The other night, after my husband and I had collapsed into bed exhausted from another busy day, I laughed as I asked him if he could imagine what it would be like to be bored- to have so much time on your hands that you actually wondered what you could do to occupy yourself.
Perhaps there was a time in our lives when we got bored. When we were teenagers, I guess.
Definitely not now.
Now, there aren’t enough hours in the day, nor enough hands to get the work done. There is always more to do. More planting. More harvesting. More weeding. More washing. More teaching. More cleaning. More building. More tending. The work is never ending.
It’s a wonderful thing to never be bored. I think it keeps us content.
As I sit here typing, my feet are smudged black with soil, my back is glowing from too much sun, and I’m sure I stink to high heaven. But I’ve gotten a lot done, and for that I’m pleased.
The garden continues to come along. I harvested the remainder of our radish crop a few days ago. They were getting big, and I didn’t want the flavor to be spoiled. After trimming the greens (which are edible, but I ended up throwing them to the chickens), I washed and quartered the radishes and tossed them with olive oil and sea salt. After roasting them at 375* for about 30 minutes, they were tender and delicious. I took them to a potluck with some friends, all of whom had never heard of roasted radishes, and all of whom enjoyed them.
For the next few days I’ll be working on mulching around our fruit trees. I had a big truckload of leaf compost mixed with manure, sand, and saw dust brought in, which I’ve been spreading around our plants (and tilling into the soil). It really does make a huge difference in your plant’s health when you suppress the weeds and keep the ground moist around the roots. The grapevines especially needed it. I planted hyssop, which I grew from seed, underneath the grapes yesterday. It’s supposed to be a good companion plant. I think it’ll look nice also, once the plants are larger and the flowers are in bloom. If I can keep the kids from trampling them in the meantime.
This Spring I’ve planted several new fruit trees and bushes. One plum, two pears, three Nanking Cherry bushes, a Hardy Almond, two Pawpaw trees, a Maypop vine, two Hardy Kiwi vines, a dozen blackberry bushes, one Goji berry bush, three Quinces, one Medlar tree, three Rosa Rugosa bushes (for rose hips)… and yesterday I ordered two Honeyberry bushes. So far most of them are doing well. I think the Kiwi vines and the Maypop were killed in our last frost, but I’m holding out hope for signs of life.
Besides gardening, I’ve been going through a major purge of stuff again. Hand washing clothes has taught me a couple of things, one of them being that we have WAY too many clothes! I’ve been thinning down our wardrobes, and even going through the clothing in storage and weeding out what we really don’t need. I’ve also deemed it unnecessary for anyone to be wearing socks now that the weather is warm. Sandals and flip flops have replaced tennis shoes in an effort to save me from having to wash a billion little socks every week.
Xia makes sure I never run out of dirty laundry, lol!
I’m also packing up the majority of the kids’ toys and putting them up in the storage building. I’m tired of toys being everywhere, and who needs them when it’s so beautiful outside anyways?! The kids have been enjoying catching frogs and crayfish in the creek, building forts in the woods, riding bikes, and just plain getting down and dirty. I doubt they’ll even miss their toys.
We had six new baby chicks hatch out a few days ago. They’re so sweet. Their mother is very good natured, so we’ve been able to hold them a little. The kids are always thrilled when we have new babies. So much fun.
Jerry has been hard at work building an outdoor kitchen porch for me. Every day when he gets home from work he gets a little more done. When he’s finished screwing up the wood, I’ll stain it all a dark, natural wood tone. I’ll post more on it when it’s completed, but we all love it already. The kids have found it to be a nice, shady place to play; I can’t wait to get my wood cook stove out there.
I’ve been running into a lot of snakes lately. Thankfully, they’ve all been black snakes. I found two in the storage building as I was going through the kids’ clothing. And Jada found one in the woods the other day, stuck in some netting. I got a hold of it behind its head, and used scissors to cut it free, but unfortunately it died a little while later. We all felt really bad about that. I don’t mind the snakes, as long as they aren’t in the chicken coop.
We celebrated Elias’ 3rd birthday on the 9th. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies. This photo of him in his John Deer PJs and his farmer’s tan cracks me up. He’s such a sweet and silly little fella.
I guess that’s a sufficient update for now. I love these busy days. Boy do we sleep well at night!
What have you been up to in your neck of the woods?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.
Hi Kendra! I stumbled across your lovely pages looking for the proper way to clean blackberries. My little family has recently moved from the suburbs to a wonderful home in the country on a little over 5 acres. We are total amateurs at all this farm life stuff but we are eager and excited to learn and become a little more self sufficient. As I have been reading through your posts I am so encouraged and inspired! Thank you for taking the time to write and share. Katharyn
Hi Kendra! What a wonderful time in your life! Amazing to see such progress so quickly! I know it probably doesn’t seem so quick to you, but when you think about how long you’ve been writing about it, it is! The kids are adorable! I love seeing photos of them! I share lots of photos on my blog, as it is somewhat of a family journal. I know you are a very busy Mom and I appreciate all you take time to share. If you could, I would love to know where you ordered your trees, especially your almond tree. I would really like to grow one. I think our zones are the same as I live in Alabama, Zone 7. Thanks for taking time to share! God bless you and your precious family! Blessings from Bama!
Thank you for your sweet comments. Yes, we are the same growing zone. I ordered most of my trees, including the Almond tree, from Gurney’s. What I didn’t get from them I ordered from Burpee. 🙂 Let me know if you need links. Blessings!
I’ll be interested in your reaction to Medlars too. The advantage of these is that they are one of the last foods to ripen, well into early winter, when not much else fresh is around. But I gather some people love them and some do not care for them at all. Let us know what you think!
I will be very interested to hear more about your honeyberries and Goji berries. Please be sure to blog about them. I’m interested in growing them but want to know more about them from someone’s personal experience before I devote any space in the garden to them.
Boy I thought I have been busy, looks like you have been too. We have just gotten our little acre of field corn in yesterday. Our blue slate turkey hatched a clutch of chicks form the chicken eggs. I will have some pictures of her soon on my facebook. We are back to working on the goat fence since the garden is mostly in.
Love you new kitchen porch, hubby is doing a great job.
My partner in poultry crime (B.H.) and I are going to get together with Petee and build us each new and improved range cages after her graduation and ours.
My children are like yours, they never get bored. After working so hard in the forenoon farming they are happy to come in. A little rest and reading is very enjoyable. I’ve seen them around visiting children and the visiting children say they are bored because of the lack of toys. My children get very wide eyed wishing they hadn’t said that,” bored” word because they know what’s coming. I happily give the children another farm chore to do. Most children learn very quickly that a farm never runs out of chores, so that’s when the minds start to work and discover all kinds of fun things to do. Many Blessings Miracle Farm Homestead
We are in a certain state of “almost done.” We are about to break-ground on the chicken coop “remodel”. The second pasture is almost done. The new garden fence and new double-swing gates are almost done. The garden is growing, praise God, so we are in the planting-and-harvesting time, like you. Soon we’ll be harvesting cherries, apricots, apples, grapes, and blueberries. The strawberries are baring fruit now (Yum!) Like “Little Wife”, I got a late start on some of the garden (we’ve had such an unpredictable spring) and did what I almost never do: buy seedlings.
And, we are about to re-roof the entire house.
Sally at the Stable Road Homestead
Oh, how I enjoy your posts! Thank you for taking time to share even when you are so very tired at the end of the day.
We have a postage-stamp sized lot in the city with our current house; we built it a few years ago with all the usual overpriced landscaping for our area. I have since pulled it all out and replaced everything with an “edible”; I have blueberries, raspberries, strawberries as ground cover; raised organic gardens of veggies behind the 6′ privacy fence; lemons, limes, and satsumas growing in huge pots on the deck. Hubby a frame for a green house, used a dump-rescue 12-light glass door, fiberglass roofing, and refilled water bottles for walls to protect my citrus through the mild (but unusually cold this year, even in this area) winters; they are full of blooms right now. I have two peach trees growing fruit, one pear tree with fruit, and three apple trees producing. I also have a few flowers, and many herbs growing. Even my flowers serve a purpose: sunflowers for bird seed and people snacks, for example. It is possible to grow food for a family even on a postage stamp, if you remove all the unnecessary and non-productive “landscaping”. However, we did keep the holly berry bushes under the windows, as they are a great food source for the birds.
But, wait! We’ve just bought a farm with several acres and a large stocked pond. Anybody want to buy a mini-farm in a southern city?! 😉
I am interested in all the fruits you have bought. I have maypops, pawpaws, hazelnuts, pineapple guavas, a pear tree, a peach tree, and an apple. I have looked at the Nanking cherries, but haven’t decided whether I would like having them. Please keep us updated on the fruits’ progress.
I have heard of medlars and quinces. Good for you for adding unusual fruits! I hope your family enjoys every fruit you have. 🙂
Oh I am so late on my garden this year! I have a stock tank with lettuce, radish and swiss chard but even that is late. 🙂 I guess since we had a slight freeze last night, I am happy to not have a ton out. The Lord knows. Got our tomato cages built and new plot tilled and amended. So hopefully plants can go in this week. Thinned my radishes last night and had some spicy greens! Love to see how others gardens are blooming.
Hi Little Wife! Don’t feel bad about getting a late start, especially if you’re still getting frosts. It would be a bummer to lose all your hard work overnight (been there done that)! Sounds like you’ve already got a lot going on. Keep up the great work!
I just recently signed up to follow your blog via RSS, and today’s title caught my attention (No Time To Be Bored). It sounds like you are very busy, indeed! And I can’t imagine washing clothes by hand outside of delicates when it’s called for. Whew! More power to you! 😀
The roasted radishes sound great. We’re still in planting mode up here (New York State), and I’ve been debating on whether or not to grow radishes. Maybe I’ll give them a try after all.
The photos of your kids are adorable! I got a good chuckle over the one with your daughter. Too cute.
Hi Tracy! Oh, do try radishes. They’re one of the fastest growing crops, and they’re so much better than store-bought! Even if you don’t like fresh radishes, roasted ones are really yummy. It mellows the flavor a lot. 🙂