We may never actually get to live at our farm, but we are definitely moving in the right direction to make it work harder for us and for it to bring even more enjoyment. Though we have been met with varying degrees of obstacles these past several months, we have decided to move forward as if. As if we may someday soon make the move to a place that we both love….as if the obstacles will soon fade away as if they are only long lost figments of no consequence.
For the past month, I have been lost in seed catalogs and websites. Sometimes it gets to be overwhelming. I WANT EVERYTHING, but then some sensibility returns and I empty my cart or start fresh with my list. Unfortunately, I have a terrible habit of purchasing entirely too many plants/seeds which always results in a failure…money wasted. This year, with this new beginning, I am going to “try” to be more prudent in my choices. Thus the LIST…a list to keep me on track…to curb my spending…and reign in my early enthusiasm that almost always wanes the moment it begins to get too hot! Now that I am considerably past the spring chicken stage of my life, I need to be fully cognizant of my own limitations.
So, here goes…. a list of projects for the 1/2 acre we are pulling out from production/grazing for our own personal use.

    1. Fencing around 1/2 acre area to deter deer and raccoon. Fencing may be easily expandable if more space is needed.
    2. Set up rain collection and water tanks within the plot.
    3. Begin orchard. Trees have been ordered and should arrive at the end of the month.
      • Plant 12 apple trees with tree tubes and stakes– Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh
      • Plant 12 pear trees — Ayers, Orient, Keiffer
      • Build trellis system and plant 7 Blackberries — Triple Crown, Oauachita, Apache
      • Build trellis system and plant 3 Heritage Raspberries
      • Transplant 2 young apricot trees and 10+ Sandhill Plum shrubs into the orchard area.
    4. Plant buckwheat crop for early pollinators.
    5. Begin wildflower patch around the perimeter of the plot.
    6. Transplant trumpet vines starts.
    7. Develop Asparagus bed and plant 30 crowns–Organic Purple Passion, Organic Jersey Knight, Aparabest
    8. Develop raised beds, as well as beds for future row crops.
    9. Develop cut flower beds.
    10. Inside perimeter plantings of lavender to assist in pollination, as well as deterring deer.
    11. Prepare bed for Fall Garlic plantings.
    12. Plant a short double tree row of 20 Christmas trees.
    13. Rodent and pest control measures…
      • Raptor perches on corner posts
      • Bat Box (an anniversary present)
      • 2 Bluebird nesting boxes (Christmas present)
    14. Butterfly habitat, with various shallow watering stations. (plenty of fennel, dill and milkweed)
    15. Three sisters planting of corn, beans, and squashes.
    16. Make best use of companion planting arrangements.
    17. Pumpkins – Blue, Long Island Cheese, Minis, and ?
    18. Watermelon
    19. Grow a significantly sized salsa garden with various peppers and many heirloom tomato plants.
    20. Try my hand at seed saving.
    21. Attempt some wattle projects using resources from the farm.
    22. Grow some kick-butt, Gigantor Sunflowers…HUGE…Enourmous!!! (in hopes of taking a specimen to the County Fair)

Whew! I am already feeling a bit overwhelmed. I may not get all of these projects completed, but at least I know my destination, which reminds me of one of my favorite sayings. “Goals are like vacations, if you do not know the destination how will you ever know if you have arrived?”

Vacation Anyone?

Every now and again, I get a hankerin’ to hop on a cruise ship to get away from my reality. Can you relate?

Though my life is not ‘bad’, it is lacking in certain areas. I have lost focus and have over-burdened us with  too much excess. Excess stuff….excessive mileage on our vehicles…excessive upkeep of too many ‘places’. Sometimes, I just want to take a break! Go away and forget what is facing me…to ignore what really needs to be done. At times the projects before me send me into an abyss…so escape is my ‘answer’.

Today, as I sit watching the beautiful snow fall, I feel the same need to run away, but today it wasn’t a sunny locale with warm sands beneath my feet that tugged at my heart. My longing comes from some place much closer to home. Our farm is where I wish I could be this very moment….four miles west and two south. So very close, yet so far. I have always dreamed that we would eventually build a house and make our forever home at the farm. How relaxing it would be to be sitting on the front porch, with a hot cup of coffee in hand…watching the snow fall across the field and pasture beyond. Instead, at this moment, I watch the snow falling and my neighbors dilapidated fence swaying in the breeze.

I have not given up on our dream, but these days so many obstacles have barricaded the doors of opportunity….which keeps me falling back into my balcony cabin dream. While reading a homesteading book today I came across a quote from Seth Godin (an author of several marketing books)that spoke to me. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” If you long to be somewhere in your life other than your present location…make it so! You see, I do know what it is going to take…even if new obstacles appear. I must energize myself with the thoughts of the outcome and forge beyond the pain of what is before me.