Calling all Ducks!

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We got Khaki Campbell ducks our first season here and then we gave them away after the boy was born.  We were feeling overwhelmed with the extra work.  This last summer we decided that ducks were definitely worth the work!  I had no idea how many bugs they ate until they were gone.  Not only did we have less bugs, but as a result of less bugs, our garden did better.  So the last warm day we had, I spent the day cleaning out the duck cage to prepare for our new arrivals.  I have no idea what kind of ducks they even are, but we are going to save them from the chopping block and give them a home in our back yard.  Here is the duck house along with some pics of the old gals, Crackers and Cheese….

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The Alaska Factor



Well, our land in Alaska is under contract and we have been discussing why exactly this makes us sad.  It makes us sad even though we know that  selling that land will allow us to buy our homestead land somewhere in the Lower 48.  We have finally identified the difference between our experience in Alaska and our experience thus far in the Lower 48.  The places we lived in Alaska were sometimes remote, sometimes not, but there was a pervasive feeling of remoteness, maybe because the state itself is cut off from the rest of the country.  As a result, people banded together, and everyone made their own family out of the people around them.  Few people actually had blood family, so we learned to make our own families.  We had dinner nights, we had game nights, we had pajama and movie nights.  Holidays were never lonely and the people we went to church with were also the people we called our friends.  Maybe it was the winter darkness that brought us together.  Maybe it was the cold.  Maybe it was the distance from everything else.  I don’t know the reason, but it was different.  Since moving down here, people don’t seem to need each other the same.  People don’t help each other the same.  People don’t need to make their family out of strangers because their families are close by.

As we move into this next chapter in our life and begin to look for where we want to buy land, I know what we are going to be looking for.  We will be looking for a place that we can we go that the environment, the circumstances, or the geography forces people to live as they lived so long ago- as a community of people joining together, not solitary people simply occupying the same space.

Taking Back the Garden!

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Who in the world would have thought that I would be mowing the lawn on December 4th?  The first year we lived here I was picking Brussels Sprouts in the snow!!!  What ended up being a small project ended up being a much bigger one, as is customary on our little urban homestead!  I went out to try and take back the duck house from the weeds.  Little did I know that this seemingly simple project would turn into a complete yard mowing project!  When our son was born, we had two ducks that we got rid of because we were completely overwhelmed with being new parents and did not know if we could take care of the decks as well as we should.  Haha!  How could we not have known that the sucks would be the easy ones to take care of!!  So, after almost a year and a half, we are bringing ducks back into the yard.

My second reclaiming project this year has been to take the garden back from the weeds.  While our son was busy growing like a weed, our garden was being taken over.  I think that we have finally completed our project and our garden is finally ready for growing more food instead of weeds!!!  We have also planted 20 trees along the fence to provide a privacy barrier and spent most of the fall weeding and mulching the 110 foot section.  Here is our progress on the duck house, the fence row, and the garden…. And here is to a wonderfully random warm December day!!


The next project will be to get a load of wood chips from the city so that we can add some more weed barrier and/or mulch!!!


Life With a Toddler


I had such good intentions when I began this blog…….. and then I learned about life with a toddler!  I have so many unfinished posts, so many unfinished thoughts, and so many unfinished projects.  This year was not a good year for the garden, but I guess that is okay since we were busy growing a human!  It brings me such joy, though, that one of his first words was tomato, particularly referring to the tomatoes that he helped me pick in the garden!  He already knows where the strawberries come from and delights in going to the garden with me for a walkabout.  Even though we are not on our ‘homestead’ and are instead on a little lot in the city, it means so much to me that he knows where most of his food comes from and he wants to be involved in helping me each day.

My main goal for this month is to plant the garlic- late again!  This year we will plant much more than last!  I am still undecided how we will start our plants this year as we have had mixed success with starting things from seed.  The first year was stellar but we sprouted everything in the dining room at 72 degrees!  The basement is much cooler, and I have had a difficult time with germination.  Perhaps this year I might put plastic around the growing shelves to create a little mini greenhouse environment.

I will try to be better at writing- if only a short little blurb..  No one is expecting a novel, and it is important to document our travels to the good life, because I know that most of the travel is the journey itself!

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