Homestead Update: Signs of Spring Around the Farmhouse
After weeks of cold and snow in April, we woke up to the sun shining last weekend just in time for us to start tilling the garden. I thankfully planned ahead enough in case something like this happened so that we would still have produce ready in June for our CSA and market customers. Things are finally starting to brighten up around here and fill us with peace, with hope. We have been heading out onto the farm every morning with our hot cups of coffee to see which landscaping plants we can identify and discover. I am still learning about perennials and am terrible at naming all plants by memory, but it's a skill that I am hoping to become better at over the next years. The flowers, for me, are easier to spot and identify. The shrubs, bushes, and trees are a bit more difficult. We've spotted at least 25-30 peony plants beginning to sprout, several daffodils (one that bloomed!), tulips, irises, and lilies. The entire outside of our farmhouse has been beautifully landscaped (something we are so grateful for) and we are excited to see what everything looks like in bloom. It has been a long winter's wait!
When we first moved in back in December, I did a live house tour while the farmhouse was still empty. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoy going live and chatting with you in real-time... I just never have any good ideas to go live for! But now the farmhouse is slowly being filled with our personal items. It feels a bit strange and boring at times, how our items fit into the home. We moved here from a home of under 800 square feet. The last time we lived in a house this large, an old foursquare farmhouse, was when I was still in high school and living in Illinois. That home was filled to the brim with objects, with stuff. And we purged everything four moves later. This will be our fourth move in five years. We hope to stay here for good, to pass this farm down to Tad and his children. But filling it will take work - work that we do not really plan to do. We are happy with the minimalism. Our home is a place to eat, to sleep, to rest, to read. Outside is our place to play, to create, to dream, to work.
Everything is a little messy, for me, too. Work is still inside of the house, which kind of drives me batty! My computer and desk are in the dining room; it is a constant reminder that I should finish this or begin that. Our general store/creative studio are still in construction. They most likely will be until summer so we are creating our handmade goods and online content in the farmhouse. Our house has a small library that is currently being used as Jill's office and workplace. It feels a bit crammed, but we are happy to have the space to do our work at all!
At the time that I took these photos, it was still snowing outside. I was feeling the itch to spring clean and had been foraging through the local thrift stores to find new pieces for our rooms. I was hoping to paint my bedroom white, but after pulling out a few of the old frames and baskets that we already had in the basement, the robin's egg blue walls started to grow on me. I am keeping them for now; maybe they'll start a new trend! It reminds me of springtime, of flowers, of a warm breeze and fresh linens. I do want to make some linen pillow cases and a linen duvet cover for my bed! The big thing I hope to find in my thrift adventures are old quilts, which you think would be easy in Amish country, but it is incredibly difficult! The quilts are abundant, but never in neutral colors or even a simple white and blue! I always seem to come home with armloads of woven baskets, crocks, stoneware, kitchen utensils, brass candlesticks, brushes, and brooms. What are your favorite things to thrift for?
Tad's little craft table and shelf is one of my favorite spots in the house! This shelf was in my bedroom at the Little Homestead but I thought it would work great as a craft supply and nature shelf this summer. I am hoping to fill it with his nature finds over the next several months. We don't have a lot of craft supplies except for some beeswax crayons that we love. Tad is a more frustrated colorer - the paper gets to moving or the crayons don't color well. The beeswax crayons color incredibly easily so no paper movement is necessary! Ha! I'll have to find some cute airtight containers for his homemade play dough and perhaps store some chalk and wool roving here for felting projects. I recently purchased the Little Oak Learning Summer Curriculum for him, which is a Waldorf and nature inspired 12 week learning capsule. I am not planning on homeschooling Tad, though I wish that I could. As much as I think it would be special and magical, the reality is that I am a single mom with two full-time jobs - being a mom and owning a business. The reality is also that he loves being around other children. He is a tiny extrovert with a big heart for others, for being with friends and feeding off of their energy. He will love school! I will teach him the things that school can miss, like growing plants and nurturing animals. Besides, summer is the best time to teach those things, right? When he is out of school anyway. The Little Oak Learning curriculum seems just the right amount of simple, sweet, entertaining, and magical that I need in our busy schedules!
Poppyseed and Hazelnut, our two kitties, have moved permanently to live outside this summer. Growing up in a more urban setting, we've never been accustomed to farm life... where house animals live outside! And I am sure that those who have never lived on or near a farm will have their opinions about allowing house cats or dogs to live outside. But that is life on a farm. Cats and dogs live outside, they work catching mice or chasing off predators from livestock. We've been slowly training them to get used to the outdoors when the weather was mild, and they actually love it! They never stray from the farm and basically just lounge about the porch all day, catching critters whenever they please. I really enjoy having a companion outside, which is our tomcat Poppyseed (pictured above). He follows me everywhere and keeps me company as I chore.
I hope you are welcoming spring into your home with open arms! I cannot wait to have blooming flowers to cut and bring inside. How gorgeous will all of those peonies be?!