Monday, July 14, 2014

Things in Life Do Not Happen In My Time: Tales From A Frustrated "Homesteader"

Today's post will be funny, a bit frustrating, trying not to be whiny, and wondering what decisions I should have made differently. Just for your own information. I do try to warn people. Sometimes.

I should have gotten more chickens. Before my family attempts to shoot me about that last statement, I mean I should have gotten meat chickens along with the layers. I am a super excited chicken owner who cannot wait to have her chickens start laying! Bring on the eggs! However, I wanted to start small and work my way into this. I now realize I could have handled 25-30 meat chickens in addition to 14 layers. Chickens, so far, have been really easy to raise and give me much amusement some days. Next years plans: 25-30 meat chickens. And maybe a couple of feeder pigs?

I should have also bit the bullet and started a few beehives this year. We love honey. I use it to replace sugar in a lot of things. Producing our own would have saved me much moola as raw honey is starting to creep up the price ladder a bit.

One of the two cars I am trying to get rid of.

I am trying to sell two vehicles right now because we need the money and I want them gone. Neither have sold yet over a 2-3 week span. I have had interest, but nothing solid. I understand that selling anything does not happen in my time, but I am a bit frustrated. We could have used that money yesterday (in a figurative sense). However, the book selling has been taking off again so maybe I need to take comfort in the small blessings instead.

The garden is not producing like I want it too. I have had some small successes such as the onions actually growing and three times more raspberries than last year. The potatoes are nice and tall and green beans are starting to take off. However, it appears I should have really added a lot of nitrogen before the garden was tilled. And too much rain is not helping either. Right now the garden needs heat which is not happening until later this week. The peppers are not growing. The green beans have staged a bit of protest as did the tomatoes. I replanted beets yesterday with the hopes of a late fall harvest. I may replant carrots yet with the goal of a late fall harvest too. Only 5-6 plants came up for each. Not going to feed a family much this winter on that.

When the garden is done producing this fall, I will start laying the soiled chicken bedding in the garden as well as letting the chickens play in the garden. Hopefully that with some well rotted manure from a farmers will help tremendously. I will have to stop about three months before I am ready to till so it will not burn the garden, but the effort will be worth it.

And maybe, just maybe, I will get the compost area built and started.

In my mind, I should always do more. The bugs have been terrible so I haven't been outside as much. I will have to buckle down this week and make some homemade bug repellent and move some citronella candles into the garden so I can work there more. The weeds keep growing! The yard has been sprayed twice and the mosquitoes don't care. They are still out in full force. I have been free ranging the chickens a lot more so they can eat their fair share. However, I am getting a lot of decluttering done on the inside of the house so that is a definite plus.

The goal is to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient. People in my life are learning to appreciate that I want to produce for myself and my motley crew. I enjoy things that I have made myself. I am learning to understand and possibly appreciate that things do not happen in my time. I am impatient a lot and want things done now. I look back at decisions I have made and realize I should have made them differently with a little less fear that I couldn't handle more or this/that. Unfortunately I don't want to look ridiculous either, but anymore I just don't care.

Some days I think it is ridiculous to consider myself a "homesteader" because I only have a garden and laying chickens. Then I remember that I have a "homesteader" attitude and I am closer to my goal every day and every year. Some days I think it takes a lot of money to be a homesteader until I remember that I will save money and be more self-reliant in the end. Getting started might cost some, but the end result will save me money.

I need to quit beating myself up, but I have been a bit frustrated this week. Homesteading is just one of those areas. Hopefully as the week goes on, I can elaborate on the rest.

Thanks for reading!


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