This week we are all sharing what homesteading/gardening looks like at our homes.
Slowly, steadily, generally moving forward but occasionally taking one step backward, our family has been gardening and engaging in some aspects of homesteading.
"When a man can have light or heat without a fire, or can eat without a garden, then folks will forget that there is a God."
(I don't know where this quote came from, I just found that I had written it in one of my notebooks.
If you know, please share.)
Oh, this can be hard, but at the same time it can be so rewarding to work with what the earth has to offer us – God’s gift of creation. Digging in the soil, picking blueberries, making an apple pie from apples from our old apple trees, gathering fresh eggs and using the manure in next year’s garden. There is nothing like the feeling of having a nearly all homegrown meal, such as quiche with eggs from your chickens and with salad and potatoes from the garden – it is just so satisfying. Not to mention so good for the earth. Think of the transportation miles saved, the packaging, the driving to the store, etc…when you eat home grown food.
So many disappointments as well, such as only harvesting 5 – 8 winter squash from numerous prolific vines that simply did not bear fruit, raising two female goats from 6 weeks of age, but then realizing that I am probably not ready to raise a buck and commit to twice a day milking (fear or just not wanting to be tied down I am not sure). But for now we are loving our two does and appreciating the fertilizer they produce. One last mistake was that I planted garlic last fall and forgot about that when letting out the chickens so we lost quite a bit.
A wonderful aspect of homesteading is that it keeps the seasons real- each season brings a new set of activities: tapping trees and preparing the soil in early spring, finishing the planting before true summer starts, the weeding and harvesting in the summer along with the blueberries. Then late summer and early fall brings the rest of the harvest as well as apple picking. During all of this is the firewood harvesting, splitting and stacking.
Our children are involved in helping around our small homestead. The younger children help with the chickens, the older ones sometimes help with the watering of the gardens and the splitting of the wood, for example. There are seasons when I have been pregnant and feeling terrible and wish I hadn’t put so much pressure on myself to get the garden producing and then when there is a toddler, I have to lower my expectations a bit again as she will want to be digging with meJ
Aren’t we blessed to have choices? Sometimes I am grateful for the local organic family farm if one of my crop’s fails or I did not get to planting something.
There is so much more that I want to learn and do. My goals this year here at our little homestead involve making our own yogurt and occasional soft cheeses as well as make our own soap. I would like to include these new skills into our seasonal and daily homesteading routines.
Looking forward to all the sharing again with these inspiring (but real) women ~