Finding the right place to settle in and homestead can be a daunting process. We have learned many lessons along our journey to find the perfect spot for us to live self-sufficiently, grow our own food, and produce our own power. The first property we purchased didn’t end up being the ideal situation for us, so we learned what we could, sold it, and moved on to find our current off-grid homestead. I’d like to share what we’ve discovered in the hopes that you can more easily find the homestead that is right for you!
Things have been growing. After being away for two weeks I came home to find a garden I didn’t recognize. Seriously. There were even vegetables growing that I never planted (must have been not-quite-composted seeds in the compost?). The next morning I got to excitedly taste a small harvest of strawberries, cherries, salad greens, early potatoes, and peas. Since then we have also enjoyed onions, raspberries and kale.
This is one of my favorite parts of gardening…enjoying the results of all that work! Tonight I am planning to make and freeze some raspberry-cherry jam (thanks to the addition of raspberries from our neighbors).
I’ve been catching up and working on projects, so I am relying on Instagram for much of my garden photos lately. You can follow me @krystlereeves for more!
Have any of you been as excited as I am about eating things you’ve grown at home? Please share – I’d love to read about it in the comments below!
I shared a post of some of the plants we have growing in the backyard for harvest a few weeks ago, so now it is time to move on to the front! We are starting small this year, so we won’t be relying on these efforts for our only produce for now. We are still keeping our eyes set on a country home, and hopefully one day I will be able to dream up many more garden plans.
I may have tried to squish too much into our two small starter garden beds, and I still have so many tomato starts (I was a bit ambitious at seed-starting back in March). Thanks to some energetic helpers rearranging my labels, I have no idea as to some of the varieties that actually got planted… It will be a bit of a surprise!
So far… the peas, strawberries, and potatoes have progressed the most. They love the weather here. I finally got some of our lettuce and kale seeds to sprout. We continue to add a bit here and there, so hopefully we will have a chance to enjoy some home-grown food this year!
Check out past garden posts here!
We are keeping it simple this year. Seeds and potatoes tucked into the landscaping. A few planters and pots. Two small garden beds. While I would like to dig up the whole yard and make it a garden paradise, because of time constraints and not knowing how long we will stay at our current property, it just isn’t practical. Still, I can’t live somewhere and not grow something. So I am working on keeping it small, focusing on our favorites. All the while dreaming big for the future. I really don’t know what I am doing… I just love it though.
I enjoy seeing how much my girls notice and pick up. They must know that this is an important piece of life. I often see them with their shovel, moving earth. Planting imaginary seeds. The play of true education. They beam with happiness as they show me their progress and ask if they can use the watering can. Both of them have grown up with this activity…whether on a friend’s property, or outside our door. Even these small, simple things. They know this is an important work.
If you would like to take a peek at our modest growing efforts this year, you can check out my post on what is going on in the backyard, or stop by soon for a tour of what is replacing some of our grass out front!
Our backyard has abundant shade and acidic soil, so choices for growing edible things are limited. Still, there are options for these conditions, and we are learning to adapt our growing methods. Currently, we have a cherry tree, two blueberry bushes, a growing number of strawberry and raspberry plants, walnuts (thanks to a neighbor’s tree) some sage and other herbs. This is our first year here, so I am still in the beginning stages of planning for this space. I want to have salad greens and other shade-tolerant vegetables in position, but with two little explorers who have claimed this area, I’m afraid it will soon be trampled or uprooted (although they do love to help garden). I’m realizing that some of the existing landscaping has edibles as well – violets, fiddleheads, and the ever-present dandelion. It is exciting to discover just how much can be harvested from a small, shaded space!