Spring and the coming year
Winter is gone and already it feels as if the warmth of summer is upon us. As though nature had no time for spring and hastily decided to get right to it. On the homestead things have kept in tune to the seasons with so much happening to get ready for our first full summer that everything seems to have happened at once and suddenly the preparations are done and summer is here, or is it? Well here or not we are excited for what this year will bring. It has been about a year since I quit my job to invest my life into my family rather than my employer. I never imagined until then that working 7 days a week would not lead to the need for sudden medical attention. Instead it has been an improvement to my health with my eczema gone, allergies improved and 30lbs slimmer. Though we have gotten much done, never as much or as well as I should hope. The house is the most delayed, it’s roof is on, walls up, masonry heater and chimney done, plumbing complete, windows and doors in the works, but it still needs electrical, staircase, septic tank, and finishing inside and out before we will be living in our hand built home. I am determined that we will be moved in this year even if we have a folding table for a kitchen. The kids will have a home before the rest of us as their sandbox fort is going up in the garden quick.
The garden on the other hand has been doing great. We have increased its size to about ¾ an acre and for the first time have a greenhouse. A couple that ran a nursery a mile down valley retired and sold off a lot of their equipment. We purchased for a good price two 2000sqft greenhouses. While the price was good it did come with the snag. We had to take them down and move them on some really wet and cold days in October. However we have one whole greenhouse planted out with tomatoes, and Thai varieties of eggplant, chilies, long beans, and cucumbers. In the garden last November we planted over 4000 heads of garlic, and this spring we sowed lettuces, french and green beans, peas, radishes, zucchini, and other summer squash, pickling cucumbers, potatoes, napa cabbage, carrots, beets, and so forth. We are also growing pea and sunflower greens. Though we are most excited for our new waste disposal team, Gloucestershire old spots heritage piglets, they will be working very hard all summer to 5S “clean up” vegetable scraps and fallen apples from the orchard.
While they clear the grass for the last set of garden beds. Their end will be bacon and hams of legendary quality being finished (fed) this fall on apples and baked potatoes. Homesteading might be hard work but it can sure taste good.
Starting the first weekend in June we will be selling at a new startup farmers market in Winlock. We hope to get to know the community and learn some market gardening skills in the process. We will continue to be delivering June’s treats to the south Puget Sound area and also will be bringing our farm products as well for sale. Sign up for our mailing list to be informed when we will be delivering and what will be available. Through the year we also hope to increase our duck flock for eggs. We are selling out before most get the message we have them. Unfortunately it takes a duck half a year before she starts to lay, so there will continue to be a shortage this summer and fall. In the meantime we will have meat ducks and maybe chickens later this season. We also hope to have produce available into the winter thanks to our new green house.
We thank you for being part of this journey we are taking and hope to see you someplace under a nice warm sunny sky.