• Animals,  Homestead

    The Easter Snake

    If you asked me before we rescued Snakey, I would have told you I do not like snakes.  But, we can surprise ourselves! This Easter, my thoughts go back to what happened last year.  I had hidden lots of eggs outside for the traditional egg hunt that our family does.  They are not little kids anymore, but the fun and the tradition still holds.   I just have to be more tricky and sneaky about where and how I hide the eggs!  Anyway, my youngest daughter was the one to spot the real treasure that day.  Since we were making every effort to look under everything and peer into all corners…

  • Homestead,  Spirit

    Pick-up Sticks

    No, not the fun game where you try to pick up a stick without touching the other sticks in the bunch. Pick up sticks, literally.  That was today’s chore.  The snow is gone, the ground isn’t muddy, and this looks to be the last week of below freezing temps – so everything points toward TIME TO SEED!  Can you tell I’m excited?  I really want to get the seed down because something really odd happens where we go from freezing temps to really warm temps pretty quickly, and no matter how much planning I do, it seems like I just miss that narrow opening when it is best to seed.  This…

  • Homestead

    The Forgotten Desk

      How come kids never use the desk we bought for them?  I know I’m not alone in this.  It seems to be that most kids want a desk for their room, and most moms agree and buy one – BUT, other than being used as a dirty hamper, used dishes collector, and pretty much a catch-all for junk, the desk is not used as a desk.  My kids always love to do their homework in the kitchen.  I can see how this habit forms for many young ones, because when they are little we help them form their letters correctly while cooking dinner or eating a snack in the…

  • Homestead

    Spring is in the Air

      Don’t you feel so happy when the first little flowers push their way through the cold earth reminding us that spring and gardening and all things beautiful are on the way soon!  I spotted this little guy in the corner of our lot.  Since this is our very first spring on the farm, I have no idea what spring perennials will peek out and surprise me! It is a good reminder that it’s time to start planning my spring planting.  To be honest, I’m probably the farthest thing from having a green thumb.  Over the years I’ve gotten the reputation of being good at killing most plants I try to…

  • Homestead

    Lesson #1 – Fill Up the Tub

    If you live with well and septic, this is probably something as ingrained in you as brushing your teeth – if there is a storm on the way, you fill up the tub with water. Yes, well, we are new to this and learned this lesson the hard way. With the huge winds that came whipping through today, we lost power and so did over a million other people on the east coast.   With such large spread outages it doesn’t look like we will get our power back on for a couple of days. Now, I am embarrassed to admit, but don’t we all look forward to our morning time…

  • Food Love,  Homestead

    Berries – To Wash or Not to Wash

      My best friend and I were at the local farmer’s market buying fruit.  We bought lots of fresh organic berries, which the kids LOVE!  My instinct was to go home and wash them first, but my girlfriend commented, “Yeah, I don’t wash my berries.  I mean how much do you really get off of them from a quick rinse anyway?”  While I had always been a must wash fruit fanatic, her comment managed to make its way into my head – and it’s stayed there.  I find myself sometimes getting lazy about washing my berries.  Especially because I found that once raspberries are washed, they go bad right away.  You can’t…

  • Homestead

    Land, Sweet, Land

    Well, I finally made the leap towards owning my own homestead.  We moved from the quarter acre lot that we had raised our kids on and moved out to 7 acres!  It’s all about perspective.  I know 7 acres isn’t quite the same as living out in the big, wide open country, but it is MY little bit of country – and I love it!  Urban homesteading is possible with less land, so I know I can make it work on our lovely plot of earth. Let me tell you, it is hard stepping into another way of life.  Who knew there was so much to learn just to get grass…

  • Homestead

    Pasture Soil Amendments

    Ellie is our 10 year old Thoroughbred – she is the dark brown one in this photo where she stands at the fence with her best friend.  She is a super smart mare, with an alpha personality.  We are preparing our pastures so that we can bring her home to our farm this Spring! We had our soil tested at Virginia Tech University, and the results showed that we needed 5 tons of lime per acre.  Wowwee that is a lot!  In September, we put down about 9,000 pounds of lime, which was about 1 ton per acre.  Not enough, but from the research I did, I thought it best to continue to add lime…

  • Animals,  Homestead

    Every Farm Needs a Farm Dog

    We adopted Pippi when she was 4 months old – a cute little border collie mix.  Since long hikes and lazy afternoons at the farm were part of our routine, we knew we could give her the opportunity for lots of exercise.  Border Colies require a lot of stimulation – both physical and mental, and Pippi is no exception!  Here she is at 4 months old: On her first trip out to the barn, she made friends with some very sweet Jersey cows!  Funny, that she barked like crazy at every horse she saw, but absolutely loved these cows.  It took about two more visits before she got comfortable on the…