Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Hello all. It's March can you believe it???? Things are starting to get a little on the crazy side around here. Well not really crazy but more like my sense of normal. We have been having a very mild winter....to the extent that I put my plastic greenhouse up already to melt what little snow we have. We spent the last day of Feb. walking the beach of Seward looking at the "wild" life....hermit crabs, muscles, starfish, my kids. It was a very enjoyable and much needed trip. I was a bit stressed over the weekend. I was offered my job back, at a higher pay. I was also offered to stay at a local store instead of the hour commute. I was flattered that they would actually come and ask me. I spent the weekend going back and forth between taking it or not. I finally decided on the not. If I was at a different point in my life I probably would have jumped at the chance. Right now I've realized that I am needed at home more than I am needing to help bring in a paycheck. We as hubby and wife want a farm/homestead....we want a family environment that we were building before I went to work. It is a different lifestyle and one that I truly crave. We have been very blessed to be where we are at right now and I am thankful for that. My progress towards my Farm to Be has been very slow. Most of the progress is in plans not actual work yet...still winter. We have started our garden. The two little ones love to help me plant. What kid doesn't like playing in the dirt though. We expanded our raised beds last year before the end of the season so that they would be ready for this spring. We have planned out our garden fence....along with room for an additional 4 beds and adding 2 cherry and 2 apple trees to the area. I'm excited about that. I have been researching square foot gardening and companion planting so that I can make most of the space. The beds aren't huge 4x8, but they will hold a lot of food. We want to start our bees this year. That one we still haven't made the leap into and it's time to order them. I don't want to miss it, but if so then plan b is a turkey coop. We are also adding a second chicken coop to split the hens and roosters so that we can hatch some pure buckeye chickens and pure blue orpington chickens. It will take some time to get back to actual livestock. I'm excited about a summer of gardening though. I even bought flower seeds so that I can have some color around the house. So as we move forward with the farm to be...the kids are moving forward with school. Hubby is moving forward towards his Master's degree...and me I'm starting my jog towards my homestead reality. I look forward to the day that I change my name from Farm to Be....to...whatever we name our farm. Have a great day.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
There is nothing like being warm. Being a southern gal living in Alaska I don't feel this way all that often. The past few weeks have been cold but I've had a wonderful spot in front of the wood burning stove. I love the heat on my face as I watch the flames dance. Most mornings I have the company of 2 dogs with me. The mornings that I can sit there with my pups and take in the quiet or read makes a long winter bearable. At the moment I'm sitting here sipping my hot chocolate preparing to go out there..... to a cold car... and my thoughts are on my warm spot on the floor. If I could figure it put I would have another woodstove upstairs so that I could glance at the flames throughout the day. Don't get me wrong I am loving Alaska, I would just like to thaw out for a while. The snow covered landscape is beautiful, especially when the moon hits it. Hot chocolate seems to be consumed a little more often and the oven continues to be used longer than when I lived in Virginia. So where is to a warm fire, a mug of hot chocolate and dreams of ocean breezes..... have a wonderful night and keep warm.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
I can't believe how long I have been away. I've been working off the farm to be the past 2 1/2 years. My farm to be regressed to a home with chickens. I've not given up on my farm/homestead dreams we just needed to step back and re evaluate. So here is an update of the past few years. I went back to work part time at first in order to help cover expenses on the homestead and to get us caught up after my hubby's surgery. I ended up going more than full time. During this time I was still homeschooling thanks to online programs but it was a huge struggle. We ended up getting rid of our sheep, goats, rabbits and chickens. I can tell you this place isn't the same without the animals. I tried to garden but for some reason it wants time and attention that I didn't have. About a year ago some friends of ours were moving out of state and we inherited their chickens. The start of my farm to be again. I left work at the end of August this past year. It was too late to salvage my garden attempt so I started going to farmers markets and a local u pick farm for fresh produce. My hubby and I started canning. It was a first for us.... potatoes were great, pickles not so great. Hubby and I attended an all day bee class to learn about the ins and outs of beekeeping. So that is about where I am at. This year we are looking to expand our garden, add a few apple and cherry trees and fence it all in. (I'm also toying with a cottage garden in my head with a combination of edible plants). We are also looking at building a permanent greenhouse instead of my little tent one. As for livestock we have talked about turkeys and goats. We will hatch our own eggs once we get back into the 30s on a regular basis. So those are our summer plans to revive my farm. While waiting on spring I've been busy crocheting, teaching my 17yr old how to sew clothing, we are learning to make natural cleaners for home and for body. I've been learning about and using essential oils in place of harmful chemicals, and to top it all off still homeschooling on a daily basis. The latter is the best choice I have ever made. So that is a quick catch up. I'm looking forward to adding regularly again.