Weekly Farm Update: 04.17.22


Our apples are blooming!

Hello everyone, we decided it would be fun and informative to share our weekly work on the "farm.” There is so much that goes on "behind the scenes" that I would be remiss if we did not show it. We not only write about collapsing now and avoiding the rush but we also live it. This sets us apart from many who simply tell others they should do it. We hope these posts will be an inspiration for anyone interested in building personal resilience as our nation spirals out of control. I want to stress that we are not swimming in money and that we are doing all of the work ourselves at or near the poverty level. I mention our finances to showcase what creativity, determination, and work ethic can accomplish with very little money. We are so thankful to have you join us on this journey! Your fellowship makes this life worth living.


 

Mental Health:


My partner Christopher Michael was able to post a great piece on the website called- Drowning in Hopelessness. This post explores mental health and how absolutely vital it is to all of our well-being. As our standard of living falls to more sustainable levels, I find that having emotional intelligence will be just as important (or possibly more) as growing your own food. Understanding who you are and loving that person as you work to improve yourself is the greatest investment you could ever make.


New Additions:


This week's weather (highs in the 70's and 80's) enabled us to get a lot done in expanding the garden, food forests, and new chicken run. We added 10 new black australorp chicks to the family on Tuesday. They were born Monday morning at Meyer Hatchery (a really fantastic company btw) and we picked them up Tuesday after dealing with a rather apathetic/nasty USPS employee. Needless to say, I was not leaving the post office until my babies were in my hands. Fortunately, the USPS employee was not injured (I didn't have to jump over the counter) and our babies arrived all happy and healthy. Since we really enjoy this heritage breed, we decided to begin breeding our own flock. 2 boys and 8 girls will get us started. Due to our land being very low in nutrients, chickens are our best soil rehabilitators and are proving to be critical partners in our food production.


CM checking on the babies as we drive home

These little cuties are just wonderful. With all the bullshit happening in this country, it's really special to remain grounded in partnership with these amazing animals. Depression is always knocking on the door wanting to overwhelm me in these horrific times so to have something to love and care for really helps to lift my spirits.


So fluffy!

Construction:


Since December, I have been working on the storage container in order for this to be our bathhouse and storage closet. Now that I have the insulation, 2x4 framing, subfloor, and some drywall completed I wanted to close off the front so that we could use this as our temporary nursery for the chicks (hence the temporary orange electrical wire on the wall, we will be installing an outside light there in the coming months). Our actual container home is just behind this view. So this past Saturday to Monday I was able to install the two ZIP panels, ZIP flashing caulk, install the window, and then the door. Doors are my arch-nemesis and this one gave me one heck of a struggle but I finally got fixed and it works great. Next month I will put the exterior siding on and the exterior will be all done!


Coming along nicely

Food Production:


Most of our fruit trees are blooming this year or about to. Here, I have an Aunt Rachel heirloom apple that will be blooming for the first time. Skinko Asian pear is blooming too.


Aunt Rachel apple blossoms ready to open

Shinko Asian Pear

I really pray frosts will hold off so we can enjoy some fruit. Being located in a frost pocket really reduces your chances of fruit here in the mountains. Live and learn...


While listening to Dr. Martenson's videos this week, on the burgeoning food crisis, CM and I discussed ways to expand our food production. We decided to buy a small 4 cycle tiller from Lowes and will take it back if we are not totally satisfied. I have been busy tilling up the grass sections between my food forest plantings. Basically, the lanes between the fruit trees will be planted for chicken forage or vegetables/other edibles. The chicken pens connect to these rows so once I have the grass removed and the forage or vegetable plants coming up, I can let the girls in and they can eat, poop, and run around. This will be a great way to reduce chicken feed from the store, increase soil fertility through their poop, and puts the ladies to work doing what they love.


Chicken forage and vegetables in between food forest rows of fruit trees

Wrap Up:


Writing this, I feel like I did not do a whole lot but the container work and tilling took so much time. I am still tilling but I am able to do a section a day in between the tree rows which is awesome. My back aches and my hands are sore but it's good to be alive and working during these changing times. I hope you are able to get some work done in building your personal resilience too. Till next time friends!