Sunday, July 21, 2019

What's Up Lately

I know the blog has been rather quiet and non-informative, but our life on this homestead farm is seldom idle. What has been keeping me busy? 

... Filling up compost boxes. Compost is my number one fertilizer, so I'm always making more. It's not uncommon to spend an hour every day accumulating organic debris (from mowing, pruning, hacking down overgrowth, removing weeds) and transferring it to the bins. Then going out to the pastures and spending time collecting manure, which I layer in the compost bins. Yes, it would be far easier to buy sacks of fertilizer at Home Depot, but that's not the method I choose to use. 

... Repairing and maintenance. This seems to be never ending. Patching and replacing fencing. Installing new tarps. Replacing rotted out pallets and trellises. Repairing window and door screens. Doing maintenance of the tillers, mowers, chainsaws, weedwacker, etc.  Repairing damaged mini greenhouses. I do this work myself. It's part of being a self reliant homestead. 

... Planning the next big projects. Two biggies are pending -- replacing the house roof, and building a new chicken pen. Hopefully this will be the last time we will need to do either of these. Yesterday hubby measured the roof and printed out diagrams from our architectural house plans. So I'll be off to Hilo to order the needed roofing materials. While there I'll pick up supplies for the chicken pen. Trucking off to town like that uses up a full day of time. 

... Cashing in on some of our efforts. It's time to sell some livestock. I've put out the word and already have interest in two of the goats, a few sheep, and two piglets. 

... Replanting the food gardens. It's been raining a little bit almost every day now for weeks. So working the soil is difficult without damaging it. But I've managed to plant beans, taro, beets, herbs, and potatoes. I still have a lot I want to sow. We're eating a lot of meals out of the freezer right now, so I'll need to grow more veggies if I wish to keep eating our own homegrown foods.

... Hunting frogs. Yup. We had a bunch of cane toads move into the area. Most ended taking up residence in Matt's derelict pond. Two nights of wading through the pond in the rain, we managed to capture 5 toads. We also have coqui frogs in the area and we work to keep them away from the house (they can make sleeping difficult). We found and sprayed the one down by the gate that was torturing my neighbor, but we haven't yet got the one in the banana trees closer to our house. Tracking them down can take minutes, hours, days, even weeks of effort. They're not easy to find. 

... Building the rock wall along the driveway. It's inching along, but it will be months before it's finished. One of these days I'll have to measure how many feet of rock wall has been built so far.

... Cleaning and refurbishing the wwoofer cabin area. Yes, Adam has moved. It was time for him to take his next steps to becoming an independent adult. I'll still be seeing him once a week since we agreed that he would work on the farm on Thursdays. 

Living a homestead style farm life is what I like to do. But it surely isn't the life of ease. I really have to laugh when I hear social media types claiming that they are living the "back to earth" life on only 2 hours labor a day. Ha......sure......tell me another one. Maybe they really mean that they spend two hours a day playing in their garden and watching their chickens. But how about set up, maintenance, repairs? How about harvesting and preserving their garden bounty? Or cleaning up after their chickens? And exactly how much do they really grow versus buy from a store? Oh yeah, they claim they are totally living out of their garden, plus their chicken eggs, but I somehow doubt that considering they are putting so little time into it. And by the way, what do they do about the winter months where the garden doesn't grow and the hens don't lay? Breatharianism? Oops, none of my business! 

I'm still enjoying this lifestyle. My body is starting to wear out, but I figure I'll be doing this for a while still......and loving it. 

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