July 12, 2012

A Realistic Garden - Lots of Variety!

First I want to apologize for the hideous formatting. Out of desperation I had to make something visable.  I am wondering if it is my blog theme that is causing issues.

I found a website that gives a planting schedule for the vegetables/fruits in our zone. This will give me a realistic idea of what Vegetables I can grow.   Zones 5-6 Planting Schedule. 

I found many sites that list some plants that are grown in zone 5, but they do not list ALL plants grown in zone 5.  I am thoroughly annoyed by this that I can't find a list of all common plants in zone 5. Even better, it would be nice to see a list that is categorized by plant type.(ornamental, vegetable, fruit, etc...) If anyone finds such a list, please pass it my way!  I may need to search at the library for this one.

Another site I just ran across is Harvest to Table. They also list a lot of farm and gardening blogs that I want to check out so I bookmarked for a later date.

I also appreciated the planting schedule at 2BSeeds that lists all hardiness zones and veggies.

Here are all foods we eat regularly that I would like to at least say that I attempted.  Some of these things we might do better to just buy in bulk from the experts (i.e. rice, beans, wheat, and oats)
Green beans
Swiss Chard
Black beans

Fruit trees are a dream to me.  I know it can be difficult to do organic, but I would like to at least try:

Fruit, melon, and squash
Butternut Squash
Acorn Squash

Black Walnut (perhaps a dwarf variety and away from other plants)
Almond (great ornamental front yard tree)

Herbs - basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, lavender, rose hip, rosemary

Flowers and trees (besides the already listed)  Peony (will be the first thing planted on our land...) , lilacs (every color), daisies, pansies, coleus, holly, roses, maple, did I mention lavender and lots of it!

July 11, 2012

Plans A, B, and C

While discussing timing/living options in preparation for our long term goals we came up with three plans.

Plan A)
    1. Move single wide to land to avoid lot rent and save more monthly.
    2. Save money to build home (the beauty of this is if we decide we don't like the land or the location we can sell the land and home, or attempt to, and possibly make money on it. Testing out the spot as it were and still having a well/septic set up for a more attractive sale.)
    3. After money is saved, build home on land while living in singlewide
    4. Sell single wide cheap or give it away to a needy family
    5. If we plan to stay and build we can use the current slab from the singlewide for part of the barn.

Plan B) Same as plan A, but purchasing a doublewide for temporary use instead of a singlewide. Here we would be a little more comfortable with more kids and could take longer to save to build what we need.

Plan C) This plan is simply to not build long term and to move a double wide onto the land to live in indefinitely.  The advantage of this plan would be the sq. footage of the home, possibly a 4 bedroom with a four-season room and more money to work with for animals, garden, and pond. The disadvantage of this plan is that we will not get the efficient home we wanted long term.

Plan D) Stay where we are paying lot rent, taking longer to save to build. We can still purchase and plan while living here.  This is a tough one because all that lot rent could go into saving for a build.

All of these are still being discussed and we may think of another plan as we consider the above options. We are in no rush, well, maybe a little out of excitement. Hehe. It is fun to discuss our future together with the children and we are even thinking about what a nice place we could have for the grand kids to come visit, Lord willing.  Who knows where God might call us to or away from.  Our lives are ultimately in His hands. Nothing gets past Him without his approval!

July 10, 2012

Educating and Decisions on Land

Since we are almost out of debt and attempting a savings we now are in "research" mode. We feel somewhat settled in our temporary home from the downsizing and fixing up we have done.  This time will be spent doing a lot of work on big picture, long term plans.  Where do we want to raise our family?  Where could we stay through our retirement?  Would we be close enough to town if Jake had to get a 9-5 punch clock job? Would I still be able to be a part of a homeschooling community? What about church? These are the kinds of questions, as would be expected, that we have been asking ourselves.

One thing we are keeping a close eye on are tax auctions for the counties we would consider being in.  We plan to attend one or two of the auctions this year to see what they are like.  There are 2 or 3 pieces of land that are desirable we may take the plunge on with what little savings we have at the moment, but it would only be if no one else bid on them, which is probably unlikely.

After much prayer, consideration, and lots of talking in between our children's needs we really do think the following things are important factors in our land decision for what we need the land for. We tried to think big picture and also look at important details. There are of course details not listed that should be considered with all land purchases (well, bugs, soil testing, mineral rights, etc...)

-At least 4 acres (at the very least)
-Either on water or large enough to dig a pond
-No more than 40 minutes from town we currently live in
-Close to a small town
-Preferably not next to farm land or wetland
-Able to have a few animals (chickens, bunnies, maybe a cow for meat(which would require a barn, in which case more than 4 acres would be best.))
-Electricity available at street (need to consider changing our blog name! We still want to do wind/solar, but still want to be connected to the grid to avoid battery storage.)

This is a fun time for us. We don't have to think too seriously right now, but still enjoying and being content with where we are right now in our decisions and the provisions we have at the moment.  While we focus on taking care of what we have we are excited for the future.  It would be nice to get out of lot rent (It was just raised $20/month), but we would not want to rush anything just to get out of lot rent.  We knew it would be like this, we are just anticipating our next step.