Posted in Homestead

Leaps of Faith and Pumpkin Patches

Leaps of faith are frightening.  To jump completely uninhibited into the wide expanse of time and fate and faith not knowing if you will fall on your face, live in a cardboard box, or fly high and live your perfect life is…ahem…concerning.  And sometimes it is not so much a leap of faith but that final nudge to get you out of the spot you’re in and into the next phase of your life.  A door slamming, rent going up, obvious signs that force your hand and your jump into that void of uncertainty with only prayer and your glass of wine.

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If you have been reading my posts for long, you see that we had such ordeals this year.  Some uprooting changes, and some things stayed the same.  It took the shop rent to go up for us to finally realize that the past year on a dead main street wasn’t doing us any favors.  It took searching and praying for a new house to rent with less bills to realize that we are really good right where we are.  It took working our tails off from pre-dawn to past dusk to establish new clientele that had never heard of us before to get us back on track.  It took moving the shop to our house to see that business really is a personal and community affair.  And it took rototilling the entire yard to see just how much food we can grow (and that you can find happiness in a pumpkin patch)!

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Leaps of faith so seldom end up poorly if following your heart.  I am living exactly how I envisioned.  In the future we will have our larger farm, but for now with the kids and Maryjane nearby, I wanted to teach classes out of my home.  Be able to prepare someone’s medicine on the spot by going out to the Apothecary garden and picking what herbs I need.  I wanted to spend more time with Doug.  To read in my garden.  To have open doors for folks to stop by, grab a few veggies, a refill of Herbal Antibiotic, and a cup of tea.

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The evenings here at Pumpkin Hollow Farm are lovely.  Our garden watering time takes two of us by hand.  Doug will start on one side of the quarter acre farm and I on the other and we meet at the pumpkin patch.  We sip our micro beers in our frosted mugs and enjoy the cooler air while letting our minds rest.  Customers and friends stop by throughout the evening to get what they need, to chat, and to tour the mini-farm.  It feels like old time country.  Visitors coming by to see how the crops are faring, and to catch up.  Business run out of our home.  Bartering.  More time.  More freedom.  Homesteading freedom. (So, go dig up the front yard and take a risk to follow a dream.  You won’t regret it!)

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Posted in Farming

Save Some For Me!

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Lisa came over to get some herbal medicine.  I walked her through the gardens and we gushed over how incredible all of our respective plantings are doing this year.  This is my first year farming a quarter acre and she asked a reasonable question, “Do I think it is enough to feed my whole family for a year?”  Unquestionably, no.  I thought it would be, but it is not even close.  I do see all the wasted space though, five gallon pots that could be filled with more tomatoes to line the porch, criss cross the rows, add more here…there.

I sold all of my beautiful purple green beans as soon as they hit the tables at the farmers markets.  I got a handful of the remaining growing and cooked them up to add to fresh potato salad; the lovely purple fading to green as they cooked.  I only got one serving!  I also realized that I was being really silly with my new farming mentality.  ‘Can’t eat that, that is to sell.  Save that for Woodland Park!’  I get bushels of vegetables from my friends at Miller Farms to can.  Granted, I am not growing bushels of anything yet, but I could also be saving some of my own produce for..*gasp*…us.

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My original plan since I was a child was to be a homesteader.  To follow in the footsteps of Laura Ingalls.  To skip through fields of wild flowers instead of cement sidewalks.  To can my own side dishes instead of consuming who knows what from poisonous cans.  To build a fire on a stormy night and heat up a kettle of tea on the stove; cozy and warm reading by oil lamp light.  To spend most of my time in an extensive garden among the bees and butterflies, tending to all the life around me.  To hold an infant lamb, to laugh at chickens running by, to feel the breeze and know the weather.  To not hear traffic, to hear only silence (except for cows lowing).  I am half way there, working my way towards this complete homesteading dream.

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I also have an extreme passion for farming that I could talk one’s ear off a hundred miles an hour about.  Non-GMO’s, organic, heirloom, urban farms, country farms, feed the masses!!!  Or at least the neighborhood.  I need to teach.  I need to get people started on creating their own mini-farms.

“How are the onions?”  Someone asked at the market.  I have no idea.  Sheesh, I planted all these onions to put in the root cellar and here I am selling them off for a buck a piece.

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The time will come when I can create a larger farm.  For now, though, I better sell what we can’t eat, but eat what we can!  Homestead first, then feed the masses….or the neighborhood.