1 Year Reflection.

Some months later…

This blog has not become what I’d expected since we moved to our new homestead. It has been a little desolate these last few months. As I’ve confessed before, it’s such a daunting thing to wrap my head around what we’ve done here, and what is yet to be done. So, I’ll do my best to make a sweeping update in one short and sweet post.

Firstly the house is NOT what it was 1 year ago. Of course, the hustle of getting things in order those 2 weeks before we moved in held the majority of the updates, but since then we’ve (nearly) refinished the master bath and I’m really excited about it. There are several small changes that are lined up and just need to be accomplished, but our room has become a sanctuary of sorts. It’s always cool back there, and with the seating area it’s often quiet and I even make an effort to keep the bed made! Other bits of paint, curtains, pictures hung and shelves mounted have helped make the rest of our space feel like home. Certainly there still remains a bounty of ideas that will someday come to fruition, but for now our home is pretty cozy and I’m learning that +/- 1600sqft is the perfect size. Not too much, not too little.

The acreage on the other hand…so, in that regard I think everyone might think the more the better and maybe that’s true. On one hand though, it’s very difficult for us to not feel obligated to make the absolute most of what we have–every square inch. It’s not the back .25acre anymore! Having nearly wrapped up our Permaculture Design Certification we know SO much more about how to effectively plan and use the terrain, but it’s a little overwhelming. We’re finding ourselves with goals we can’t even imagine ever getting to! 10.5 acres is FAR more than enough to sustain us if we were really diligent about growing all our own foods, etc. So we’re trying to focus on the immediate; trying not to become bogged down with the overwhelming vastness of possibility. There are 2 year goals, 5 year, 10 year…lifetime even.

And, can I just say that every day I’m more thankful for where we’ve landed? Do you remember my whining from last year? The complaining about the house? Well, it’s still not my dream farmhouse, but it’s got potential and with the new addition of a fantastic covered back deck it’s growing on me. I was never a ‘ranger station in the woods’ kind of girl, but it’s morphing into the country cottage I could see myself in for a long time…

“The plans He has could far surpass my own, and for all I know my dream would have been limiting.”

Those are words from that whining an entire year ago and a day rarely goes by in which there isn’t a revelation of how true it is. Rereading that post is still pretty painful because it occurs to me how many of my dreams have come true in this past year and how none of it would have if I hadn’t hit as close to rock bottom as I think I ever have. Extreme doubt and frustration is silly in retrospect, but it was the only thing that brought be down to where I needed to be to accept all these gifts we now have.

We can’t sit still around here and I’ll blame the neglected blog on too much to do, difficulty focusing, etc. Honestly, a little of my writing here feels like bragging or like something that might hurt people who aren’t here yet, who aren’t where they know they want to be. Plus, most of the post titles would be something like, ‘so, our chickens were laying 7 eggs a day until yesterday and now they’re laying 2. What the heck?’ or ‘People say turkeys poop everywhere–that’s true’.

We are where we wanted to be, and obviously it’s not Eden.  The world was created with this perfect balance and this could be Eden if we just pursue that and this place has taught us a lot about that. The rhythm of the place around us is totally out of our control to embrace or resist. We’re figuring out how to ride those rhythms and make the most of it all.

Anyway. A list of what has been done on the ‘farm’ end.

  • planted: Chinese Chestnuts, Apples, Blueberries, comfrey, stinging nettle, peppermint, witch hazel, loofah, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, elderberries, asparagus, figs, persimmons, rhubarb, hydrangea, mushroom plugs, cover crops, animal forage…we have a few annuals going in the garden area, but we REALLY focused on getting the perennials going this year.
  • cleared: ‘back yard’, garden area, cleared out many trees from our back 5 acres.
  • built: chicken coop, goat house, mobile chicken coop, fencing, mobile fencing, covered deck, garden beds, trellises, bee yard.
  • raised: laying chickens, goats, meat chickens, turkeys, guineas, dog, ducks.
  • education: Permaculture Design Certification, holistic beekeeping, orchard class, lots of reading, beginning farmers farm tour…
  • classes: We had several bee classes and essential oil classes and can’t wait to add more to the list as the farm progresses. 
In sum: we don’t update this place as much as we should–my fault. But, things are happening very regularly and we are content to be where we are. Still a little scared because there’s so much, we have moments of complete overwhelmtion (and you can quote me on that). Anyone want to move in next door? We’re learning more and more how much this type of lifestyle is better when your neighbors are on board! A few of ours down like ducks in their lawn? Or cat paws on their cars? Silly country folk…

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