Today’s Harvest – Working On My Dream

I am so amazed that despite the raging fires, my garden is still producing. It might be a while before I have a big garden again (maybe?) After living in northern California for a few years I feel confident that I have the skills it will take, when it comes to tending a good garden, and living a self-sufficient lifestyle. That feels awesome! One of the main reasons I choose to stay in this area as long as I did, was to learn more about organic gardening, and I have. I feel extremely good about that. I’ve done a fair share of experimenting, and learned by trial and error. Learning by doing is my favorite way of learning new skills. I need to learn things hands on, to really get it.

Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.         ― Anthon St. Maarten

What most of you don’t know, most of my closest friends don’t know either, is that a while back I purchased not one, but two, different properties for my future homestead. Neither of them are huge, but big enough. Both of them are almost paid of now. I am not planning on living on both of them. Just one. I haven’t decided which one yet. They are a few hours away from each other, both are located in the foothills of a mountain (different mountains.) They both have what I consider perfect climate. Both of them are properties where I could see myself living for a long time. On one of them I could collect more rain water, but the other one is closer to natural springs (not on my property, but still.) One is closer to a town, than the other, but still very private. The other is more rural, but only 2,5 hours from a very big city (there’s smaller towns closer.) I am by no means ready to start my homestead yet, but this move will mean that I will be closer to both properties. In my head I could slowly start doing little things on them, while working and making more money towards developing them. Most of all, I can spend time on them both, and get a feel for which one I like better. You see, this is part of the reason I can stay this positive with this unexpected change. Maybe it’s just the universe pushing me towards where I’m supposed to be. I think that might be exactly what it is.

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Weekend Coffee Share

It’s finally weekend! Do you have time for a coffee? This grey weather make me crave another cup. It’s been a great week here. How was your week?

Are you reading something interesting at the moment? This week I managed to finish four books, and only one was fiction. I often read several books at a time, I like having at least one fact, and one fiction book at my reading table. The books I finished this week was; two gardening books, one book about different teaching styles, and one fiction (western adventure.) I actually gave both of the gardening books I read, five stars on Goodreads. Unusual for me.

The first book was; Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion, Revised: Growing Food Flowers in Your Greenhouse or Sunspace. It was very inspirational. I used to have two greenhouses. I sold them during a recent change of location. I love greenhouses, and one day I will have a more permanent greenhouse. When I do build that one, I have so many creative ideas that I want to explore in my greenhouse. Realistically it’s probably 1-2 years into the future at least. I want a good size greenhouse (preferably 15x30ft. Maybe connected to the house?) At my dream place, more of a homestead type of property, (but not necessarily more than a few acres,) there’s a small orchard with a variety of fruit/nut trees, ten raised garden beds, and my green house. I would like to produce the majority of the food my family eats, and a little extra, to barter with neighbors towards the produce I don’t have myself.

The other gardening book Backyard Homesteading: A Back-to-Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency, was about planning your homestead, building gardens, and planting trees. It was a great book to go back to as a guide (just as the title suggest.) I would say that it was similar to another book in my bookshelf; Storey’s Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance. (I just realized that I gave that book five stars as well!) However the most recent read was an easier read, more modern. I would likely pick up that book before I picked up the Basic Country Skills (an older, but more in-depth book.

I am not going to talk about the book I read, about different approaches to teaching. The reason being that it was to biased towards religion, in a slightly fanatic way. Something I’m allergic to, after growing up in a super religious home. (In my world violence, hypocracy, and religion is married to each other.) It wasn’t a bad book, I finished it, but I would not recommend it.

If I counted the children books I’ve read with my daughter this week, then the list would be really long. I believe in reading. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I make sure that my daughter see me enjoy books every day, and we do read together every day as well. We enjoy visiting thrift stores to pick up new books on a regular basis. We visited a nearby Goodwill store yesterday. My daughter picked out two easy-to-read books for herself. I picked out one chapter book that we’re going to read together (with horse stories,) and one novel for me Heart of the West. I’m almost halfway through it, it’s pretty good. Easy reading. I’m waiting for some new books, school material, that should come in the mail one of these next few days. One book connected to our current parrot theme (see last week’s Coffee Share,) and one school book about gardening with children. Gardening is going to be our next theme, a natural spring theme. I put a lot of focus on making reading fun right now, my daughter is five and just learning to read. We make different word games out of her favorite books, and make art together, based on the books. When the rain stops, my plan is to take the chapter book we’re reading and hike to some amazing place, and read it there, without distractions.

There has been a lot of reading this week, but there’s also been a lot of progress with my horse Ghost. We’ve been working hard on being comfortable having ropes everywhere, on and around us, for a couple weeks. I want him to be completely comfortable with that before I start riding him, and it’s going great! This week we tried having a surcingle on for the first time. A surcingle is a strap that fastens around the horse’s girth, used for ground training, and a great preparation to having a saddle for the first time. Ropes was a BIG deal in the beginning, this was not a big deal. My horse is getting braver by the week, and that makes me incredibly happy! A brave horse, able to relax, and be content with what we’re doing, is a safe horse.

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Look at those soft eyes, the first time I tightened the surcingle around his belly. Some horses totally freak out with things tighten around their belly. Ghost was already OK with having my weight on his back, now he’s OK with a surcingle around his belly, the step to having a saddle isn’t going to be that big. It’s very exciting!

I can’t wait to hear more about your week! What’s going on in your universe? Tell me all about it!

Love,

Ms Zen

My Wild Garden

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This year my garden have done an awesome job keeping up with my wild and crazy side! To begin with, I planted seeds that someone gave me several years ago, during a road trip. I had put the seeds away, in a sealed bag, in a tiny pocket, in one of my backpacks (an old one that I mostly use for storage nowadays.) I found the seeds this spring. I knew I was going to move at least once during the gardening season, so I planted them in small pots, replanted them in bigger posts a couple times, before finally planting them in the ground a month ago. It’s been tough being a plant in my garden this year. I thought they all died many times, and then they magically came to life again.

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Despite seeds that were several years old, my infrequent care, and several moves, this is what my garden looks like now.

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…and yes, there is a lot of grass growing next to my Goldrush Zucchini. Next year I promise I will make proper garden beds from the beginning. With all the fixings. This year I’m eternally gratefully for all the good things that magically came into my life. One of them being 3 acres to do anything I want with, a dream coming true. I’ve fenced in the garden area, and will keep making updates until next season.

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I’ve never tried growing eggplant before, but I found a few eggplant seeds among the other seeds this spring. The plants are getting bigger, and hopefully we have enough season left to produce a good harvest.

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I think they are beautiful. Spending time in my garden is so incredibly rewarding. Not only because I enjoy growing my own food, but because of the process of seeing plants grow, feel the harmony of nature, the whole nurturing process. The actual harvest is only a small part of it.

From time to time friends volunteer to help me in my garden, to get things done quickly, to take me with them to another activity. I usually decline, gardening is not a thing to get done quickly with. Even thinking in those terms feels like a sin, almost. It gives so much joy to quietly tend to the garden. I’ve never had a garden big enough to be a burden work wise. I thoroughly enjoy working with my hands. It’s pure pleasure.

My container garden had around 40 fruit trees at the most this year. I sold some, and saved some for myself. Some of them grew too big for their pots, and I had to plant them. I was planning on waiting until the end of September, beginning of October, which is the best time to plant trees in our area, but they really had to go in the ground now. Some of them made the transition nicely, but some will probably not make it. I’ll find out for sure next spring. I’ve seen miraculous recoveries before! I’m looking to add more trees within the next two months, before winter hits us, and everything is resting. (I have plenty of indoor projects on my hand this winter, so I won’t be bored!)

I’d love to “meet” likeminded gardeners, and here about your projects!

Love,

Ms Zen