2019 garden updates

Just a quick post on the 2019 garden so far.

The garden woven fabric is working wonderfully so far.  If it holds up through the year and comes up in good condition we will be getting more for sure. See our previous post about it here: 2019 Spring garden .

Rabbits destroyed the rows of lettuce,  spinach, cabbage, broccoli , cauliflower.   They ate what they wanted and are leaving the rest along for now.   We are at war with them at the moment but they are still winning I think.

The plants have gotten to the point that they are outpacing the weeds which saves us some time.  Between the weeds that come up still, the black fabric ,  and the hay bedding from our rabbits that we added to the rows, the soil is keeping its moisture.  It has been very much needed in the hot dry weeks we have had recently.

 

We have already been eating squash,  zucchini , radish, garlic (planted last year) , spinach, peppers.

Our herbs are also rocking and we were able to use them and the garlic with the last of our frozen tomatoes to make an amazing batch of sauce.

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So many great things going on.   Very exciting time of the year.

Speaking of the war on the rabbits – we have recruited some help.  They are small now but once they get some size on them… varmints beware! We’ll share more about Callie the Calico and Ursa the Little Bear, in a future post.

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Blackberries, Strawberries and Blueberries. Oh my

Just a quick post about our berry production on our little homestead.

The first year we planted strawberries and a thornless blackberry.   The second year we added more strawberries,  blackberries ,  and then blueberries. Third year we added more blackberries and blueberries.

We are adding more as we can afford to and also when we can get an area cleared for them.

 

The strawberries were a mix of Alpine,  Ozark,  and probably some others we are forgetting. We tried a white strawberry too, called Pineberry.20190515_181305.jpg

They are planted in a old building foundation with a concrete wall that has fallen down.  It was a defined area that we always try planting things in.   Strawberries are about the only thing that we have found to work there.   We say work but even though we are currently getting lots of strawberries,  we are not getting lots of flavor.   They have all been so bland this year!  Our theories on this are that we have had record level of rains this year effecting the taste  or they do not get enough sunlight.  Or both. There are a few trees surrounding them we are considering cutting down.

Any suggestions from you guys are welcome in the comments!

 

The blackberries are a thorn less variety we like, named Apache . The property is covered in “wild” blackberry plants,  but they do not produce as much due to their thickness and the wild animals get most of them before they are what we consider ripe.

We are planting them on the edge of our young orchard and keep adding as we take back the woods.   They will have plenty of room to expand in the future.   The plants do well for us despite a few bites taken out by deer and rabbits from time to time.    Last year we even got enough to make a cobbler.  I would be fine if we got enough this year to make 20 cobblers.  We might be planting more,  or we might give it a few years to see how far they expand on their own.

Blueberries  we have planted several varieties so far,  mainly because where we buy them from seems to change what they  have every year.   They are all doing a great job despite the light deer grazing,   we have not gotten a significant amount off them yet,  but maybe this year!

 

 

We also have some grapes we have started that we will go over in a future post.  Thinking about maybe doing raspberries.  We are in zone 7b so researching what we could realistically grow here.

What berries are you growing?   What are some of your favorites?  Are we forgetting any that we should get started?   Let us know in the comments !!!

What’s in a name?

We want to start by saying thank you to everyone who has read anything on our blog so far! Blogging is a new world for us and it is so rewarding and exciting to get the views/ comments/ likes from everyone. We’re enjoying sharing what we have learned so far and hope that we can inspire or motivate someone to do something too.  Plant just one thing – you don’t have to wait until you have acres or until you can retire.  Plant one tomato or one sunflower; it doesn’t matter.  Just do something! It will be so rewarding.

A few years back life did a big reset. After the dust settled on that it was clear a plan had to be made. The idea and the want of homesteading and a more simple life style was in the background but it started coming forward. This idea is expounded on in our first blog post if you want to check that out.

Having always kept various journals and date books it seemed only natural to do the same with the homesteading idea. A green journal that had been a gift was picked to be the one to start the daydreaming.

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Pages and pages of drawings and writings . Things from TV Shows, original ideas , hopes and dreams were all written down in the simple green journal. Bank accounts, types of loans, dates with a realtor and appointment times. Anything that had to do with finding a place and what to do with that place was written down in the journal. It became a treasure in itself and a constant companion.

There was a 6 month period of doing nothing but working towards a goal. No weekends off, no vacation, no thought other than getting a place started. Pennies pinched, clutter sold off , constantly thinking of how to get closer to the goal. One singular obsession and the journal becoming a manifestation of that obsession.

After buying the property it just felt like it needed a name. There were not even any other names considered really. It was obviously Green Journal Homestead.

It is a fun memory , a fitting name, and a reminder that anything is possible even when it seems like it is not.

That first Green Journal was filled up a few years ago but recently another journal gift had been given to celebrate the start of this blog.

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The journal might be new but it is like finding an old friend. The pages are already filling up just like the last one. Ideas flowing on paper just like before. We are very excited for the new adventures to come. We hope that all of you come along with us!

Planning a Future Homestead.

Just a short post with a photo of the property.  First photo is untouched to give an idea of what it looks like.    Second photo shows some things we are planning to set up,  and a few things we’ve already got done.

From the photo  the Orchard , Greenhouse,  Garden plots ,  and Grape trellises are already set up.   The House, Herb beds, Future garden spot and rotational barn lots are under future projects.  

    Let us know what you think, in the comments.  Is there anything you’d like to know more about? Thank you for stopping by!

Where we are so far.

We are two and a half years into our little adventure. We do plan on going into each project in more detail but here is a general overview of what we have accomplished so far.

The 4 acres had been for sale for over one year when we bought it. Not sure how long since it had been lived on before that. Nature was taking it back, as you would expect.

Looking at the place from the road, the right side of the property was some overgrown fence rows that we cleaned back. There were also a few fallen trees to get rid of.

Before – Overgrown fence row with some random junk
After- Cleaned up to the property line.

On the back left side from the road was just overgrown , could probably have been cut for hay. You can’t really tell but in the after photo there are young fruit trees planted on a portion of it. The start of our orchard!

Before – Not exactly a field of dreams.

Cleaning back towards that building little by little.

At the back middle of the property there was a hidden decorative pond. We’ve used parts of it, like some of the rock wall and the pea gravel for a “French drain around the green house. Not exactly sure what we will do with the rest of it but for now it is part of the dog pen.

Before- Very attractive snake habitat


After- The rock wall and gravel have come in handy for different projects

In the middle of the property there was a row of Forsythia bushes. From the porch they blocked the view down to the barn so we removed them. It turned out to be one of the hardest jobs we have done yet.

Before- There were five of these behemoths
In Progress- That truck load was only 2 out of the 5. Those things were massive.
After- Opened up the view. Gave room for a garlic bed and future herb garden.

The front middle of the property was overgrown pretty bad as well. Clearing this off gave us room for vegetable gardens and clear view of the barn.

Before – Overgrown field in front of barn.
After- The barn is just out of the picture to the right but you can see our little greenhouse!

That is just a quick overview of the property. In upcoming blogs we will go into more detail on things like the barn, orchard, gardens, and greenhouse, as well as future projects and improvements we have planned.