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Homesteading in the Live Free or Die state.  RSS feed

 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
13
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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My husband and I bought a 2.5 acre property last year to create a permaculture homestead on. We built 3 swales, 8 huglekultur beds, dug a hole for a garden pond and got a flock of 16 chickens last year.

We want to keep developing the property this year. It will be a challenging year for me as I am the main source of labor. I have torn my rotator cuff again so I will be a mostly one armed gardener this year.
We are designing the property to handle my recurring habit of severely damaging my joints while still allowing me to garden. One of our main goals is to design the property to handle my current and future mobility problems. I am always looking for easier ways to do things and I wanted to share what we are doing.

Right now the snow is starting to melt after record snowfall and cold this winter.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3979
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
164
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more as you progress through your project!
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
13
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Time goes so fast once the snow melts.
We are celebrating the 1st anniversary of starting our permaculture homestead this weekend. Last year we had a swale and hugelbed building party to create the garden. We had a dozen or so friends come and help include Paul's first ant Evan. The front yard garden is a little over a 1/4 acre and faces south/southeast. We are primarily on the east side of a hill.

These are my hugelbeds.





My husband put up a deer fence for me. We are killing the grass this year and planting a fedge along the fence next spring. I did plant comfrey all along the road side of the fence today. I will be planting more bulbs along the drainage ditch so I it will look pretty from the road and require less scything.


The mounds of dirt toward the left side of this photo will be a pond soon. We dug the hole last year hoping it would seal on it's own but it hasn't happened yet. It will eventually take the over flow from the rain barrels and feed the lower swales and hugelbeds.


Here is our future pond after a good rain.


This swale is 224' long and has plums, peaches, cherries, potatoes, comfrey, asparagus, garlic, daikon radish, shallots, mullen, clover, daffodils, irises and chives planted in it so far this year.



This swale has 2 apple trees and flowers. I know one of the quinces survived but I am not sure about the other one. I lost quite a few plants to the cold winter and deer in the last year.



We have a frost warning tonight so my seedlings are in the cold frame my husband just made me.
We got the windows from friend doing an upgrade. We have 28 windows from these friends and my husband wants t make them into a greenhouse.



Here are a 1/3 of my chickens. They love to follow me around all the time. They free range an have already figured out how to get into the garden already.



Beehives! I got my first boxes of bees last month. The chicken coop is getting moved next week and that space will become another garden bed.


Here is where their new chicken run will be till I decide that that spot is ready to become another garden bed.


I sent Evan some Mammoth Grey Striped Sunflower seeds I saved from these plants.
I don't have a photo of them in bloom but they get 8" to 12' tall and the flower heads are 1' to 2' feet across.


They didn't get eaten by the deer unlike this shorter sunflower.






 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 772
Location: Longbranch, WA
42
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Kate Muller wrote: It will be a challenging year for me as I am the main source of labor. I have torn my rotator cuff again so I will be a mostly one armed gardener this year.
We are designing the property to handle my recurring habit of severely damaging my joints while still allowing me to garden. One of our main goals is to design the property to handle my current and future mobility problems. I am always looking for easier ways to do things and I wanted to share what we are doing.


I specialize in helping people with reoccurring joint problems. Rotator cuff tears That seem to happen spontaneously usually happen because the body is leaning to one side to avoid some pain and the arm is fixed off to the side to balance the lean. The rotator cuff muscles holding that position do not release from their shortened position when you pull hard in some activity and with repetition small tear become big ones.
I know it sound ridiculous to do massage over the internet but I have been able to help some people this way.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
13
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Hans Quistorff wrote:
Kate Muller wrote: It will be a challenging year for me as I am the main source of labor. I have torn my rotator cuff again so I will be a mostly one armed gardener this year.
We are designing the property to handle my recurring habit of severely damaging my joints while still allowing me to garden. One of our main goals is to design the property to handle my current and future mobility problems. I am always looking for easier ways to do things and I wanted to share what we are doing.


I specialize in helping people with reoccurring joint problems. Rotator cuff tears That seem to happen spontaneously usually happen because the body is leaning to one side to avoid some pain and the arm is fixed off to the side to balance the lean. The rotator cuff muscles holding that position do not release from their shortened position when you pull hard in some activity and with repetition small tear become big ones.
I know it sound ridiculous to do massage over the internet but I have been able to help some people this way.


I don't think it it ridiculous to try and offer some options for relief. Unfortunately this is not my first rotatar cuff injury or major joint injury. I have hyper-mobility issues that make getting a massage very risky. The main culprit for my should is lots of play in the joint and a massive bone spur. The combo creates an impingement when things shift out of alignment which it tends to do. I had both knees replaced in 3 years ago and I am in my early 40's Part of my interest in permaculture is designing a system that I can garden as my mobility continues to decrease through the years.
 
Kerry Rodgers
Posts: 114
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
33
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Kate Muller wrote:
We are celebrating the 1st anniversary of starting our permaculture homestead this weekend.

Wow Kate, that's a lot of progress in the first year! Thanks for the inspiring writeup.
 
Natalie Manor
Posts: 37
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Hello Kate, yes with your challenges and the winter you had, you two should be really proud of the work you have gotten done. I lived in NH (Merrimack) for many years and had my kids there too. Currently I live in Beechgrove, TN. I do distance energy healing and would be pleased to make your acquaintance and see if there is anything I can do to help with your issues. check out EFTforWomen.com I am not selling anything. The site was developed because of my issues and my abilities over the years to bring that healing to other seekers and certainly permies!! Blessings. Love the pictures and the posts. Thanks, Natalie
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
13
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Progress continues. I still have a lot of plants to get into the ground but I am slowly making progress.


Today my photography assistant followed me around while I was taking these photos. She did not join me in the front yard garden because my husband finished the fence.


The big swale is surrounded in netting. The deer were destroying the asparagus bed and eating all the new shoots on the fruit trees. The chickens were also doing too much damage to the berm. Now the chickens and deer are leaving it alone.


We are letting the grass grow on the hill and mowing around patches of flowers in the rest of the yard for the bees. The clipping from the mower are being used as mulch for the veggie beds.


Thanks to much needed rain I have a full rain barrel to water the recently plantings with.


The chickens and the bees love this bird bath.


This one is just for the bees. I have 3 more planter trays that I picked up at a flea market that I need to set up as bee watering stations.


The coop has been moved! I will not have a 2 inches of water in the run next spring!


The herb bed is filling in nicely. I have a few more things to plant in it and I need to finish weeding the grass out if it.


Here is a shot of a bunch of perennials in 3 different beds. I still have a good deal of plants to get in the ground.


Peppers, tomatoes and herbs.


These are most of my main annual garden beds. There is one more to the left with onion sets and peas in it.


Here is the onion and pea bed. I had a mix of greens, peas, carrots, parsnips and turnip seeds in planted here but the crab grass grew first so the peas and onion sets were the only ones to survive the weeding.


Here is a shot from not quite the bottom of the hill.


Peppers, eggplant and tomatillos


pole beans, snap peas, crab grass with carrots and parnips, bush beans, and assorted brassicas in this bed.


I have planted a lot of peppers this year and I still have more to plant. I am trying to find a good short season sweet pepper so I am trying a dozen or so varieties.


My large tomato bed with the herb bed in the background.


Here is another shot of the annual beds


These will be planted everywhere!


I love having fresh strawberries. The herb bed is filling in nicely.


The bees are loving the comfrey.


Here is the flower bed. The poppies are just starting to bloom.


I let a lambs quarter go to seed hoping the chickens would like the seeds. They don't. They did manage to seed an mulched bed by dust bathing in it. It will take me weeks to weed this out since the keep popping up.


This is my view from the gate. I also planted grapes on next to each of the gate posts.


I planted corn seeds in this covered bed. They haven't sprouted yet. Next year this will better protected location will be the new home of the asparagus bed.


Now that we have deer netting around the big swale I need to create some mulch for the peach tree that the mullen and comfrey have been hiding from the deer.


The deer have worked hard to try and destroy my asparagus bed.


I am still working on planting the big swale berm. I added hazelnuts, sea buckthorn, a crab apple, potatoes, sweet potatoes to the fruit trees, buckwheat, irises, daffodils, garlic, shallots, asparagus, comfrey, and fruit trees I planted last year.
I will be putting my excess celery and pepper seedlings in here. Sunflowers, nasturtiums and other goodies will find there way in too.

I let my honeybees get crowded and they started producing new queens. I split the hives yesterday and the growing queen cells are in nuk boxes with some frames to get the new hives going. Hopefully I can keep the original frames from swarming. This is my first year keeping bees and I am sure I will make more mistakes but with any luck I will have 4 strong hives this year. I didn't take any photos since it was my first time doing this.















 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
16
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I love seeing your swales develop and it makes me feel a bit nicer about the state of my own 1 year old swales. Except mine are completely covered with grass.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
13
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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elle sagenev wrote:I love seeing your swales develop and it makes me feel a bit nicer about the state of my own 1 year old swales. Except mine are completely covered with grass.


I am constantly pulling grass out of the swale berms. I did heavily seed the swales with cover crops last year. It has helped.

Here is a photo from last fall on the morning of my first frost. I let the buckwheat and diakon radish go to seed and the plants were 3 to 5 feet tall
 
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