Monday, August 3, 2009

Working Toward Self Sufficiency

No one says it is easy. It is very difficult. We come from a different climate where everything grows without a second thought. It isn't even necessary to put forth a whole lot of effort to get vegetables to grow in Florida. The growing season is long, hot and humid. Just the environment that plants need to grow and prosper. We had a much bigger garden last year and the harvest was slim to none. The corn was eaten by the myriad of crows we have. The pumpkins never grew. As far as tomatoes go, they weren't ripe until the frost came an made mush out of them. We had a few squash come up last year, wormy brussel sprouts, lots of good peppers and onions. We are thankful for our harvest. This year we planted a smaller garden. Unfortunately we had a late frost that killed all of our tender plants we bought. A new rule that we have made to live by is, no planting until June 1st. The effort is just too much to loose plants. We will start our own plants inside. I see a small greenhouse in our future. We have scarecrows in place. Don't laugh at our giant flying bumblebee. The crows are not around. Those birds are destructive.

This is our small bounty for this afternoon. We weeded and weeded. The swiss chard is next. We are having collard greens for supper tonight before we head off to work. Jasmine has been enjoying herself this summer on the farm. I think all kids are happier and healthier when the can get out of an apartment and run and play all day. They pass out at night and sleep very well.

On the road to being independent we made a trip to Hammond Tractor in Fairfield, Maine. This is our new addition to the farm. We are looking for used hay equipment. We need a mower/ conditioner, a rake and a square baler. All in good time.

This is a good start, it is a John Deere 5055E with 3pt PTO. It will hay our 20+ acres with no complaints. We will use the bucket to install fence post next weekend when we make another pasture for the sheep, goats and llamas. Fence posts here are cedar and one end is pointed. We place the post in the appropriate spot and push down with the bucket. One installed fence post. Only 50 more to go. It will earn its keep here.

We are having a couple of nice days in a row so the haying has begun. The pasture was mowed/conditioned this morning, tedded in the afternoon, and raked late this afternoon. It will be re-tedded and raked tomorrow and we will bale it in the afternoon after we get up from a few hours sleep. Right now we are still depending on Kevin, our neighbor, to get the hay done. We split the hay 50/50 with him for his labor and we assist him with the baleing and moving it into the barn. He will also be able to store some of his hay in our barn over the winter. We all work together. That is the only way to survive here.
It is off to work we go. Have a safe and happy summer evening. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Oh, it is a very hard and long road to becoming self sufficient, however, it looks like you are on a good start. Weather and critters are always a problem in growing crops. I am constantly replanting to replace so that I can get a harvest. Here in west Texas, the dirt blows so thick and hard and chokes out so much. We have been fortunate enough to get some much needed rain in our area. I planted late this spring as well and my plants seem to be healthier. Jasmine is the cutest little farm girl! Just keep on working hard and you will soon see your harvest! blessings,Kathleen

Peggy said...

Its so good to see how things are going for you guys. What a blessing!

Kelly or Alex said...

Peggy- it's good to hear from you. We miss you.
Kathleen- I'm so glad you got rain. I wish we could share with everyone. We have had a very wet summer.
Kelly said...

Yes indeed, it is hard work! But it's also very rewarding - just look at the smile on Jasmine's face! Y'all are doing great - and that big green machine is going to pay for itself in short order!

tonya fedders said...

I love your new farm picture that's on the blog title space. Your place is beautiful! Congrats on the new tractor.. and good luck on your venture of finding hay equipment. Around here, farm auctions are the best! (well, the funnest anyways!) Your garden will soon come alive. We're struggling with ours now but it's still new.. After several more years of composting it should grow florida-like vegetables! :) Best wishes being sent your way.