Sunday, May 30, 2010

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes...

Earlier today Shawn was telling Sam and Sarah the story of how God created everything. As he was describing the Garden of Eden with all of its plants and trees and flowers and animals, Sarah piped up and said quickly, "Be sure to watch out for snakes!" Knowing what we know about later events in the Garden of Eden, maybe she understands more than we give her credit for...

Then at lunchtime, we were reviewing with the kids. Shawn asked Sarah who created the Earth and outer space. She quickly replied that God did. Then he asked what the first man's name was. She quickly replied that it was Adam. Then he asked her where Adam lived. She thought for a moment and replied, "The farm of Eden." Close..

Then Shawn turned to Sam and started reviewing with him. Shawn started off by asking him who created the Earth. Sam replied, "Grandma Colette."

We had fun listening to the kids' accounts of Bible facts, but I still don't think any of the cute-ness today compares with when Sarah was sitting in the back of the van singing a church song. She sounded so cute singing: "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of...Grandma!"

So, Grandma Colette, you should be flattered. Sarah may get you confused with Jesus, but Sam gets you confused with God!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where We've Been - Part 2

Here are some pictures that I took today around the homestead.

The blueberries have just started turning this week. I've been able to harvest several cups, but intend to really pick a bunch either this evening or tomorrow.

Here's a current picture of half of our garden. To the far end we have potatoes, blueberries, and okra. Then there are the strawberries, followed by corn and beans. I just pulled out the spinach and in its place I plan on putting green peppers. Then we'll also add some sweet potatoes to the raised bed next to the blueberries.

The Colorado Potato Beetle has been showing up on our potato plants, so we've been going out in the mornings and picking them off by hand. The birds tried to get into our strawberries and blueberries, but netting stopped that. Other than that, we've not noticed any pests in the garden. Hopefully it stays that way!

Here's the other side of the garden. Beyond the newly planted corn and beans, we have tomatoes. Carrots are in the two raised bed boxes to the right of the wheelbarrow. We still plan on putting pumpkins in the garden.

Apples are getting big

Peaches are growing nicely

We're REALLY looking forward to blackberries!

Small little beginnings of grapes

Pears are getting big

This is the picture of the Old Orchard. The previous homeowner attempted to put the orchard in this spot, but it didn't do well. Two large apple trees, two pear trees, and about fifteen small black walnut trees remain, but the rest of the orchard was moved to a different part of the property. There are also a few grape vines, but they're growing amongst weeds. It's going to take some work to get them cleared out.

This is the New Orchard. This is where the previous homeowner re-established the orchard and apparently it did better in this spot. To the far left there are onions and garlic in the raised beds, then three cherry trees, and three peach trees. I'm thinking of putting watermelon in the unused raised bed. In the center row is my asparagus patch that I'm starting to let fern out, then there are five apple trees. In the far right row there are hazelnut bushes, then the grape vines.

Finally, here are some pretties that are even more beautiful simply because they have required no work on my part!

So, yes we're busy and yes we're tired and yes we're sunburned and yes we're bug-bitten...but this work is so satisfying. It would be so much easier to just go to the store for all our food, but we love working towards self-sufficiency. For our first year of learning as we go I don't think it's going too awfully bad. I am looking forward to five years from now when we already have some knowledge and experience under our belts.

Adding in another picture...I went to the garden before supper and picked a few things. This is our first real harvest of blueberries with some leftover strawberries and cherries thrown in.

Where We've Been - Part 1

Sorry to go missing for so long, be we've been SO busy around the property. I've still been taking pictures, but haven't taken the time to sit down and write up a post with them. So, I thought that today I would scroll back through the pictures I've taken since my last post and play a little catch-up.

Our strawberry and spinach harvests have already been here and gone. We gorged ourselves on both and loved every minute of it!

Sam walked up to me one morning with punching balloons wrapped around his waist. I asked him what he was doing with the balloons and he advised me that he was now Lolla-Lee-Lou from the story Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss. If you haven't already done so, you really need to read Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss.

Here is a little visitor that I discovered in our bedroom one day. The screen on the outside door has a gap in it and apparently that gap is large enough for baby turtles to squeeze through.

More strawberries...this harvest was only three days after the first!

Chickens are doing well. We lost three to hawks, but Shawn put netting above the chicken run and we haven't had a problem since.

Sam found a comfy spot to relax

Our first cherry harvest

Unfortunately, our apple and pear trees are suffering from fire blight. Shawn and I stay busy several times a week going from tree to tree cutting off the dying branches. We have ten apple trees (we had eleven, but had to cut one down) and two pear trees to keep up with, so this alone keeps us especially busy.

Spinach, asparagus, and blueberries from our garden. It's great to sit down to a meal that includes so much of what we've produced ourselves.

Part of the cherry harvest with a few blueberries and strawberries thrown in.

That's all for Part 1, I'll continue on in a separate post.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A New Adventure Today

We've lived here for 4-1/2 months now and today's the first day that we explored the pond. The previous homeowner left a bag of fish food behind, so today Shawn decided that we were going to go feed the fish.

We all took off toward the pond

We made it to the bridge that Shawn built a couple weeks ago. Sam acted as if he were walking a tightrope and Sarah just zipped over it like a cat.

The space here between the trees is the entrance to another section of our property. Shawn calls it "The Forbidden Meadow" because it's hidden so well. The other three sides of the meadow are surrounded by trees.

We made it to the pond and tossed in some fish food. Then we waited.

And we waited some more.

We saw one "thing" show interest in the food, but are unsure whether it was fish or turtle. So, either we have fish that aren't interested in our fish food or we just don't have fish...I'm thinking that restocking the pond might be a future project.

The kids started losing interest, so we gave up on fish feeding.

This is a section of our woods that Shawn hasn't had a chance to explore yet. I thought it was pretty.

On the way back, Sam decided that we could walk the "tightrope" bridge all by himself...and he did...very slowly and very carefully!

Ok, so I used the word "adventure" very loosely. We enjoyed it though. It's always fun to go out and explore new places on our property.