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bringing a bit of the farm home

May 25, 2012

oh i have grand plans. GRAND, i tell you.  and maybe i may even be overwhelming myself a bit.  too ambitious, some might say.

in my heart, i’ve known for a long time that the key to my happiness would be self-sufficiency.  i would read books and dream and visit farms and dream some more.  but, it always seemed like life got in the way, that other people were getting on in the world while i stood by.  so unsure about what to do, i gracefully started to bow out of living.  it was easier, i think, to let life happen around me, instead of taking charge and making things happen.  so many people i knew and loved began pursuing and achieving their dreams.  many involved higher education, and everyone wanted to know when i would go back to school.  better hurry up and do it before kids arrive on the horizon.  but the kids arrived.  and still i felt lost because i knew, deep down, that the things i wanted to do in life could not come out of an ordinary classroom, or a traditional education.  i wanted to MAKE my life.

knitting was a large part of that.  and sewing too… providing clothes and blankets and other various things for those i loved dearly, and for myself.  it was a start.  an intro.  but, it wasn’t enough.

so, i had a heart to heart with d.  i told him we needed a garden – we needed to bring the farm to us – needed to.  and i think one look in my eyes was all it took.  sure, the dollar signs were probably adding up in his head (he wouldn’t be himself if they hadn’t – so frugal is this man that i love).  but there was so much meaning here.  too much to let go.  and so he said okay.  as a family, we could do this.

i didn’t jump in to it.  i borrowed every book i could from the library.  i read up on various things on the internet.  i researched all kinds of things – every angle of this project.  i used the garden planner on mother earth’s website.  i configured and reconfigured the beds.

when it was time, it was i who jumped in the car and drove to the home improvement store, selected all the wood for the beds, had the boards cut, and then loaded them in the car – which was no small task for nine beds.  NINE.  and mostly, it was i who conceived and assembled all the beds, one by one, screw by screw.  it seemed that the more physical labor i put in to the project, the more i received in return.

i sourced free compost and manure, fill dirt, even ‘end rolls’ from the dispatch to help block the weeds.  i bought tomato and pepper starts at the local farmer’s market from a man who really seemed like he knew what he was doing – aka his hands told me a lot.  i like these kinds of people.  it felt good buying from him.  d began bringing home load after load of the sourced soil.

and finally, one sunny morning, i was able to put plants in the ground and line the walkways with straw.  adelaide helped carry a pepper plant to the beds.  she laughed when i told her to tickle the plant’s roots.  this was it.  it was the beginning.

and so, from this moment on, adelaide will always know where her food comes from.  she will always understand honest labor.  she will always know that i did the very best i could for her and her sister, and that i loved them so much.

and if they play their cards right, there might be a chicken or two in their futures!

i will keep my intentions for this process simple – that i learn about myself and the art of living simply, that i fall in love myself and with the grandeur of the world all over again.

and i hope to update you regularly on the progress being made here – spiritual or otherwise.

did i mention that gardening is messy work?  especially when you like to run through the water from the hose and sample a little compost along the way…

*in case you’re wondering – the beds are made from untreated lumber.  cedar was too pricey but oh so dreamy.  they are 2 x 8 boards in various lengths cut to make 4 4 x4 beds, 4 6×3 beds and 1 6×8 bed. then simple 1x2x8 boards were cut to join the top and bottom stacks of the beds.  this makes the beds 16 inches deep – but they’re not filled to the brim with soil.  we used teflon decking screws to hold everything together.  the beds are filled with a three part ratio of 1/3 each of composted horse manure, peat moss and fill dirt.  the mix is lovely.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. erica nichole permalink
    May 25, 2012 9:42 pm

    this is awesome, in the real meaning of the word! not like “whoa, totally tubular, dude!” but like, truly, i am in awe. i cant wait to continue reading/seeing the progress.

    • lolocreatives permalink*
      May 26, 2012 9:13 am

      thank you! i feel like you’re saying this from one kindred spirit to another. if only we could be doing this together. :)

  2. Grandma Carolyn permalink
    May 26, 2012 12:19 am

    Sounds like fun! But please tell me that’s just a little dirt and not horse poop on our Adelaide’s beautiful face!

    • lolocreatives permalink*
      May 26, 2012 9:13 am

      yes, that’s composted horse manure. she ‘sampled’ it. it was so deliciously fun! she loves exploring the world around her. while i wouldn’t want her to try it again (eeewww…) i’m glad she’s brave enough to do it in the first place. i love my daughter! :)

  3. Angela Painter permalink
    May 26, 2012 12:00 pm

    I could not believe it when I read this. I was contemplating doing the exact same thing (although on a smaller scale). When I read this I took it as a sign, so the garden project is now in full swing! Thanks for the inspiration love!

    • lolocreatives permalink*
      May 26, 2012 12:45 pm

      i am so excited to hear this! i can’t wait to see pictures. gardening with kids is so important.

  4. Angela Painter permalink
    May 26, 2012 6:55 pm

    What kinds of veggies did you plant?

    • lolocreatives permalink*
      May 26, 2012 8:06 pm

      well, we’re in the process of planting. some things it’s a bit too late for. so, we’ll wait to plant a little later. but right now, there are cherry and paste tomatoes. there are peppers – bell, banana, pimento and jalapeno. and there are watermelon – stars and moon – and pumpkins – sugar pie. as soon as some other conditions are right, we’ll be adding beans, lettuce, green onions, onions, garlic, cucumbers, beets and radishes.

      • lolocreatives permalink*
        May 26, 2012 8:09 pm

        oh and kale. lots of kale. some perennial flowers as well – blackeyed susans, coneflowers, coreopsis and one other whose name escapes me. we’ll also add in just a bit a lot of nasturtiums and a bird bath. so, hopefully it will be an inviting place for beneficial wildlife. but no green horn worms please!! and no slugs!! and would you kindly tell the rabbits to stop eating my precious tomato plants! thankyouverymuch!! :)

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