Sunday, April 27, 2014

Acreage Happenings

We have been quite busy here on our little acreage the last few weeks. Chad installed our clothesline over the weekend and last Monday he made my little raised garden bed.  Since we are on a limited budget I had to cut back on some of my original plans, but I am still getting to enjoy living in the country – just on a smaller scale. J

Here I am with my little garden. Chad did 99% of the work...about all I was able to do was rake.

I am only having a small garden this year to start out.  There were many different factors that played into it, but the main reasons are the cost, the wildlife, and my back pain. We would need to buy a tiller if we were to make a bigger garden, or rent one, but even to rent a tiller is expensive.  Another factor is the abundant wildlife that is in our area.  A big garden would have needed a deer fence, another added expense. Since we only plan on living here for a few years, spending that kind of money was not in the best interest of our budget since we are not sure if our next home will have room for a large garden, tiller, and deer fence. And finally, my back most likely could not take working in a big garden.  As much as I would like to say I would be fine, I have to be honest with myself and admit my limitations. Anything where I bend over makes me hurt pretty badly by the end of the day. Chad is busy with work and school this summer and I didn’t want him to worry about hoeing the garden, too.

So we decided to keep it simple and make a 4x8 raised bed with inexpensive concrete blocks.  This is also good because the soil here in Virginia is quite clayish so we were able to enhance the soil with manure and compost, which were both free. I also have two extra pots of tomatoes and herbs in a few more pots.  This space will be enough to grow the vegetables we eat the most of:  tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeƱos, and basil. All other vegetables will be bought at our farmer’s market that runs every Saturday through October. Next year we may add another 4x8 space so I can add a few more veggies.

All planted! I have marigolds and herbs planted around the outer edge and tomatoes, basil, bell pepper, and jalapeƱos planted within.

Here are my flower and herb pots. More basil, oregano and thyme. 

 The clothesline posts were found inexpensively on Craigslist and will pay for themselves in just a few months with the savings on electricity. I’m very excited for line dried clothes!

I also spent a few dollars to get some flower pots and one basket filled with flowers.  For those of you who know me, you know how this is really cutting back from the 12-15 planters I have had in past years!  I still would like to get some perennials for the front flower bed, but I am waiting, hoping I can find someone who will let me dig up their extras for free or a minimal cost. In the mean time a little bit of mulch keeps it looking neat and tidy.
I salvaged some iris from what was the old weed patch  flower bed.  I'm hoping I can nurse them back to health. Not sure what the flower is on the far left.  It has bright pink spike flowers in the fall.  I thought I would leave it and see if it looks better this year. I have dreams of roses, hydrangea, and clematis.......then I remember we are poor college students.

We decided to forgo chickens, too.  While I really love the idea of raising our own chickens for eggs, again, the start up and maintenance cost was prohibitive. Not only that, but we have several plans in the future to do some week long mission trips as well as other traveling.  Having chickens would mean I would need to find a “chicken sitter” to care for them while I am gone.  I already have to find someone to take care of Rem and Koda without worrying about the chickens, too. So I will continue to buy my eggs at the farmer’s market and support my local chicken farmer instead of raising them myself. J

So that is a little of what is happening around here.  I love spring and have been having such fun working in the yard watching Chad work in the yard. :-) After a busy day working watching, I lay in my hammock for awhile.

Then I felt bad for my poor, hard working husband who couldn't join me and just stood next to it, so we finished the evening on the front porch rocking chairs. :-) All kidding aside....I love my husband and appreciate all the work he does so I can have my little country life.

Have a great week, friends!

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