OK so I’m pretty much completely sold on this whole homesteading thing. The garden is in full swing with crops coming at me constantly. I’ve planted so many things I don’t have too much of any one, but I’m still able to freeze a little here and there. This weekend I plan on making a gooseberry jam, and a mango chutney – obviously the mangoes are store-bought though. Actually they came free because I spent so much on the half-off rainbarrels etc. last week. We’ve been happily eating our way through the lettuce, peas and berries. The beans are getting ready for a first crop probably tomorrow. Those I’m sharing with my parents so we’re probably going to have just enough for the two households, none to preserve. I did however also plant some string beans to eat fresh and pickle. They’re blossoming right now, but they got covered in peas for a bit so I doubt I’m going to get many. I definitely messed up with the peas. They needed a better trellis, and I should have picked them earlier and more often. I think I’ve got all I will out of them. Oh well! Next year…
Yesterday felt so good. I harvested food for dinner (kale, beet tops, carrots, peas etc.), I harvested some to freeze (carrots and peas), I made ice cream with left over fool and some of the garden raspberries etc., I tapped the fresh keg of saison… Oh yes, the saison. The one I thought may not turn out because we had to keep it at 85F for the entire fermentation, which took almost 2.5 weeks… it’s AMAZING. Best beer we’ve made yet. We’re in love with it, so peppery and fresh but complex at the same time. Yummers. Anyway yesterday was like a big demonstration on why to homestead really.
Our deck is being built right now. We have been doing so much ourselves these last couple of years it feels like such a luxury having someone come in and do it for us. The reason for that is that we’re building an impermeable deck – for two reasons. One is to have an outdoor living/play space under the deck that stays dry. It’s so mild but wet year round that one could be outside a lot more if it would just stop with the torrential downpours. The other reason is to collect all that rainwater. The builder and I had a long chat this morning about just how to build it to divert to just two downspouts, and I intend to have a chain of barrels to catch as much of the water as I can. They’ll feed the low-flow irrigation I’m slowly collecting to install next spring. I am pretty excited about having another area for plants too – all my container plants like tomatoes and herbs will be much happier that much higher up I think.
Anyway, these last few days have been an excellent reminder of the fun in homesteading, and the satisfaction. I can’t wait to start canning this weekend. On Sunday I have a butchering class too, I’ll report back on that in case anyone’s interested.
Noticeably absent has been the plan for starting the coop. I’m thinking post-deck. I am a bit afraid to start, it seems like such a huge task. I know that once I do it will probably be a little less (and a little more) difficult than I’m assuming.
Anything getting you excited these days? Difficult task completed? Fantastic harvest? Watching your children laugh with glee when they pull out a purple carrot? Hearing your four year old scream MORE CARROTS about 5 times in one day?