Saturday, January 22, 2011

Garden Planning

With weeks of bitter cold and months of snow still stretching out before us, I am longing for the garden season. Counting the weeks until I can walk out in the dirt barefoot is pretty unbearable. So I am participating in the indoor sport of garden planning.

May blessings fall upon the seed catalog people who send their catalogs just in time to give hope to the frozen north.

We are focusing on perennials and the orchard this year. We are also thinking about growing hops for the bees this year. I have already orders 15 pounds of bees and 5 queens!

I am hoping to stop by the Shrine to Guadalupe outside of LaCrosse this week to bring the Lady some roses and pray for spring.

Friday, January 7, 2011

False Start

Well, I am declaring it an official false start.

We were snowed OUT of the farm for most of the month of December. Last week we had to hire a front end loader to dig out the nearly half mile driveway. This weekend we are in the city again due to the bitter cold.

The construction did not go as fast as we anticipated and the money did not last as long.

The good news is that I love my job working from home and DH and I are both finishing our degrees this year. I have not declared 2011 to be anything special yet, but I have to say that I'm happy to see 2010 go.

The seed catalogs have been piling up in the mailbox and I am inspired to plan my garden for this year. We have not thrown in the towel, we're just back at the bottom of the hill and heading back up once the snow melts.

We brought the chickens and the barn cats to the city, it was truly a rescue mission. We lost one chicken to one very bored dog the first week they were here, sad, but what can you do? One of the chickens is still laying eggs, which surprises and delights me. The barn cats are taking to the lazy life of house cats with no problems whatsoever.

School starts up again next week and I will be on the road at least two if not four days a week through April.

In preparation for "take two" DH and I went to a "Meet Up" for people interested in self-sufficiency. Sounds safe enough, right? Well, it was, interesting.

We met with about 8 other strangers at a coffee shop. It started out great with a conversation about solar power, but it became apparent that no one else in the group is as far along on the journey as we are. It was cool though, everyone had something to contribute.

Then began the conspiracy theories...according to the vocal members of the group, and not argued by the silent members, the following things are happening right now:

1. Aliens are killing the birds and fish.
2. The government is taking over NOAH and trying to control the weather.
3. The government is allowing Monsanto to sterilize all of the soil in the US, so that crops will only grow if we purchase supplements.
4. The city of Minneapolis is going to ban backyard gardens within city limits.
5. Farmer's markets are also going to be banned in the US.
6. We all will be dependent on people who can make candles and soap in the near future.

I tried to guide the conversation back to skill building and current projects and asked flat out if preparing for the fall of civilization was the purpose of the group, but no one came with me. DH stood up and announced we were leaving when a latecomer showed up and sat down next to me, with his Glock on his belt.

I am renewed with a great zeal for the need for a blog/account of modern homesteading that does not include armageddonist ravings. I hope that the happy, grounded, educated, and successful homesteaders/farmers will get their stories out into the public.

So many people have this dream, to simplify, to live better with less; less consumerism, less stress, less time devoted to the daily grind.

While I like to make candles, and plan to make soap this year, I am not doing it because the post-apocalyptic populous will have to bow to me or stay dirty. Folk crafts, and homesteading skills help me to feel grounded and connected to my ancestors. If they make me a "Mad Max" Queen, well that's just a bonus.

Voluptuous update: My new year's resolution is to wear something homemade or vintage every day this year.

Simplicity update: I got two turkeys, twelve pounds of cheese and three boxes of dry milk from an online barter site!