An Illinois 'stead

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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Myrth » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:28 am

The fence building is progressing. We have all of the fence posts installed. We still have to stretch the wire mesh fence material and hang gates. We have dug all the holes by hand.

I'm really, really tired and sore! I have been using muscles I've forgotten I had!

Still no Internet at the new house - hopefully soon.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:14 pm

Sounds like you are well on your way and making Great progress. Having all the holes dug and the posts installed is Huge. Keep up the good work. You will wake up some day, look around and say, " WOW, This place looks Great and its really shaping up" Each little thing that you do starts to really add up. You will be surprised how things add up over the years. Don't get over whelmed, don't get discouraged, just do a little bit every day and watch the progress. :D
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Myrth » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:20 pm

The fence is complete. We have the yard fenced for the dogs. The pasture is fenced for the horses, and the fence is suitable for other livestock as well. They have been here awhile now with no escapes, so I view it as a success. We still have to fence the garden, but that project will be a little bit down the road.

We are about 3/4 done with our move. We have about one more truck load to go, mostly shop and garden tools. We need a bit of recovery time before we tackle the last load! Neither of us is as young as we used to be.

We also have Internet again. It was sorely missed! We are so dependent on it for research, reading, communication with family and friends, and entertainment.

We have much of our things still in boxes in the garage, but our furniture, clothes, and kitchen are mostly in place. It is starting to feel like home.

The chairs on our front porch were the first items to be put in place and that is my favorite "room" in the house! We have bird feeders and bird bath in place and the birds have already found us, so there is plenty to watch when we sit on the porch. I love bird watching. I have lots of plans for planting native plants as habitat for them, but in the short-term, the feeders and bird bath will have to do.

The house came with a small, decorative fish pond in the yard. I have no experience with fish ponds, and I have been trying to get the algae and cloudy water issues under control without killing off the goldfish that came with the pond. It is a learning experience! Goldfish, of course, have nothing to with permaculture, but I am having fun with this little project. It was unexpected, as I did not know there were fish in the pond when we bought the place.

I am falling in love with our new home. It will be a good place to "put down roots" and live out our lives. I spend a good bit of my "porch time" figuring out where I need to plant what, and which improvements will go where.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Lollykoko » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:55 am

How wonderful for you to be mostly moved in, Myrth! Just one more load!

And I understand how the front porch can be your favorite "room". Taking stock of what is around you and planning future changes is a wonderful thing to to from that sort of vantage point. After a couple of weeks, you might try moving the position of your chair to get a different perspective on your layout.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:19 pm

That is great news Myrth! Moving can be such a heavy load, I'm glad to hear you are mostly through that stage, as well as the fencing. Fencing, ugh, it seems sometimes that that's all I do. Enjoy those porch sitting sessions, you've earned them.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Congrats on the move being mostly done. That last load will come together in due time. I love porch sitting, at my place its the Back porch, :D We are sort of Back Porch kind of folks. ;) Watching the squirrels, birds, humming birds, wild turkey and Deer is a wonderful way to pass the time. ;) You might even enjoy a cool adult beverage while you enjoy the view. ;) I have come up with some of my best ideas while sitting and thinking on the porch.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Myrth » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:31 pm

We removed a young mulberry tree from where it had sprouted next to the house. It was relocated to a spot near the chicken run. I don't know how the fruit will taste, since it is a wild seedling, but even if it doesn't produce fruit we will want to eat, the chickens will enjoy them.
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Myrth » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:14 am

At our old place, there is a thicket of old fashioned lilacs. They did not bloom very profusely because they had to deal with too much shade. Lilacs are not a good under story plant. Whoever planted them did not account for the growth of the trees.

I dug up lilac suckers and potted them when I knew we would be moving. Lilacs make good bee forage, as well as nesting sites for birds. This weekend we planted them to the north of the new house in an area of full sun where they should thrive and bloom. They will provide a winter wind break, spring bee forage, wildlife habitat, and flowers (I have read that some people actually eat them, but I just decorate the kitchen table with them). Because lilacs prefer a sweeter soil, I will have to give them a bit of lime, as the soil here leans to the acidic side.

Then I thought of an actual use for our goldfish pond. Cloudy water. Needed to clean the pond. Needed to water the new plantings. We removed about 1/3 of the water from the pond. It was obviously rich in nutrients - like a compost tea. We gave each plant some of the pond water and added fresh well water to the pond. I think my little pond may be very useful in my gardening!
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Lollykoko » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:54 am

I'm glad to hear that you brought some of your lilacs with you, Myrth. They will be a reminder of where you've been as well as playing all those positive roles you have already mentioned. Some day further down the road they might also figure in soaps, lotions or sachets, if you should have the inclination and want a little income stream or gift item.

Yes, the pond will be of great use as an irrigation source, with all that build-up of plant matter. Is it a closed loop pond? If so, how will you replace the water?
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Re: An Illinois 'stead

Postby Myrth » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:34 pm

I do make soap, but I have never scaled up production to sell it. But you are right, if the lilacs flourish in their current location, I should have an abundance of flowers that I could use if I want to launch a cottage industry.

The pond is a small manmade variety. I added water from the well. It has a filter which recirculates the water. We have been cleaning the filter every couple days, but the water still looked murky. From what I read, it is a good idea, when cleaning a goldfish pond, to remove no more than 1/3 of the water at a time. This allows the pond to be rebalanced when it gets too full of nutrients.
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