Homestead Update: Organic Food Friends, Time Spent in the Garden, and Finding a New Normal

Our life has been turned a little upside down since the garden was cut out last weekend! I spent the entire weekend putting our plants into the ground and figuring out where everything was going to live. If you want to see our garden plan for the season, click here. Almost everyday since last Friday was spent outside, though yesterday it rained most of the day, which I was very thankful for. The weather has been sunny with no clouds and getting hotter and hotter. It feels like summer came early, and while it was great for planting, I felt like we didn't stop sweating until we finally got into bed at night, and even then! 

Do you ever have weeks where they're filled with SO MUCH. Just much. Lots of things and activities and good times and sun and laughter and food and outings and friends and family. There is just so much that happened that I can't even really think straight about it right now. Yet, there was nothing that happened. It was all just time spent working in the yard. With the change of adding in the garden and the chickens being outside, my daily and weekly routines have started to change. In the mornings before we added the new steps to our homestead, I would wake up whenever Tad did. We would come sit out on the couch or at the dining room table, I would have a cup of coffee, Tad has some milk. I would just sit and think about what was to happen that day.

Now, I somehow always wake up at 5 AM and lie in bed wondering if I should get up. After a few moments, I get up and wander out into the yard to let the chickens out into their run. We say hello, and I check on their food and water. Then I'll wander into the garden and check for mole tunnels, if any of the plants look weird, and then into the greenhouse. Lately, I've just been standing in there and breathing, collecting my thoughts for the day. It's probably one of the more enjoyable moments of my entire day, and I love the opportunity to have some alone/clarity time. Sometime in between 6 or 7 AM, Tad will wake up, and we still have our morning drinks together. And then the day truly begins.

We have been getting so much positive feedback on our garden after revealing the layout and how we're planting! THANK YOU. It means the world to me; there is nothing more inspiring than having your passions appreciated. I am still in so in shock that gardening is now one of my passions. A friend of mine and I are looking into becoming master gardeners. Eek!!! I cannot wait to share more information as that dream comes into reality. I keep calling our garden "the mud patch" LOL. It's not much to look at right now. The plants are still so small, though they get bigger every. single. day. I was so surprised when I planted my tomatoes last Friday, walked out into the garden Saturday, and they were already bigger! I guess they were craving the soil. 

Soon after planting, we started noticing the moles. I've mentioned them a few times, but just wanted to clarify that I do not like them, in case you couldn't tell. I have three Swiss chard plants left out of six... ugh. And I do not like that I have to hunt for them. But there's really no other way I could do it. While I was planting over the weekend, I was putting my potatoes in the ground and looked over to the kale bed to see the earth crumbling and popping up unnaturally. I was so surprised, I screamed, and my dad ran over with the garden hoe and dug the poor thing up, sharply whacking it on the head. Hated it. There are more, as every day I go out, there's a new tunnel. So we'll be looking for ya, moles. 

I've also noticed some holes being munched on our blueberry bushes. I cannot see any evidence of bugs, which is kind of strange. I also don't really know what I'm looking for. I was kind of hoping the whole "pest" thing wouldn't happen to me, you know? Ha! Yeah, right, you're telling me. We had some dear friends stop over to see our homestead during the week, and one of the ladies is an organic apple farmer. She took a look at our trees and said they looked great! That made me so happy. We talked about the pests and how she controls them, since she has to use organic methods. I am excited to learn more from her. There is just such a surge of energy in me whenever I talk with other women who farm and share the same passions about growing and raising organic food like I do. It's amazing! 

For Mother's Day, the sweetest organic company, Runamok Maple, gifted me and my mom their flavor infused maple syrup! We LOVE it. This one is cardamom infused, but they also offer other flavors that are perfect for any palette. I've been pouring a teaspoon of this one into my coffee in the morning, and it's been divine. I actually am starting to enjoy the maple syrup more than my usual cream and honey. 

We made so many greenhouse stops over the weekend to finish finding any of the plants we might want for the garden. I love stopping at the Southwest Valley Poultry + Greenhouse, which is Amish owned. I almost hate telling you all about it, because it's such a gem and hardly anyone goes there, but they deserve the business! The woman who operates the greenhouse is the kindest person and grows absolutely gorgeous plants! Every time we walk in, it's peaceful and quiet and the plants are just blossoming, colorful and lush. Personally, I like it better than Maple Avenue Greenhouse, which is where most of the locals and out-of-towners go around here. 

There is a little creek near our house with a bridge going over it. Tad and I have been going on walks together since he learned how, and we always stop to look over the bridge at the water. The other day, he learned that he can step up onto the ledge and look over. When did he get big enough to do that?! Don't worry, my mom is just out of frame ready to grab him in case he tried climbing up. 

We took a trip out to our favorite shop in town, Sister's Garden and Bloom, yesterday. They now have an online shop!!!! Yay! I found some new little treasures to fill up a shelving unit I just bought. I find that the more we call this place home, the more I want to start filling it up with things that I love. I try my hardest to not spend money on things that we don't need, but sometimes everyone deserves a gift. I found a tiny vase to fill with clippings from our garden, little tin saucers printed with botanical art, and more beeswax wraps. Time to let go of the plastic wrap!

That's really all for this week's Homestead Update. We are just starting to fall into a daily routine that involves all of our new lifestyle factors. I am SO glad that we didn't get bees this year as well, though I think we could have handled it. Perhaps next spring we will welcome a couple of beehives onto our homestead, but I think what we have now is plenty for our family. Hopefully there will be more interesting things happening this next week to share! I love getting to share our everyday with you, the things that go wrong on the homestead, the things that we learn. It's such a privilege. Thank you, as always, for reading.

xoxo Kayla