Homestead Update: Indian Summer
Confession time: I put a lot of pressure on myself every single week to knock out blog posts, usually within a matter of 1-2 days. This summer has really put a strain on my writing and has also pushed my behind into realizing that I need to accept the reality of not being able to accomplish every single thing on my to-do list. My priorities have been forced to be different this year. The farm and crops have been the most important thing when it comes to business, working outside most days, while still balancing being a good and present mother. By the time I have a moment to write a blog post my brain feels so filled with lists and planting schedules that I just decide to go to sleep instead. Mostly what I am trying to say is that while I don’t feel like you are complaining, whoever you are reading this, but I want to be better this season and push out my normal content. I am going to do it!
Somehow we are here in September. My birthday is in four days, and I will be turning 23! The apples are weighing heavy on the trees and all of the pumpkins are picked from the field. Today we are actually at The Barn Fall Flea and Fair right down the road from our farm. Our booth is a little bit different this year than in years past. We have veggies here! How crazy is that! I will also be presenting a few workshops both days of the show on keeping backyard chickens and homesteading. Public speaking is something I never thought that I would be doing again (I was a competitive speaker in high school) yet here I am. It has somehow woven its way into my job. To say that I am nervous-excited is an understatement.
Much has been happening around the homestead. This year has been a super overwhelming one for my brain! So much growth and newness, new neighbors that have become family and that we spend much of our time with, evenings spent hosting and attending gatherings, a new church, issues on the farm, and not to mention all of the changes that Tad has experienced, too. I mean, this has all been happening since December and I think it’s finally catching up to me that I am worn out! I kind of hate admitting that. I know that my friends are reading, and my pride is saying, “Don’t let them see your exhaustion!”
It’s a good exhausted. It’s more, I suppose, that I feel like there’s not a lot of room for creativity in writing when you’re busy experiencing everything. This blog has been such an amazing way for me to crack through my own shell and force myself to write everyday anyway. Writing was something I always started and never finished as a teen. Now, it’s been three years of writing almost everyday! I have to give myself a pat on the back for that alone.
Back to the homestead. Keep me on track, friends. A couple of weeks ago we received our first egg! It was laid by our Sapphire Gem, Loretta. A few days ago we received another, followed by two more in the consecutive days. The gals are beginning to catch up and we are already feeling like we have too many eggs. I mean, what will we do with almost two dozen a day?!
While the chickens have been the highlight of September, the next biggest piece of excitement is our Country Store! Previously named the General Store, we decided to change the name last minute. Typical Haupt Girls are we. The reason? Well, we’ve had plenty of curious neighbors and passersby pull into the farm asking if they’ll be able to purchase hardware here, nails and such. Someone even asked if they’d be able to buy gas?! We realized that general store was probably not going to be a great description of what our store will carry, even though it was more of a sentimental name.
So, Country Store was the winner. Farm and Country Store, to be exact! I am just seriously so excited. The date we set is November 9th and 10th. You can join in on the event on Facebook, too, to be notified as the event gets closer! In the past week, my dad finished putting up the drywall and is getting started on the ceiling. We have to paint, seal the floor, clean, and then we fill the old girl up. A porch was poured, which will soon be covered and perfect for a handful of rocking chairs. I can already picture the crates outside filled with squash and other vegetables when in season! There will be eggs, honey, meats, jams, baked goods, and so many other delicious things to eat produced on our farm and neighboring farms. We have big plans for her that I am bursting to tell you now, but I will wait. It’s going to be a dream.
The last little tidbit I want to update you on is that we ordered the weed barrier fabric and we LOVE it. It’s amazing. I cannot describe how much it has changed the way we are farming now. I mean, I actually get a chance to inspect each plant again like when I had a personal garden. We are using the fabric as a way to prevent weeds, and I use it for transplantable vegetables as well as pathway coverage, especially for crops that cannot be transplanted. As you can see, there are patchy spots, even spots where some plants are much younger than others. That is mostly due to a huge storm that blew in a couple of weeks ago. It damaged a lot of our autumn crops, including taking out the spinach in its entirety. I replanted much of what we already have; this was definitely a risk. I don’t have a ton of confidence that it will make it for our autumn CSA. We did order row covers that help protect from frost, so I could be wrong! That’s really the game that you play when it comes to farming.
I am excited for our focus to move over to the store and autumn again. We have lots of events and things to plan for in the coming weeks. It’s truly such a good life! I hope you are having a great start to autumn wherever you are.