Thursday, February 19, 2015


Yesterday I posted about planting my seeds...

Well, truth is, I took pictures meaning to put them into a post later that day... Or the next day. That didn't happen until I actually had something sprouting. I finally got excited enough to post.

I am so sick of winter. I'm ready to be warmer than I'd like. I've definitely come down with a case of cabin fever, and want nothing more to get outside.

My marigold and some of my leaf lettuce have sprouted though. I'm excited by the little bit of green that brings to my day.

Green onions seem to be doing well. Previously, I have only grown them in cups of water on the windowsill, so I'm glad they're growing well after putting them directly into soil. 

I'm not sure how the celery is doing. I read that it can take a while to start growing. It looks like it is making some progress, at least. We don't eat much celery, so I think this will be the only plant we'll have. I can always add another if it turns out we eat celery quicker than it grows. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Starting Seeds

A week and a half ago, I went and bought most of the seeds I would need for the garden. There were a few things I wanted to try to plant that weren't available, so I guess I'll have to find those later on.

A few days later, I got itchy and figured I could plant a few things inside. I mostly did plants that I intend to keep in containers. Marigold to see what it's like. Leaf lettuce to maybe get some fresh greens soon. Herbs. And some old strawberry seeds I had hanging around, that I'm not sure if they'll sprout. And some cherry tomatoes I'll transplant eventually, most likely after re-potting.

Seed Starting Tray
Left to Right
Parsley, Chives, Cilantro, Dill (from a blue packet),
Dill (Burpee brand, accidentally grabbed one of each),
Catnip, Marigold, Basil, Leaf Lettuce, Strawberry
I got some seed starting trays, but I don't know how long the plants will last in there.

I also potted some green onions that I will keep in a pot in the kitchen, or just outside. I put the base of a head of celery into a cup of water to sprout.
Transition pots. Will go into more proper containers once I find them. 

I think it's a bit chilly over in that part of the house. It has been incredibly cold lately, and there's no active heat in that part of the house. There's a big window, and heat transfers from the rest of the house, but it's still fairly cool in there.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 Homesteading Goals

1.  Get Started
Duh. Definitely getting started. Currently in the planning stages

2. Store up enough firewood for next winter, x2. Approx 6 cords total. 
Continue this practice for 4 years to have a stockpile. Then continue cutting just what we use. If things get bad, and we can't cut wood it won't be a problem. If we need to use more wood than expected, there won't be a worry of running out. The wood will season properly between cutting and burning. We will have enough to use in the fire pit in the summer. If we need a bit of cash we can sell a truckload on craigslist or whatever for that.

3. Plant a garden. 
Already have the first years plan for this.

4. Plan for expansion of the garden and other places to plant food-bearing plants on the property. 
Including apple trees, plum trees?, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  Look into tapping the walnut trees for syrup.

5. Seal up the crawl space under the house. 
There are a lot of open areas to get under the house. The Grease Monkey will take his house building experience and seal those up, as well as insulate them better.

6. Insulate the ceiling/attic hatch. 
Insulation wasn't the first priority of whoever built this home. We need at least a few more inches of insulation in the ceiling, as well as some sort of pillow thing to cover the ladder to the attic. This and the crawl space should make it a lot easier to keep the house warm. Hopefully, it'll even reduce wood consumption.

7. Seal up the bathroom vanity. 
The kick board is missing under the bathroom vanity. This allows kitties out or in. We don't need more kittens. (Getting them spayed is on the list, we know.)

8. Prepare a coop for chickens next year. (Also look into chicken care, etc.)
I have a spot planned out for the chickens, we just need to build a shelter, and open up the fenced in area a bit. Also need to verify that it'll be secure.

9. Turn the breakfast nook into a pantry/storage area. 
The breakfast nook is currently the only proper dining space in this house. It's terribly planned, and with our family size, completely impractical. We're dining Japanese style in the living room until we move or can build an addition to the house. Might as well make the area useful and store more stuff there.

10. Finish the master bedroom. 
The master bedroom is currently nothing more than a glorified porch. Walls aren't complete, and we want to fix that.

11. Get insulating curtains for the bedrooms and living room. 
Goes along the lines of the rest of the house repairs. Does this even count as homesteading? Oh well, y'all can deal with it. Or not.

12. Start working towards zero waste. 
Reusable grocery bags, quit buying disposable anything. Get more towels for use around the house.

13. Fix the garage. 
Our (detached) garage doesn't like fire apparently. So we need to repair one of the walls, and the roof.

14. Turn the shop into a studio apartment. Rent it. 
This one is possibly unobtainable this year. But I can hope.

Long Term Goals
Chickens, Goats, Sheep, Rabbits, Bees.  100% of food from the land. Larger plot of land. Build a house.

I'm not sure if or when we can obtain the long term goals. But they're there, hopefully we can get there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why Homestead?

I have a fair few goals in mind, which is leading me to begin this adventure. Some are financial, some spiritual, and some just because my partner and I think it would be nice to take a step back from what has become the norm for Americans.

The financial part is a bit self-explanatory. We want to save some money by doing certain things for ourselves. Ideally, we would be able to grow all our own food on the property. I highly doubt the feasibility of that we're we are now, but I figured why not start? There's no time like the present, and every little bit will help us get to a point to move to a larger parcel of land. 

Our first financial goal is to start growing our own food. This will cut down on grocery expenses, hopefully. 

Next year we'll add chickens, Maybe some rabbits. Expand the garden, get some fruit trees. Some berry bushes around the property line. 

I'm not sure how long we're going to be at this property, as that depends on a whole slew of other factors... I'm hoping to be out of here in a few years, maybe? Then we'll start a lot over, but be in a better position and have more space.

Part of the reason my partner got into contract for this property was for a place to hold religious gatherings. There doesn't seem to be a large social heathen population in the area, but we have a few friends who make it out occasionally for a blót. I would like to grow the community we do have. I know there are at least a couple of families in the area that I would like to get to know, and maybe educate the greater pagan community and see if anybody else would be interested.

On a purely familial level, though, I would like to get a place for us to honor the Gods, Goddesses, and Wights on a more frequent level. This could be either a fairy/wight garden/house or something similar. I only have the idea at this juncture, nothing concrete or even tangible.

Lastly, I think homesteading would help us on both a financial and a spiritual level. It would be nice to get to working closely with the earth and seeing how that brings changes to the rest of our life. I'm sure it'll be tough, and getting the older kids on board is going to be a challenge. They have issues enough with just washing dishes! But the younger ones won't remember anything else, if I can help it. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Things, First

I've been interested in homesteading for a handful of years now. Always dreamed about moving out to the middle of nowhere, getting off the grid and doing things for myself. 

Well, I'm not quite at the point of realizing that dream quite yet, but my family is able to start towards at least part of it. We have some land for a garden, and maybe some chickens or rabbits. But for the most part, it wouldn't be enough to sustain us entirely off the land. 

We're in a rent-to-own type situation with the house we're living in, with a tad under 1 acre of land. 

I guess I just want to get writing in order to sort out all my plans, hopes for an eventual property to build or buy, and whatever else comes our way. 

So a little bit of background: we're a Heathen (Asatru) family. I may post here and there about faith, or homesteading, or whatever. I'm not going to limit myself in that regard. But I'm looking to document our adventures. I certainly want to tie in our beliefs with the plan for the land. A fairy/wight garden, and a place for ritual are floating around in my head. 

Well, that's that for now. I'll get to writing some more in depth pieces soon.