We’re Still Homesteading

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Hello all,

Well, thanks to your comments, I’ve decided to continue running the blog and keeping you updated on our lives here. With how busy we are, I’m going to commit to one blog post a week, but I haven’t decided on a day yet.

 

It’s been a rough year so far with the gardens. We had nothing but rain and high temps since March, which caused everything to start growing early this year. Then we had a single frost in early May that did a lot of damage, but I’m happy to say everything recovered, even the potatoes. After that we only had one brief rainstorm for a month and it was HOT. Temps in the high 90’s in June, that’s unheard of. Thankfully we are finally getting rain again and everything has greened up. I think we’ll do alright this year!

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We’ve added a new garden this year, the pumpkin patch! This area is probably about 17ft wide and 40ft long. There are three rows of Jack O’ Lanterns and a small patch of gourds for sale this coming halloween. The pumpkins also have shelling peas planted in between them for an earlier crop. We’re trying to boost the pumpkin growth while also getting a crop to sell at the farmers market. Hopefully this endeavor pays off, pumpkins are a great income builder.

 

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I’ve had tomatoes growing since March and 9 plants survived. These are a variety called “Blue Beauty” that I’m selecting traits from. I saved seeds from the tomatoes I wanted last year and now I’m working towards a violet blush tomato. It will take a few years, but they should be different than anything on the market!

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This year we put in a lot more flowers and herbs and let out landscaping be a bit messy. I’ve also installed two herb circles (a 10ft and a 3ft) and I’ll be installing one more 3ft bed this week. I’ve really built my arsenal of perennial herbs, mostly medicinal, and I’ve added a few more culinary herbs as well.

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We’re harvesting these herbs and drying them in the house on a fold-up rack I built on the wall. After that we’re jarring them and selling at the farmers market. There are a few people that bring a tiny amount of basil or rosemary, but we’re really the leaders for herbs, which is great! We’re hoping to make that a main part of our homesteading business.

 

As for everything else, we are doing fine and so is Toby the dog. He is all grown up now! He just turned a year old in April.

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We did a fairly good job training him. We’re still learning and we definitely made some mistakes, but overall he’s a fairly good creature and has a very sweet disposition.

We have new animals on the homestead as well, seven new ducks this spring and our three ducks that I hatched last October are now laying eggs. It’s very alive around here.

On top of that my pottery studio is in full swing and I’m taking art commissions as well (I’m so busy). Justin has completely taken over the homestead shop and is now producing soap, seed bombs, seeds, and other things that we have yet to think up on top of him working a full time job.

If you want to find us other places and get more frequent updates, here you go!

Ben Instagram: @bcoffman_art
Justin Instagram: @jeasterday1988

You can also find us on Facebook! At my ceramics studio page.

 

It’s good to be back and I’ll keep more updates coming! We still have to look at the gardens, the food forest, and the greenhouse!!

Ben and Justin

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ashley says:

    Ben I love reading about what you are doing in terms of gardening. Could you go into more detail on how you harvest and dry herbs? I want to learn how to get the most of mine.

    1. Culinary herbs are usually harvested at peak plant growth, just shy of flowering. All you have to do is bind them in small bundles and hang them in a cool, dry place, upside down.

      Medicinal herbs require individual knowledge to know when and how to harvest. They also require different ways of preparation to take them. I would suggest reading “Common Herbs for Natural Health” by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and watching her documentary “Juliette of the Herbs” they are super informational.

  2. Glad you’re back!!! Missed you. Ninety degrees is something I could deal with, it’s in the triple digits her, with extreme heat warnings out. Only indoor gardening for me. The outside garden is history. God luck with yours this year.

  3. Widdershins says:

    Also glad you decided to come back. 🙂

  4. YAY!! I’m so glad to see you back. I love reading about what you’ve accomplished, it is exciting. You’ve come so far. Are ducks easy to keep? We’ve heard they are much harder than chickens. Love the herbs! I’m just starting to take classes on herbal medicine, but my thumbs are black with green spots so we shall see 🙂 Gardening is getting harder for us this time of year as temps creep to over 100.

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