The Gang

The Gang
October 2008 Sweet Potatoe Harvest

About Me

I am a busy mommy of 6, seeking to be a loving, godly helpmeet to my husband and a biblical discipler to my children. God has blessed us with a child with Autism. May the lessons that the Lord is teaching me and our family be a blessing to you and yours!

My Favorite Books

  • Bible
  • Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
  • Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
  • Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Monday, May 12, 2008

My cheese tasted very good as salted curds. I put some on our salads at lunch. The rest of it is pressing in the cheese press until tomorrow morning. Then it will have to cure and age. I was quite concerned about my first batch of cheese but I think it turned out quite well.

On Saturday Phil, Sam, Caleb & I went down to New Holstein to spend a day at the new house working in the garden and seeing the house. While the boys were working in the garden raking out the sod the current renters dog trampled several of my plants. Phil had decided NOT to put up a fence and use flowers and other means of keeping out the deer and rabbits However, after the dog killed some of the plants he decided it would be best to fence in the garden. Fencing it in will also allow us to free range our chickens more since they won't be able to get into the garden. This week he will finish the fence THEN plant the onions, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and spinach. He is also hoping to start a few small rows of carrots, more lettuce & spinach, as well as get all our potatoes, red onion sets and the raspberry plants in the ground when they come.

I didn't spend much time in the garden but I did get to see the house and find out the phone numbers for the local co-op's, organic raw dairy farm, home schooling groups, and more. I enjoyed my time with the mom of 9 who is currently renting the house. She is a seasoned home schooler and was such a blessing to talk with.

So, are you wondering if I like the house? Yes, I do like the layout. I don't like the flooring nor the fact that there is lead based paint throughout. We will be talking with the landlord about ripping up the carpet and just having the nice hard wood floors (refinished or not they'll be better than the carpet) and giving everything a fresh coat of paint in order to seal the lead based paint. Painting isn't a permanent solution, but it will help it to be much less toxic while we are in the house. There is a nice root cellar with a real old fashioned potato box that I'll be able to divide for my potatoes & onions. There are also many canning jars that the current renter will be leaving for me because she doesn't have enough space in their moving truck. I've been "collecting" canning jars over the past two summers and hope that I won't have to purchase any thanks to so many freebies that I've found. I will only have to purchase lids & seals which are much cheaper than having to get the jars too. She might also be leaving their BEAUTIFUL piano which would be such a huge blessing! I've been wanting to get a new piano or keyboard for Elizabeth and myself. I'm hoping that since we are going to a smaller church when we move that I'll be able to get more heavily involved in the music ministry at the church. The piano is in very good shape and is just in need of tuning. Her husband doesn't want to move the piano to Virginia and they don't think it will fit it on the truck with the rest of their stuff.

Phil and I will have the main floor bedroom which has a door to the bathroom (almost like a Master Bedroom w/ bath). The kitchen is a nice big country kitchen with some nice pantry cupboards in the laundry room. PLUS, in the Laundry room there is space for my upright freezer. It will be nice to have one of my freezers right near the kitchen. The other freezer(s) will be in the garage. The four rooms upstairs will be for the kids. We aren't sure yet if our table will fit in the kitchen or not. If it will then we will put it in the kitchen and make the "dinning room" into a living room and the "living room" will be the school room. There is a very cute porch on the front of the house that is off the living room. For mothers day the kids & Phil got me two hanging potted Impatience plants that will look really pretty on my brass hooks, one on each side of the steps. There is also a little round flour bed in the front that I'm going to plant some colorful flowers in. I'm going to use the flower bed along the south side of the house for my herbs.

I love the fact that I can see the garden from the window right above the sink in the kitchen. I'll be able to see the cows grazing from the other window in the kitchen. The property will work very nicely for a few cows if we rotate their pastures. There are plenty of fence posts in the barn that the landlord said we could use to fence in the property for the animals. We are contemplating getting a couple goats and sheep to get the pastured area around the barn in shape. it is too uneven to mow and it too overgrown for the cow.

So, our little "farm" is in need of some TLC, animals, and the Reese boys running along the creek catching crayfish. :-) We still do not know when we will be able to get into the house but hope that Phil will be able to get in as soon as the current family moves out so he can manage the garden better and get the chicken coop & yard, and the pasture area ready for us to animal shop in Mid-June. We hope to have the kids rooms painted before we move in too so that there will not be as much opportunity for lead exposure.

We have learned that at the auctions here in WI beef and dairy calves are going VERY cheep. So we plan to get a couple beef calves and possibly another one for dairy. The diary cows are also very reasonably priced if you aren't getting an entire herd and if you don't want a cow that is giving 60-90 pounds of milk a day. Plus, the cows that didn't calf in March or April but are calving in June/July are also a very good price. The serious farmers don't want those cows that are off schedule. We will have a new neighbor at the farm that can help us to get a cow that was on a dairy back to good health through natural means. Now we just need to find a cattle or horse trailer to borrow so we can hit an auction after we go to family camp.

So, over all I am very excited about the rental house in New Holstein. I'm even more excited about the opportunity to become part of the natural homestead movement by becoming more and more self sustainable!