After 90 days without rain, and one of the driest summers on record, it’s finally started raining in NW Washington. I’m not sad about it. The garden has been very productive, and I’m tired of canning pickles and tomato sauce. I’m looking forward to evenings spent in my living room, the woodstove blazing, watching episodes … Continue reading It’s just muddening (and a few words about “farm plans”)
At the urging of a homesteader friend, I recently reread Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I hadn’t read it since second or third grade when I read the rest of the Little House series, but I was surprised to discover how many of the stories were still vivid in my memory as I reread them … Continue reading The Books That Make Us
We’ve wasted a lot of time and effort trying to outsmart our farm pests and farm livestock. For example: We’ve lined the base of field fencing surrounding a pig paddock with heavy driftwood in a feeble attempt to keep our pigs from rooting underneath the fence, only for them to toss those logs aside and … Continue reading Caught Blue-Beaked
Needing additional space for cabbage, beans, corn, and winter squash, we decided to expand the vegetable garden this year. The ideal location for this row cropping is our level pasture, of which we have WAY more than we can use at the moment. The spot we decided to annex was covered by foot-tall grass, along … Continue reading Using pigs and chickens to convert pasture to garden beds
Moles, what a scourge, right? Busily making mounds in your front lawn and tunneling through the garden nibbling on roots. Gasp! Although our days of upholding a certain amount of curb appeal are over, I’m still occasionally annoyed by the active mole population here at the homestead. I like to mow grass and cut hay with … Continue reading Mole mix; making potting soil out of what you (might) have lying around.
I have a farm mentor, and for this I am blessed. Her family farmed “in the old days” for generations, and they’ve passed down stories about the ways they used to do things, before modern technologies like refrigeration. She’s a treasure trove of tidbits of wisdom, and now and then she dispenses them to me. … Continue reading In the old days: how to store pork
Before we even started homesteading, I had a handwoven basketful of homesteader skills already under my hand-tooled leather belt. Not only did I make soap, but I made it out of tallow and lard that I rendered myself, and I made jams, sauces, and marinades out of the fruits and vegetables I grew myself. Long … Continue reading Some homesteading skills are more fun than others