Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Building a Homestead

We have been working on our garden beds these last few weeks.  Our soil is so poor that we started using raised beds last year and purchasing soil.  This year we have used a combination of peat moss, manure and our own compost.  We have planted broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, spinach and potatoes.  Tomato seeds are in cups and will be put out in several weeks.  Jeff and the boys planted 6 new blueberry bushes last night.  We have been cleaning out flower beds and adding fresh soil and weeding out the mint bed so I can transplant some more that has been growing in the yard.  We have seeds to start for several herbs and will be watching hopefully for a good yield.

Jordan is interested in developing a real homestead that could turn into a side business for him.  We will be looking at plans for building a greenhouse, trying to keep chickens again (if I can only get over the taste of fresh eggs....),  and we would love to learn about keeping bees.  I think I would like to have my own source for honey and it could provide some income for the boys.  I have plans to read Gene Stratton Porter's Laddie and The Keeper of the Bees to encourage the children (and myself) to work hard, become self-reliant and  to love working as a family.  There is just something about working together that either draws a family closer or breaks them up completely.  God created us to be workers and to take dominion over the land that He gave us.  We need to be more focused on doing the work that He has given us to do.  If you were to walk around our place you would see that there is a lot of work that needs to be done!!    Good thing we have a bunch of children who are willing to work (most of the time!)

Here are the three big boys getting ready to set out blueberry bushes on a little ridge behind the house.

Jeff gives them a little help with the tiller.

It's a big job for Jackson, but he loves to work.  They dug deep.  Aaron actually had water coming up in one of the holes he dug.  Not a burst pipe, just runoff from up the hill.  They planted the blueberry bushes in a mixture of our clay soil, sand, peat moss and compost.

Caedmon loves being out and "working" with the big guys.

Jordan looks like he is really preparing to tackle a hard job.

Some of our early crops are coming up!   I think these are radishes.

Kaelan took all of these pictures.  It was a beautiful spring day and you can finally see new leaves coming out on the trees.

The daffodils have bloomed and Kaelan can't resist picking one or two or a bunch!

One of the children's many hideouts around our property.  This one is fairly close to the house in a shady little glen.  The little boys play here with Kaelan.  She has a nice little set up!


Caleb said...

You are so right about working together bringing families closer. At one time we had chickens, turkeys, guineas, milk goats, rabbits, and a donkey. My children still think about those times as the "good ole days." Amanda wants us to get some more goats and chickens for her girls when they get older. Right now we only have turkeys, dogs, and horses.

Autumn said...

My family is getting chickens next month- and bunnies next year.

My mom will be posting about the building of the chicken coop on her blog within a few weeks if you are interested. is her blog address.

Em said...


It's a ton of work, and with just our animals (Mark's ginormous garden is yet to come), we literally fall into bed at night. The two oldest girls' days start @ 5:30, when they accompany Daddy to the barn for morning milking, feeding, haying, watering, etc...

All that said, Mark & I had a conversation just last night about how much happier we all are when we work hard, spend a little time together, and are not idle.

Good luck with your homestead! I hope you do get bees!

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