Month 3 was pretty quiet. Even though we have mild winters in our area, there is still a sense of rest. We have however managed to get a few things done. Here are the highlights of our third month:
*Our overwintered spinach seeds sprouted earlier than anticipated. While this was something of a surprise, we chose to see this was a good thing. Due to a small harvest last fall, we’ve actually had this irrational fear that nothing would grow here. Fortunately since this was an experiment, we only planted half of them and the sprouts have done really well under a floating row cover, tolerating temps as low as 9 degrees without batting an eye (so to speak)
*The mild weather has allowed us to continue to work in our garden, preparing it for the upcoming cool~weather planting season. Gardening chores at this point have consisted primarily of shoveling dirt into our garden beds. While we are firm believers in sheet composting, we can’t afford to wait around for stuff to decompose. So we’ve been spreading cardboard on the ground and building a berm on top in order to get the best of both worlds. The trouble is, the dirt we’re using is about 300 feet away from the garden (long story). This involves shoveling it into a wheelbarrow and carting it back and forth. For someone who once considered manual labor to be mopping the floor, this is a new experience indeed.
*We’re both official residents now as we headed to the tag agency one afternoon to get a new license with our new address. Local driver’s license meant we were eligible for a local library card. You can read more about our library and our small town here.
*Husbie has begun work on a chicken coop. It won’t be inhabited until later on in the summer but we like to get a head start on things especially since we’re pretty new at building things like chicken coops.
* With our chickens due to arrive later on this spring we have begun to knock around the idea of having dairy goats so we’ll have milk and cheese as well as eggs. We have even gone so far as to contact a goat breeder within an easy drive.
Being completely new to goats, I thought:
~bring home a female goat
~have milk the following day
~have milk forever after as long as we milk her
~female goat will be just fine on her own for a few days should we ever decide to take a trip.
(Experienced goat people, please, please don’t laugh)
The reality is: we need two does and a buck. And a friend for the buck. And we will never be able to leave the farm again. Ever. As I see it, contemplating goats is commitment city ~ sort of like making a decision to get married (only in this case one could sell the goats should things not work out). Idea is still simmering, and heavy commitment aside we’ll most likely go for it sometime in the fall, all things being equal.
Major additions to our homestead included:
A gravel driveway. The gravel was delivered by three large dump trucks and spread. Sort of. The delivery guy asked if we had a tractor for spreading it, to which I replied that we did. I wasn’t really lying. Me, armed with a garden rake, was the “tractor” that was going to spread the gravel. Which I did one afternoon.
The start of a fence around our garden and…
An Etsy site! While this isn’t really a physical part of our homestead, it is a part of diversifying our income streams as we prepare to transition to full time work on the farm. I had always thought that starting an Etsy site was sort of like setting up a Facebook Page. Thirty minutes and you’re done. Easy Peasy. This was more like several intense evenings during the week struggling to get it just right. It is still a work in progress but it is evolving. It is live, and you’re free to take a look but please know there is more to come and I have great plans for it.
The Mud. It is everywhere. We had our pond dug out last summer and as a result we have no grass in the back. The front has not been landscaped and still bears some of the scars of the recent construction on our home. Despite our best efforts at keeping it out, the mud gets tracked in the front and the back. If I was a really dedicated housekeeper I’d be mopping twice a day but there are other things that need my attention (cannning, cooking, laundry, the garden) so I mop once a week and we’re learning to live with the fact that there will always be a certain amount of dirt.
Next month we hope to:
*Continue the fence around the garden as well as continue work on our chicken coop
*Set out our cool season veg transplants that are happily percolating under our indoor grow lights
*Sow our lettuce seeds, peas, beets, remaining spinach seeds, etc.