Well, if this post isn’t a classic case of “best laid plans” going awry! Shortly after we moved into this new place, our eventual homestead, I had the brilliant idea to video tape our progress from the vantage point of our catchment tank. I planned to do it monthly to keep track of our progress. Ha! After just a couple of months, I had a camera issue that prevented filming, then life, then, then…
Which brings us to today! A year later, I give you another Tour in the Round. What a difference a year makes! We’ve been feeling as though we’re not moving quickly enough on all of our plans, but looking back at the video from last September makes it really clear that we are, indeed, making progress.
- We’ve fenced in the area around the house, orchard, and garden area to keep the feral pigs (and let’s be honest – the neighbor’s dogs) out. Pigs can decimate an area in no time, and we’ve lost a handful of chickens and a couple of guinea fowl to marauding dogs.
- Our chickens had been housed in a temporary pen that was here when we moved in. We’ve removed that pen entirely and relocated the hens to our orchard area. We weren’t at all sure how many chickens the area would support, but we currently have two dozen hens in the area and the peanut grass is holding up just fine. They tend to scratch around the fruit trees where we mulch, looking for bugs and hopefully helping keep the Japanese beetles at bay.
- In my last video, you can see how brown and dead the ground looked from where we removed the napier grass. It’s so much greener around our little homestead now! The perennial peanut grass (a nitrogen fixer) has taken over and holding out a lot of the less desirable grasses.
- At about :25 in the video you’ll see our very happy yacon in the foreground.
- The house has a much-needed coat of fresh paint. (We still need to scrub that back roof!)
- We’ve done some excavation at the back of the house to create a little patio/outdoor eating area.
- I have a new clothesline!
- With the help of my boys, we’ve added four garden beds, and will add two more soonish. After a lot of hand-wringing, I finally came to the conclusion that I simply need edges on my garden beds. Call me quirky. The garden beds are not very productive yet; we’re still working on improving our terrible soil.
- My youngest son has completely sided and shingled the skeleton of a shed that was here, and finished the interior with salvaged pallets.
- The dry cabin is in the process of being painted.
- Compare the bananas! At 3:23 in this video you can see how young they are. Above, at about 2:34, you’ll see that they’re now about 20′ tall.
- And yes, there is a rogue chicken. There is always a rogue chicken on the homestead.