Time to Garden

Our weather has had me questioning when to plant my cool weather crops. We had a colder then normal winter with many feet of snow.  Our winter has only been followed by a cooler than normal spring. Although we are expecting a nice warm weekend, we will be back to below normal temperatures again next week. However, my garden seems to be calling for me to come out and begin planting.

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After all, the sun is shining, the grass is turning green and I’m seeing the tiniest of buds on the trees.  So I’m going to tackle some of the planting this weekend – broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots, onions, spinach and lettuce.

Of course my fear is that I’ll get everything planted and then suddenly we’ll have a heat wave and they won’t do well, but that’s part of the challenge a gardener faces. We just can’t predict what mother nature may throw our way. Yet, we must move forward because we know the pure feeling of satisfaction when we have a success garden.

So I have been putting my cabbage plants out to harden for the last several days.

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Today, I’ll pull out all my seeds and do some more clean-up in the garden.

My tomatoes and peppers await their turn into the garden.

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Although there is not enough space in my garden, thanks to a successful year of starting my own seedlings, I have many beautiful vegetable plants to choose from.  I will have no need to buy any vegetable plants.

My excitement grows with each passing day as I envision the bounty of my labors.

Now I raise my watering can to all the gardeners out there. May we all have wonderfully successful gardens this year!!!

Shop Til You Drop

We left early Friday morning for another property shopping trip and looked at a total of 8 properties. By the end of the day Saturday, I was exhausted. We saw some beautiful properties, but each of them had something that just didn’t appeal to us. Not that we are expecting to find any property that is absolute perfection, but these properties had some big things missing or some problem we just couldn’t deal with.

On Friday we looked at three properties.

The first property was nice and although it didn’t have a pond, there was a spot that could very easily become a pond. It was down a road that had several other nice homes along the road and once a portion of the land was cleared of the trees, we would have had some nice privacy. What we wouldn’t have, was the view we are hoping to get. We would simply be nestled amongst the trees, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what we want.

The second property had way too many negatives to list, so I’ll just say that we only visited for maybe 5 minutes before driving away.

The third property had some potential, until we started walking closer to the pond and discovered how marshy the land was. We had too much concern about flooding and just weren’t sure where we could build without flooding being a potential problem.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and at the realtor’s office shortly after 9:00. We headed out to property #1, which was the property we were most excited about seeing.

Getting to the property required that we cross a beautiful creek that winds its way thru the country and is part of the property. As we pulled into the driveway, about a dozen wild turkey began running and flew away over the trees. It was a spectacular site and we were immediately drawn to this beautiful piece of land. The property sits at the top of a hill, overlooking the Ozarks. It has a pond on the property, which we could only get a glimpse of because of the overgrowth, which means we would have some work clearing things off. There was a lot of open land for farming. For a matter-of-fact, a chicken coop is already on the property, along with a storage shed. The girls loved the swing hanging from one of the big trees and there was a play house for the kids. We began walking the trail thru the woods, leading to the creek. About 33 acres of trees which has deer stands and turkey blinds set up. After a walk up and back down the hill, we finally arrived to the creek. It was gorgeous, which a large rock bar and I could imagine many summer days spent at the creek fishing for perch, crawfish and looking for turtles. As perfect as the property sounds though, there were some problems, the biggest of which was one of the neighbors. This neighbor owns cattle and decided that he owned the creek, so he put fencing up to allow his cattle free access to the water. He only owns the land to the middle of the creek and the property owners took him to court, spent thousands of dollars and the end result was an agreement that he could leave up the fencing and put up a gate giving the property owners access to the creek. It just wasn’t a good deal in our book and was now deeded that way, so the new owners would be buying property that ran to the middle of the creek, but could only access the creek by going thru a gate and climbing thru barbed wire fencing. There was also the problem of crossing the creek twice getting to the property which does flood and would make the road impassable during heavy rains. So we drove away saying no to the property that had so much going for it.

We drove onto the next property with an old rustic cabin sitting up on the hill overlooking another creek. There wasn’t easy access to the creek and all the open land sat at the bottom of a steep hill. Every time I went to my garden I would be hiking up and down the hill. It would have been great exercise, but also very inconvenient. The land would have been great for sheep and okay for goats though.

The next property was so unimpressive, that I can’t even remember details of the property, but the fourth property was intriguing. I found a nice spot for building that would have give us a beautiful view and there was a nice trail going thru the approximately 49 acres of woods. There was a small pond on the property, but we would once again need to go a lot of clearing to access the pond. The bigger problem was the neighbors property which was very run down. We would be looking at that property every day and it also meant less privacy on our property than what we are hoping to get.

The last property would have offered us some great views, but the owner has been running a logging operation (which the realtor didn’t realize until we went to look at the property). He has cleared a nice spot for building, but has also taken a lot of other trees off the property that would have been better left. It was off a heavily travelled highway and would make an awesome location for a roadside stand. However, it also means contending with a lot of traffic noise up and down the highway. Since we have no plans for a roadside stand and don’t want to listen to cars and trucks all day and night, we said no.

With that, our weekend of shopping was done and we now know of 8 properties we don’t want to purchase which puts us that much closer to finding that one property we really want to buy.

We also had the opportunity to talk to a couple of folks from the area who gave us some great information that will help us as we move forward in our search. Information can be a powerful tool when used correctly.

After a good night’s sleep, we packed up and headed back to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. They have a festival the first Sunday of each month from spring thru fall. There were vendors selling plants, homemade baked goods, crafts, herbal creams, and much more. They had live music and of course the store was open for buying seeds. We met up with some friends and spent the day enjoying each other’s company as we browsed the vendor tents. Eventually, I made my way into the seed store and came out with 14 packets of herb seeds along with a free packet of romaine lettuce seeds (they give you a free packet of seeds with each seed purchase). I’m not on my way to starting my own herb garden.

It was a really good weekend and I look forward to our next property shopping trip in the not too distant future.

 

It’s Official

Spring has sprung!

The temperatures have been slowly rising, although for the most part they have still been below normal. Then overnight the rains and storms moved in and now we have the possibility of severe storms this afternoon and tonight. When the severe weather threats move in, I know spring has officially arrived.

Although today is a gloomy day, the grass is much greener and my tulips are working their way up thru the soil. I should see little green leaves emerge from the branches of the trees soon and next week I’ll move my pots of cabbage and broccoli outside during the day to begin hardening before planting them the following week.

Our long, cold, snowy winter is now behind us and I look forward to the new season before us.

 

Ready to Pay the Price

After months and months and months of planning and researching and searching, our homesteading dream is finally happening.

The excitement!!

The joy!!!!

The utter amazement!!!!

Bring on the chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, turkeys, and sheep!!!!

Let’s get this garden started!!!!

And I can’t forget the orchard!!!!!  Apples, pears, cherries, and peaches.  Yum, yum!!!

I’ll also grow grapes and I’ll eat them off the vine and make jelly.

Oh, wait a minute . . . . .

April Fools!!!!!!

Our homesteading dream isn’t technically happening, but we are going back to Missouri to look at potential property.  We have a realtor that will be showing us 9 properties near Ava, Missouri and another realtor will be showing us some properties around the Buffalo, Missouri area.  I do feel that we’re making progress in the right direction.

While nothing has necessarily changed, the dream remains.

Finally!!! A Spring Day

We are finally getting a real spring day here and it couldn’t come at a better time. There is a lot to be done outside and we are armed with supplies to get it done.

Last year we completed a deck and patio project.

First, hubby and girls built a fire pit.
First, hubby and girls built a fire pit.

 

Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio.  The fire pit is lonely no more!!
Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio. The fire pit is lonely no more!!

That project now requires some landscaping be done and I had decided last year that I would be putting in some small shrubs around the patio and along the deck. Of course, those plans have now changed, as most plans around here do.  Having a real need for more garden space, planting shrubs just didn’t seem like a good idea.  So instead of shrubs around the patio, I will be putting in pots filled with herbs. The space around the deck will be filled with plants that will attract butterflies and bees, which are of great benefit to the garden. I’m also putting in a small flowering tree that will eventually provide some shade to the deck. There will still be space for additional pots of herbs around the deck as well.

The nice thing about using pots for my herbs is that I can take them with me when we move to the homestead.

I’ve ordered everything and they should arrive later this week, so today is my day to get the ground ready for planting – cleaning up dead growth, leveling the ground, putting down landscape fabric and mulch. A lot to do on a beautiful spring day!!!!

 

Overwhelmed

I’m feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all the painting that still needs to happen in my house. Overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that we’ve accumulated over the years. Overwhelmed by the amount of yard work that needs to be done. Overwhelmed by the amount of spring cleaning I have to do.

So how does one handle all the overwhelming feelings when they surface?

They take on a challenge!

I stumbled across this blog post and immediately thought, “40 bags in 40 days is just what I need to do.”

The idea is to fill one garbage bag full of “stuff” and remove it from your house and your life.  As hubby pointed out to me the other day, we have gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but there is a lot more that needs to go.  There are constantly toys strewn all over the playroom floor and many are there because they don’t get played with.  Closets are packed full of clothes that don’t fit and are out of style.  We have a game closet full of games that haven’t been played in years and I’m quite sure many have missing pieces.  The list goes on and I have no doubt that if I spend the next 40 days de-cluttering, the overwhelming feelings will begin to fade away.

So I’m going to take on the challenge, except I’m not going to spend 40 days on this challenge.  Instead I’m going to make it 60 bags in 30 days.  That is one month!!!  Certainly I can fill 2 garbage bags a day for 30 days!!!  Plus 30 days seems more reasonable to me.  Since part of the challenge is to feel less overwhelmed, I don’t want to overwhelm myself more by subjecting myself to a challenge that is just too long.

Maybe I should take on a 50 walls in 50 days challenge as well.  Paint a wall each day for 50 days.  I think that would just about take care of all the painting.  I’ll think on that one a little longer.

Now that I’ve made my mind up, I’m feeling better.

Time to get this challenge started!!!