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Dreaming Small April 29, 2007

Posted by Laura in Family, Farm.
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patchhayroll4-25-07.jpg

For the past two years, we have way overestimated our abilities with regards to gardening.  We have gleefully tilled up a couple of acres and planted them with all the things we thought we could possibly grow or need.  We had all the standard items plus several unusual or “heritage” varieties, but on a large scale.  We had a 20 x 50 foot section just for melons, but we’ve eaten about 5 melons each year.  The rest the Johnson grass or deer claimed.  Some tasted like cucumbers, too, so the products weren’t worth the effort.

On top of the staples, we’ve been so ambitious as to try to grow our own chicken feed (a large portion of it anyway).  We put in rows over 100 feet long of field corn and sunflowers only to have the deer, raccoons, crows, and doves nearly clean us out in a matter of days.  It’s been rather frustrating.

This year, with an infant to care for again, we are trying to be much more realistic with what we can manage to plant, weed, and harvest.  We would very much like to raise the majority of our food, but we accept that we will have to grow towards this goal as our children get old enough to help more.  We can’t do it all at once while raising small children and working a “city job.”

Since we will not need so much crop space, we had to reseed most of it for pasture.  This was a pretty big undertaking all by itself, especially since we did it manually.  Joe and I broadcast the seed by hand, then the kids and I raked it in and/or covered it with spoiled hay.  That is no small task when you are talking about a couple of acres, a pint-sized less-than-enthusiastic work-force, and an infant who wants to be fed and held frequently. 

Here are a few pictures of one of our “work days.”

bforkhayroll4-25-07.jpg

(Benjamin’s favorite part was tearing apart the hayroll with a fork).

 rachelhandfulhay4-25-07.jpg

(“Hollywood Rachel” shows off the latest in reseeding attire- striped sunglasses, knit winter gloves, and the ever-present rubber boots.  🙂 ).

 

dogsinshade4-25-07.jpg

(The dogs and cat do what they do best- watch us work from the comfort of the shade).

kidsscatterhay4-25-07.jpg

(Just getting started spreading hay on a section that seems to go on past the horizon).

 

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Comments»

1. amazinggrazefarm - April 30, 2007

They are learning all about farm life. I am glad you have some good helpers there. I love the outfit!!! =)

2. chickenmama - May 1, 2007

Yep, they’re good kids and they work pretty hard. Reading all those Little House books to them is paying off! 🙂

3. Sheryl - May 12, 2007

LOVE these pictures!!! What troopers you are. That’s a huge undertaking. Now seeding my little 1/4 or 1/8 acre (postage stamp-whatever) yard in the city doesn’t seem so impossible. I might even spring for the silly aerating spiked shoes that people make fun of.

Rachel just needs a great hat to complete the outfit. Something glamorous with a wide brim. Very Holly Golightly.


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