Homestead Update

Where to begin? Let’s back on up to last Monday.


We had 2 of our 3 get sick. My youngest boy got HFM virus. Yay… So my hands are raw from washing and cleaning and sanitizing.

Then my daughter was running a fever and vomiting. I actually suspected a UTI over the flu, and it turns out my intuition is pretty spot on. She had a wicked urinary tract infection and was finally starting to feel better from that only to catch her brother’s HFM virus. Poor girl.


My husband graduated from his chaplaincy candidate program!

The kids were pretty good, albeit sickish. But we made it through the ceremony! Yay!


I had a chiropractic appointment that served very little purpose… There was an evaluation, I watched a video, but had to make a separate appointment to go over exam findings…? So my hip still hurts, my neck is still stiff and my back still aches. At least until possibly next Wednesday? Or after Baby comes… 8 more weeks to due date! I should probably start nesting soon.


Saturday was our homestead work day. What do we still have to do?

Well, we had been waiting for a nice dry day to mow the leaves and use them to cover the terrace garden. That plus grass will be carbon and nitrogen for the soil, and as it breaks down, it will help retain winter moisture, and attract earthworms, who will convert it into more topsoil. We finished the bottom most terrace beds, and have 2 more to go.

I posted a picture a couple years back of our soil ammendment using only leaves, grass, woodchips, and our own animals’ (rabbit and chicken) composted manure.

Left is Tennessee clay, unammended. Right is terrace soil after 1 year of B2E covering

Within one year (October 2016- November 2017) our terrace garden soil went from heavy Tennessee orange clay to rich dark soil and it’s only gotten better since then!

We’ve learned a lot too, about crop rotation, which varieties do best in our climate, and that you can never account for EVERYTHING in nature.

We also added wood ash to the bottom 3 terrace steps, with more to come as we finish covering everything.

On a sad note, I had been contemplating culling some of our flock before winter so that 1) we have some chicken in the freezer 2) fewer birds to feed over winter. But unfortunately, nature beat me to it and we lost 2 birds, one of whom was my favorite Ameraucana. I will miss that girl, she wasn’t on my culling list. It’s strange- in homesteading, you go into it with the understanding that you will face death and grief. It never gets easier. And I think that is an important aspect of stewardship; death should always bother us in that it is a disruption in the way God intended it from the beginning. In all things, whether plant or animal, it’s always a life for my life; something dies so that I can live. That is sobering and keeps me humble. Even though we won’t be eating the birds that were killed, they’re still giving back to us through being biochar for the garden. And that is the generous character of God to give even in times of loss.

I still have some plants to cut back and mulch, but I’m most concerned with getting my babies back to full health so the garden will have to wait. After all, the root of “Homesteading” is the Home.


Sunday (today) me and the younger two babes stayed home and had a sunday school lesson about Naaman and obedience, and incidentally, healing- apt for their current health condition. We decided to lay low for another week and let everyone fully recover.

We worshipped and sang, and it was really beautiful to see my daughter engage in discussion in the absence of her older brother. I think she often times feels intimidated but it was so nice seeing her “bloom” this morning and to talk about God’s word with her.

I started lunch, roasted chicken, rice, and green beans and we’ll eat when my husband and oldest boy get home.

Tonight is kind of special- my husband is preaching the evening service prior to a vote by our congregation on whether to set aside Sunday evening of December 1st for his ordination. Milestones everywhere! I know my brother and his fiance are banking on my husband being ordained so that he can marry them this spring! So I pray God’s will be done and that everything proceeds smoothly with that.

Meanwhile, I’m working on crochet Christmas projects, and planning Friendsgiving dinner with some of the most awesome people I’ve had the privilege of meeting in my life! Which makes it more fun than work, and who doesn’t like planning parties!? It won’t be fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it will be full of gratitude, delicious food, awesome people, and did I mention delicious food?

So I’ve got cleaning to do but for the most exciting of reasons- opening our home to wonderful people we love and care about to share food and gratitude and just enjoy the blessings God has poured out this year.

Until next time, happy Homesteading, and may God shelter your families from sickness this holiday season!