Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why Are We Doing This?

These unexpected daffodils came up behind the old shed.

The potato field got another round of tilling up today.  Still pretty muddy, but looking better. It's warm enough to plant the potatoes, but the field is just not ready yet.  It's been a late spring.

My bug removal crew hard at work. Please leave some of those earthworms, girls!

Sometimes I think we must be just a little nuts to start a project like this when we are in our 60s.  And then there are times this seems like the sanest thing in the world and we would be nuts NOT to do it.

I suppose  I should define "it".
We call this a homestead.  Another term might be subsistence farming.  The point is to try to build a bit of independence- maybe some freedom , some self sufficiency.

But why?
There are a number of reasons, not the least among them that the world has gone completely crazy, and there are just no guarantees.... there really never have been guarantees, but we have blindly trusted in a thin veneer of safety.  Its hard to watch the news and keep that illusion anymore. Growing most of our own food seems like a smart thing to do. (Plus, it tastes so much better!)
Also, I have just always wanted to farm.  There is something simple, right, and good about planting a seed, and reaping a harvest.
We want to build something. We want to leave this place better than we found it.
We cant change the world. We can only change our little piece of it.

I started this blog in response to a challenge to write and run every day for the month of January.  January ended and I kept going.  I have made no attempt to publicize it. Not many people read it.  But it seems like a good thing to chronicle this journey of making a little farm home to grow our own food, be kind and gentle to the land and the animals, be grateful for our many blessings, work hard, and learn lots about life (yes, even at our old age).  Maybe one day our kids will read it and be encouraged to follow their own passion.  Find a dream, and pursue it.  (Before they are 60!) Maybe even take over this little piece of land.  That would make me happy. When I plant an apple tree, I think of my grandchildren eating its fruit.  And if not my own, then someone's grandchildren will enjoy the result of our labors.  That seems like a good thing. Worth doing.

So, it's what gets me up in the morning... that, and the sound of goslings peeping like mad to go outside.

Today, there was a little more progress.  I cleared a patch for the blueberry bushes.  It was rather wild and overgrown, and took me about half the day to dig up small weed trees and bushes and vines and weeds. You can see to the right in this photo below some of the weedy bushes I was having to dig up.  Digging and pulling, and hoeing and raking... I sometimes forget I am 60 until I do this kind of work day after day. I got 7 blueberries planted. There is space for 2 more.  Some are decent sized bushes, and some were barely more than a stick.  We may not harvest any blueberries this year.  But next year.......

Newly planted blueberries. Yes, they are hard to see in the photo. There are 7 of them in there. The buckets are spots reserved for two more. I mulched it all with leaves after planting.

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