Whenever you start out on a new path in life, it's easy to be overwhelmed by everything you don't have yet and things you don't know. When it comes to building our homestead, most seasoned farmers would probably look at what we've done and perhaps question why we consider our place a homestead. There's just not much going on...yet. At least that's the negative voice that I hear from time to time.
But you know what? My vision for our little farm is elaborate. When I look around our 1 acre home, I strive to see past the blackberry bramble and visualize a driveway lined with fruit trees and a fence draped with grape vines. I dream of a huge veggie garden with a greenhouse entrance on the corner and a chicken tunnel going around the perimeter. Maybe someday soon, we will set our first hen on a clutch of eggs and have a fully sustainable flock. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have big plans.
Sometimes, when the grass gets knee high, and scrap lumber piles sit for months while you wait for a good day to finish a building project it's hard to stay focused on how far you've come. It's hard to find the motivation to keep going.
These are the moments when I dig into a book or fall down the YouTube rabbit hole and find myself seeing the greener grass that other people's lives are filled with.
Today I found myself in that familiar funk. Living in Western Washington this week means our air is thick with smoke from the forest fires that are blazing all across the Pacific Northwest. The sun is an eery orange color, and my ears yearn for the birds to sing again. It's hard to find my focus on what needs to be done.
I was sitting on my couch, drinking coffee, and reading the news and something in me shifted. I got up and went outside to get eggs from our chickens and watered in the seeds I planted yesterday afternoon. Then I returned to my coffee, grabbed my journal, and began to write. First I wrote down all of the seeds I started for the fall garden, then I took note of the first frost date here as well as how many days that is from today, and finally, I decided to write down everything I grew this year, that I could remember, in our garden. It was awesome.
When I started the list I thought it wouldn't take very long to complete, and yet I kept thinking of more and more things. Some of the plants I listed are wild, like the thimbleberries, blackberries, and salmonberries. Other plants listed had less than impressive success. The peony my neighbor gave me is about five inches tall and didn't bloom. But that's not the point. What I am most excited about is the fact that I planted seeds this year. I watered, weeded, and chased the deer away from my raspberry patch. I invested time in our homestead this year, and that list is solid proof.
While the road ahead to sustainability is long, today I celebrate we are on our way. Hopefully, by writing this down, I can return to this moment in the years to come and focus on all of the effort made and lessons learned.
"Life is a Journey, not a Destination" R.W. Emerso