Thursday, June 4, 2009

Feeling optimistic

Not about the state of affairs at large, let me hasten to add. That looks more terrible by the day. But I am feeling optimistic about our little homestead and our family preparations.

To sum up: The garden is on schedule and in good shape--just harvested my first kohlrabi bulb last night and enjoyed it in salad. The front herb garden is doing well, and I'm excited at the prospect of selecting and learning to use new culinary herbs now that I have space. Our chicks are now 4 1/2 weeks old, and all 27 are still alive and apparently healthy. Our food stores could use some work, but they're a whole lot better than nothing. Our medical stores are, I think, pretty durn good. Our durable goods could, no doubt, use re-upping here and there, but are on the whole pretty well-thought-out and taken care of. The chicken coop is really only one good weekend away from done...I can't wait to paint it; it'll be SO darn cute.

Now I'm daydreaming...I hope the chickens will keep the mid-yard area under control without denuding it completely. I think we've given them enough space that I have cause to be hopeful. Be pretty awesome to have that much less to mow...between digging up the back yard and digging up the front yard, that'd leave not very much at all to mow.

I wish we'd kept closer track of expenses with the chickens, but honestly, I could probably go back and record everything we've bought. A great deal of stuff has been scavenged, from the brooder box to almost all of the chicken coop materials (indeed, the only exceptions I can think of are some hardware cloth to cover the droppings pit and a single sheet of plywood). Between that, free ranging, and at least attempting to grow some food for them, I think we can at least keep the chickens at the break-even point, assuming the cost of free-range eggs and meat (which is fair, since that's all we buy).

This may seem funny, but I daydream Jacob's shop, too, even though I personally spend hardly any time there and don't plan to. I do love a nice clean, organized shop, and that's just the sort of shop Jacob would run if he had half a chance. He's very tidy-minded. I love the potentiality of it all, and the smells of oil and lingering coal smoke, and the wonderful Jacob-ness of it. I love to think that by the end of summer he'll finally have a shop he can be proud of, after all the careful thought and hard work he's put into it. And it's not just idle hobbying, either...that shop is a potentially very important source of future income and productivity for us.

I'm dreaming of jars full of beautiful dry heirloom beans, rare-breed chickens in the yard, dinners flavored with new and wonderful herbs, and that wonderful glow of security and accomplishment...

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