gardening / homesteading / summer

homestead summer 2017

A dozen years ago, we were looking to live more back to basic, a simpler life, and I decided to put ‘build a homestead’ on my bucket list.

Looks manageable.

At the opening of this spring, I studied the oodles of plans I sketched, the lists I wrote, and checked the Pins on Pinterest I gathered, and I’ve been bringing some of them into fruition over the last few months.

I’m learning that building a homestead takes longer than pinning a full board on Pinterest.

I like to share when things are complete. But in the spirit of progress, “E” for effort, I share what I’ve done on the homestead this summer. (What I haven’t done, the list that is much, much longer than the one I’ve completed, I’ll leave to the imagination.)

What I have accomplished is this:

1. soil amending…or just plain ‘finding soil’ (tricky to find nutritive soil in the mountains)

IMG_3349

2. feed my compost (and a super cute skunk family that also enjoyed the cat’s food bowl in our greenhouse, and a bunch of tiny mice, but they’re free play toys for the cats)IMG_33513. stonework, as in building a load more garden beds, by hand, from this mountain of stone…the more I spend time in my outdoor home, the more I find opportunities to create more gardens…

IMG_68404. perennial buy and plant, and even attempt to grow cuttings to reduce the perennial purchasing

5. create a squirrel graveyard (compliments of our zealous guard kitty Neptune)

6. sit in the gardens (to dream, to plan, to journal, to write, and drink coffee)

7. build an orchard: 1 apple (decimated yesterday by a deer), two peach (now 1 peach, thanks to the deer), two apricot, two plums, a teeny tiny fig, and one Bing cherry…just digging those holes in mountain terrain could have been an entire list

IMG_3363

8. we commissioned garden fence building…a lovely feature to our outdoor home

9. we commissioned stone patio construction…an outdoor space for dining and morning yoga

IMG_684310. leveling soil and importing soil for the patio garden sod application (all that dirt isn’t going to be just dirt for long)

11. hauling gravel for garden pathways

IMG_683712. clear brush, cut limbs, commission official arborist on a half dozen gargantuan trees and dozens more that hubby felt comfortable sawing or hacking (have you seen our backyard? we’re living in a raw forest here)

IMG_688313. install French drains around yard (why really? I ask myself. There’s been no rain for a couple months, instead, we need to consider a roof sprinkler installation, smoke so heavy everyone’s eyes are burning and constantly watching for forest fire outbreaks)

14. we planted three specimen trees: dogwood, camellia and Japanese maple…

IMG_682815. we began building a terraced garden hillside…challenging to even climb on. On one of our mountain hikes, I clipped a dozen huckleberry sprigs, so I might plant those there.

IMG_3365

Naturally what I’ve actually done, and what I hoped to do, are at odds. I’ve had all sorts of other unsaid hopes, but I’m good at unrealistic expectations. So I’ll be gracious with myself, and celebrate what I have done this summer. I deserve a big ole pedicure, my feet have taken the brunt of my efforts.

That’s a big part of a meaningful life, isn’t it? Actually having something meaningful to do. And now that I have a homestead, I most definitely always have something to do. It’s a complicated simplicity, this homestead life. I am thankful I put ‘build a homestead’ on the bucket list, because it most definitely is a deeply satisfying creative outpouring of me.

4 thoughts on “homestead summer 2017

  1. Wow! Sister neighbour. All that happening 300 m from me? I can’t wait to visit with the Blewett Conservation Society Third Garden Tour this Sunday. Looks fine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s