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6/29/2009 08:15:00 PM

One Step Closer

We're moving in the right direction. I am close to meeting the stipulations that the lender wants to see before we get our prequalification letter for the mortgage. We very excited! We have our eye on 7 acres with a nice spacious house and already fenced with a barn. So we'll see if it is on the market when we're ready. If not, there are plenty of others!

Most of my plants have doubled in size since the last pictures and are doing very well. The banana's seem to have some problems with the heat, but I'm learning that if I keep a contain of water near it keeps their leaves from curling in the hot days here in Tennessee.

The tomatoes are massive! Even though I got a late start on them, they are blooming a week a little earlier than I expected so we should have black plum tomatoes and Heinz sauce tomatoes very soon! We've already decided that our excess, aside from what we're giving to neighbors that want some, that we'll donate to a local church that does canning.

Its been very beautiful here over the past month, much better than the drought we went though in the previous few years. Steady rain and good amounts of warm, clear days has been a blessing this year. We're hoping our luck holds for the next few seasons so that we can get ourselves established in our new place.

We've been trying to decide where to start. So many projects! Aside from obvious starts such as compost and rain catchment systems, we're also trying to decide what critters we want to start off with next spring. Bees definitely come to mind. We don't want to go too fast with it, wanting to work one project at a time so that we don't end up with one disaster after another. We have tentatively decided that we will do bees first, then chickens, quail, rabbits and then the fish and shrimp. After those we'll work on cattle and whatever else we decide we want. I'm thinking its going to be easy to start the birds together, considering that their needs are similar (not the same!) and incubation can be done at the same time and while we're waiting for them to hatch, it gives us time to build housing for them. I'm not terribly keen on raising hogs, we're not pork people. Some sausage, bacon and the occasional roast and we're good, so we're thinking to trade.

Animals, gardening, solar and wind power, geothermal heating and cooling. The list is nearly endless, but we seem to be moving in the right direction to start living sustainably. The more reading we do, the more we realize that this is what we really want to do.

It is impressive how this movement is gaining momentum, not just in the US but in all the world. More and more people are beginning to realize that this is what we should be doing. Living more simply and producing more on our own instead of depending on a system that was doomed to fail eventually is the norm. Its in the news, more and more companies are going green. More and more people are demanding cleaner ways to live, healthier food to eat and easier ways to produce energy that are not harmful to the world. With more and more of us working towards these goals, the cheaper these things become. Eventually, it will be the norm, but with all change, this transition from mass production to self sufficiency will take time and effort.

6/11/2009 01:56:00 PM

Dwarf Obsession

Black Plum tomato.

Heinz 1439 tomato.

Dwarf Tophat blueberry.

Dwarf Pomegranate.
Dwarf Meyer Lemon and Dwarf Lime.

Dwarf orange.

One of two dwarf bananas.

I got them and they have been hardened off and are doing very well. The banana's were a challenge, but I met that challenge! My tomatoes are very far behind as these are replants. I've been very busy indeed. I looked over my previous posts and realized that I have been seriously neglecting the blog!

My fear today is that we have high winds and heavy rains with tornado warnings. My banana's are newly out without being in full sun for a full day yet this week from all the rain. But they seem to be ok. But the rolling thunder and constant lighting of the storm that just rolled in as I type, makes me wonder if all my plants will survive this. We shall see. I was cleaning and didn't realize the sun disappeared until I heard the wind, by the time I got to the door to see, the rain and wind were already beating down. This is a good test I think. While they are in pots, they will spend a good deal of time outside and I will not always be here to bring them in when we get these sudden violent storms.

Or maybe I should go ahead and invest in that greenhouse I want before I do anything else once we buy the house. Either way, we'll have to get some strength in on these plants. They have already survived a pea and marble sized hale in two different instances in the past month.

All I can do is hope the bananas will forgive me.

6/10/2009 08:15:00 PM


With my mini orchard started, I'm looking forward to the rewards of having fresh fruit at various times of the year. Like most people, I really enjoy fresh fruit, the satisfying crunch of an apple and the mellow flavors of blueberries. But, also like a lot of people, I also like the blends of juices that you can find at the grocery stores. I'm a huge fan of V8 fusion juices and others that are similar. I've found copy cat recipes all over for all sorts of juices but I came across this site on juice and the do's and don't's of it.

I never really knew that there were so many fruits and vegetables to be juiced! 38 fruits and 58 vegetables! I'm definitely looking forward to breaking out a juicer and trying out some of the recipes found on the site. There are quite a few and with the collection I already have from various places on the web, we'll be juicing like crazy. Which is not a bad thing. If it means the kids get their vegetables, then I'm all for it.

6/10/2009 07:54:00 PM

Lots of talk, now go do it

I've been talking since I began this blog about the plans of our little farm. Now it looks like it will become reality. Our plans to move to the PNW have been crushed, but that is ok, it appears that I'll be fine where I'm at. We've been mulling over what to do now that our little plan to escape back to where we thought home was has been deflated. It wasn't all for naught, just a little out of reach due to circumstance that I won't bore the blog with. Anyway. I spoke to a gentleman a couple of days ago and we've begun the process. Now it is just a matter of finding the right property. We've got time, so we're going to save as much as possible while we're hunting and then go with it.

It is exciting. This is what we've been working towards, it just wasn't the area we wanted to be in, but that is ok, we'll be happy with our own place and doing what we do. It is long over due. I've been rather busy trying to handle the different aspects of what we're attempting to accomplish hence my blog being so quiet so I apologize for my absence. Even my dwarf obsession took a back burner to the larger picture. But now it seems that things are calming and we're almost there. I have a couple of guidelines I have to meet before I can really get down to business with a loan officer but that will take just a couple of weeks and then it is finding out how much we qualify for and then plugging in a search. We're almost there, we're almost there, we're almost there.

My list of things to start is just jumbled! I suppose my first task is to buy it then unpack before I unroll the 3 mile long parchment of wish projects. My husband is so excited it can scarcely contain himself which just adds to my own giddiness. I'll be in and out for a while until we get it settled, but then I'll be back to posting and getting pictures up of each of our projects as we take them on!

Wish us luck!

6/08/2009 01:10:00 AM


All but one of my trees came in! The cherry will be shipped in September. I have been very scarce due to this. I've been observing and working with them. I never realized that shipping could shock a plant so. In the past two weeks I have learned this. I also discovered that I was fortunate to receive two banana trees tightly packed together in their little pot.

The pomegranate came out strongest. I actually have 5 buds on that little guy. The blueberry and pomegranate were transplanted and outside within a few days of them coming in. All of the citrus came out very strong as well. I was impressed at their ability to bounce back. Those went out day before yesterday. The only two left are the bananas.

I agonized on how to handle these. I gave them almost a full week before trying to decide on how best to separate them without killing them both. In the end, I washed the soil from their roots, detangled them as well as I could without ripping all of their roots off, then repotted. They both seem to be doing well, but when I started the hardening off process, the leaves on the biggest one started to curl even though it was in a shaded area.

I have big concerns about that. I'm starting with an open window and then I'm going to try again in the evening to go outside again for a few days. After a week I'm going to try shaded cool mornings and see what happens.

I had no idea bananas were so picky.

Until next time and maybe some pics, too!

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