While having our quick morning meeting, Vasek and I discussed how we now feel like real farmers. This week has been full of struggles and joys. We unfortunately lost the twin goats we were so anxiously waiting for and with that we were plunged into the world of goat milking. Cami, our sweet La Mancha, had a severe case of mastitis which caused more than a little stress on both of us. She is milking wonderfully despite the setback and should be able to have more babies next year. Until then, I get to milk her every day and bond in a new way.
Vasek has been hard at work creating raised beds for the vegetable starts and battling the kudzu. It is a full time job keeping those vines from strangling our fruit trees and berry vines. The layout of our property has really come together as the new beds look orderly and the plant starts stand so perfectly in their rows.
We love having people stop by and see our progress. Many people have sent messages that enjoy watching the progress as they pass by on there way to town. If you see us out, please feel free to stop and chat. We'd love to show you what is growing.
I know the blog has been pretty quiet for a few months. It was due to massive changes happening on the homestead. We have cleared, cut, built, and planted until we fall into bed exhausted each night. Vasek will go full time on the homestead in two weeks and we could not be more excited.
To test run how things will go, we started a very small CSA for this spring. Very small. Only three members for a six week CSA. We are doing this for two reasons. First, we needed cash upfront to purchase our seeds for the year. We also needed to see how feasible it is to plan and plant to actually get the produce we need. Let me tell you, this was more complicated than we had anticipated.
Our first basket consists of a whole chicken, chickweed, lettuce mix, and a bundle of radishes. Also "included" is a wonderful recipe for Chickweed Pesto inspired my herbalist friend, Anne-Marie Bilella. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
but life on the homestead leaves little room for downtime. The drought has been a huge issue for us since we don't have a well on the property yet. The amazing thing is that I have friends that actually know how to locate water under the ground. If you have "liked us" on Facebook, you have seen the how the process goes. It's really amazing. We hope to have some sort of water source in the new year.
This will be crucial for us since January will bring 40 fruit trees and bushes to the new land. Let me know if you want to live the farm life for a day and help us plant them. I'll even make lunch as a special thank-you. Who knows. You may even get some goat or bunny kisses.
We have owned the land for two weeks now and progress has been slow. We have taken our two goats to the land several times to begin the clearing process. If you didn't know, we are trying to keep the land completely pesticide free. Using the goats to clear the land has two purposes: get rid of the kudzu and other invasive plants and natural fertilization. Osiris and Cami have worked hard to clear as much as possible but they do have their limits. The best part about using goats has been the looks we receive from the neighbors passing by. We have lived here for 13 years and still only know a small number of people on our street. This has given us the opportunity to share our plan with everyone and brighten the day of many passer-bys. Here are a couple of shots to show our love for the goats and the land. Feel free to drive past any time to say "hi" and give the goats a hug.
Vasek and Brooke
We are thrilled to share our homesteading successes and struggles with you. There's a steep learning curve here and we are ready for the challenges.