Morning Prayer

Here in the High Country it is finally warm enough early in the morning to sit outside to meet the Lord. I can sit here and listen to the birds sing. I can look out at my garden. We have planted asparagus, about 18 tomato plants, peppers, leeks, and we have some mustard and collard greens coming up from last year. I love being outside! Here is a wonderful morning prayer from the Psalms:

"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!"

Psalm 143:8, 10

Reasons to Homestead

I received a great book for Christmas this year: Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self Reliance by John and Martha Story. As I read some of it, several ideas that have been swirling about in my mind emerged. I am coming to understand that homesteading is not easy. It is rewarding, but not easy. It takes time, energy, and money (at least at first). I am at somewhat of a crossroads in life where I can decide how much more to put into homesteading. I am beginning to think I should go ahead and put more into it. Here is a list of reasons why:

  • We can grow food that is good for us: fresh (at its height of nutrition), organic, and whole.
  • We can be producers instead of consumers. This is more than something you do; it is an attitude. God calls us to work and produce. We can see in our culture what happens to people who primarily consume and rarely produce. It allows people to see a certain standard of living as a right. Often it produces laziness, self-centeredness, and dependence on the system.
  • We can learn to build things and solve problems and learn skills for life. All of these things contribute to a broader, sharper mind and spill initiative and confidence over into other areas of life.
  • We can be more self-reliant . . . in a good way. Not independent from God or community, but from “the system.” From industrialization that focuses on mass production of unhealthy goods, from government, and from an economy highly dependent upon oil, gas, and transportation. In addition, the US economy is not stable right now. The vast amount of debt and the ridiculous solution of printing more paper money only ensure some type of economic crisis. Self-reliance may come in handy.
  • We can pass on homesteading skills to our children and grandchildren. “If I figured out the cost per jar in our pantry, that wouldn’t be impressive . . . . But none of that is important . . . to develop and pass along some country skills to children and grandchildren, makes it all worthwhile" (Storey's, xi).
  • We can integrate our children’s education into homesteading. I have already written about how important it is to allow education to take place in a real life environment as opposed to primarily a fabricated classroom/textbook type setting. All the work, problem solving, creativity, discipline, and business required for a homestead provide a wonderful learning environment.

Dozen Eggs a Day

Our Rhode Island Reds are doing very well.  We are down to 20 chickens now (we lost four along the way to unidentified varmints). We are collecting at least a dozen eggs a day! That is more than we eat, so we are starting to sell some to others. I moved the portable coop into the garden so they can fertilize the area all winter. Still haven't decided what to do with them next Spring since I have concluded that I do not like to keep them inside the small coop I built for them even though we were moving it every day.

Garden Update

Our garden has done very well this year . . . and so have the weeds. Fortunately, our vegetables have paid little attention to the weeds and just kept right on growing and producing. Here is a basket of our harvest a couple of weeks ago.

Our tomato plants did way better this year than last. Maybe we put some more love into them . . .

Here is a shot of our little country girl, Kathryn.

Garden Update

100_2489As I tweeted on Saturday, the whole family (except for those unable to work) spent all day working in the garden  together. And I really mean all day. We dealt with some complaining at first, of course. But something amazing transpired as the day passed. The kids really caught the vision for our garden and taking pride in their work. By the end of the day, attitudes of helpfulness and contentment abounded.

It helped that we were able to harvest some produce as well. It wasn't much, though, since not only do we have a later planting time up here, but we also had three weeks of rain when we could plant. You can see the beginnings of some cantaloupe on the left. We harvested some sugar snaps, green beans, and zucchini.