Posted in Homestead, Non-Electric

When Homesteading is Life

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When one is faced with starting over there is an underlying gift involved.  One that creates space.  Yes, it is sad to lose everything one owns and it is odd to have to reinvent one’s occupation and lifestyle but what this creates is a place to only bring back in what one loves.  What one needs.  What improves life and doesn’t clutter or overwhelm it.

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I am living in a beautiful home with friends.  Electricity is used as needed and sometimes when not.  I have relearned to use a dishwasher and a dryer.  We flip on lamps to read.  I walk around their house in the evening squinting for the overhead lights are so bright.  I do not like overhead or artificial lights.  My forever farm will have oil lamps again.  I miss them, love them, feel better by them, and will not miss turning on the switch.

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I rinse and lightly scrub dishes and put them in the dishwasher.  One more good rub and these dishes could be put away.  I do not feel I need one.  The dryer has been fun and makes laundry day a snap with these beautiful machines but I miss hearing the flick of the clothes as I snap them in the air before placing them on the line while listening to birds and taking a few breaths to myself as I enjoy the outdoors.  My clothes, wrinkle free and not shrunk coming off the line in piles of aroma that could not be matched with dryer sheets.  “Perhaps I will love city life again or at least modern conveniences,” I thought.  Wrong.

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Right now we don’t miss milking twice a day but we really miss our chickens.  I haven’t eaten more than four servings of fresh food all summer.  My gardens filled with bounty in my memory and planning.  No eggs, no produce, and no milk on hand is sobering.  Maybe we will get a milking goat again, I know not as of yet, but the chickens and gardens will be taking over available space on the forever farm.

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Our neighbors hope we get the place.  They miss us and our goats.  We have only been farmless for a month and a half so perhaps more things I miss will come up.  But we will start house with as little as if we have just left home.  Mementos and little else.  No clutter, only build what we love and treasure in our new home.

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We are having trouble securing work that pays over minimum wage despite our experience and education.  Another interesting dilemma.  But, we are following open doors and not trying to force our way through bolted ones.  Let’s see where this meandering path leads us.

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“It’s a good thing you know how to homestead!,” my friend exclaimed.  She said that most people faced with our situation moving to the country with little wages would think they wouldn’t survive!

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I know how to build a fire, how to can, how to preserve, I know friends who raise their own livestock for meat, I know how to make bread from scratch, and how to make a corn field come up in a driveway.  I am not worried.  I got this.

Posted in Farming

Found Vegetables (dreams, hidden gardens)

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I dreamt it was there.  I dreamt that there were vegetables growing at our old house in Kiowa.  I woke up thinking that was preposterous because our weather hasn’t allowed anyone to have vegetables yet!  We decided to go have a look anyway yesterday while driving though.  The house wears a large foreclosure notice on it.  The landlords wanted us to buy the place or move so they could but that must not have worked out and so the old farm in town on two-thirds of an acre sits with three foot high grass and hidden treasures.  I figured the bank wouldn’t mind.  Being raised by a dad who was captain of the sheriff’s department makes one slightly paranoid about breaking the law.  But I planted this stuff, for crying out loud!

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At the end we left with four huge buckets of onions, beets, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs.  There were potatoes and many more things growing should someone move in before fall.  What a bounty and a surprise!

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I should listen to my dreams more often!

Posted in Farming

A Tour of Our Farm in Photos

The old garage and chicken coop have character.  The sunset that evening was spectacular. Can you see the ducks in front of the coop?
The old garage and chicken coop have character. The sunset that evening was spectacular. Can you see the ducks in front of the coop?
The inside of our beehive.  The ladies have been very busy and have six rows filled with beautiful wax.
The inside of our beehive. The ladies have been very busy and have six rows filled with beautiful honeycomb.

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Four of our eight cats, Louie, Booboo, Frankie, and Clara create a lovely pattern on the bedspread. They are our least productive farm workers.
Four of our eight cats, Louie, Booboo, Frankie, and Clara create a lovely pattern on the bedspread. They are our least productive farm workers.
Twila giving Isabelle ideas of things they probably oughtn't be doing.
Twila giving Isabelle ideas of things they probably oughtn’t be doing.
Farmgirl in training. Maryjane rides Isabelle in hopes of convincing Papa to get her a pony.
Farmgirl in training. Maryjane rides Isabelle in hopes of convincing Papa to get her a pony.
The littlest farmgirl helping water.
The littlest farmgirl helping water.

She uses a screw driver and makes sound effects like rushing water to pretend like she is watering plants.  She is so fun to watch!

Maryjane's first radish.
Maryjane’s first radish.
Come on over and visit!
Come on over and visit!
Looking out over the fairgrounds as we say goodnight to the farm animals.
Looking out over the fairgrounds as we say goodnight to the farm animals.