Working in the garden is a family affair.  Everyone pulls together for the task.  At our new homestead, we finally were able to get the neighbor over to till plow through the ground.  The dirt was left bare, begging for hands to work it. 

Near the house there was a weed patch.  I have had a wonderful lady from the Dominican Republic come to live with us.  She only speaks Spanish so I have been able to brush up on my language as well.  It was just one of those things where she was lonely and we have an open door philosophy.  If you keep your door closed to others, you never experience the adventure, growth, and blessings that another person can bring.

Little did I know that she was the perfect gift from God in our time of great need.  To her we were the perfect gift from God to fill a need she had.  She longed for a family to help and to love, and we longed for someone to share our adventure with, and on the community life rolls.  That is how community is formed, when two or more share a need and fulfill a common goal!  Many hands make light work!

Marcie is in my kitchen making wonderful food with me.  She is teaching the kids Spanish, and she is learning all about how to make cheese.  Lately, she insisted that we watch the Back to Eden video.  That was really neat and we learned a lot more about gardening, especially how to feed the soil.  Having Marcie has been such a blessing and she is helping us pack and move our things as well as lending a major hand in the garden.  We are so thankful for her!

The Kitchen Garden
There was a very big weed bed outside our new back door.  I wanted to have fresh produce only a step away from my kitchen.  That way I can bring my kitchen shears out side, enjoy some fresh air, and the bounty of our little kitchen garden I will bring to our table!  Of course, we will have a big produce garden out back, but this will be FUN and convenient for us.

One day Marcie and I packed a big lunch and food for making supper so we could work all day long.  First, we had to pull all the weeds and debris out of the bed.

We found all kinds of trash and even old tin laying beneath the soil!  It was a monumental job for all of us!
The Determan family is a part of our little homestead community.  Their family of 12 came that afternoon to help with their MANY HANDS!!!  The girls were gathering old leaf mulch from under trees to add to our kitchen garden bed.
They all grabbed dirt, water cans, rakes, and hoes, and they were all working up the ground for planting seed and tiny plants.
Here is one of my many container gardens!  I have my herbs in this one.  First, we drilled holes in the old metal junk wash tubs.  It is important to have good drainage.  Next we filled it part way with gravel, which is good for drainage as well.  Then, we put top soil mixed with peat moss, organic matter, and soil conditioner (decomposed organic matter).  After the plants were set into the soil, we covered with leaf and old rotted bark mulch.  It is very important to cover! COVER the soil because it holds the moisture in and keeps the weeds away.
My friend Beth and her little girls planted all my flowers around the containers.  In the garden is planted all kinds of great food for our family to eat fresh.  I have peppers, lettuce, kale, herbs, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, and yellow squash.  The squash will nice to have close by.  I often wait too long to run out to the big garden and when I get there my zucchini is the size of a baseball bat!  I love to pan fry them when they are small.  This way I can pop out each morning and pick them while they are young and tender.  I am so excited!
Here is my cherry tomato plant.  In just a couple months, I will see bright little red jewels gleaming back at me!  I can pick them and dress up a salad for our meals.
Meanwhile, Miles was taking command over the BIG garden out back.  The Determan boys were working very hard alongside our boys, planting, sewing seed, and watering each tender new plant.  It was really a sight to see!
John Determan was helping water with his boys.  Community life is such a beautiful sight.  Families getting together to help one another.  It makes a Big job smaller when there are many people lending their hands for the task.
Of course, there are meals to share over the campfire!  The camp cook, Owen, was busy either cooking food or making nice wooden garden stakes.  We were so blessed by the community coming together that day!

After everyone else left, it was just our family.  There was still a bit to be planted and ground to be tilled.  My husband finished off the tilling while the children followed him planting potatoes.  There is nothing like the thrill of seeing your entire family taking pride in putting together a garden!  They all have learned since they were young, that the garden feeds them.  They have canned and harvested together from little on.  This garden means something to them! That is something!

They are not dreaming of the latest video games or iPods.  They are dreaming of what things they can sell at the Farmer's Market this summer.  Now that is special!

The next day we all joined together for the Farrales family.  They are moving into the beautiful farm rental that we live in right now.  They will be moving in here just as we are moving to our new place.  I asked them if they would like to put a garden in and they did.  I had Gisela, my Columbian friend with her kids, Owen and Evie, the neighbors from out East and all the many children helping plant the garden that day. 

Out of necessity, Miles learned how to put the tiller on the big tractor to till the garden space.  Owen was getting twine ready for making rows.

Marcie was helping alongside Daisy and I with these precious children planting their seedlings in rows.  They are so happy to have a garden planted.

I can't even express to you what a blessing it is to get out of your comfort zone, work a wee bit harder to bring a community together where it seems to be impossible.  We had many months that passed where people in our community divided and things seemed hopeless.  It seemed that these happy days of sweet labor and fellowship were long passed.  But God had a better plan!

People, in general, are becoming more independent and less interested in community.  They get more involved in the virtual rea
lm because it is more convenient.  They can text someone, or just follow their activity on some social network.  People stop over less, call less, and need each other less in a world where they can pop on the internet to get the help they need.  What has this world come to?  They are missing out on the greatest adventure!  Well, Mark and I forged ahead, prayed, and even when it seemed no one would like to be a part of our homestead community, a miracle happened.

We have community!  And now that the Farrales family is moving closer, they will also get to be a part of our Homestead Community.  We have fellowship, and the children are learning so much!  Of course it takes a lot of work and your schedule can get filled up quick helping your neighbor, but God created us for this purpose!  We were never meant to be islands just text messaging and living a life just for ourselves.  It is in serving that we experience the essence of real life!  We labor together and God supplies the increase!

"For we are labourers together with God:
ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."
1 Corinthians 3:19

Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on facebook from the keeper of the homestead page.  

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0 thoughts on “Getting the Garden In

  1. There is something wonderful about working together especially in the fresh air
    Where I live people are friendly but there is not a strong sense of community-which is something I long for
    I am loving these frequent postings they are a blessing to me
    Thank you for all that you share Erin

  2. gidday all the family. You really are a great hardworking little lot!!!Great photos.how much fun is that to dig and plant and then sit back and watch them grow. I bet you can’t wait to preserve and freeze all the goodies ready for your winter. Well done everyone 🙂

  3. Hi Erin, I’m new to your blog, but I can tell already that my life will be blessed by it. Love the simplicity yet impactful way you spend your days as illustrated in your blogpost.

  4. This is a very good working family, May He bless the work of their hands, this is something am longing for, hard work and cooperation with fellow friends. Thanks for all what you share erin, pleasure !

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