Farming

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2008

I love to play in the dirt! As I look at my hands after 50 yrs I ask myself who they belong to. They are scared and wrinkled. They’ve held babies and they have wiped tears. They have created and they have been used to bring forth life from the earth. They are full of love. I am blessed with these old hands of mine.

When I was the sickest and thought death was close by, my dear husband built me my “Williamsburg” garden. It’s a beautiful place. I have raised beds with pea gravel isles and a picket fence WITH A GATE! I always wanted a gate. In fact in 1999, we were in Colonial Williamsburg in March. Not much goes on there in March. It was cold, but they were holding an outdoor auction. I was so excited and bid on a iron ball that goes on the gate. It was a lively bid, since about 3 other women wanted this iron ball for their gate. Funny thing is we all got our iron ball and chain, and none of us had a gate. Well, I finally got my gate, but I still haven’t hung the iron ball and chain that pulls the gate shut behind you. Hopefully this year! I put good topsoil and “leavegrow “in the raised boxes added some organic fertilizer and off I went. My first year with raised beds, I was amazed at what I could grow in such a little space. My tomatoes were 6 ft tall and my Zinnias were in competition with them. Since that first year with raised beds in 2005, my plants are still booming tall and gloriously productive. I allow volunteer heirloom tomatoes and zinnias to come up at will. I want to build a small hoophouse this summer to allow for winter gardening. We love eating fresh greens; kale, mustard greens, collards, spinach, and lettuces of every kind!

It’s important to us to eat locally and to be as self-sufficient as possible. This year we are going to try successive gardening. We’ll manage the sustainable gardening with compost from our on going compost piles. Using raised beds allows us to maintain them easily without having to till the ground every year. With the added compost, simply hoeing the soil is easy and less back breaking not to mention that there are NO weeds. And of course every year we rotate our crops to give back to the land the nutrients needed. It’ s my plan to have successive plantings. Which would entail staggering crops so that we eat from the garden all year. My hopes of building a hoophouse might only pan out to be little tunnels to start, but it is my hope to eventually have a hoophouse for cold crop veggies.

June 2009

In November 2008 we acquired our first chickens.  If you are interested in beginning to farm, chickens are the easiest animal to care for.  The return is tremendous for the little care that they require.  A minimum of 10 min’s a day….if that.

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We (I) am a new “Farmer”.  Our first family milk cows arrived in May 2009.  Josie is a 2 yr old bred registered Jersey heifer and will calf in August.  Joy is a 8 month old registered Jersey heifer that we will either raise and sell or use as a milk cow.

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Josie

Joy

Joy

Next, I’d really like to get a couple 3 sheep or so…..you know how that goes!  I’d still love to have a goat, but Honey is really dead set against a goat.  I’m pretty happy.  I love this lifestyle.  It calms me and draws me to the One who made it.  I’m pretty content.


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