Hard Work

I think most people don’t enjoy hard work anymore.  I’m the opposite.  I hate sitting at a desk all day.  I would much rather be working outside, gardening, farming or construction.  This weekend I had two days of hard work.  The kind of days where you are so tired you want to go to bed early.  Where you fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow- or before if I happen to relax on the floor while watching a movie, which happened Saturday night.

Saturday I worked at the CSA for about 6 hours.  It was one of the most productive days that I have been there.  The farmer, coordinator, the other intern and I were all there along with a couple other volunteers.  We were all moving around non-stop, cleaning, organizing, potting seedlings, mixing soil, putting up brackets for hose storage, removing trash.  I was there for almost six hours and, besides driving my truck to get rid of some of the trash, didn’t sit down.  I got home from the CSA and did a few things around the house before watching the Kentucky Derby.  We then went fishing until it was almost dark, came home, watched 12 Years a Slave and went to bed.

Sunday I started off by making a peanut butter and radish sandwich, a favorite of mine that I learned from my mother.  Heather thought I was crazy when she saw me making it!  After taking care of the animals and doing a little work around the property I went down to help with the plant sale at the CSA.  It wasn’t too busy so after a little while with the four of us sitting around, the farmer decided we should plant some tomatoes in the greenhouse.  So three of us planted about 65 tomatoes.  Then we started weeding the rest of the greenhouse.  It was rather warm in the greenhouse and sun was shining so that really took some energy out of me.  However, as soon as I got home I felt like cutting up some logs and splitting firewood.  I did that for about an hour.  I figure if I do a couple hours once a week or fifteen minutes a day I will have the piles split so they can season in about a month.  I decided while splitting wood to build a new four section compost bin next to the fence with some of the pallets I had collected.  Two of the sections are ready to use but it still needs finished up.  I finished the day off building a little feeder for the cornish chickens.

After work today, I moved some manure from a pile next to the garden to the new compost bins.  I really should have taken it easy because my back was hurting after going to the chiropractor this morning.  When I went to the chiropractor this morning, my neck hurt from sleeping weird last night but my back felt fine.  When I left my back hurt but my neck felt fine.

Heather’s sister and her sister’s friend came out to fish in the pond tonight.  They caught several bluegill, one that was a pretty good size.  They are off getting ice cream, now.  They are supposed to bring me back some ginger ale for mixing with my whiskey, but I think I’m going to head to bed without it…

Chuck From the Rural Side



2014 Goals

As we ring in the new year it is time to start thinking ahead to what I will be doing around the homestead in the coming year.  This has actually been on my mind since it got too cold to do much outside, but I had not sat down to write out my to-do list until today.  I actually made two lists, one titled “Personal Goals” which includes a bunch of things I want to do to make myself a better person and to help me get to where I want to be in the future.  For example, “Eliminate as Much Debt as Possible” is near the top of my list.  Since I first heard Dave Ramsey on the radio this topic has been on my mind.  This is the year I start in earnest on that goal, with one of the first steps being a comprehensive budget and Dave’s “Baby Steps”.  If this is one of your goals I suggest his website and radio program as a starter.

The second list is the one I will share here- Homestead Goals.  This list is comprised of many things that I want to do around house and property.  Some are necessities while others are things that would be nice to do.  Some will require budgeting and planning to accomplish while others are free or cheap to do and only require time and effort to do them.

Here is the list:

  1. Expand Greenhouse
  2. New Chicken Coop
  3. Fix Drainage
  4. Clean Pond Muck
  5. Build a Dock
  6. Build a Woodshed
  7. Split 3+ Cords of Firewood
  8. Remodel Bathroom
  9. Remodel Mud Room
  10. and finally…  25-50% of Food Requirements

Number one I have already been planning and got a bunch of free tempered glass to build the expansion with last year.  Two would be nice to do so that the coop is better and will not be in an area that floods when we get a bunch of rain.  Three should help to get the rain water from flooding my plants and yard every time we do get a bunch of rain.  Four is one I want to do a lot more work on than I have so far with the plan being to drain the pond (which doesn’t have any fish in it right now) and shovel out the muck and debris that has collected in there.  While the pond is drained I hope to do number five.  A woodshed that will keep our wood dry I view as a necessity- tarps just aren’t cutting it.  Seven, eight and nine are pretty much self explanatory.  Ten will be the focus of a longer post with how I plan to grow the majority of my food on the property but 25-50% should be a manageable goal, especially if I am able to get some meat chickens this year.