Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Here's a brief update for the last year and a half!

Our new gate installed around Christmas of 2014...complete with a homemade Christmas wreath from our own juniper trees.

Note that empty, untouched field to the right...

A new baby llama suddenly showed up in early February, 2015, named Blanco.

My youngest driving the roadgrader all by himself!  Just kidding, Dad's with him!

Here's that field I mentioned in the first photo.  Untouched.  We are the first to grow anything on it!  All this land was and is used for cattle grazing.  First it was sheep, now it's cattle.  This means our soil is quite fertile.  The soil test was fantastic!

March of 2015 we used the rippers on the roadgrader to clean up the field and level it out.

 It was only the beginning, before the tractor ever made its appearance...

The field fencing started going in beginning in April, 2015.

It's a wonderful feeling seeing a delineation of space, knowing one day we'll actually be growing our crops inside there!

Don't you just love those vistas?  The sky's the limit, our dreams taking shape.

Miracle Worker moved on from April into May putting in the pad for the barn (2015).

I look forward to growing more of these in the field as cut flowers at farmer's markets.

July 2015, I discovered how super easy it is to grow Echinacea.
I plan on growing lots of these too.

Miracle Worker is a jack of all trades, he can do anything he sets his mind to.
Here, he's setting our well pump at the end of July, 2015.
There's nothing like having the right equipment for the job!

 In the first week of August, 2015, we're just beginning to lay out the footers for the barn!

Having traded jobs, we had the forms built for the footers beginning September 2015.

We live so far out of town that we had a brief window of time after the concrete was poured before it began setting up.  Good thing we had help!

A favorite harvest in October, Sugar Pie Pumpkins!

 Early December of 2015 we assembled the trusses for the barn.

By the end of December, we were building on top of the footers.

The first of the trusses going up in the first week of 2016.

I get to operate the equipment with my husband in the bucket!

With the exception of the forms and concrete, we've done everything by ourselves.  So here we are by the end of January 2016.  I can tell you the truth, we were exhausted.

Another baby llama for February 2016!  This one's name is Kuzco.

Then, on February 16, 2016, Miracle Worker brought home our first tractor!
He likes to say he didn't buy me flowers for Valentine's Day, but rather, bought me a tractor, so I could grow my own flowers.  That'll work!!!

Isn't it cute?!  Yes, I called a tractor cute!  And you should see the little fan it has for the radiator, adorable!

It's official now!

 Cuteness aside, it works!  Did a great job of tilling up the land which sat since March of last year when we had the roadgrader on it.

April 14, 2016, we rented a Kubota tractor to operate the plastic mulch layer.  The mulch layer machine was too heavy for the Farmall Cub to lift.

Here the cover crop we planted on April 8, 2016 is starting to look nice.  We noticed the first sprouts one week after planting.

I'll share this just-because.... well, because I like it.  And he makes all of this possible!

The cover crop on the left is a mix of Field Peas, Oats, and Hairy Vetch.
The darker green on the right is Buckwheat.  This is just a week ago, around April 10, 2016, one month after planting.  We haven't watered it at all.  The only water it has received is from the rains.

This view is from the top of our little hill in the middle of our property.

And that brings us up to date!
Quite a lot has happened, considering we do it as we have time and a little extra money.

I'll be back next to show you the crops I've been planting for the last ten days in the plastic mulch.
I'll try to describe the method to our madness, such as, "Why cover crop?"  "Why plastic mulch?"  "Do we really know what we are doing?"

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us!


Monday, September 1, 2014

A Year in Photos

There is a lot to catch up on, so this is a year in pictures...

Our Miracle Worker cutting steel pipe for fencing... In cattle country, it is the property owner's responsibility to fence out cattle, not the cattleman's job.  So, this will create a nice delineation of the property one day.

We had tomatoes in great abundance last year, so I decided it was time to try my hand at making jam.  Oh, tomato jam is the best!  You must try it, and on homemade pancakes!

 Our watermelon was greatly anticipated all year long.  It was worth the wait!

Since the tomato jam was a perfect delight, I decided we needed to harvest our prickly pears and make cactus jelly.  By the way, this is only a tiny sampling of the number of cactus pears needed to make an 8-jar-batch!


 Our homeschool moved along without a hitch.
To keep myself somewhat sane, I had to do some creative work.  These are stamps I designed and carved myself.

Craft cards stamped with some of my designs.

This is one of my favorite watercolors, a black throated-sparrow.  The watercolor painting is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".

This is characteristic of my bookworm, reading is one of his pleasures!
A school 'field-trip' to our Grand Canyon.  That's one of the beauties of homeschooling, you can have a very flexible schedule and go in off-seasons to places like this!

Love apples and apple trees.  We plan to plant a small orchard of various varieties in the near future.

A swallow-tail butterfly sipping in the moist garden soil. 

My little herpetologist, doing what he loves!

Installing our water lines, which took a good month to accomplish since we put in about 700 feet worth of trenches.  All total, including electrical lines, we put in about 2800 feet worth pipe.  And we're just getting started!

Erecting poles for our homestead entrance, which will someday have a nice sign designating who we are.

That's us!

Burning off piles of accumulated dried shrubbery after a major rainstorm.

A view from under our native trees on the property.
You tend to love trees in desert climates!
Notice our fence (complements of MW) is starting to go in!

And here is a metate my oldest found on the side of our driveway.  What a find!  It must have been uncovered when Miracle Worker ran his road grader through to put in the driveway.
The dogs helping themselves to a drink of rainwater.

Miracle Worker discovered 'Frog Heaven' (after Duck Dynasty's Jase's comment of having found frog heaven), so he brought the family to see.  Much to the delight of the boys, they got to attempt catching frogs.

...And kissing frogs!
He wasn't too receptive to the idea, much as he loves herps.

And that, my friends is a brief photo journal of the past year or so!

There is so much more to come.  It is an on-going adventure of a life-time, literally.  These things do NOT happen over night!
Thanks for stopping by!