For our family and friends that wish to follow our adventure in turning our piece of property into a home for our children. Homesteading adventures, parenting adventures, and all around family fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sitting back and seeing our accomplishments

I know I don't have to look back at all the old pictures, but what we have accomplished in almost 4 years is worth a pat on the back.  That is because in the process of trying to make this little plot of land home... we have endured many more setbacks than we ever imagined.  Russ and I are like that Disney Train on one of the old cartoons.. maybe Dumbo... "I think I can, I think I can"... 

So here are a few before and then after of the property... 
Below is what they used for their goats... I wish you could see the roof... its tarps with tires... lol  We have since then re-roofed it with recycled metal roofing, repaired the sides with new plywood and one of these days I will paint it.  Really... I will... one of these day.  

The back yard now.  One of the apple trees remain, but the rest are gone or about to be taken out because they are mostly dead at this point... 

This is actually our front yard now.  That little chicken shelter is gone... and we have built a wood shed.  

Ahhh... the shop.  The last frontier.  Its still a mess... but nothing like that!  LOL 

And the garden.  We moved the greenhouse out to the front of the garden so it got some sunshine.  It opened the garden up. That area is now full of Iris and more recycled projects... 

All we could see past the 'junk' and overgrown neglected trees and yard, was flat land, that as we aged would be more and more important.  We could see potential, but we also knew our elbows would be worn beyond belief.  As time passed, we have taken out more trees that could not be saved, and still have more to remove.  The neglect was just too long and too hard.  We have removed the old mobile and redone the septic system, the well house and soon decks will be added.  I think we own stock now in the dump,but we have also recycled so much!  

Recycled (or upcycled...lol That term cracks me up!) Rain gutters... We have created the Strawberry Wall!  The bottom is recycled dresser drawers.  It is netted in so the deer and birds will leave us something to eat.  By next year, it should be very full of berries... although the girls seem to be snacking on them daily now!

Turning around from the Strawberry Wall is the back yard.  To the left is apple tree and a swimming pool... our trailer we are filling with more 'junk' is in front of the shop... 

We are going to plant Kale under the trees... to see if it will grow there.. might as well.. I would hate to see good dirt go to waste!  ;) 

The kids chalkboard and the neighbors blackberries coming over the fence.  We don't mind... makes for easy pickin'!

Our "We Tired" Wheelbarrows.  They are partially rusted out, the bottoms broken, handles gone... ancient... now planters... works for me!  And I don't have to really bend over to pick beans!  LOL 

From the 'back corner pocket"... the well house... looking out at the garden... what started a few years ago as potato towers... became the ever growing recycled raised beds... add a dresser on its side and some more squares that I just keep adding... we have planted cucumbers to trail over and up... and other little things in the dresser drawers.  :)

We have taken container gardening... and combined it with companion planting and vertical gardening... the black pots to the right are drought resistant Hopi Beans (from the Hopi Indians) that once the "TeePee" is up... will create a shaded area for the kids once summer really hits.  There are actually five pots to make the TeePee.  I am just not very good at taking pictures! 

Recycled cinder blocks into Keyhole gardens.  Peppermint is growing along the edges... with some miner lettuce... but soon enough there will be squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, loofahs and I can't remember what all the girls and I planted.  

Rhubarb and Currants... what's left of the currants after the deer came in and feasted! They are netted and  I hope to have a little for some jelly this year. 

The "Bed O Beans"... recycled cattle panels looped over a bed for pole beans like Asparagus beans, Chinese noodle beans, Hopi pole beans, and maybe some Lima Beans.  Miranda is at the end leaning against the Bed frame... lol  Thus making it a true Raised Bed! 

Most of the herbs are here in the herb garden... the girls put their bench that is about 10 years old and in need of repair there.  It looks cute.. but I think I need to fix the seat...  Its only a matter of time before the inevitable happens... 

We use straw to mulch things out alot... so there is usually a couple bales hanging around... and there she is... kicking it.  The hoop house is producing lettuce like crazy and kale and swiss chard.  Love our greens! 

From  the far end of the garden.  This was green a week ago.  Its going to be a dry dry year! 

I don't know of too many dogs that let a renegade duck hang out with him.  I need to catch her and clip her wing so she will quit getting out of the poultry prison!  lol  

The woodshed and the septic "elephant grave"... We planted some roses that we saved and are recycling old tarps with holes in them to keep the weeds down as we slowly gather the rocks from the chicken yard to fill it in.  We are on an old river bed, so there are plenty of rocks... I just never seem to get them all raked up and moved as fast as I should.  

The playhouse.  (The recycled chicken coop that was here when we bought the place)  The girls have decided to paint it red... so this summer we will.  We put in a patio with recycled pavers... and Miranda wants to plant some flowers in the old tire... They do enjoy playing out there and a couple of swings from the trees just got bumped pretty high on my to do list.  

The old goat barn that we converted into a rabbitry/haybarn/ and presently a calf barn.  I am very sad to say 'Bar' did not make it.  We have 'B' and 'Q'.  I am still extremely traumatized over losing a calf.  That has never happened to us before... and I don't think I will ever recover!  As soon as I know they are 100 percent 'well' I will move them to the calf pen on the other side of the building that attaches to the smaller of the two front fields... but its been a rough go with calves this year.  The wall came from recycling Rebel's old dog pen we had on the coast.  It will work to keep them contained and then we will continue to convert that area into "Death Row" for our Fryer rabbits.  To the right is "Conjugal Court"... where the breeders are kept... but for now... 'B' and 'Q' hang out and I 'think' are finally on an upswing.  On a side note... we have purchased a Steer already 5 months old... that will replace "Bar"... but it's just not going to be the same... he will be delivered the first Saturday in June.  

From the calf area looking into the chicken yard.  I haven't raked all the rocks up yet from the front area... but one of these days I will.  And one of these days I will paint them both.  I hope by this fall... it really is a goal.. REALLY!  LOL

Miranda took a picture of this old guinea hen laying an egg.  They are ferocious beasts!  And did I say OLD... how long do they live anyway??? 

So Mom... there is your update on life on the farm.  School is pretty much done for the kids... and we are looking forward to coordinating time to see all of you this summer.  Love and Miss everyone... Tell Dad I love him... and until next time... know we are "Happy Homesteaders"... LOL 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Memorial 2014

A day to be Thankful.  A Day to remember.

We started out ok.  Then Lola fell in the grass staining up her new dress.  So we had to opt for a back up.  She fell asleep on the way to the Kingdom Hall and Dairy Queen was closed after the talk and every one was leaving.  I guess that is what we get when we live in Rural Small Town USA.  LOL  We bought some ice cream and root beer and make floats.  The kids thought that was neat thing beings we don't eat sugar during the school week.  They thought they were getting away with one.  hehehe

I haven't been told what the count is yet... but it was full!  I love Memorial... always have.  Miranda and I stayed up late and watched the eclipse, so that was a neat treat.  Neither one of us wanted to get out of bed this morning.  Its getting later, so I am not going to make that mistake again.  Goodnight Grandma.  :)  Lola will have to talk to you tomorrow.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

New garden

New beginnings!!!

 The beds are all filled now, and I will take more pictures later.  I have completely wore myself out filling them up.  But it sure looks nice out there now!

 Grape vines they pulled out yesterday by the composting area.  One compost pile we are pulling from, one we are building.  Anyone into making wine want some very old stock of wine grapes???

 Pretty hard to imagine it was a complete junk yard a few years ago.  I love spring... it always looks like a park this time of year.  As long as I keep the grass mowed.  lol

 Tucked in there is the kids playhouse that we are vamping up to paint.  they have decided they want it Barn Red.  Should be fun!  ;)

 Not quite the junkyard it was in 2010 when we bought it.  Sometimes you just have to take pictures to remind yourself that all your hard work isn't for nothing.   We ARE making progress!  

 Can you see her hiding in there between the bales of hay?  Her sister is in the chicken coop and has hatched out two ducklings that I can see for sure.  She has 12 eggs under there.  We are eager to see how many make it.  Russ has an itch to get back into rabbits... we will shall wait and see!


 Rhubarb and currants.  I love this corner.  Its so nice and cool there.  It will be nicer once Russ and I tear out that shed and have the lean to against the shop.  It will open the garden up more.

 Keyhole gardens.  I  need to top them off and we will plant squash in them this year.  And there is Miss Lola... ever posing for me! ;)

I wish I could go back and put some of the same shots in there of the 'before pictures', but you will have to just trust me!  Even though we still have a TON of work to do around here... the property doesn't look like a junk yard anymore (except around the shop, its our last frontier!)  The grape vines are gone now too.  Someone needs to come and get them!  We will plant seedless ones in the future.  

Until next time... Happy Homesteading!! ;)