We had a fabulous weekend, and you?

We have been busy here on Marcaritaville…

We were grateful for the rainy weekend as that gave us guilt free time to relax, sleep in and run out shopping to pick up the things we needed. We started out at Home Depot where we picked up 4 rough cut 1x8x12’s for our raised beds. We were originally going to buy a smaller board, but when we got there we found these for only $9 and change a piece! One thing I love about Home Depot is their staff – we found a guy right off who was able to cut the pieces for us, and then just like that we had our raised beds all set to nail together.  (another thing I love about Home Depot is the sausage guy – we always get a sausage, pepper and onions – but due to the incredibly horrible weather the sausage guy was closed *insert sad face here*.

We also were able to go to this fabulous new (to us) local garden shop. It is called Roberts Greenhouse, and if you live in middle NH area, it is definitely worth visiting. It is a small-ish farm, with gorgeous sheep there to greet you. The people who work there are so very helpful (they didn’t laugh once at me as I asked them to explain to me how to pick seed potatoes). Their prices are seriously some of the best I have seen, and their plants are gorgeous! While there you can sample local foods they have for sale, and if you love handspun fiber you will be in heaven. It was a great surprise on a VERY cold (45 and drizzly) Sunday afternoon. *More about the seed potatoes in Tomorrow’s post! You won’t want to miss it!

Monday was definitely the day I had been waiting for! Beautiful, sunny, warm… with a slight breeze to keep the black flies at bay. After sleeping in we decided it was finally time to pull the cut boards out of the van and get started.

My husband is AWESOME!

My husband is AWESOME!

As he worked on assembling the raised beds, I surveyed my spot…

Destination Garden!

Destination Garden!

While I got to mowing the clover (which I left where it fell, because my Mama told me it was rich in nitrogen and good for my garden), Kevin was hard at work screwing things…

Kevin Screwing the Beds

Kevin Screwing the Beds

OH! I almost forgot! See those posts int he corner? They came in a box of 6, and were some sort of outdoor stakes, for only $4 and change! We had the wood guy cut them in half for us as well – he didn’t even look at us funny! I LOVE HOME DEPOT!

First Box Done!

First Box Done!

But I love my husband more! After all of the raised beds were finished, I played with placement, and this is what I decided on:

Bed lay out

Bed lay out

They still have to be pounded into the ground, but we were just about done for the day. I would have pushed through, but I hadn’t gotten my mulch yet to mix in with the soil. I discovered that my local dump/transfer station has a MASSIVE mulch pile the size of a house, and we can take all the mulch we want… FOR FREE! So I have to wait until the dump is open on Wednesday to go and get some. FREE! I love free!

After we finished the beds, we went to check out the chicken coop, and realized that there was a leak in the roof – GAK! – so we went around back to see just how bad of shape it was in.

Mind yourself… This is not for the faint of heart!

Roof in Desperate Need of Repair

Roof in Desperate Need of Repair

And the back side was in no better condition, so it will need to be fixed up before the chickens come home to roost (lol, get it? home to roost??? I crack me up!)

Boards needing replacement

Boards needing replacement

Our baby chicks have been procured, and are being well cared for by friends. I am blessed to have a great friend (Duffy!) who went and picked me out 5 darling chicks! And for another friend who will raise them until they are ready to be out in the coop by themselves. They should be coming home mid-summer, plenty of time to fix this mess up! But… if you should find yourself with some time on your hands and a truck we would love to have you over and send you home with a truck full of old shingles… Just sayin’…

Don’t forget to stop on back by tomorrow to read about my impending Potato Tower!!!!! Fun stuff!

Me? A Prepper?

Here’s the problem with media and ‘reality’ tv. They never show the ‘normals’ – it is always an effort to show the most, the weirdest, the best, the worst, the extremes, the extremists. The result is that often times through the negative images sent through reality tv, people who are associated with those things are viewed in negative ways as well.

What am I talking about? Prepping. Or Homesteading. Or self-reliance. Pick a label.

You may have noticed that I have been missing (yet again) from Marcaritaville. I have been struggling with what I want this space to look like. I have also been struggling with what I want my home-space to look like. We are a family in transition, and in the midst of growing and developing it is sometimes difficult to articulate the path. Particularly when you are trying to move into a space of more self-reliance. Particularly when this move is occurring at the same time as all of this attention is directed at this tv ‘reality’ show called “Doomsday Preppers”.  *Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS SHOW! It just isn’t reflective of my beliefs or goals*

So, where am I going with this? Well, I am coming out of the closet. Our family is getting back to a more self-reliant way of life. It started a couple years ago when I decided we needed to grow our own veggies and can them for the winter. And then we had the massive logger fiasco, leaving my garden-to-be area covered in downed logs.

Future home of my canning garden

Future home of my canning garden

This summer we have already hit this area hard, getting much of it cleaned off, and renewing my hopes of a fabulous garden. While we were out there over the past month, looking around, I decided it was time to really get planning. Not just the “someday” type of planning. But planning with a time frame.

After the loggers came in and pretty much clear-cut our 1 1/2 acre fully wooded lot we had a great deal of anger. A month ago, I thought I was past the anger, but as we were working outside I realized I was still so angry. IT was then that I decided that the only way to make the anger go away was to plan on how we could best use this land FOR us. The trees are down. The land is a mess. We can’t take it back. We have to move forward. So plans are now set in action.

Welcome to my massive garden site which be small this year, but by next summer will have a Corn field, as well as all of the veggies any respectable gardener would want for harvest:

DSCN8101

This? Old broken down screen house?

DSCN8099

 

Is becoming my chicken coop. For Mother’s Day it was cleaned out

Last remnants to be cleaned out

Last remnants to be cleaned out

 

And Kevin laid sheet vinyl as a base for easier cleaning

My love being a handy man

My love being a handy man

 

Our coop-to-be is 9ft x 10ft. We are starting small with only 4 chicks, but once we get it all figured out, I have plans of growing my flock and including roasters as well!

We have plans for a small fruit tree grove, as well as some other fancy ideas in the mix.

So, do I plan to stop blogging about knitting and sewing and cooking? Heck no! All of those things are a large part of being self-sufficient.

Am I a prepper? well, not in the “Discovery Cannel” version of the word. I am preparing, I am hopefully more prepared than I was last year at this time.

Am I preparing for a global economic disaster? No. But a family economic disaster? I am ready for that. A short term family emergency? Yup, ready for that as well.

I grew up watching my grandparents garden and can and prepare their stores for the winter. I grew up milking cows at a dairy farm for fun during the summer. I grew up with a mom who taught us by example how to garden, and cook, and sew, and how to make a home. It is strange how all of these skills were lost to so many over the past 30 years. I think it is time to go back to that place of producing for our own families (even if it is just a small portion).

Maybe a little less time running around town and a little more time running around the yard is what we all need.

 

 

 

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