Homesteading is a growing phenomenon that expands as the cost of food rises in stores to beyond the income of many families, some families want to leave the hustle and bustle of urban living and move to the country for a quieter lifestyle. Many of us share concern over the chemicals in and on our food and want to know exactly from where the seed stock comes as we control what we will be eating. 

My last urban food forest 
Countless homesteaders vlog their experiences revealing the pleasures and problems of growing a family's food supply and the very hard physical and mental labor that goes into producing food. Young rural children receive an education that cannot be duplicated in urban life. Parents have more time to raise children and that can be stressful. Learning how to deal with stress provides lessons invaluable to adults and children. 

Location: Rural U.S.A.
Members: 4
Latest Activity: Jun 23, 2019

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Comment by Randall Smith on June 11, 2019 at 6:52am

Joan, it is still very wet. The ground never seems to dry out. However, with raised beds, plus plastic, Nate's plots dry out faster. Between rows is a problem. The tractor has been stuck in the mud (but not for me).  I sort of enjoy driving the tractor, although we go at snail's pace. Plus, it's somewhat stressful, as I have to concentrate to keep a straight line--no room for error.

Don't know how the Baptists are different. I doubt if they're anything alike/similar.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 10, 2019 at 11:06am

Randy, Is the ground drying out enough to start seeding? Watching the flooding of fields and heavy rains add another challenge to making a living through farming. How did it feel to be back in the tractor seat? 

I wonder if German Baptists and Southern Baptists share common beliefs? 

Comment by Randall Smith on June 9, 2019 at 7:08am

I was drafted into duty yesterday on the farm. My son-in-law's workers are all gone for a week, attending their annual German Baptist convention (this year in PA). Six girls, ages 16-24.

Sweet potato slips arrived, and they can't sit unplanted too long. So, I drove the tractor as my SIL and his only male hand sat behind, inserting plants one by one into punched holes in plastic. It took us 3 hours. I had the easy job!

This photo is from last year with two young G.B. ladies

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 11, 2019 at 1:15am

Andrea, I am delighted you joined this group. I taught in a housing project in Anacostia, VA, across the Anacostia River from Washington, D.C. in 1968, the year of the terrible riots resisting the Viet Nam War. The grounds around the project were dried out dirt turned to dust in the summer, even weeds wouldn't grow. I started very small at first, with a small compost bin near the Dumpsty Dumpsters where the trash was supposed to be thrown. Trash of all kinds was thrown AT the huge refuse containers and broken glass was all around them. 

I began with a broom and dustpan, sweeping the trash into the dumpsters. Little pre-schoolers were curious and came to chat, then they came with brooms and dustpans to help clean up the mess. I brought some compost from my home and planted a little garden in front of the apartment I was assigned as a classroom to teach graduating high school kids how to read. These soon-to-graduate students could not read well enough to pass a Civil Service Exam. My students became interested in the vegetables as the garden developed. It wasn't long before they and the other kids of the neighborhood were taking home zucchini, radishes, lettuce, and Kohlrabi. By the end of summer, all my students passed Civil Service Exams and were chosen for jobs. They graduated and felt proud and able to take on adulthood. 

I would love to hear your stories. Being "a SpEd teacher at a school in a lower socioeconomic area" requires unusual teaching skills, and searching for the moments when valid praise can be given. Having special needs compounds the challenges you face.

I am 83 years old now and have very happy memories of the year I taught at a housing project. My hope for you is that you can realize how special you are and how the frustrations and perceived failures, in the long run, turn out to be victories. I wish you joy in your work, patience in your attitude, and peace in your being. 

Comment by Randall Smith on May 7, 2019 at 7:00am

Joan, I don't have deer issues. But I do have rabbits!

I fence in (chicken wire) those plants that rabbits find desirable. Early sweet potato starts are covered by coffee cans every night. And I have individual fence cages for tomatoes, broccoli, collards, etc. It's a hassle, but a labor of love--garden style!

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 6, 2019 at 2:39pm

Randy, I am delighted you joined, you have much to offer in gardening, farming, and life. This should be fun. Right now, we are trying to figure out which option we will use to prevent deer and rabbits from devouring our crops. What works best for you. 

Oh yes! those moles and voles, too

Comment by Randall Smith on May 6, 2019 at 6:37am

Thanks, Joan, for starting this group. Good idea!

Comment by Andrea Quinn on May 5, 2019 at 3:01pm

What a lovely idea! As a SpEd teacher at a school in a lower socioeconomic area, I have often wished there were something like this for our kids to help them appreciate nature and show them the calming effects of being outdoors.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2019 at 12:45pm

I don't raise chickens and never have, however, using the permaculture methods, if well managed, the birds take the work out of both poultry and vegetable gardening to a great extent. 

Designed Soil Disturbance with Chickens


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