"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005
Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkins. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last of the Pumpkins

Remember my post on how the pumpkins grew in the Mesquite?(click here) These are the last of the pumpkins. I am so happy to share this photo, and I am thankful for some very special people as they afforded me this opportunity. If you recall we did not plant pumpkins this year. In a series of events of feeding the goats and chickens slops and Hurricane Dolly causing flooding here in the desert, we learned that pumpkins can grow without any assistance(do not forget we live in an area that averages less than 9"of rain a year).

Pumpkins grew here and there and everywhere. We had nearly 40 pumpkins in the final count!! We did nothing for these to grow yet were abundantly blessed thanks to God. Such is my ability to share photos again. I did nothing, deserve nothing, yet the Lord provided us with once again a camera.

As the year closes on the farm, I am humbled to realize that the Lord has been steadfast with us. He has been with us in hardship and loss (the greenhouse and the mice episode), the time I was emotional as to the amount of effort required, and even in our simple desire to have camera. I am forever grateful to serve Him. I am forever thankful for how I see others as servants of Him too, and love them as I love my own children and spouse.

This opportunity to share this journey has been a roller-coaster of emotions, as I am often battling pride. I see some things as pretty humble and blush with embarrassment, yet I continue taking you the reader along for the ride. I have shared how a middle aged woman and three teens CAN become farmers with no experience all because Bill is advising us so well. I have watched the boys men learn to use all the power tools, and have built a chicken coop, a greenhouse, a shed, two goat shelters, a sheep shelter, a goose house, a duck house, a cat house, and a deck. I watched Bill teach them how to build the frame to put under the woodstove. It is amazing to see the boys listen to Bill's directives and do so well.

When we went to the hills for wood, quite nervously (I will admit) I watched my sons use the chainsaw and so far supply us with 3 cords of wood...and they have split it and stacked it.

My daughter and I have used the sewing machine for more than fun craft projects...we have sewn curtains, potholders, aprons, and skirts(have I mentioned that she just turned 13!)

We have learned so much on this journey and no longer consider ourselves to be greenhorns so to speak. I thank you all for leaving comments and being a part of this. As funny as this sounds, often it has been easier to do something, because I knew that I was going to share what we have accomplished. For this I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Bill and Jennifer

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pumpkins in the Mesquite

This is my third post today between two of my blogs. I realized that although I have visited very few blogs over the past few days, I have come to get a break and blog. We have been quite busy, and although we went to see the Hot Air Balloon Festival...we also went to an apple orchard up in the mountains and bought nearly 70 lbs of apples at a tremendous price! The orchard foreman also gave us about 50lbs of apples that were ground apples to give to the animals. What a blessing!!

He also offered a job to Second and Third to help with the harvest next season...for cherries, apples, peaches, plums, and apricots. What an incredible find, one for the boys to each make 3600.00 in 6 weeks, and two the orchard will provide local food that I then can put up for the pantry.(and we reduce preservatives in the foods)

{Click on the photo to see the pumpkin}
The pumpkin is over five feet high in the Mesquite bush! The Mesquite is a tough desert tree and the varmints cannot get through the thorns and barbs. Guess what we are doing next year? We are going to plant around the Mesquite-pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupe, zucchini, cucumbers, and perhaps some other items. I would have NEVER believed that in the desert this could happen!

See the pumpkin?

An actual ground pumpkin!

This one was tucked way in the Mesquite and I had to have Second clear a trail.

This is the pumpkin over the goose's shelter.

What else have we accomplished this weekend?
~The kids and I harvested about a bushel of Mesquite beans to dry for feed. This is a tedious time consuming task as the Mesquite are POKEY...and we all have pokes, scratches, cuts, and stickers all over us. The thorns get through denim, and so we have figured out ways to lessen the ouchies!!
~The Dominique's are finally laying eggs!! Yahooooooo
~Bill had the boys take out the furnace and are building a pantry in it's place, as propane delivered here was too pricey, so we invested in a wood stove and use wood heat.
~tremendous amounts of family bible study, it is nice that the kids are old enough to lead
~we cleared another truckload of debris from property(2 water heaters for example)...we bought a place that was in need of cleanup and love
~was given a wonderful large trough for the sheep!!!(fantastic find)
~salvaged a load of wood to cut and put in wood pile(another great find)
~made one quick batch of applesauce!

I am sure that we have done more...but I am getting tired:)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Learning Curve

I have been thinking of my many friends being hit time after time with hurricane after hurricane. I see the flooding and the devastation and think about how Hurricane Dolly's caused torrential rains and flooding here, in New Mexico, so far from the Gulf of Mexico. This is how most of the back of my property looked.

We literally waded in rising water moving the three day old chicks(in a ice chest) and built new pens for all the birds in raining and rising water. We had no choice but to work in the heavy rain and flooding because the goats pen was under 8 inches of water and the chickens houses were flooded. The ducks-well friends they were in heaven!

Anyhow, due to the rains our little farm in the desert has become an oasis of sorts. We have lots of grasses that we are harvesting for feed, and to be honest the blooming flowers has lightened my heart. Well about 2 weeks ago we noticed a neat little thing going on. We discovered this:

A pumpkin plant growing behind some of the pens. We have the goose and ducks still in back...and this is growing through the fence and hanging over the shelter for the goose. A pumpkin!!!!

How neat is this? Whenever we have scraps I have the kids throw them to the chickens. I had leftover pumpkins from our garden in town all the way until early May. After I baked some cookies, I threw the remainder of the waste in the scraps(seeds to-although usually I bake the seeds). Surprise, surprise...the rains have brought over 20 pumpkin plants growing in, under and around the Mesquite.

So I reflect on this first summer as a farm family and can honestly look back and say that we have learned that even in the worst of experiences that there are good things. The seeds that the hens did not eat swirled around the flood waters and are going to supply us with pumpkins through 2009!

Farm life is harder than I could ever have imagined. Growing up in Ohio on a farm is nothing like New Mexico farm life. BIG DIFFERENCE...water...ARID...dry...HOT...

as we were new to the place after years of neglect the mice and rats had the run of everything...so we lost everything in the greenhouse...and we learned...CATS( 3)
Garden seeds sprouting in the freshly toiled soil is a NEON SIGN TO RABBITS...so we learned...DOG

FLOODING...not often, but with the mountain to increase the speeds...build up(our house is up) so we did...new pens built up HIGH..

What will we learn next year? Who knows, but I must constantly remind myself that bad can be turned for good. And God gives us little blessings every day to remind us of this.

I am off to plot pumpkin recipes!