At the Wittekind Homestead: Update for 07/19/12

drought-stressed tulip poplarThis year’s drought has taken its toll at the Wittekind homestead.  According to the official record, my zip code saw 0.10 inches of rain in June, and I’m not even sure that my land got that much.  Our “shade tree” at the corner of our driveway will be hard pressed to make it through a third summer of drought.  Despite intentional watering, I’ll be very surprised if it makes it through the winter.

Sarah watering fruit treesOur fruit trees (not yet planted in the ground) and two “container” blueberry plants are doing fine, but I’m watering them every other day to keep them that way.  Before I added some mulch, daily watering wasn’t managing to keep up with those plants’ water needs.

Black Australorp hensOur flock of Black Australorp hens aren’t immune to the effects of the drought either.  Although they’re more than 21 weeks old, they haven’t started laying eggs yet.  They’ve had plenty of water and good food available to them, but the lack or rain combined with the record-breaking temperatures can’t be easy on the girls.  We’re doing our best to support them until conditions favor egg-laying.

purple beans 5 days after plantingThe garden has changed a great deal since my last homestead update.  We lost two Roma plants despite daily watering, but we managed to save the fruit so that it could ripen inside.  We also added purple beans, and shockingly enough, as of yesterday morning, 21 out of 27 plants have germinated and are thriving.  My boys have delighted in provided “liquid fence” to protect the beans and peppers from the rabbits, and now that we’ve been adding urine around the perimeter of the garden, we haven’t suffered any more plant losses.  (Something kept eating my pepper plant leaves, and we’ve lost two plants as a result.)

Caring for all the animals, plants, and children is a great deal of work, but it’s so fulfilling.  I can’t even begin to tell folks how excited I am about the things we’ve accomplished this year.  Despite the fact that my garden will never show up on the cover of a magazine, it’s taught all of us so much.  The chickens are a good learning experience too, and of course, they’re great entertainment.  I never would have discovered all this stuff had it not been for The Survival Podcast, and I doubt I’ll ever feel like I can thank Jack and the TSP community enough.  Encouragement to quit making excuses and just get off my but and DO was just what I needed, and my kids and I couldn’t be more delighted with the results.  There’s so much further to go, but we’ve STARTED.  We’re DOING something, and there’s so much to be said for that.

What are you doing to increase your liberty and decrease your dependence on systems and Big Brother? In particular, how is the weather affecting you in your little corner of the world? Whatever your circumstances, just remember that if you’re not actively moving forward along the path to liberty, you’re getting left in the dust! What you do matters.  Even baby steps will get you there! Keep up the good fight as you’re claiming liberty for yourself and your family.  You won’t be sorry!

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