Monday, August 27, 2012

Having a long term vision and being patient

Mara making yummy cooked apples from some of my parents apples.
Just cut up apples, add a bit of water, honey and cinnamon and cook until soft.
 This is a fun time of year for those striving to "live off the land". There is harvesting to be done and we enjoy eating all sorts of fresh veggies and fruits. Though it is a time of excitement over what did grow well often there can be a little disappointment or discouragement over what doesn't do so well.

  I have had a few things this year that caused me to be a little discouraged and sometimes I am tempted to compare my results with somebody like my parents and wonder why my stuff doesn't seem to grow as well. When thinking about that I did have a little reality check which encouraged me to be patient and work hard to prepare for better success in the future.

 For example:
In comparing with my parents....
~They have lots of apples and other fruit like plums that they have been able to enjoy off their land.
This year we had a few raspberries, a few grapes and 2 apples (though one got 1/2 eaten by some animal).

The difference? My parents have been faithfully planting fruit trees since I was a child. They haven't had success with every single tree - I remember some getting eaten down by goats that got our of their pen when I was little- but they now have a large orchard (even here in our zone 3 area) and they get a nice amount of fruit every year.   I do have some fruit trees planted and yes I did get a tiny sampling this year but we have only lived here 7 years. We have had set backs too but gradually if we keep working at it we will eventually be able to pick a bunch of fruit as well. When planting fruit trees we have to have a long term vision!

~My parents plants grow huge and don't seem all that affected by a dry summer (even though my dad rarely waters). My plants a very affected (and stunted) when I don't water them often enough and it looks like the corn crop is almost non-existent.

The difference? I do have sandy soil to start with where theirs is more of a sandy loam but the other thing is that they have been building theirs up with goat manure and such for many years now. I have done a little of that during the few years we have been here but I need to work on it a lot more. Good soil is quite essential for good crops!

  We all have different climates and soils to work with but if we want success I think one of these biggest lessons we need to learn is to have a long term vision, don't get discouraged and work hard now (improve soil, plant fruit trees, etc) so that we can reap the results in the future.

   What is something that you see as very important to do early on (such as planting fruits trees) in your homesteading so that you can reap the benefit later on?

I am linking to Homestead Revival


GracefullyCreated said...

Although now we simply live in a trailer court it is my dream to one day buy land we can build a house on. I have been making plans and educating myself already in what I will do once we get there! For now I'm going to try starting some plum saplings from seed, maybe by the time we can move they will be big enough to plant, or it will be longer and I will plant them at my parents for them to enjoy!

Joyness Sparkles said...

We too dream of land someday as we are currently in an apartment. I think for the growing amount of city kids that want to live simply the best way to start is with a gardening class, then move on to preserving the food, and talk with lots and lots of farmers and gardeners, read tons of books and help out older people with their gardens and gain skills. :)

This is a great post, thank you so much for sharing it!

Nola said...

I've been discouraged this year too, and also find myself comparing myself to others. We have A LOT of earwigs here, so that is a huge issue. Plus, having a baby this year meant I couldn't work on things as much as I wanted. Definately my soil needs help too but its hard to find good sources of stuff to build it up with.

We have to move next year, so there will be no garden, and then I don't know when we will be able to have one again. I'm glad I didn't spend a lot of effort on my soil now that we have to move. I want to spend that time that I can't garden doing something else useful- investing in other things. One of those things will be reading up more on gardening.


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