October 2, 2013

Turnips and Fruit decisions

No video yet and so much has changed already. I need to keep reminding Jake. Life is busy with three children.

So far we have gotten all the major things done outside before winter with the exception of fruit trees being planted. That will happen early November, but we will start prepping for that soon.

We have decided on which varieties of each fruit tree. They are:

Apples - Gold Delicious, Honey Crisp, and Gala (possibly a Fuji)
Pears - Bartlet and Anjou
Peaches - Red Haven
Plum - Stanley
Cherries - Stella

Jake is adamant on semi-dwarf. I am okay with this since it will yield more fruit, but I want to make sure they are not too close to the house.

I want to do more reading on grapes before venturing into that. Berry bushes are easy enough and we have enough going on trying to learn fruit tree maintenance.

Looking forward to a fun winter of research, planning, and organizing the home. Maybe we will do some indoor herbs.

June 15, 2013


Wow. 11 months since the last post.  Well, there really hasn't been too much to report up until now except getting a couple cool appliances and a little bit of canning and freezing experimentation.  Since I started pinterest it has been fun pinning things related to gardening, food preserving, animals, and country life in general.

The big news is that we just moved into our new home on 6 acres!!! The ecosystem seems to be very well balanced here, except for maybe the ticks, but we will be working on that!  There is a small pond that seems to have happened when they dug out some dirt to cover the sewer drain field. Which is ok for frogs and other insect eaters! Jake and I just talked this morning about maybe digging it deep and landscaping it nicely, possibly stocking with some Koi or something.

The home is a 3 bed, 2 bath home with a basement.  The basement had some flooding when foreclosed because the sump pump did not run. It was sold really cheaply for around $25,000 and someone flipped it.  We purchased the home for $75,000. The flip was done very well.  Nice new paint and new carpet as well as the waterproofing in the basement.

The possibilities are endless with these 6 acres for us.  We are just beyond ourselves with awe that God has allowed us to purchase such a beautiful piece of land. There is a bit of low land, not really marshy, but I think once we take care of the brush with some animals it will be good.  Fruit trees would probably not survive in the wet ground out back, but we think the front yard might be a good home for some apple, cherry, pear, plum, and cherry, maybe peach.

For animals we know we'd like a few sheep and chickens.  We have talked about just 2 pigs for the garden plots and for bacon. :)   A cow or two is not out of the question.  Goats are a toss up.  It is just a question of what might be available to us locally.  I already know of a goat farm that a new friend helps with the milking. I would love to get my hands on some raw goat milk for some cheese.

Right now we will just enjoy the horses grazing across the street out our front window and some to the west. Did I mention we are just a stone throw from and all-sports lake?

The garden will evolve over the years and we will learn what we do and don't want to do. I'd like to major on one crop to grow well and sell on the road side and then maybe some extras of our bounty, but I want to be generous to church and family and friends first. It is important to me that I start growing a large enough garden to preserve over the winter for the family. Then I can think about turning a little profit from the land.

As far as the home and buildings go, here is a list of our projects in somewhat of an order of priority to us.

1) Dehumidifier in the basement and fix sump pump pipe.
2) Whole house fan is ordered and Jake wants to install it soon before the really hot MI summer days get here. Currently the house is staying cool most of the day with the windows shut.  I think it got to 79 outside yesterday and the thermostat never went above 75!  Hot days are coming though!
3) Shed - We need a place at least for a garden tractor, workshop, garden tools, and bikes!  We are currently thinking of one that is big enough for our SUV. Forking out the money for it is the hard decision.
4) Wood stove - We would like to somehow do some venting to the rooms through the attic.  Jake is excited about this idea. It would save a lot of energy! We also think getting it done before fall might be a better price for the installer. (?!)
5) Tree planting.  We need to decided on where to put some shade on the property.  I am hoping to have a 2-3 sugar maples and maybe a nut tree.
6) Back deck and front steps as well as landscaping around the house - This will be held off until spring most likely and we will need to budget it into our financial plan.
7) Greenhouse - Jake plans to fit it with hydroponics (all legal plants of course!) I will also claim part of the greenhouse to start seedlings in good ole dirt. :)
8) Animals

We do not plan to get animals until we pay off the house with the exception of chickens for eggs.  We won't be doing much with the back acreage until then. That will also give us time to plan for the animal barn and think about what animals would best suite our needs.

It has been 2 years, 3 months since we began this journey. It is so exciting to be here, especially with the delays the bank gave us.  We can now begin to do the things that we have been dreaming of. We will face the realities and challenges of country life! Hopefully our next post will be a video tour of our home and the clean drawing board we have to develop our little hobby farm and homestead.

Glory to God!