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New House. New Farm. New Task List.

By: Everett S
A few from across the pond with chestnut tree in front of house.

A few from across the pond with chestnut tree in front of house.

I learned my lesson last time and won’t be attempting to get this all done in a single year, but there are several things I’d like to take care of as soon as possible. However, this time around we have Waylon, which makes a HUGE difference in the amount of work we can get done. It pretty much means only one of us can be working on a project at a time. I really hope it gets easier soon or we won’t be getting much done at all until next year. Did I get my point across? If not, let me make it perfectly clear: For you young couples thinking about moving to the country or starting a homestead, WAIT to have children until you’ve established your infrastructure because no matter how many times your friends and family tell you that you won’t get any sleep, or how much work it is, you will never truly realize those realities until you’re in the thick of it having a nervous breakdown at 3am with baby shit on your shirt, baby puke on your hands, baby piss in your face and a screaming child who can’t be calmed down no matter what… and you were going to build a chicken coop before starting work in the morning? Fuuuugetaboutit! OK, enough about the joys of parenting… Here are a few of the things that are on our list for the new place:

Immediate:

  • Find out why the hot water heater keeps blowing the breaker. Fix it. We have this Whilrpool. Maybe I should trade it in for a Bradford White.
  • Find out why the generator backup wouldn’t work when the power went out yesterday. Fix it.
  • Get this place mowed! There are locust trees starting to sprout up on the dam wall of the pond, which could cause leaks. And there is a ton of poison ivy that needs to be put in check before it gets out of hand. The good news is we have less of a “yard” now and more of a multi-layered ecosystem. In other words, it will take longer to mow, but at least I won’t be going around in circles wondering why we moved to the country to take care of a useless lawn.
  • Finish unpacking.
  • Build a rabbit hutch.
  • Build a dog house.
  • Figure out how to use the catalytic converter wood stove for heat, and the wood cookstove to make some meals (fun!).
  • Take the cardboard boxes from our move to the recycling center. I feel like we’re buried in them!
  • Install hardwood flooring in bedroom (is currently just sub-flooring) so we can set it up and I can get some sleep.

Within Three Months:

  • Put storm windows in the sun room to keep the sills from getting wet. Also repaint the sills.
  • Put some sort of finish (linseed oil?) on the cedar siding of the sun-room to help protect it.
  • Clean out the building behind the house. Get vines off of it. Seal it up. Remove carpet. See if it can be an office.
  • Test the soil around the blueberry bushes and in other spots so I can amend before winter.
  • Fence in pond before Waylon can walk.
  • Plant orchard trees (pear, apple, plum, cherry, mulberry…)
  • Plant white pine to block view of transmission lines behind property.

At Some Point…

  • Clean the silt from the pond.
  • Add rocks to create waterfall down hill from spring into pond. This is for beauty and sound, but also to minimize soil / silt erosion flowing into pond.
  • Build: Chicken coop (or reclaim an old outbuilding), outdoor shower, solar food dehydrator, fire-pit / brick patio, chicken-processing area, garden produce washing / cleaning area (all with water from the uphill spring)…
  • Repair damaged barn siding.
  • Hook the spring back up to the house so we can have gravity-fed spring water if needed.
  • Do something with the marshy area below the pond where water spills into. Consider bamboo labyrinth if I can get a rhizome barrier deep enough. Otherwise, think along the lines of celery patch, watercress, rice, river cane, sorghum…
  • Drain the gutters further away from house, either into pond or rain catchment system with overflow into pond.
  • Cut down dead walnut tree at start of driveway.
  • Reclaim existing fruit trees with heavy pruning (three apples and possibly some cherry).
  • Build trails throughout wooded section of property.
  • Build fencing and reclaim goat-shed for sheep.

I’m sure Missy has a list of her own to add, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot of things, and left off even more that we’ve yet to discover. But I no longer think of this in terms of what “has” to be done right now. Our predecessors lived quite happily here for 34 years, and managed to raise three children here just the way things are. They kept the place up pretty well so nothing is urgent. All of these projects are just part of the journey and the fun of trying to balance our complex lives as modern humans with an innate desire to live simply and be self-sufficient enough to ease the burdensome worries about things like peak oil, natural disasters, political upheaval, economic collapse and zombie apocalypses.

Category: Animals, DIY Projects, Family, Farming & Gardening, Funny, Places, The Transplants

Comments (27)

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  1. Missy says:

    Immediate: Build Clyde a dog house.

    Also, hopefully after this weekend you can cross ‘wood floor in bedroom’ off the list.

  2. Anna says:

    I’m so glad you’re working hard not to bite off more than you can chew! Waylon will definitely enjoy non-stressful time with you more than he’ll care about a chicken coop.

  3. Laurel H. says:

    It sounds like you might need to consider parenting as it used to be done, the way you have considered living life as it used to be lived (i.e., farming, etc.). When you put the baby on a schedule, you can fairly accurately predict when you will have free time to accomplish much needed tasks. We caught a lot of flack for regulating our children’s schedules when they were babies, but they were sleeping through the night, and taking 1 hour naps every 3 hours, by the time they were 6-8 weeks old. It. Works.

  4. Everett says:

    Laurel, please share with us how to do that. We’re all ears. We keep hearing about this “develop a schedule” trick, but how can you make a baby go to sleep if he doesn’t want to? We’ve tried letting him cry himself to sleep but he won’t. He goes on and on and on and on and on and on until we give up and go get him. We give him a bath before bed often to let him know that it means time to sleep. Should we keep an hour-by-hour calendar or something so we know exactly what to do when? I’m not being sarcastic; I really mean this. HOW do you get them to eat, sleep, or play to a schedule? He wakes up in the middle of the night crying and gets progressively louder until someone gets him. But within ten seconds of “latching on” he’s passed out again for an hour. Then back up an hour or two later. Repeat that until the morning. That’s his “schedule” right now.

  5. EcoCatLady says:

    Oh… you are SOOOO much more ambitious than I could ever be. I bought a little house 16 years ago, and to be honest, there are still things from my initial list that I have yet to accomplish.

    If it were me, I’d get a pre-made dog house, and slap a rug down on the bedroom floor. Neither solution is ideal, but at least they’d be dealt with for the moment so you could focus on other immediate problems (like getting some sleep).

    But here’s the real question. In the relative scheme of things, where would you rate “screaming baby at 3am” vs. “zombie apocalypse”. Just curious! :~)

    Just kidding… enjoy your new home, it’s amazingly beautiful.

  6. Erik says:

    Check to be sure both elements in the water heater are good. That might be enough to trip the breaker. Breaker trips are usually caused by too much load (of course someone who actually knows something about electricity might shoot that down.)

    I wouldn’t use linseed oil on the cedar. Unless you thin it pretty well, it will just sit in the surface and it never “drys.” I would use something like Sikkens or even Thompson’s.

    Good luck with the youngin’. We did the whole “sleep training.” Worked pretty well. Hard to do, but worked.

  7. Everett says:

    Erik, good advice. I’m pretty sure the breaker is too small for the heater (20 amp breaker) but I don’t know if that’s because the wiring can only handle 20 amps so they put in an appropriate breaker for the wiring (but not the heater) or if they just put in a too-small breaker. But I have a few other electrical issues around (like the backup generator not running the freezer and well pump from its circuit) so I have an electrician coming tomorrow to check things out.

    I didn’t know that about linseed oil on cedar. We used it on oak before and it turned out just fine. I was hoping to avoid using anything petroleum-based since it is directly uphill from the pond. Any advice there?

    We just started keeping a journal of when Waylon eats, sleeps, naps, poos, etc… to see if maybe he has some schedule of his own that he’s on, or at least a cycle of some sort. Right now it just seems like chaos, but we’re new parents so that’s probably just inexperience talking.

    Thanks all!

    PS: EcoCatLady I’d much rather fight off zombies than a screaming baby, but would prefer the zombies come after I’ve enjoyed breakfast and a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning.

  8. Erik says:

    Linseed oil loves oak (and vice-versa.) I used it mixed with turpentine and pine tar quite bit. Great stuff. Not great for softwoods like pine and cedar though.

    Keep in mind that while Linseed oil is made from Flax seed, it is not the same as “Flax seed oil.” It’s non-edible, especially “Boiled” linseed oil.

    Modern “Boiled” Linseed oil has chemical dryers added to mimic the effect that was achieved by boiling raw linseed oil back in the day. It can be pretty nasty stuff actually.

    Raw Linseed oil is typically all natural. But that is a product that really doesn’t dry well (hence the dryers in the “Boiled” variety.)

    You might try something like http://www.earthpaint.net/product_rainforest.php

    I don’t know anything about them though. Keep in mind that “All-Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “Non-Toxic.”

    I spent some time on the coast of Maine, where they use a LOT of cedar outdoors. The traditional finish there is nothing. Let the wood weather to a muted grey. The reason Cedar is used in those applications is because it weathers and lasts weel without finish.

    That said, I understand the desire to keep that lovely warm Cedar woodtone.

  9. Everett says:

    Erik,

    Thanks! I had no idea about how boiled linseed oil was toxic. That’s exactly what we’ve used in the past and I’ve even used it without gloves or a mask – had it all over my hands and thought it was just like having flax oil on my hands.

    It just goes to show that “greenwashing” is not only misleading but dangerous. The ingredients on the can didn’t mention any chemicals. *sigh*

  10. Erik says:

    I don’t know that it’s bad to get on your skin. I use it on tool handles quite bit and really rub it in to get that “rubbed” finish.

    I wouldn’t use it on wooden eating utensils and such.

    I used to though till I read about the dryers.

    Mineral oil (which is petroleum based ironically ) is a great substitute for woodenware.

    Sorry if I’m rambling and not making a great deal of sense. I have a Three and half year old and a two year old. I rarely make sense these days. :)

  11. Melissa says:

    Hello Everett and Missy, Congrats on the new home and baby. I have been following your blog for a couple years now. I wanted to send some baby schedule advice that has been in my family for about 4 generations now, even though it sounds as though you are figuring it out. I come from large families, I am the oldest of 8…even though my hubby and I are only planning a small family.

    In my family, my great grandma, grandma, mother, sister and I have used this system and it has worked for us! We swear by a bath every night before bed. Keep the same time every night we usually started at around 2 months at 8pm and by the time they were 6months moved up the bedtime to 7pm. The main piece of this strategy is to remain consistent. It takes a couple weeks for you to see that it is working. Also just maintain the same bedtime schedule say the same things, and it should help. Example schedule…bath, get dressed, small book(at this point same small book every night) lullaby, bedtime feeding, into bed.
    Every baby, as you know is different, some sleep easier than others, are you still swaddling Waylon? He may need the pressure to help him relax. Also, keep the same routine with him and within a week to two weeks…he’ll have it. I had the same problem with my son Jack and the nursing all night…I think he just wanted to be close to me…but as I needed sleep too, I went with the cry it out method, we had two really bad nights, do not give in! He will be fine, but needs to learn to self sooth, after that the crying was much shorter in duration went from 2 hours…to 1 hour…to 15 min…then he would wake, fus for less than a minute and go back to sleep. For us it took about 10 days total…during this period, he napped like a champ from his all night fussing sessions. My mom also said something that worked for her was to have my father go in to calm down the baby, that way he will know that there is not a chance of feeding and he will have to go back to sleep…its tough, but you two will be great parents, keep in mind this phase only lasts for a few months, then you will be on to new challenges like trying to keep him in his crib, and then the dreaded crib to bed transitions:) just try to enjoy as much of the moment as possible. One last idea for you, there is a book called the wonder weeks. It is by Hetty Van de Rijt and Frans Plooij. It is a study that shows the developmental growth periods in infants, it may also help you to work though some of the more fussy periods of he development…check out the website for more info… http://Www.thewonderweeks.com. Enjoy your time…I love your blog, and wish you the best of luck!

    Melissa

    P.s. You may know all of the above already, Sorry for the unsolicited advice, I had a hard time with my son jack…so I know how frustrated and trapped you can feel.
    Hope this helps a little. Sorry if it is a little jumbled thoughts…my 2 year old likes to “help” when I am typing.

  12. Everett says:

    Eric thanks for the clarification. We do use mineral oil on our cutting boards and wooden utensils, which we eat off of so… I’m really not sure what to do there. If you use a plant-based or animal-based oil on cutting boards it will go rancid. I guess the trick is to just limit your exposure to things you “think” may be toxic and do the best you can. One day something is good for you, the next it’s bad. Then sometimes it’s good for you again a few years later.

    I am beginning to understand about the sense-making thing. You have my congratulations and sympathy at the same time. πŸ˜‰

    Melissa,

    Thank you for the advice! We will give your strategy a try. It sounds promising. And I’ll check out that website. We do still swaddle him and he likes it, but he’s starting to get too big for the swaddle blankets. We may have to stop soon or go buy bigger blankets. We have only been giving him a bath every other day (if that) for fear of drying out his skin, but we’ll try it every night for awhile and rub oil on him to keep his skin healthy. I didn’t know something as simple as sticking with the same book every night made a difference. We’ll give it a shot!

    Thank you for reading the blog for such a long time. One of the things I like most about having a blog is getting to know people like yourself. When we find out someone has been reading for awhile it makes us feel like we are really making a connection “out there”.

  13. Laurel H. says:

    Everett,

    I will DEFINITELY respond to your question, but please forgive me; I’m in a grading crunch, and I need to finish up my undergraduates’ papers in the next 14 hours or so. I will provide some answers starting tomorrow (maybe even on my blog); I didn’t mean to sound so cryptic, I’m just on a deadline at the moment…

    Laurel
    HarperAcademy.com
    Always learning

  14. Missy says:

    Melissa,
    Thank you for the advice. I actually stopped swaddling 2 nights ago because he likes to lift his legs and roll on his side and I was afraid if he rolls over to his tummy and can’t use his arms he might suffocate. He seems to do well without the swaddle. Our problem is 2 things – 1. He falls asleep when rocking and nursing around 10, but as soon as you put him in his crib he will wake up. Maybe because it’s cold or he wasn’t in a deep enough sleep yet to be moved. But then 2. he is waking 1-3 times a night to nurse. One time this week Everett went in and rocked him back to sleep without feeding and that worked for a few hours but then he woke up again, but usually I feed him then rock back to sleep and try to get him back in his crib without waking him back up. Sometimes this is a quick half hour – sometimes an hour and a half. Should we cut off the night time feedings? He is 3 months old. He does not seem to self soothe himself back to sleep, he just gets progressively more upset and I’ll eventually give in and just rock him another 20 minutes or so and try putting him back down. Thoughts? – Thanks for the tips. Missy.

  15. Melissa says:

    For swaddling blankets… I have always loved muslin, it swaddles nicely. As for the bath, yes, I oiled every night before getting him dressed, but my definition of bath was mainly to get him in the water, slosh warm water over him, “play” a little, maybe a song…then get out…really 5 min tops…I would only really “wash” him every 4-5 days as not to dry out his skin from over washing. Have fun! And enjoy the time you have now, while he is not messing up your spinning, or knitting, or helping you to bake…ie…adding his own ingredients;)

    Melissa

  16. Angie says:

    Hey Guys,

    I commend you for your efforts to have your farm and a new baby! We are planning our own city-to-farm move in 3-5 years, partially because we want our kids to be in school when we do it (they are 3 1/2 and 20 months right now), and partially because we want to pay cash and need that time to save, save, save. So for now we are stuck in our urban Vegas condo with only a 16×20′ patio to roam on…blah! My advice for the baby, be patient with him…babies need to learn trust and love and you cannot spoil a baby under 6 months with too much cuddling, soothing, hugging, or love and attention in general(after that, he knows you are there for him and you can leave him to cry it out). It is REALLY important for babies to learn how to fall asleep on their own, so put him in his bed before he falls asleep as much as possible. Both my kids were sleeping through the night by 5 months (though my 20 month old seems to waking up more lately…I think it’s her teeth…but that’s a whole other phase!). The schedule is VERY important. We actually did put a written one on the wall so my husband and I were always on the same page. Of course, it will vary with wake times, but try to stay with it as much as possible, with necessary flexibility. Try to get him on a 2 nap a day schedule, they will tend to be better quality then more short naps throughout the day (both my kids still take 3 hour naps at the same time in the afternoon, giving me plenty of time to sew baby clothes on my days off from the j-o-b!) Try lavender in the bath and on the bottom of his feet. There is also a company called Young Living that makes an amazing essential oil blend called “Peace and Calming”. My daughter woke up in the middle of the night when we were camping this summer and totally freaked out (maybe she didn’t know where she was, maybe she felt closed in…not sure), she was literally thrashing around the tent, screaming…we were horrified that we would wake all the slumbering campers! My husband put a drop of the Peace and Calming under her nose and she immediatly (!) calmed down and stopped crying. My mom swears by that stuff and so do I! Best of luck to you guys, I love reading your blog, it inspires me daily to keep pushing for my dream of self-suffiency without the concrete jungle!

  17. Looking forward to following along, great ideas! PS. If you hadn’t convinced us last night, then “having a nervous breakdown at 3am with baby shit on your shirt, baby puke on your hands, baby piss in your face and a screaming child who can’t be calmed down no matter what” definitely did it!!!

  18. Everett says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Angie great tip about trying to get him to take fewer, longer naps. I’m not sure “how” to get him to do that though? And we will definitely try putting him in his crib BEFORE he goes to sleep more often. We’ve been rocking him to sleep and putting him in his crib. Maybe that’s the problem. He wakes up to find he’s no longer in our arms. πŸ˜€

    Erin, LOL that was mainly in there for parenting-humor. I apologize if I made it sound like you should “never” have kids. I wouldn’t trade our decision for anything. But if you have a choice and decide you want them the advice I was trying to give is that it would be great to have most of the homestead infrastructure in-place before you went on that adventure. It’s one thing to collect eggs with a baby in your arms or sleeping inside, but quite another thing to build the chicken coop with a baby in your arms. πŸ˜‰

    WOW we should post about baby stuff more often! We love all of the feedback and interaction here. Maybe we’ll just have a post some day where everyone can give their top three parenting or natural childcare tips.

  19. Melissa says:

    Missy,

    Sleep training is difficult! But I have found that if you do not train them, they will train you to do it their way, which is not the best in the long run for anyone. Things that I did to make the transition easier from breast to bed are…I stopped rocking him at bed time, I actually would lay down to feed him, once asleep, I would put him in his bed. Second, I cut all night time feeding by the time he was 4 months. Depending on how Waylon is doing, weight gain and growth wise, he may still need the 2amish feeding, but probably not, most babies are fine with sleeping through the night at 3 months. Make sure you cut all night time feedings at 4 months either way or it will become much harder to do as he gets older. If you decide to keep a feeding at night for the time being, make any night time interaction as boring and brief as possible. do and say little, do not turn on the light, unless poopy, do not change him…basically try to not provide any stimulation. All kids wake 4-5 times a night naturally, we just have to help him learn to self soothe and go back to sleep at these points. Now for the hard part…cutting the night time feeding…When you are ready to do this, (which IMO can be at anytime you feel comfortable) You must stick to the plan, the first three nights will be miserable, it should let up steadily after that. I did the cry it out method, I feel that it is the most humane, as it doesn’t tease the baby by coming in every now and then…just to leave again. For me, he was sleeping through the night without any crying within 10 days. It went something like this…night 1 cry for 3 hours, fell asleep, slept 2 hours, wake cry for 2.5 hours slept for 3 hours then up for the next day…Night 2 was similar, just slightly less crying times…so instead of crying 3 hours it was crying for maybe 2 hours.etc…etc…etc…The first three nights I dont think I slept much…it was hard, but after those it steadily decreased to where he would only wake a time or two with maybe 15-20 min of fussing. Its hard, but if you can stick it out, you can get to the magic of sleeping through the night again! Another thing that might be helpful is… I know this sounds crazy with a three month old, but I believe children understand the meaning of what we say to them at a young age…even 3 months old, maybe not our words, but they know what we are saying generally, our intentions and expectations…I would tell him, as I was putting him to sleep that when he woke up, he needed to go back to sleep and I would come get him in the morning…I felt it helped our transition…but maybe I am crazy.

    Also, check out that book the Wonderweeks, it was helpful to me in many ways, But it can help you plan a good time to transition him, when he is not going through a developmental leap…those are the times where you feel you lose all the progress you have made…anyway…sorry such a lengthy answer…hope it helps…love your blog, can’t wait to hear more about your spinning!

    much love for Colorado…
    Melissa

    p.s. typed this on an ipad…so if the capitalization is messed up…sorry

  20. Lani says:

    Hi guys! Oh I SO know the sleep frustrations! We didn’t start our sleep training until around six months and even now we have struggles. Emerson is still waking up 2x during the night but going back to sleep easily but only with nursing. I fear giving up nursing for that reason. I have no advice. I read numerous books on the topic and they all basically said the same thing: consistency. We did the cry-it-out method and that helped with getting a schedule. Not all agree with the method but once she reached six months and I reached my nervous breakdown, it was the only method left and I was desperate. It helped with the scheduling and getting her comfortable with her own bed. And with my mental health. She doesn’t just go to sleep on her own now but there is a schedule and it makes like a little easier. But it takes time.

    Hmmmm….not even sure I have a point here. But just know that things will get better. Those early months are still fresh on my mind so I know how overwhelming it can be. Take care!

  21. SanDandy says:

    I remember those sleepless nights like they were yesterday. My son went through a period of time where he was waking up and would not go back to sleep unless I went in and got him. I realized after awhile he was falling asleep in my arms while sucking his bottle. He was sucking himself to sleep and could not go to sleep on his own unless he was sucking his bottle. I started to “force” him to stay awake while he took his bottle and made sure he was still awake when I put him to in his crib……after a few days of this he was able to go to sleep on his own. I don’t know if this will help or not but it did work for my son….:)
    I love your farm. My husband and I hope to be VERY soon out of the city and on our own farm. We would like to be off the grid some day.
    May God bless you and your family with a WONDERFUL nights rest.

  22. Everett says:

    Lani, maybe your point was that we’re not alone. Sometimes I wonder if we’re bad parents because we find this so difficult. Then I hear how other parents, who I always figured were just “naturals” went through the same, or very similar things. That always helps. It’s not exactly “misery loves company” but more “everyone goes through this and somehow they all survive”. :-)

    SanDandy Waylon is like that now but instead of not being able to sleep without the bottle he can’t sleep without being held and rocked (or nursed). So when he wakes up in the middle of the night, or five minutes after we put him in the crib for his naps during the day, he must find it strange that he’s no longer being held. He just freaks out and ends up waking himself up completely with all of the adrenaline of his screaming and fussiness. Our only tactic so far has been to “get him” before he freaks out so he’ll be easier to put back to sleep, but sometimes we go through that process five or six times in a row, which can take an hour and half. Two or three of those in the night and several throughout the day really drain you after awhile. I can only imagine how Missy feels!

    Melissa thanks for the detailed advice. We may brace ourselves for the transition soon, although I think we’ll keep feeding him once a night if he wants it until he’s a little bit older. I’ll talk it over with Missy. Thanks again!

  23. TracyDK says:

    Congrats on the new home. Truly believe you’re not alone. My son had colic and nothing I did was good enough. I know one night I was dancing with him to his Mozart baby cd, sobbing because he wouldn’t stop crying. :( My Mom came in from bingo (she was helping me with him as his dad worked 3rds and I had complications from my c-section) and caught me crying and Nathan crying. And the best thing that she taught me was, work around his schedule, understand that he’s spent 9 months held tightly and lovingly in my womb so to expect it to take some time for him to adjust out of it, and every child and family is different. Some respond to cry it out, some do not. My son belongs to the latter group. We co-slept with him, and had no problems. We never had issues with him once he moved to his own bed at 6 months old. He’s almost 3 now, sleeps on a low, full sized futon in his own room. And night time is easy (most nights). You guys just have to find the groove that works for you. There’s no real right way, tried and true way, or wrong way. There’s just the way that works for your family. :)

  24. TracyDK says:

    I also forgot to mention that I would prop my son up to sleep because he had breathing trouble and he slept “hugged” by his boppy pillow. That might help give him a sense of being held?

  25. De says:

    Your list made me tired :-) but then I remember we did the same thing when we got our place, brain-dumped everything we could think of that needed doing *now* onto paper. Then I promptly lost the list. A couple years later I found it, and was surprised by how much we had gotten done or decided was not needed. I think it helps clear the brain clutter to get it all on paper. Clearing out the box clutter will help the brain too!

    Another consideration about planting. I completely understand wanting to get trees in the ground ASAP, but it worked out well for us to wait a bit on planting. Someone told me when I bought my first house, to do nothing for an entire year except get rid of obvious weeds. No planting, no cutting down, no moving plants. That way you’ll get to know the land, see what all your plants and trees actually look like in all the seasons. You might put in a garden, then find out you’ve messed up a patch of spring wildflowers. I’ve noticed that nut trees grow the slowest, then fruit trees, but white pines grow pretty fast up there.

    Same goes for making paths in the woods… spend a winter or two wandering around, see where the deer go, and work your paths in with theirs. Then the deer do maintenance for you :-) We have ended up with a couple of deer auto-bahns in our woods that way.

  26. Laurel H. says:

    Wow; nothing like a discussion of parenting to generate conversation! Have you ever had so many comments? I actually did write the first of what will probably be a 2 or 3 part post, E/M. (There are incidentally a few really good suggestions here–very much like what I would and do say.)

    Laurel
    HarperAcademy.com
    Always learning

  27. Got referred to your blog, just now reading through.

    Having a long term list that spaces out the to-dos is something I didn’t do when we moved into our place. Of course, we just have a small lot to work with in our urban home, but we still wanted a shed, garden, chickens, and the whole 9 yards.

    It’s amazing how time goes almost as quickly as money.

    The back lot is now always a work in progress, which isn’t a bad thing.

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