The First Twelve Months: Month Four ~ The Leap of Faith


The First Twelve Months Black Fox

The fourth month on our homestead will be The Pivotal Month on which things took a significant turn for us ~ but more on that in a minute.

First off here are some of the highlights:

Major additions to the homestead:

Our windbreak in its infant form.   We ordered and received 100 bareroot arborvitae seedlings from the state forestry department to be planted along our fence line.  Arborvitaes are not my favorite, but they are recommended for windbreaks, screen plantings, and are reported to be drought and clay soil tolerant.  They are still neatly packaged in our garage awaiting the proper time for planting.  As a  temporary stopgap  we’ve erected a small silt fence, and taken to using floating row covers to prevent as much wind burn as we can.

Major events included:

A snowstorm with snow that actually accumulated.  It didn’t last, but it was pretty, and the water from the sky in one form or another is beginning to fill our dry pond.  The pond has attracted some migrating wild geese which have been fun to watch.

February 15 marked the start of the cool crop planting season.  After working six weeks to grow strong cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Swiss chard transplants, we set them out and then promptly lost most of  them.

I learned two things the hard way:

1.  Just because it is the start of the season doesn’t mean that things can be set out on day one.

2.  What grew just fine and dandy in our old neighborhood, may not do as well out here on an exposed plain.

3.  (ok I learned three things ) Double check the recommended planting dates and don’t rely on memory.  After setting out and then subsequently losing the broccoli, I remembered broccoli isn’t to be planted until March.  ::facepalm::  I still can’t believe I did that…

The arrival of the planting season and our emphasis this year on the garden brings with it a slight adjustment:

I  no longer have a gardening day, cleaning day, sewing day, and work on the blog day.  Everything is pretty much scheduled according to the weather with the gardening taking precedence; and even then, the weather can be unpredictable.  For an inflexible A type, this is not easy, much as I love to work in the garden.

And finally:

Last summer, my husband and I decided that he should take an extended leave from his successful job as a self employed computer consultant so that we could see if we can work together as full time market growers.

Today is his last day.

When I pick him up this afternoon at the airport, it will hopefully be for the last time.

I know there are people who think we’re absolutely nuts.  Perhaps we are. But we do have a number of significant reasons for why we decided to give this a try, all of which will be devoted to another post.

We also have a number of  things going through our mind:

I will admit to having some anxiety.   We’ve calculated the risk but as anyone who grows anything knows, we’re at the mercy of a few things over which we have no control. Things like drought, ice storms, and wind.   Every time I walk through our garden I say a simple little prayer “Just ignore the wind and grow please.”

On the other side of the coin however, we feel confident.  We feel that this is what we are supposed to do and this is the time we are supposed to do it.   We are both dedicated, and committed 110% to doing whatever it takes to make it work.

We’re also pretty excited about what is in store and consider ourselves to be blessed that we are able to make this change.

Wild Geese in flight Black Fox Homestead

Next month:

Husbie will be here full time.  He plans to finish the chicken coop, continue fencing the garden, and building more “berms”  as we expand our garden.

We’ve been doing research on cover crops and will begin to make plans to plant one for the warmer season.

We’ll start planting that windbreak, and continue moving forward with the planting of our cool season crops.   We’re eyeing a young but very large patch of spinach and if we’re lucky  it will be ready for the market in a month’s time.

Find this post and others like it linked to: The Homeacre Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Rurality Blog Hop, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop, The Ole Saturday Homesteading Trading Post, The Homestead Barn Hop,Homemade Mondays, The Scoop The Backyard Farming Connection Hop, Tuesday Garden Party, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Eat Make Grow, , Tuesday Greens

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The First Twelve Months: Month Four ~ The Leap of Faith — 47 Comments

  1. Love reading your posts…they are such encouragement as we are taking similar steps here in KS to pursue growing produce for market and continue our own homesteading adventure. Blessings to you both as you continue to transitition.

      • Funny you ask about a blog/website. We have been thinking of starting our own for a few months – my hubby is testing out the blog world currently – but we would perfer to have a website. Any recommendations for easy website set up? Otherwise – I would love to share more…it’s such an interesting adventure learning more all the time. :-)

        • Sarah, we use We have an Etsy store and plan to have a presence at the local farmer’s markets. We wanted a website where we could have that and the blog all in one place. So far we’ve been happy with WP. For blogging, wordpress isn’t quite as user friendly as Blogger but I liked being able to have without the “blogger” stuck in there. Blogging With was the site we used to get us started. It was very straightforward and very helpful. Course once you get your site/blog you need a FB page, and then you need to get on Twitter, and then Pinterest, etc. etc. :P It is a lot to manage. I hope that was helpful ~ I don’t know if that answers your question or not.

          • Adding it to my google reader. I hope you will contribute at some point. It does take a lot of time but it is a great way to network with other people in the same boat.

  2. I am so glad I found you in the blog hop… your posts are always so interesting and you admit it when you make a mistake, which is SO refreshing to read!

  3. LOVE keeping up with you! Thanks for your continued open, honest sharing of the challenges and successes you’re encountering! We hope to move to property next year, and I feel like I’m living that in advance through you. :-)

  4. I love reading about your journey. My husband and I would love to do the same thing but are not at that point in our lives with the last two sons in college. I’m taking notes though, so if we do take this path down the road, I can learn through your experiences as well as our own. Thanks for the interesting reading. I so enjoy reading about your journey.

    • Thank you Denise! It has been quite a trip and I know it isn’t over. We’ve really loved it so far though.

  5. Don’t let the enemy try to whisper that this is too hard and that you won’t make it. Jehovah Jirah, Our God who provides will do so…just keep working your plan! Blessings upon blessings on you, your husbie, and your homestead!

  6. Love your site, especially the recipies. Good luck in the future. My husband and I are also building a homestead, but you guys are way ahead of us. I just started blogging recently about it: I also joined your facebook, I think. I’m still trying to work out a lot of the kinks of all this computer jargon and mumbo jumbo, but I hope will learn in due time. I would love to see you post more recipies on canning meats and such as I would really like to get away from having to have a large freezer. Thanks again.

    • Hi Vickie! It is nice to meet you! I look forward to following your blog. The online/bloggy world is a big place and I still feel like I’m trying to learn it all. I’m glad you liked the canned beef recipe. I have some more that I plan to share but I am no expert. We are just getting started and I’m learning as I go. I don’t know if you are familiar with Jackie Clay or not but she has a lot of canning advice and much of what I’ve learned has been gleaned from her. We have a deep freeze, but one year we were without power for a significant period of time due to an ice storm. For that reason we’ve taken up canning and would like to be able to put a lot away. My current challenge is space. I don’t know where to put everything. Thanks so much for the follow and I look forward to keeping in touch. :)

      • Thanks for the tip on Jackie Clay – I will look her up. My husband likes to fish and I wonder if she might have a good recipe for canning salmon and trout? Is she a blogger also? Anyway – I will see you again in the comment section! ;)

        • Jackie is a homesteading legend IMO. She and her husband live on eighty acres or so in Minnesota. I’m not sure but I think they live completely off grid. She cans on a woodburning stove if you can imagine that. She writes for Backwoods Home magazine which we take and is a resource I would highly recommend. Her blog is more of a Q&A format but it is still informative. You could probably ask her about the salmon and trout. Here is the site:

  7. Jen- I loved the picture you sent. It reminded me of my days back on the farm in Michigan.

  8. I really enjoyed reading the first (4) months! You are living my dream. I’m a single mom of two almost grown boys, multiple knee surgeries and other disasters have caused us to lose our home of 18+ years to foreclosure. (Thank you USDA). I am currently looking for a few acres farther out in the country here in CT. I’d rather move south, VA or NC, but my job is here and it’s the only way I can pay my dad back for the loan he gave me. I’m looking at a total knee replacement soon. My kids have agreed to stick around and help make a small homestead. I’m hoping that in about 6 or 7 years, after the loan is paid, I can do it full time. I’m looking at a possibly severe handicap but I’m determined to get away from the lifestyle we’ve been forced into by modern society. I can hardly wait for your next post! Good luck in your adventures!
    P.S. Farm Chick Chit Chat sent me

    • Wow Melody I am so sorry. I can’t imagine. We will keep you and your sons in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to look for the right place. Best wishes for your restored health as you continue to move forward.

  9. We’re out on the same limb! I wrote on my kitchen chalkboard last night: “Leap: and the net will appear. Meanwhile, have a cuppa coffee.” I’m so completely supportive of you and husbie’s decision to farm full time. Do keep us posted, I love keeping up to date on your homestead adventures. Be well, and keep creating!

    • LOL! That’s awesome. I guess we need a chalkboard like that in our kitchen. Thank you so much for your support.

  10. This is Sarah’s other half. I was so inspired that I tried to get together a blog. It is pretty shabby, but it is a start. So far it is just a beginning on how I made my chicken coop, but there is more to come. We just got a grant for a huge high tunnel and that blogging will came as the tunnel progresses.

    • Oh cool! We’re in the process of building a chicken coop too so I am going to pass this on to my husband for him to have a look at. We’ve talked on and off about a high tunnel so I look forward to reading about that as well. You should consider linking your post up to a few blog hops if you are interested.

  11. If your hubby ever has any questions or just wants to throw ideas around, I get a kick out of the idea phase. He is more than welcome to email. And make sure you blog his construction.

    • Thank you so much Lucas! I will pass this info on to him. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it. :)

  12. I enjoyed reading this post – my husband & I made the same gut-wrenching decision to work together several years ago so I know what you’re feeling, you’re not alone. I think you’d feel inspired if you’d read my blog post a couple of weeks ago titled “Chasing the Dream” (here: )

    When you’ve done your homework and feel confident it’s time, take that leap. You’ll go through the changes together but in all probability you’ll find that it’s absolutely wonderful and where your hearts were meant to be. Don’t be afraid to dream big, it actually DOES work! Thanks so much for sharing this post! (visiting from Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

    • Thank you for sharing! I really appreciate your thoughts and enjoyed reading your post. It is always good to hear from others who are in the same boat.

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