Beginning of Summer on the Homestead

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on our progress here on the ole’ homestead so I thought I would dedicate today’s post to giving you a glimpse into the latest projects and plans we’ve got going on here in Kinnard-ville.

May

While most schools were getting ready to let out for the summer, it seemed like we were actually just beginning.  The plan was to start E in kindergarten this fall, but since he’s been showing a great interest in learning science and reading, we decided to go ahead and start early.  We’ve been staying very relaxed with the schooling schedule and have been speeding along or slowing down as E’s interest grows or diminishes.  If he ends up finishing all the curriculum by fall, we’ll just start him in first grade.  It’s been very nice being able to actually ENJOY doing school together instead of feeling like I’m pulling teeth to get him to do anything.  A and I like to get in on the schooling action too!  Most days when I’m working with E, the two little ones will be either pouring over the iPad working on alphabet or sorting games or sitting at the table coloring or doing puzzles.  When it comes to the iPad, I is turning a little pro!  I’ve even caught him talking (actually articulating specific words – clearly!) when he thought no one was around.  What a stinker!! :-/

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With the hot weather really starting to kick in and with the entire family being outside more to work together, Tim decided to purchase a small pool for the kids to play in while we got projects done around the yard and garden.  Memorial Day was the beginning of the pool fun.

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The end of May was exciting since we received our long-anticipated poultry order.  We ended up with 15 Pearl Keets and 16 Cherry Egger Chicks.  Somehow we were given an extra chick since our order was for only 15.  Not complaining!!  More eggs – yippee! 🙂

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June

Can’t believe June is already half over, but then again it’s been so busy it feels like an entire month has passed.  One of the bigger projects for Tim was taking apart and re-assembling the swing set given to us by a family member who moved to a new house.  The people who bought her house didn’t want the play set since they were bringing their own.  Okay!  This was truly an answered prayer since we had been talking for a while about needing to find a swing set for the kids.  Being a one-vehicle family meant that this summer we wouldn’t have the freedom to go to the park whenever we wanted.  It’s been WONDERFUL having the “park” in our very own yard! 🙂  With the leftover finances for home projects, we eventually would like put a new coating of stain on the entire structure.  I would love to do it now, but there are about a million other projects that take priority over a simple cosmetic fix.

The biggest project on my plate has been to keep the garden alive.  Might not sound like a big deal, but for me it is next to flying a spaceship to the moon.  I have NO green thumb!  In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s as black as black can be.

Tim has been the one to do all the planning and research.  Through all the planning process I watched and listened, but he was the one at the controls.  When he had to go back to working Fridays while his assistant left for maternity leave, it all of a sudden became my responsibility since Tim had no extra free time like before.  GULP!

I’ve been doing all I can to keep the plants alive and to ensure that they are watered every day, weeded (as much as possible) and animals/children kept out.  It was a very big deal when I picked the first red tomato from the vine and used fresh basil I clipped from the plants I’ve been growing in my kitchen window to use in a pot of soup.  SUCCESS!  That day I pretty much felt like I could fit right into Little House on the Prairie. 🙂  I have a long way to go, but at least the plants that did die after the first attempt at planting have been replaced with a second planting that is actually thriving.  We’ve also planted carrots, lettuce and beans and have started planting our peach, apple and pear orchard.  It is yet to be seen if anything will come to fruition with those plants, but I would love for the opportunity to say to my friends and church family, “Harvest is ready!  Bring your buckets and come pick fruit for your families.”  It will be wonderful to have enough food growing on those trees to can applesauce, apple pie filling, sliced peaches and sliced pears to last the year.  What a cost saving!

Tomatoes

Basil

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Squash (smaller plants are from 2nd planting)

Strawberries (Given to us as a small planter from a friend’s garden – they’ve exploded!)

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Watermelon

Cucumbers

Blackberries

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One of the other big projects is to get the path finished with the concrete blocks.  Tim put down black paper to help kill the grass and filled in the low spots with pea gravel so it will be more level.

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Life goes on and we learn more and more about homesteading every day.  The kids are happy and growing and learning right along side us which makes the journey worth so much more.  I still sometimes miss living in the city close to the grocery stores and library as well as friends’ homes, but I am appreciating more and more what an amazing opportunity this is that God has allowed us.  Instead of looking at other homesteads I see online and comparing ours to those well-established places, I have to remind myself that things here are NOT perfect and we don’t have the resources to pour into all the projects we know we need and would like, but we are doing the best we can totally from scratch.  I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far!  Not too shabby for two city-dwellers!  Haha!

The biggest thing is watching how I interacts with the different animals.  The fact that he wants to go pet the dog or watch the chicks and keets out in their pen is so far from where he used to be with freezing up and screeching at the top of his lungs because of sensory overload and fear.  He likes to help take care of the animals on the homestead.  In the years to come, I’m sure he will be a tremendous help when we have a flock of goats or even a horse one day.2014-06-19 10.31.06

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One thought on “Beginning of Summer on the Homestead

  1. It all looks great! And those strawberries will continue to “explode.” In fact, they will take over if you don’t keep after them. Unless your chickens get to them first, of course. 😉

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