Friday, June 4, 2010


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Today, I have a serious case of Barnheart*. I thought we could bring the farm to us--at least for the time being...

{*Barnheart is that sudden overcast feeling that hits you while at work or in the middle of the grocery store checkout line. It’s unequivocally knowing you want to be a farmer — and for whatever personal circumstances — cannot be one just yet. So there you are, heartsick and confused in the passing lane, wondering why you cannot stop thinking about heritage livestock and electric fences. Do not be afraid. You have what I have. You are not alone. (Jenna Woginrich)}

Only this isn't sudden. I think about it all the time. Sometimes it makes me cry. This idea for making chickens work here, where we are, started when my brother-in-law decided to have chickens. I admit, I was envious. But I was happy for them too. But why couldn't we do it here? In a Google search for the West Ladies' Homestead Blessings videos, I came across a website of a family in Pasadena, California, homesteading on 1/5 of an acre. The story of the Dervaes family is so cool. They happened to be giving away the Homestead Blessings videos on their website, and that's why I found them in the Google search results. Then I started taking out books from the library about raising chickens and homesteading in cities and suburbs. People do it all the time! I read and learned about raising chickens in small areas. There are those who have cows and pigs, as well as chickens, and a big garden with less space than what we have! Then when Jim came on board, it was full sail! Until yesterday when the wind was taken out of our sail! Nathan has upped his internet search for real estate. There is a lot of beautiful land out there for decent prices--IF we don't want to have a house!

Yesterday, Nathan was practicing using this lamp and getting the temp right for the chicks that we almost bought! I since learned that we should use an infrared lamp...

Yesterday, Nathan harvested our first salad greens! The garden's growing, that's for sure!

Nobody liked the arugula--the one with the oak-like leaves. It had a peculiar taste.

Potato plants coming up!

Nathan grew many marigold plants from seeds. Here are just a few that we re-potted so that we can take them to wherever we need them! Thanks, Tami, for the pots! They came in very handy!

The pea plants are growing fast! Nathan said he saw a flower today!

I tried something different for dinner last night. I had chicken tender strips. And I had a head of lettuce that I hadn't been using. So I looked up on the internet for a recipe for stir fry lettuce. Believe it or not, I found a recipe. So I tried it--but added the chicken and some chopped bacon. It was delicious! The flavor was "outstanding", my husband said. Jim's not a picky eater, but he reserves the big compliments for things that he really likes. I never make homemade Chinese food, so this was fun to try. I did NOT use any homegrown greens in the recipe.

The lettuce doesn't look so good, but it tasted delicious!

Today we took a little break from our disappointment [losing approval from the neighbors to have chickens--see my last post] by going "train watching" The place we usually go to had some work being done on the tracks, so we went further out--to the boys' favorite place. I don't like going that far since it's a half hour away, so more gas is used. But Jim had taken them before and they love this place. Plus we hadn't gone train watching in a while. We ended up seeing 3 freight trains in less than 15 minutes!! THAT was cool! Nathan took some videos and I got some neat shots of the tracks. Then we stopped at Stewarts to get gas--so we had ice cream cones too!

My guys

It was fun to take pictures of the tracks! This is one of several.

When we got home, the boys went in the pool. The weather has been hot enough in May and early June to warrant going in the pool! It's still unseasonably warm--80's to 90's. The average for this time of year is mid- 70's.

I call them my "goggle geeks"!

Here's a better look a the blue tarp where the boys put grass clippings and mowed-over leaves. The worms living and working in there are incredible!

My sweet and adorable Owen!

Owen has gotten so good on the rope swing!

Until next time...

blessings, joie


Dad and Mom said...

Wow I really like the pictures. This is the first time your blog has loaded for me so I had a lot of catching up to do.
Were you eating the Arugala plain or with a green salad?

Have a Good Day


joie said...

Becca, yes, plain. Probably mixed with other greens and gobs of ranch dressing, it'll taste yummy! love, aunt joie

Nikita Storm said...

I've heard arugula is good on sandwiches with or in place of lettuce, as it has a kind of "peppery" flavor. If you have any extra and we can find time to get together, I'd love to try some. I've also often wondered if lettuce would taste ok cooked - since so many other leaf type plants cook up so tasty. I'll have to try that sometime. Think of me if you have too much of anything - I'm always up for surplus home-grown veggies! :)

joie said...

Absolutely! Thanks, Nikita! ;o)