picked up by five extremely thrilled homeschooled children and their mom to start her life in New Mexico yesterday.  Elsa never really liked it here once we moved.  She was used to being literally in the back yard and she just wasn’t getting all of the attention she had grown accustomed to.  She jumped in their mini-van and was off!)

Here’s to the sun coming out today!

A Homesteading Store Field Trip

StoreFront

It’s housed in an old building with large sunny windows.  The young woman that greets us is always there, I believe her to be the owner.  She is always smiling, never overwhelmed. You may have a store like this one near you.  I could order everything online but if there is a store somewhere within an hour’s drive, I would rather support a family, an entrepreneurial adventure, a fellow shop owner.  Buckley’s Homestead Supply is also cheaper than what you can buy online.  That really seals the deal, and Doug and I have a half day field trip of homestead supply shopping and lunch at the Tapateria in Old Colorado City!  Tough day in the life of a homesteader, I tell you.

bee 3

I needed a bee keeping suit.  And a smoker.  And a hive tool.  And I did not want to wait until the bees came to get them!  Remember what happened last year?  Fiasco.  I didn’t have anything ready.  I chickened out and sold the bees right before they came to my young mentor.  This year I want new farm animals.  10,000 of them.  Buzzing around.  I ordered them a few weeks ago and they will be arriving to Pumpkin Hollow Farm in April.  Doug and I tried on bee keeping jackets with the head piece and veil attached and each bought one.  Along with a smoker we don’t know how to use and a hive tool.  Doug decided he is going to be a Scottish bee keeper this year for Halloween.  He will wear the jacket and veil with a kilt.  He spent the next half hour speaking in a brogue accent making jokes about bees and nethers that had me in fits of laughter.

IMG_0495

We picked up soap making supplies for a class that I was teaching.  A lid for our canning jar that makes it a water bottle also went on our growing pile.  A small book on making cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products since I will soon be in milk.  And one on how to make wine.  And a strainer for our herbal medicines that is finer than the present one.

cheese pressWe priced out the cheese press, and drooled over all the other items there while putting several on our wish list.  We finished the trip by signing up for a beekeeping class at the beginning of April.

We walked out $270 lighter including paying for the class.  A steal, I tell you!  If you live in Colorado, head down to Colorado Springs and see the nice, young woman that owns Buckley’s.  It is worth the trip.  She can help you accomplish all your homesteading goals this year.

One stop shop.

Buckley’s Homestead Supply

http://buckleyshomesteadsupply.com

1501 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
(719) 358-8510