A little over a year ago, I visited a family in my state that’s much further along in their farming operations than we are. While the father still works a regular job, they have managed to buy a nice chunk of land (80 acres, I believe), and build a house and pole barn on it. When we visited, they had just slaughtered a number of broiler chickens (30ish?) and had another 30(?) egg layers. They also had 10-15 beef cows, and had a rented bull in with their herd when we visited. However, what got my attention was the large white duck walking around the yard.
There are different ways to consider progress and success.
3 years ago I was debt-free, had enough savings to live comfortably for about 6 months, and was giving away approximately 1/4 of my income to charity. I worked out regularly, could bench press 405 for 2 reps, and could run a mile in 6 minutes 10 seconds (I never was able to break the 6 minute mark). I also wrote regularly, with some of the writing being posted here.
Yesterday morning, while browsing the free listings on craigslist, I saw an ad for free woodchips. I opened it and saw it was an ad for a website called ChipDrop where you can sign up to receive free woodchips from local tree service companies. As I read more about it, I saw that you can list any and all species you will not accept, choose whether or not you will accept logs in addition to chips, and that you are guaranteed to receive only one delivery per request (rather than coming home to discover 8 deliveries in your absence), and that the woodchips are guaranteed to be no more than 2 days old.
My son began his first attempts at crawling this week. He still faceplants regularly, and sometimes moves backwards when he is trying to go forwards, much to his consternation. Watching him took precedence over getting a lot done this week, and rain and the need to mow the lawn twice contributed to less projects as well.
For Mother’s Day, I got the wife a new galvanized steel 3-gallon pail and a new clothesline. The clothesline is the tree type, that spins around a central pole. My first project of the week was installing it.
Working overtime and some other obligations made this a week of few projects. The first and biggest was to remove a stump I’ve been mowing around since we moved in. When I started on it, my wife had the car grocery shopping, and I had no gas for my chain saw. I did most of the work armed only with a shovel, an axe, and a bow saw. After the wife got back, I bought some gas and finished with the chain saw.
This week was extra productive due to having some extra time off of work.
A while back, I received a mailer from the Arbor Day Foundation offering me 10 Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings and 2 Lilac seedlings for a $10 donation. I am a big fan of lilacs, and so I sent them a check for $10. This week the seedlings arrived, so I spent a day digging and turning 12 3-foot diameter holes and planting my seedlings.
When we moved in last fall
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28055108] Click the “watch on Vimeo” button. It’s an hour and forty minutes long, but worth it.
As much as I miss the Northland, there are certain benefits to my current location. One of those benefits is a year-round growing season. In an attempt to reduce my monthly food bill and free up more money for my retirement plan, I attacked the back lawn of my apartment building today. The ground is very … Read more…