Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A rejuvenating visit.

As we come towards real spring we visited Crabapple Farm for the first time in a while, and it was very much a recharging of my homesteading batteries which have been running a bit low lately. It's a bit strange how low my emotional batteries are given how much better this winter has been for us, and how much nicer it is this year than it was last year. Either way, it was as I said very much a needed re-inspiration which has gotten me going.

The reason we went wasn't so homesteading related honestly. We were going to visit our friends, and the Critter really loves cows in his books. Getting to show him cows was really fun because he was really enthusiastic about seeing them. He wanted to hop in the pen with them and play, despite the fact that their feet are the size of his head, and their heads are the size of his body. Thankfully the cows at Crabapple farm have a very good nature, and let him pet them. The excitement to see them was certainly fun and wonderful, but the thing that really
energized me wasn't what energized him. Getting to see him so happy around livestock was really fun too. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing happy, well cared for and loved animals. I really enjoyed petting the sheep too, though what she really wanted was for me to feed her. I got reminded of some of our bigger dreams for the homestead. We're never going to be a big farm, and we're not going to have a lot of livestock or production. Before the Critter came along though we were thinking bigger than we are now, and about expanding our growing capacity, getting a few larger animals, and pushing to really get most of our food coming from our property. It's easy to forget that's something we saw as possible. Having a kid has been fatiguing, but you know what. There are some things that are very much possible, and the big one that I want to focus on making a reality is a greenhouse.
We probably will never have a greenhouse as big as Crabapple Farm's set of greenhouses. That's fine, even a small greenhouse would give us a lot of growing capacity. It was amazing being in the greenhouse and experiencing just how much heat the sun can generate, it was a little above freezing outside, and in the greenhouse it was in the high 80s. I was also reminded of an idea I had to stick a greenhouse onto the South side of the house to help heat the house during the winter, as well as provide gardening space. As Tevis and Rachel mentioned, the real challenge would be getting it to Not heat things up too much during the summer.

Something we didn't get a photo of is off the South side of their farm stand building they have a small greenhouse space that does just that. With casual management of the door, they end up with the building, unheated otherwise, staying above freezing almost all winter long barring days below zero. Where I am coming out of this weekend is with new ideas, rejuvenated older ideas, and a reminder that there are steps we can take bit by bit to get closer and closer to where we want to be with the homestead.


  1. Looks like a perfect visit. Delightful to see friends who are indeed kindred spirits, isn't it? I've thought about cows, too, a couple of "good ol' girls" who are past their prime but would like to live a quiet, peaceful life here on Windy Hollow Farm.

    1. The Lady of the House would really like to have a milk cow at some point. I'm not sure about that given our terrain of hilly swamp, but it's always a consideration.