Before & After, DIY, Homesteading, Updates

July Homestead Update

Can you believe we’re already through the first week of July?! With all the craziness in the world, it seems the days are flying by. To be honest, we are certainly keeping ourselves busy here at the Homestead. I wanted to give a quick update as many of you have expressed interest!

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Gardens

Our first bed is finally bearing fruit and veggies. We’ve enjoyed bell peppers, serranos, yellow tomatoes, and sweet potato greens. The rescue tomatoes we saved from Lowe’s are finally established and are now growing. We’ve built a third bed and have planted kale, cucumbers, acorn squash, radishes, and red onion. Our hanging garden is making huge progress, the sprouts are inching higher!

ChickensIMG_4298

Our five girls have been introduced to their lay boxes and we are hoping for farm fresh eggs next month! Earlier this week, we placed an order from a local hatchery for ten more baby chicks. We spent days researching and picked ten that are unique, beautiful, and will give us eggs just as diverse as their feathers. Stay tuned for cream-colored eggs, blue, green, and even red!

Aquaponics

Last week, we stumbled across a 250-gallon water tank which we will be setting up for an aquaponics system. We are looking forward to having fresh fish and healthy greens.

IMG_4300Worm Farm

One of the key ingredients to a functioning farm is healthy dirt. We’ve been trucking in dirt and compost to build our beds, but after a while it won’t be sustainable. Our compost bins are collecting kitchen scraps, chicken droppings, and mixed with worms, we’ll be making our own dirt in no time… ok, six months or so.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support and excitement during this process. All I can say right now in regards to all of this is, “Dreams really do come true.”

Before & After, DIY, Garden

Down & Dirty

IMG_1016The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and, clearly, reorganizing my shop wasn’t enough in the getting dirty department. This past week I brought in four yards of dirt to revive what once was a kitchen garden.  

It needed a little love, but after cutting down the three-foot tall weeds, laying down cardboard, layering leaves and compost, I laid down the dirt, with a little help from the manpower on the property.  What can I say, I’m not in the shape I used to be, after hauling 3.5 yards with a shovel and wheel-borrow, I was a little tuckered out and needed to call in reinforcements.

The manpower also framed in our garden gate, restructured our compost bins, and got the worm farm constructed and operational.  

While we are not quite out of the clutches of the late winter freezes, (it was 20 degrees here two nights ago), we’re looking forward to seeing the following lovelies in the sprout for eating, canning, and more: beets, basil, carrots, collards, and rainbow chard!

 

Book of the Month, Garden

Book of the Month 2

IMG_1905  While I have been relatively quiet on the blog front, I have several projects brewing.  I have also turned into a little bit of an introvert since the last few weeks in Austin, the weather is slowly morphing into that of Seattle.  Grey, cold, and rainy.  I don’t mind the grey if it’s warmer, I don’t mind the cold if it’s sunny, but it seems like it has been an eternity since the sun has warmed my skin.  That being said, it has been perfect “curl up with a book” weather and I am glad to announce that I have completed my second book of 2015.

 

February’s Book: Grow the Good Life by Michelle Owens

My brother gave me this book a couple of years ago.  Itching for Spring and the chance to play in the dirt, I figured this little gem would be great inspiration for my next plant project.  I’ve always loved growing food and flowers.  Ten years ago worked on a small farm called Paisley’s Farm & Greenhouse.     To this day, it is still the best job I have ever had.  I never recall a day I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work.  If I wasn’t at the Paisleys, I was bringing home the sickly looking IMG_1893plants to my dads farm to nurse them back to health. Rain or shine, I was outside, playing in the dirt, repotting perennials, etc.  What I would give to be able to have that again?!

I have always known gardening was a wonderful thing, but Owens book gave some very interesting insight as to why it is so important and why as a society we have moved away and back towards gardening. I must say I am completely envious of Owens given description of her house and her garden bursting with colors, vegetables, and greenery, especially since I live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment that has a nonexistent balcony.  I make do with the walkway space and have a small collection of potted plants and window boxes.  Knock on wood, no one has yet to complain about my taking up of valuable walkway real estate.

That being said, today I finally breathed some life back into my little garden. The cold had done a number on a few of my fragile friends and I knew that planting some spring flowers would lift my spirits.  How could it not?  Digging in the soil, the bright colors of the blooms, and the hope for sun…

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