~ The best laid plans of mice and men! ~
Well as the year started I thought I would have a bunch to accomplish, but then the plague hit and it became surreal to say the least….
Change in plans, what to do now? I know how to make soaps and stuff, I’m learning more each day about natural medicines, I now can press my own nut oils and steam distill essential oils and hydrosols – so now that I got those covered, what do I Essentially need?
When walking through the stores that are “OPEN” these days and with only 1 barge a week coming to the Big Island and the store shelves look bare! Plus, Hawaii was just advised that our inter-island cargo carrier is raising their fees up 46% for all products they carry. Now let me think of that, we live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and most products are brought in by barge – Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live and now a 46% increase….. hmmmmm…..
I finally started thinking and telling my family and friends, get a skill, know how to barter, plant a garden, have extra clothes and especially have a relationship with Jesus! Now that may offend some, but you may want to really think about this as things seem to be heading south…. As my subtitle is ~ The best laid plans of mice and men! ~ I would say it would be good to know who He is: The Way, the Truth and the Life!
Well, since I have a heart of a farmer who loves to work in the soil and see things grow, who doesn’t mind hard work, my first thought was now is the time for a full on garden, chicken coop and some dwarf goats? A cow is definitely too big. This is where I realized that we were heading towards a homestead lifestyle, with my husband getting an anvil and he has made his own forge – why not forge ahead?
So the garden and chicken coop seemed a good idea, the goats well I am going to put that on hold for awhile, even though I love making goat milk soap that is wonderfully creamy. I am sure by now you may think me crazy, but aren’t we all a little these days, I just have been this way for a greater span of time than most,,,, well maybe?
So my husband knows a wonderful man who lives on our street with a small excavator and had him clear half of our property of the waiawi (Strawberry Guava) that was so dense you couldn’t walk through it and left standing the ohia trees and some big piles of wood.
After that we began to cut logs to use as the walls of raised garden beds. We started with kale, broccoli, beets and radishes first, then went onto plant corn, jalapeno, squash, beets, and spinach.
During this time I was replanting my herbs that were all over in various parts of our property to “My Hill”, at least that is what I call it. My grandson and I argue over whose hill it is and what purpose it is for as he runs up and down it, as I tell him “Don’t Step On My Herbs,” —- he smiles and laughs and if he had wings he would try to fly! Love that boy!
On My Hill I have rosemary, Egyptian mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, peppermint, thyme, oregano, chamomile, lemon drop basil, holy basil, dill, a small eucalyptus tree, comfrey, cilantro, aloe vera, calendula, patchouli, lemongrass, lemon balm (Melissa) with floral ginger, hapu’u, anthuriums, orchids, ferns and small flora. I am sure I am forgetting something, but that is okay.
In other planters we have a variety of lettuces, more beets, radishes and spinach, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, Thai watermelons, cantaloupes, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, honey dew, golden seal, cucumbers, leeks, garlic, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, carrots (regular and colored), bell peppers (small colorful ones), shallots, green onions, asparagus, squash.
As all these plants were maturing, my wonderful husband built me a 2 barrel for composting and they are the bomb! In addition to that, he built me a 9 bucket metal holder with netting above it for our tomatoes, peas, beans and zucchini to grow right up it. This is so the chickens don’t peck my delicious vegetables and fruits away.
Here are some homesteading pictures, as you can see quite basic and down to earth, nothing fancy, but wait until it all comes together!
Our next fiesta in the garden will be putting up a greenhouse to keep the plants from rotting from too much rain and the animals out of those wonderful foods they just love pecking at. Then on to the chicken coop for eggs and meat.
In the front of the property I am making an area specifically for our ginger, turmeric, black turmeric and galangal. One of the best things I hear is great for you is fermented turmeric and ginger for your gut health, reduces body inflammation and bolster your immune system. Later I will give you the recipe and let you know how it turned out!
My oldest son Kawika brought home a mandarin tree which we just replanted. So as of now, we have lemon, lime and mandarin citrus trees. My next tree is going to be a tangerine tree, I believe.
Kawika has been such a blessing with planting and working around the property I cannot thank him enough. He is a fabulous son, a great uncle for our grandson who lives with us and a great YUMMY cook.
Well that has been part 1 of Homesteading! I hope you stay tuned and know that there are people that care for you even in these times that we are living through.