Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daily Rythm

The heads of wheat have turned gold in the fields, the days are scorching hot, and last night I had a dream about helping a sheep give birth to twin lambs. I know I want to have my own little farm one day, but I hadn't planned on having sheep for quite some time. It really was a very strange dream... See, my husband (who is very wonderful!) needs to be convinced one step at a time. Oh, he thinks me canning is great, was a little skeptical of my container garden (the initial cost and all) but is now proud of me, and I keep telling him that I can't wait to have chickens. And cats. And ducks. (I'm starting with the small animals.) He cringes when I talk about those, but I'm being persistant!

I'm reading a homesteading memoir right now called A Small Farm in Maine. I am only three chapters into it, but I have been surprised at how sensitive, honest, and insightful the author has been in her memoir about homesteading. She really helps you realize that homesteaders start with so little knowledge and it's building on that knowledge - one skill at a time, one season at a time. It feels like such a slow process! I read a lot of gardening books as a teenager and I thought I knew a lot about gardening - that is until I started doing it myself. Man, what a difference!

I've also realized with my little garden this year that homesteading has to be apart of you. Each step you take, each element that you add to your tiny patch of dirt is something that you have to add to yourself so that it becomes apart of you and apart of your daily rythm; like the habit of watering your garden. When my pregnancy started making me sick I forgot about my garden for two days. My poor tomatoes were keeled over screaming for water by the time I remembered. I was so scared that I was going to lose them, but lucky for me they bounced back really well. This also taught me another thing - that I am completely responsible.

So, I think for now, that it's a good thing that I'm only taking care of plants at this point. I feel the garden slowly becoming apart of the rythm of my day. And when the time comes for chickens, ducks, and cats, taking care of them will become apart of that daily rythm too. I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Small and Large Harvests

So, I finally got to harvest some peas! (About 3 handfuls. Woo!) I'm so glad I planted sugar snap peas because you can just eat them right off the vine and they're crunchy and sweet. Oh! They were so good. I just had them on a salad for lunch too. My Bloody Butcher tomatoes are loving their homemade self-watering bucket. I've noticed that the roots have grown down into the water resevoir. I wonder if that's a good thing... The plant seems to be really, really happy. There are about five or six large clusters of tomatoes. I am really excited! All my tomatoes except one have tomatoes on them. The Brandywines are getting huge! So, a tomato harvest will be coming soon. My goal: to have enough to can some salsa and maybe make some spaghetti sauce. Mmmm! Homemade is the best!

As for the large harvest: my wonderful friend Clair has a cherry tree and was begging people to come pick some because she hated to see any go to waste. Of course I didn't mind at all! I don't know how big a bushel of cherries is, but I think I picked about 2. I canned cherry pie filling and cherry preserves. It took me 2 weeks. (I haven't been feeling well since I'm 9 weeks pregnant!) I still had some left to can and yesterday I bit the bullet, clenched my teeth through the nausea and canned the last of the preserves. Right now I never want to see a cherry again! haha! But I have lots of little jars to give away and enough cherry preserves and pie filling to last us quite awhile. I think in all I canned.... about 3 dozen half pints of preserves and 1 dozen quarts of pie filling. So - Thank you Clair!!!! But really. I don't want to see cherries again for awhile. I saw people selling them at the farmer's market and nearly lost my breakfast. haha!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Halleluia! I have peas. It seems that they just appeared overnight. It's a good thing our cool weather has been holding out for so long. My cool weather plants are still pretty happy and now I have some hope of a pea harvest, even if it's a small one. :-) I also looked this morning and saw a few jalapeno peppers coming in. That is really exciting! My yellow pear has also sprouted three baby pear-shaped tomatoes. I hope I get to harvest some of this stuff before we move.
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