Dorothy was so right…”there’s no place like home”

We had a wonderful time with our family, out west. There is just nothing like holding your child’s newborn.  New Mommies are amazing, and the love affair between a new Mom and her infant is such a beautiful thing to be near. Spending time with their family and being part of this first week with their new son made for a very special week.

All that said, the farm was missed, and was such a welcome site after a week away.

Every single day is beautiful here, but each in its own way. The farm is so woven into my fiber that a week away leaves a small hole within me that can’t be mended till I’m wrapped in it when I return home.  Our first day back, each twig, leaf and pine needle was robed in glass, a beautiful gift for our viewing. This walk was was a cold one but felt alive and crisp, even with the constant cool misty rain that was falling.

Today  I will be getting my set up ready for starting seeds. I am excited to finally tackle this. I’ve always relied on my neighbor who often sells garden starts that he raises in his greenhouse. They are hardy and beautiful plants that give me such a reliable start for my garden. I generally trade him meat for these plants, but I’m trying to do things in a little bit more sustainable way each year, so I’ve decided I have to get over my fear that my starts won’t be hardy enough and the garden will suffer. Looking forward to learning from this and adding a new fold in our farmigami, if you will.

When I read lists of how to live in a sustainable way, I know we are getting there but there is always more to learn! Here is some of what we have achieved…

  • Grow and preserve vegetables and fruits
  • increase our fruits, by experimenting on a small scale (elderberry, blueberry, blackberry, grapes, red currant, plum, goji)
  • Raising Shiitake mushrooms
  • successful Winter tunnel for growing greens
  • Raising chicken for eggs (and meat)
  • Raise livestock for us and our farm biz (grass fed Highland cattle, Heritage breed, pastured pork, Heritage breed chickens)
  • Wildcrafting food from the farm
  • Trade/barter for what we don’t have
  • Cultivate new skills (can, ferment, dehydrate)
  • Making herbal meds (in the learning process)
  • selling our meat cuts, veggies and eggs, through our farm business (working on getting the word out to increase sales)

What we are working on or towards…

  • Saving seed for starting plants (hope to start at the end of this growing season)
  • starting an herbal medicine garden
  • Raise our own chicks (this one is a bit farther out, since we have never kept roosters past butchering day, here)
  • Learning to use our newly built smoker (hubby and SIL smoked some delicious cheese in it for a test run)
  • Hunt deer, rabbit, turkey – will be our first time hunting. We will start slowly with Spring Turkey hunt if we are able to get a tag for this hunt – they are hard to get.
  • Starting a very small “Farm Basket” type CSA, for a handful of local families, to help support the farm (grass fed beef, pastured pork, eggs, mushrooms, garden food, and herbs)
  • Work towards providing our own power (someday, unfortunately this one way is way farther out).

It is good for me to look at these lists this way, so I know where we have come from and what we are going towards. As the title, of this blog says, we are “incrementally stepping towards homesteading”.

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