Saturday, May 14, 2011

The New Homestead

Well, there she is - my new home.  Located on just over four acres in southeastern Michigan, built in 1910, and needing its fair share of elbow grease to bring it up to snuff, it will soon become, I hope, the small homestead I have always wanted. 

First on the agenda will be a vegetable garden.  I planted my onions and some of my spuds last night in the area where the geothermal guys laid down the loops for my new heating system.  I thought it would be easy to plant there, for they did all the digging.  But, when they put all the soil back, they packed in in well.  Packed sandy soil, mixed with a bit of clay, yields a hardpan close to concrete.  My visions of a glorious garden crumbled as my shovel went "clunk" against the earth.

I grabbed the broadfork, though, located the first trench they dug, and started to pry away at the soil.  I loosened just enough to get the onions and two varieties of potatoes planted.  I'm going to need some long days to get any more veg planted there.  I'm also going to need some serious soil amendments.  Looks like I'll have to purchase compost and manure this year.

Next on the list will be fencing - a) for the dog, so he has a place to run sans leash, and b) for the deer, rabbits, and woodchucks that live in great numbers all around my abode.

Then, next year, I hope to add chickens!  Hooray!  Fresh eggies and free-range meat.  Mmmmm.

Along with the birds, I'll start my orchard.  It took nearly ten years for my last one to start producing.  How sad I am to not be there to reap the benefits of my labors, and to have to start again from scratch.  But, with some toil and effort, I will make this place, too, a homesteader's dream.