I don’t watch much TV nowadays, but when I do, it’s usually reality shows like ‘Alaska, the Last Frontier’ and ‘Homestead Rescue’. I like to live vicariously through these people as they live off the land. I’m even a member of a small farm and homestead Facebook page. 99% of the information shared and questions asked are so beyond my scope of living, but I tell myself I better tuck away these little nuggets of information because one day that may be me….most definitely not, but if I ever found myself in that kind of life, I’m pretty sure I could do it. I could survive.

In the meantime however, I’m having fun pretending. I pretend I have a garden that supplies our family with all the vegetables and even some fruit that we need. In reality, I failed at growing sweet potatoes (which I didn’t realize until I spent 3 months watering what I thought was a mound brimming with the orange tubers) and after growing carrots for over 3 months, this is what I dug up for tonight’s dinner.28323B28-86BF-469C-8208-373178BCF533

They tasted bitter with a hint of mint. If I wasn’t having fun being a gardener failure (I’m blaming it all on our soil, which is all sand), I might just throw in the towel. Instead I’ll continue to water my second batch of growing carrots and mound of russet potatoes with the false expectation that we will end up with a bounty of both. Oh, I laugh just typing that.

Why do I forge on? One, because there’s the hope that I can amend the soil to the point where things will actually grow. Two, because my daughter’s gasp and “ooooohhh” as we dug up the carrots today were all the encouragement I needed. She was so excited to see what we had grown from seeds. She promptly ran inside to show her daddy. Meanwhile my son enjoyed feeding all the carrots that didn’t make it past an inch long (these greatly outnumbered the carrots we actually did save before tasting them) to to our chickens. The kids are learning the joy of digging in the dirt, getting their hands dirty (and their feet, knees, and faces), the accomplishment of growing something with their own 2 dirty hands and discovering God’s creation first hand.

Did I mention our garden has nice wooden frames and fence around it, all built with used lumbar and fencing and our own dirty hands?0DE38D5D-3A88-4D95-84D4-5EBD5804C220

It looks like a super nice garden (if only it were). We also have a rain barrel to take advantage of the free water that falls from the sky. If that isn’t self-sustainability at its finest, I don’t know what is.

Slightly more successful than our garden endeavor is our chicken situation. We bought 5 little chicks 4.5 months ago with the hopes they would all turn out to be girls and would eventually lay beautiful, brown eggs on at least a semi-regular schedule.20171007_122902

We have yet to get eggs (not old enough) so that aspect outcome remains to be determined. So far they are all girls, but I keep forgetting how old they’ll get before you’re really sure. I don’t see any rooster looking features or hear any cock-a-doodle-dooing thus far, but I’m hesitant to chalk this up to a success just yet. However, I can proudly say we have kept all 5 chickens alive and well for over 4 months! From 5 little fluff balls in a tub in our bathroom to pooping, clucking hens running around our backyard, we have managed to see them flourish in our care.12F53DFB-F605-460C-9F07-11BA72374F3C

This even includes nursing one back to perfect health after a hawk attack. Poor girl was carried a short distance in the talons of the predator bird, then, thankfully, dropped to what I was sure her death as I ran into our yard screaming at the hawk like a lunatic. I even kept a nasty opossum from getting into our chicken run one night with my hawk netting booby trap (the netting came into existence after the hawk attack). I won’t mention I had forgotten to lock the girls in their coop that night, which is what lured the opossum to our yard in the first place. 😬

The kids still call our feathered friends our baby chicks, as opposed to chickens. While they (the kids) love the idea of playing with the chickens, they scream when one even looks at them. Yet, the kids are there with me most mornings and evenings letting our flock out of and into their coop, “helping” feed and water them. They also find the chicken poop fascinating to look at and they of course step in it too, which is also fun to look at on their shoes (or bare feet….gross, did I just admit I’m that mom that lets their kids in with the chickens with bare feet?).

And that’s it. That’s the end of my homestead wanna be life. There are all the little projects that I suppose encompass the homesteading spirit, but that list would be way too long to add. This life may not be much like those on my favorite shows, but it’s our life and I love it.

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