Monday, April 9, 2012

Living Hand to Mouth

Recently over at Cold Antler Farm, Jenna asked what our dreams are, her reader's dreams.  The question focused some scattered circling thoughts I've been trying to formulate into something resembling a plan.  I mean I have a plan, and really, a clear one at that.  Sorta.  Its also sorta muddy and grandiosly painted with a big brush in my mind.
I've spent so long focused on getting the land.  Get the land and you'll have the homestead.  Because the place, the dirt, the earth, is of course the absolute necessary first step to making the homestead of my dreams.  (This is in no way to invalidate the choices of urban homesteading, homesteading whilst renting, etc.  This is just to say that my long term plan happens on a plot of land we own and which I raise my kids on, grow old on, and pass on to them when I die.)   We have the land now.  And the thing is, that in my utter and intense focus on the getting of the land for the homestead, I have (probably wisely) not focused so much on planning the details of that homestead.

It is starting to clarify and shake down in my thoughts (I spent a few hours today garden planning for 2013 - I'll be gone the month of June this summer, and plan on primarily getting things ready for next year, digging in beds and such).  But "the homestead" has for so long been this thought-feeling-sense-dream of abundant gardens in late summer sun, muddy cold soil in drizzling rain, sore muscles, pails of milk, eggs, warmth of a barn's interior filled with animal life's breathing and scents and shuffling enveloping me and fogging up my glasses in the winter, of family and permanence, of sticky sweet berries on fingers, pastures being rotated, and such.  The 'dream' is tacked down into a future-reality with a combination of book learning and real life experience with gardening, horses, raising chickens, milking, relative protein qualities and butchering techniques for various animals, seed germination times, cold weather season extenders, raised beds, electric fences, rainwater catchment, composting, manure's nitrogen contents, sore muscles, hand tool cultivation, animal training, drip irrigation, etc.
But the time has come to apply some of that knowledge to the direct creation of the "dream."  Because we have the land.

So what I'm working on right now, is long term planning.  Where the barn goes, the chicken coop, the boundaries of the two planned pastures, the main garden, the greenhouse(s), the dog and kid yard, the orchard, the wedded and birth trees, the raspberry patches, the rhubarb patches, the perrenial herb garden, the perrenial flower beds, the asparagus bed...
My recent garden planning and gardening experience has been defined by the temporary.  Last year was a menagerie of potted plants in the back yard of the rental, the couple years before that was an amalgam of built raised beds, a canoe, and tire towers at the cabin.  Before that was a long lapse after helping out in my parents' family garden.  I am so excited and feel so blessed and content to be able to be thinking in the LONG term.  As in, the rhubarb I plant this summer will be the same patch I make a pie from when I'm 80.   It is so very exciting, and full of potential.  And a little overwhelming.  Some of the perrenial bed choices may wait till late summer to be put in next year, but really, while I won't be building the barn this summer it ought to get staked out for planning purposes, and the coop will be built this summer.....

No comments:

Post a Comment