This week we celebrate 90 days on our little miracle farm. (Click here to read about our miracle.) It has been the craziest summer I’ve had in memory! We’ve celebrated some wonderful moments and wept over more than a few. Through it all we have been wrapped in the love of those around us and I’m pretty sure that, at least once every single day, either Handsome Hippie Hubby or I have sighed and said, “I really love living here!”
Here’s a glimpse at the first 90 days.
The garden grew leafy and green…
And then became slightly wild and overwhelming.
Then it got so big it ate New York like a radioactive monster from Japan.
As the squash has petered out we’ve begun pulling it and putting in a fall planting of lettuce, spinach, radishes and cabbage. Here’s hoping that frost doesn’t come earlier than expected this year!
The weather was weird! Once or twice it was actually cold enough to see your breath at night and it was quite dry all summer. We’d gotten a late start on the garden anyway, due to ground that was still frozen in mid May and not moving in until June. We had a bit of an issue with blossom end rot and, later, we were attacked by grasshoppers and tiny green worms. All of that combined to make a fairly weird harvest schedule with squash and strawberries turning ripe at the same time and sweet corn that still isn’t ready to be picked.
The end result was enough to keep this Lazy Hippie up to my elbows in canning jars, though. We’ve had over 300 pounds of veggies so far including zucchini, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and more.
While I’m on the subject of veggies, we experimented a bit with container gardening. We grew our cucumbers in pots next to the chicken run. They did pretty well… until the chickens figured out how to get to them. I’m pretty sure they ate more fresh cucumbers this year than we did.
We also grew some sweet potatoes in a container. No one in my family loves or hates sweet potatoes. Every now and then we eat them. They’re OK. So it was that I came to have 2 wrinkly old sweet potatoes in my veggie basket. I’d bought them for a certain recipe I never made and forgotten them. On a whim I sliced them in half and stuck them in water because I’d seen it on Pinterest. Three out of four of those half moldy old things sprouted the prettiest green shoots! We pulled the shoots off and stuck them straight in the water and they grew massive root systems very quickly. Curious and with nothing to lose I stuck them in a container and all summer long and this beautiful big leafy green plant by my porch steps. Finally, we dumped it out to see what we had in there. We ended up with about 4 pounds of what looked very much like smallish carrots. They are pretty tasty – you know… like sweet potatoes. (Go figure!) The roots and the leaves still looked great so we stuck them back in the dirt for decoration, if nothing else.
A little porch planter probably isn’t what I would recommend if you’re looking for a “real” harvest, but we’ll get a couple of nice side dishes from 2 moldy potatoes that would otherwise have been tossed into the compost, plus a lovely potted plant.
There have been grapes! We were all so excited about the lovely, mature grape vines at this house. When it was time to pick them we had great fun (and full bellies!).
The chickens are getting fat and sassy. When the bugs started becoming damaging in the garden we set our girls loose in there, figuring it didn’t matter if they were a little destructive since we were about to lose it all to the worms anyway. They saved the day! After a few hours they were so full they looked like old men lolling on the couch after Thanksgiving Dinner and there wasn’t a bug within 100 yards of the garden.
A week or two later we got our first little egg. Oh, happy day! We are getting about one little pullet egg per day now. I think only 2 or 3 of them are laying and expect things will pick up over the next few weeks.
One side of the house is a jungle that still needs to be tamed.
I did get part of it all cleared out and I planted 2 blackberry bushes but I got side tracked before I mulched it so now I blackberry brambles surrounded by weeds. Oops. I’ll put that on the list.
The other side of the house is going to be raised beds. That’s a project that I started and got stuck on so the hubs took over and straightened me out but by then I was on to something else so now I need to come back to it and finish it. That’s on the list, too. It’s a pretty long list.
I got a compost bin set up. I used an old crib I snagged at a rummage sale for pocket change. We covered the slats with chicken wire and made a chicken wire top, buried the legs a few inches deep and it’s been working out fine. My only concern is that it’s not very big and it’s getting full fast. Time to keep an eye out for some more pallets!
Oh! I almost forgot to share with you! OUR HOUSE IS HAUNTED!
Yes, we have our very own ghost.
We were sitting in the living room one morning. I can’t remember exactly what we were doing but, chances are, if the whole Hippie Family was in the living room at once Hubby was at his desk, reading or watching something on his computer. I was in the recliner, typing a blog or scrolling through Facebook, and SHD was sprawled on the couch playing Minecraft.
All of a sudden we heard a haunting sound…. “OOOoooooo!!! I a spooky host!” Said the voice from far away.
And then it appeared:
I hope you don’t have nightmares.
So there it is. Our first summer as homesteaders (sort of). Now we get to move on to a whole new season. We’re looking forward to some nice big piles of leaves for jumping in and a few evening around the fire pit (oh yeah, did I mention, “build a fire pit,” is on the to-do list?). The High School Football games are, literally, in our back yard and we can’t wait to cheer on the local team and see the marching band.
Life is good.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!
I’m very excited to say that this post was featured on The HomeAcre Hop!