Brief farm update, Dec 2016.

Photos of the farm from the past few weeks:

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Jeff cleared the garden area for the spring and I’m delighted. We spent time scoping out the area and settled on this spot mindfully. This will be our permanent garden, barring unforeseen circumstances. I feel like I’m entering into a special kind of relationship with this spot. I get to not only grow our food here, but I get to spend countless hours here thinking about our lives and the lives within this place. Special. Anyway, I’m prepping the new garden beds in leaves for now, and adding whatever compost/old microgreen soil I have on top.  

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It’ll be quite a garden by the summertime next year. In the middle of this area is a big pit that we’ve started to call “The Bowl”. Photos don’t really do the landscape justice, but here it is. In the middle of the Bowl is a birch tree that we found beautiful. I plan to do interesting things in this little space- mushrooms, terraces and berries and shrubby edible/shady-loving plants. I’m also considering housing rabbits here, but we’ll see.

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“The Bowl”, looking east.

Milton gathered lots of bagged leaves off the side of the road for our garden project, but also our kind neighbor hooked us up with some free chipped leaves too. I’m hopeful that the soil will be in pretty good shape, especially because it’s going from forested to no-till beds. I still have a lot to learn about soil. 

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I decided to keep one cherry stump in the middle of the garden so that I can play at coppicing (essentially allowing for some regrowth of straight woody shoots out of the stump to use for fencing/trellises/etc). We’ll see how that works! For now, it’s the perch I use to take panoramic photos of the garden area. 

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I have to measure it, but Jeff and I are guessing it’s a good half an acre at least. Intensively gardened and utilized, it’ll be my biggest home garden yet. 

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I managed to plant a small amount of garlic. We didn’t have the garden space ready yet, so this will have to do. But, like I tell myself every year- whatever I do is better than not at all. So we’ll have some garlic!

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Jeff got us a new (to us) toy. This guy… A small tractor for lawn/garden/etc. It even came with a little plow! I plan to make this one my pet (since Jeff already gets to play with the big one), but judging by his face I’ll have to compete a little for it. 😉

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We re-plasticked the microgreen hoop before the cold really hit. This time it’s covered in actual hoop plastic that can withstand the sun and elements. So far so good. Although without supplemental light the greens have slowed their growth. I’m rolling with it. I’m tired, after 5 years of growing these, of manipulating the conditions so much just to grow them in the winter. I would rather cancel a market or delivery or two than create an indoor environment again. So far the house has been heating it all just fine, and it’s pretty comfortable to work in!

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Red Kale microgreens, slow growing but healthy.

Jeff ran electricity to the duck and chicken coops so we can give them a little supplemental heat and hook up electric waterers. 

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He also added a “people door”, which was needed. Before we just had a hatch we’d lift, but it allowed the chickens to escape too often.

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There was also a bit more clearing. Jeff cleared this spot closer to the house to move a storage tent we had farther away from before the house build. Now we can start organizing all our supplies better!

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Our remaining beehive died. I’m fairly certain it was varroa mites. Very good learning experience, exceptional honey. I’m committed to a bit more studying this winter before we get more bees.

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We got at least 2 gallons of honey.

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Rendering the beeswax.

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Jeff surprised me one day with this sweet little egg box, so they don’t have to be spread out all over our counter. We are very much inundated with eggs, but I don’t mind a bit. We have enough to share, and I just think they are the best food. 

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See what I mean? Eggs. Put em on stuff.

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The recent snow got my kiddos excited and they built what I believe to be the happiest snowman on the planet. Or at least in our little neck of the woods. I love him. 

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I’m definitely loving this shift in seasons, the quiet moments where I look up and feel so in love with life and this home we are making. 

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Flynn is growing fast and, slowly but surely, training up and mellowing out… sort of. He’s intense. He’s delightful and hard and I definitely feel grateful he’s our dog and that he has this place to grow into. 

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That’s all for now. Brief farm update December 2016.

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (2)

  1. Jan Quiring

    Gracie, thanks for this heart-warming glimpse into your home and homestead. It just overflows with your values, your own rootedness and commitments to an authentic way of living and raising a family and connecting with Mother Earth as she connects with you. Uncle John and I, God-willing, would love to visit sometime and see your home, fields and woods, animals – all of you of course and most of all- whenever it could be arranged! Sending our love….and admiration!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I would absolutely *love* to have you all. It’s an open invitation. I admit we’ve been disorganized and haven’t invited people out as intentionally as we would like, but I plan to remedy that soon. I love you!

      Reply

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