Well, we’ve had a lot going on this week. First, on Wednesday, I secured us a washer through a garage sale group on Facebook. It only cost us $60 and it works well. It was full of water and covered in grass clippings when we got it, but a thorough scrub-down and a couple of wash cycles showed it to work fine and have no leaks! So yay! We have a washer finally! Then, we stopped by the store the same night to get some hardware and lumber. I put a clothesline together and we set the posts yesterday. I strung it up this morning and it seems to be fine! Although, I am one string short because I believed the package had 100ft of rope in it, it only had about 85ft.
Also, on Wednesday, I was at the farmer’s market here in Ionia and had a terrible time with the people down there. One of the vendors, an old couple, were extremely rude to me and then one of them got in a shouting match with another vendor. I reported them to the market manager, but I’m a little worried about going down again, I really don’t want to deal with that. They drove a few of my customers away by shouting and I can’t really afford to lose customers ever.
Yesterday (Saturday) I had a craft show in Smyrna to go to. We did decently in sales, but there were only 3 vendors spread on a 1/4 mile stretch of road and less than 10 cars/tractors at the car/tractor show. Thankfully the people who set up the show were willing to buy things or we would have been totally out of luck. Probably the last time I’m going to join a random craft show on facebook. Literally every time I do it, it turns out to be a bad show. Oh well, we got the money we needed, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss, just not worth going to again.
I forgot to mention, I took some pottery that I had left over to the craft show and it was our major seller. People would easily drop $25-$40 on pottery in one go, without really thinking about it. It really makes me want to get the pottery studio up and running again. It’s just going to be hard finding the money to get it going.
Yesterday I also, through the power of Craigslist, found a local farmer willing to sell me year old round hay bales and deliver them for compost. I’m going to be using them to mulch our front yard and our garden beds. After seeing how certain areas around this property act, I’ve decided to expand the landscaping in the front of the house and turn it into garden (after I remove some stuff). I’m trying to merge the food-forest idea and permaculture together, so I’m starting to zone the property. First on the list next year is to get Zone 1 (house, garden, chickens) totally under control. The front of our house faces due South, so I will be putting hot plants in there (tomatoes, squash, melons, peppers, etc.). Our landscaping looks like shit, period. It hasn’t had new wood mulch put down in years, it has plastic underneath it which is choking all the plants to death, the irises are out of control and there are HUGE empty spaces in it. I’m going to tear up the crappy bushes and plastic, cardboard the whole thing and mulch the snot out of it to the lilacs I just put in. I’ll leave some paths, but it’s becoming a garden. After seeing the potential to provide all our own food this year, my goal is to really provide it next year. And, if we have extra, I’ll just sell it, I’ll already be at the farmer’s market anyway. Plus, I plan on selling our extra eggs and feeding any scraps to the chickens. So more garden=more cash and free chicken food. Done.
And for a quick garden update. The tomatoes are finally turning. I’ve picked a few so far. There are plenty more starting to turn though. I’m going to have to start canning here soon! I’m going to need more jars as well!
And here are the cucumber photos. Like I said before, we canned 17 pints of pickles, which is more than I’m going to use anyway, so I’m not worried about the plant dying, I’m just not sure what’s killing it. It sort of looks like blight to me, but then again, it could be powdery mildew and I just haven’t seen it in a long time since we’ve been living in apartments.
Well, the homestead, with the addition of a washer and clothesline, is starting to feel a lot more functional. Granted, the $130 we dropped on all of it was a lot more money than we could actually afford, but paying $50 a month at the laundromat was costing us a lot more. In three months it will have more than paid for itself and it’s only money-saving from there.
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