Ok, for those of you who don’t want to wade through the archives but are curious about where we’ve been and where we’re going…here is the cliff notes version…
We bought our little 1/4 acre strip of land about 5 years ago. When we got it, it was basically a garbage dump. The previous owners, for the past 30 years or so, did nothing with the land other than throw their trash onto it. It was wild and overgrown, full of stinging nettles and hidden potholes and of course about a ton of trash. We spent more than a year rebuilding the house (which was also trashed) and cleaning the garbage out of the yard. You can see still a bit of the garbage that needs removing. Here in Germany we can’t just take our trash to the dump, there IS no dump. We have to rent a huge dumpster and pay to have it hauled away…this isn’t cheap. But it’s something we need to do before winter arrives.
I realize that this looks like the sort of place you might expect Elly Mae Clampett’s cousin Pearl to walk out of, but try an keep in mind that this is still a work in progress 🙂
While rebuilding/redesigning the house, we included 2 wood stoves, one upstairs and one downstairs. We heat only with wood now. For cooking we use a gas stove. Someday I would like to get an old style kitchen stove that uses wood as the heating source. You can buy them here but they are really expensive and they are also pretty big. I’m not sure one would even fit into my kitchen.
Last year my husband prepared our garden beds and this year we planted our first vegetable garden. We’ve had a poor harvest so far, but it’s not surprising considering the state of the soil, the cold wet weather we’ve had this year and our inexperience. We’ve learned a lot and will do better next year.
This year we also began keeping bees. We have 4 hives and those are doing well. We collected about 40 jars of honey from them this year.
Next year we’d like to begin raising some animals. We will begin with chickens. I’d like to add a few goats maybe the year after that.
So, that’s the quick version. If you’d like a bit more detail you’ll find a link called Old Farm Blog up at the top of the side bar.