Farming,  Gardening

Getting There

We are getting there, finally!  Okay, so we haven’t actually gone anywhere, nor are we going somewhere, but we are well on our way to meeting our homesteading goals for this year.  Sure, there is still much to be done, but we are making good progress.  Each step further we get brings us one step closer to becoming more self-reliant.  Ironically, the road to self-reliance is lined with lots of help from others.

We had a busy week last week which slowed us down a little more than I would have liked, but we are still making progress and aren’t terribly far behind.  With the help of a lot of very generous people, we were able to get much done. Two Saturdays ago, two of my very generous cousins came to participate in a weed-pulling party.  They were so generous in fact, that they even brought lunch!  Did I mention they are awesome people?  Scott had to use the tractor with the mower deck to cut down all of the tall grass that was invading after we got all of the weeds out.

Tractor and Mower Deck

Then my parents came over to visit the next day, and they ended up giving us a lot of help as well.  My mom took care of the kids while I planted some perennials that Scott’s “step-grandmother” (she doesn’t like that phrase) brought over out of her garden.  Meanwhile, my dad helped Scott pull part of the spring-tooth behind the 4-wheeler in the veggie garden to till up all of the grass that had started to overtake everything.

See all of the grass and weeds?!  Not so pretty!
After weeding.  You can see a few of the plants I put in, and the landscape looks a lot different now that all of the trees have their leaves!

Last Monday I had to cover part of the garden borders with paper and compost to help kill the rest of the grass that wouldn’t come up with the spring-tooth, and Tuesday and Wednesday we laid down hay for mulch over the entire garden.  Now any grass or weeds that decide to take root or continue to grow will be much easier to remove.  But planting was delayed, because we have a group homeschool day once a month that took place on Thursday, so I spent the morning cleaning and mowing the lawn.  Friday was more cleaning and grocery shopping in preparation for some overnight visitors that were arriving on Saturday.  Saturday and Sunday were relaxing days visiting, followed by an evening of rest on Sunday.

Yesterday morning I went straight to work planting in our vegetable garden.  Right now, that job is probably about half finished.  I am hoping to get the rest of it done this afternoon.  I was able to plant some of our vegetable starts, plus a bunch of onion starts that one of our neighbors gave us, and a few kinds of seeds.  I think we will end up with tomatoes and peppers coming out of our ears!  Hopefully we can find both the time and ambition to can a lot of pasta sauce.

My Mother’s Day herbs

Alas, once the vegetable garden is all planted, we will not be done planting!  We will be planting a pumpkin patch that will also grow corn and sunflowers in a field that Scott plowed, but I would really like to get hay down first for mulch to make it easier to maintain since that field hasn’t been plowed in years (if ever).

The Pumpkin Patch

Then there is the watermelon patch.  Scott just cut the grass in that area yesterday, and in there we will mulch with black plastic around the watermelons and just cut the grass in the areas in between.

The Watermelon Patch

And last, but not least, we need to set up garden beds for the kid.  They were promised, so it definitely needs to happen.  We ran into so many hiccups, and then throwing a new baby into the mix really slowed things down (for me at least).

So the goal is to get as much as possible done by the end of the weekend.  I hope it all goes well!  I know it’s a lot, and that it doesn’t NEED to get done, but I think we will be very happy that we did it all in a few months as we watch our gardens grow!

And for those of you who know me well, don’t worry, I already have a long list of the projects to come after this!  Our garage/workshop needs a lot of work, and so do all of the flower beds around here.  And the porch…it needs some love.  We’ll see!  I’ll keep you posted!

What about you?  Do you have any projects to do this summer?  How are your gardens coming along?  Feel free to leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!



  • Rebekah

    You’ve been busy!! My girls have their own garden bed too. Sure beats a sandbox. Right now they have watermelon and lima beans starting. They probably don’t have enough space in their little bed, but it gives them (mostly the 3 year old) something they’re excited about and get to take care of. And like the rest of us, they have to learn from experience what does and doesn’t work. My beans, our favorite part of the summer garden, are being taken over by fungus. And between the hornworms and my kids picking green tomatoes, I’m not sure I’ll get any ripe ones from our 16 plants. But for the first time I have an herb garden I can pick from whenever I please and I’m in love!

    • sfaust929gmailcom

      Ha! I can so relate! My kids always pick the peas before I can get them, and someone inevitably starts picking unripe food. Last year it was all of the apples off of our one apple tree at the old house, and they kept picking cherries until I netted the tree. That’s too bad about the fungus…right now I need to fix the chickens fence so that they stop scratching around in the garden.
      And you are right, I think a garden is better than a sandbox too! I’m struggling to get through the rest of these gardening chores. I’m off to take a nap and hopefully have some energy to pound through the rest of the work this afternoon!

      • Rebekah

        I’m seriously considering putting chicken wire around the tomato bed to prevent early picking. But then I know that would make my work harder too. They keep picking all the green bell peppers too, which doesn’t bother me as much because I don’t even like them all that much.😉

        • sfaust929gmailcom

          Ah! I know that battle all too well…I still have yet to figure out a balance between sparing the work I have completed from little hands, and also maintaining my sanity by not making things more work for me than they already are!

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