It has been a productive weekend here on our little homestead. The weather was beautiful and my mast cells have been surprisingly cooperative considering that the pollen is rising by the day and especially with all the controlled burning going on in the valley right now.
Seriously, we are being smoked out here! The farmers are burning ditches in every direction. We have had wildfires already. Even the neighbors have their burn barrel going and of course the wind carries the smoke right to us.
A few years ago that would have meant that I had to stay inside with the windows closed tight and the air filtration system turned way up while wearing my Vogmask, but I’m doing much better now thanks to the miracle of medicine. And my trusty Vogmask, which I still wear when it’s super smokey out. I love my Vogmask!
So we’ve been able to get out and get quite a bit of work done together despite my wonky immune system. We weeded the flowerbeds and found some wayward daylilies that are sprouting out of bounds and need to be dug up and transplanted soon.
We also found some wayward tulips that somehow transplanted themselves right in the midst of the daylilies.
I hate weeding so I tried to convince the hubby that dandelions are a valuable food source during times of disaster, but he still sees them as evil invaders and set about killing them.
That’s okay, they’ll be back! They ALWAYS come back. 🙂
We trimmed some of the trees and shrubs and I took cuttings from the willow bush which I put in my rooting bucket.
We even got the lawn mowed for the first time this year (yay!).
We have almost half an acre of lawn which is great, but it is really quite unnecessary now that the kids are grown so we are slowly turning some of it into more areas for growing food and raising livestock.
We have one big area we are converting right away, on the south side of the property.
There’s one apple tree there now (the smaller tree on the right) that is just starting to bear fruit and we plan to add a few more fruit trees to make that entire area a little orchard in front of our new raised garden beds.
Yesterday we bought two stock tanks and a fence panel for a trellis which will serve as an entrance from the orchard into the raised bed garden area.
We had to shop around the local feed stores to find the right ones so the trellis would fit into them without having to cut it down and then we had to go about getting it all put together and ready for planting.
That meant drilling holes in the bottoms, bolting the trellis in place and then finding just the right spot for it. We are doing the hugelkultur thing in all of our taller raised beds, which meant loading it up with branches and other stuff from the compost heap before topping it off with soil.
That took up most of our day on Saturday but it was sooo worth it. I can’t wait to plant my beans and peas in it now!
It helps to have a helpful, handy hubby to do the heavy lifting. He finished putting in the raised beds next to the greenhouse…
…and then spent this morning putting in more garden areas like this one for the pumpkin patch behind the duck pen.
It wasn’t until he was done that he realized the lines were way crooked because of a flat tire on the tiller. Oops!
We took breaks off and on to watch two of our favorite homesteaders, Doug and Stacy, who are going way further than we are with the self-sustaining lifestyle. They remind us of some of the characters we met living up in the Kootenai and are just too fun to watch, especially when he’s messed something up or is in trouble for stuff (like making Stacy water the garden by hand for TWO WHOLE YEARS!).
We love these two and wish we could live like they do, but it’s just not feasible for us for several reasons, which I already wrote about in a previous post.
Plus, we love it here and we’ve put so much work into our home and land that we’d hate to leave it all behind! Of course if the right property came available nearby, we *might* change our mind, but it would have to be just the right place for the right price.
And it would have all the work already done for us. We’d want room for the sled dog team, raised gardens already in, a nice, big chicken coop and plenty of pasture for the other critters. And maybe a stocked trout pond.
Oh, and a big, old barn. Basically a place just like this one we passed by on our way to get straw the other day.
Yep. I might be willing to move for all that. 🙂