Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What I've been up to: unpacking, preparing for baby #3 & homebirth, gardening and many more projects

The blog has been quiet lately. I'd love to say that will change, but I'm one busy momma at the moment and living life versus writing about it is taking far higher priority!

One of my favorite plants as a child and it's growing right out our back door!
We have moved to a wonderful 19+ acre property and are enjoying the beautiful land and the inviting home that we feel God has blessed us with. We first found this property back in January and now that spring is here we are for the first time getting to see what is growing around us and what is exactly all here. One of these days I need to get a book to identify all the many wild plants growing that may be edible. We also get to check out the many wild animals. We now know that there are many deer, pheasant, wild turkey and a huge array of birds (with plenty of hawks and eagles mixed in), all hanging out right behind our home. Our neighbor, who we recently met, mentioned we can basically sit on our back porch and hunt! :-) I'd believe it too. We hear the many pheasant daily and have seen them on several occasion while working in our new garden. Now to just learn how to hunt!

One of the animals we have met one our property has decided to make our place a permanent home or so it seems. Within about two weeks of moving in one morning I heard a strange (strange because it was not at all expected) noise just outside of our bedroom window. The noise got louder and louder and around 6 AM I realized the sound was an animal that was very persistent in waking the world up. I went out onto our deck from our bedroom and peaked around the corner of the house only to find this little girl sitting under our window...

Our chicken house!
Now where did she come from? I've no idea, but she seems to be here to stay. Since that morning of alerting us that she is here she hasn't felt the need to do the wake-up call again. Instead she hangs around the house and follows me around outside. So cute! She is very friendly for a guinea and has made herself right at home. It's actually perfect to have her around because the week she showed up was the same week I was trying to figure out how to order some guineas. I'd like to have at least a half dozen. They are supposed to be very good for tick control and boy do we have those!!!! I've already lost count of how many ticks I've found crawling on us or just starting to bite us. Eek! Not so cool. I knew it was supposed to be a bad tick season because of the mild winter, but experiencing it first hand can make your skin crawl a bit. Just working in our garden area leaves us with a tick or two on our skin. We have now gotten in the habit to strip down at the end of day and check for ticks. I hate them. They have to be one of the creepiest little things to me, mostly because of the diseases they can carry. It makes me all the more want to boost our immune systems to ward off anything they may try to give us (yes, believe it or not you can actually protect yourself with an extremely healthy immune system from diseases like lime disease).

With baby number 3 due in less than a month, I've been working to unpack and get the basics organized while also trying to get ready for our newest additions arrival. Having a homebirth does require a bit of extra planning, so I've been gathering all the supplies needed. We are excited to meet our newest member and I can certainly say that I'm ready to no longer be pregnant, but thankfully overall this pregnancy continues to go very well. I have been staying healthy and irritable uterus issues haven't been such a problem like they have been in my past pregnancies.

Our soon to be new garden.
This pregnancy hasn't stopped me from working hard outside. One of the larger projects we've been trying to get done is putting in a garden. For most that may just mean tilling some ground where you want your garden to be, but for us that has meant putting up a 6 foot fence around our garden area to keep deer out, along with other critters that would like to rob us of our crop. We are starting with a garden just over 2000 sqft. (35' x 60'). Instead of buying posts for hanging chicken wire from, my husband went into the woods and with a bow saw cut down the 20 posts. We are putting some in cement (the corner ones) and the rest are being buried in clay. I can tell you that trying to dig a 2' post hole in clay IS NOT a whole lot of fun, thankfully at least 2/3 of the garden does have black soil on the top 6 plus inches or we would have to have soil brought in. Most of the property is a very hard clay, not at all great for growing veggies. This will definitely be a year of learning about our ground. Next year, we'll hopefully have a compost pile in full activity, along with some tiller chickens ready to work the land for us. Besides digging post holes, we have also been digging a foot deep and wide trench around the garden to bury the chicken wire in. This will help keep any burrowing critters out. We have to get our garden done this week because some of the plants I started early are desperate to get in the ground. I'll share more on our garden in later posts.

One of the areas where weed pulling has been happening and mulching is taking place.
Landscaping, building deck rails, getting a chicken coup ready for the baby chicks arriving next week are just a couple more projects that we have going on. Weeding is a big daily project right now. Mostly because everything is very overgrown on the property, as it hasn't been taken the best care of. However, as the weeds come out and we bring back the beauty of some of the landscaping that has already been done, we are getting to enjoy the beauty of our property just that much more.

I love hard work. The body feels good being outside (or in depending on the day) and I love knowing that we are working towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Now I just need to work on being patient and not feeling like every single project must be done RIGHT NOW! I have a tendency to be like that in general, but add nesting in there and my poor husband might be driven nuts soon! Just kidding, he is loving the hard work too.

Stay tuned, the posts may be a bit spuratic for a while, but I'm here and looking forward to sharing many more recipes and some up coming art projects. I've started making cheddar cheese recently (which I'm aging for next fall) and with fresh, real milk back in season in our neck of the woods, besides cheese plenty of butter, yogurt and kefir are being made each week. Fresh butter from grass fed cows is superb this time of year. I'm trying to freeze some for next winter too.

Oh and can I just say what a welcome relief it is to be able to have the kids outside and able to play in the fresh air. They are having a ball and now lived covered in dirt, but in my mind, that's how it's supposed to be for kids!


  1. Your new place looks amazing!!!! Congrats!!! I will have to swing by for a visit if I head up to the North Shore this year.

    1. Thanks Mindy and you are always more than welcome to stop by!

  2. Congratulations on your big move! It sounds wonderful. Wishing you the best.

  3. Hi Artistta, great blog! I just came across through google and kept reading for quite a while. Do you know by any chance what the name of that beautiful plant is?

  4. Hi, it's called a bleeding heart. Here's a link about it: http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2038

    1. Great, many thanks! I will see if I can grow these. Cheers Ivo


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