Thursday, February 7, 2013

Take Your Time

Old homesteads...

Today the landscape company will drop off nine yards of bark, and this weekend we will run drip lines and lay down bark on most of the front yard, thereby completing our water-saving landscape project.  We still have a pathway to put in through the yard, so even after this weekend's labor, we'll still have a ways to go before that project is completely done.

Sigh.  I'd like to be finished with this project, as well as our fencing project around our acreage, but it's not going to happen immediately. My life is like this a lot, especially considering the fact that we now have acreage, and how long we've had it (8 scant months, for those who are counting).  

When we were living in our little suburban homestead, we hit our expansion maximum after just a couple of years. We put in a clothesline, a grey water system, and planting beds, but couldn't progress to the next logical step of adding livestock, because keeping even hens was illegal within our particular city's limits.  And we knew we wanted more than just hens, anyway.  So we left that area and faced the onorous task of starting over again, from scratch (although we did bring our old clothesline).

But if I've learned anything from starting again, it's to pace yourself.  You finally get enough ground to farm, where you can plant as much as you have water for and where all kinds of livestock are not only legal but a pretty common sight, and you want to rush in and do everything.  Now.  It's the pent-up frustration of the urban homesteader going rural -- and going hog wild on all the opportunities -- but despite your excitement, you have to pace yourself.  Real acreage isn't developed in a couple of years, unless you have very deep pockets and can hire a crew to plant and build for you.

...were not built in a day.

Even the original homesteaders had five years to establish their claim.  That alone says something about the nature of this work. It takes time to locate where the good soil is on your property, choose the right kind of fencing, and determine exactly what animals will suit your property's and family's needs best.

And you can't do everything anyway, not if you want to do it well.  So slow and deliberate is the order of the day.  We'll do get more livestock this time next year, and since we sorely need a kitchen remodel I suppose we'll have to take care of that too, but until we're done with fencing and landscaping, all other expansion/renovation projects will have to wait.  

Because while you can do it all, you probably won't do it well, and when you're talking about anything which will involve the health and well being of plants, trees and animals, the stakes are high.  

So slow and steady wins the race, and keeps the homestead healthy.

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