They say “no news is good news” and it’s true that our recent silence is because all of the good news we’ve been getting means we are finally as busy as we expected to be last July! Maintaining a blog is a lot more time consuming than I ever would have guessed, and sorry folks, but I’m afraid farmsteading will continue to take priority over farmstead-blogging...
Still, I owe you an update… here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to, each of which could probably be its own post if I ever find the time!
Pre-wedding Insurance-induced Marriage
Tad and Colin visited to be our witnesses, and Chip & I legally hitched! The timing of our legal marriage was dictated by our insurance needs, since Wisconsin did away with domestic partnerships a few years back, and on September 1 our employer-based insurance ended. Most of our clothes were in storage in Albuquerque, so we improvised with what we had... we did try to get the dirt out from under our fingernails!
First Annual New Mexico Prickly Pear Festival
After dropping Tad at the airport, we went to the First Annual New Mexico Prickly Pear Fest in Albuquerque, where we met more warm, welcoming, like-minded producers! We came home with a nice assortment of local products.
Stuff 'n' Stuff
Since we arrived, we've had two very expensive PODs stored in Albuquerque which we would have emptied in July, except that our trailer axel needed replacing, and then our road needed to be fixed so we could drive the trailer in and out. Carina and the folks at CM Mechanical Truck/Trailer Repair rebuilt our trailer axel and we got our trailer back, and then local contractor Bill fixed our culvert so we can actually get the trailer in and out… So now we can finally get our stuff from Albuquerque and finish moving! Thanks to that:
- We got a storage unit in Grants
- We took 4 trips to Albuquerque to load, and 4 trips to Grants to unload... grueling! We tried to avoid having Ike stuck next to the POD for the 3-hour load trips in the blistering heat -- he tried doggie daycare, got bit within 5 minutes, and was kicked out (the Weimaraner that bit him got to stay). We eventually discovered rover.com with in-home daycare which seems like a good fit, since he is more of a people-dog than a dog-dog!
- We did find our bigger inverter which will open up our circuit a bit, our CLOTHES finally, dishes, and other miscellaneous missed items...
- We got piles and piles of stuff that we had to cram floor-to-ceiling into a storage unit (much cheaper than PODs, but still...) and our camp is piled high in boxes, and we have to continue the sorting, trashing, giving away process that we ran out of time for back home. Downsize NOW, people! This is a continual struggle for us... hopefully we'll get there eventually!! (...and hopefully we'll eventually have a house to hold our furniture and ourselves...)
Anna extended a Seattle-to-Sedona, AZ trip to come stay with us a couple of days -- we roped her into helping with one of our storage-unit unloads, hiked around the arroyos, and went to the mesa top for some foraging and exploration. Lori and Dave routed their Seattle-to-Austin road trip to lunch and hike with us. We are so tickled that these dear friends went the extra mile to spend a little time with us, and check out our digs!
This will definitely be its own post at some point. We did a lot of fermentation "back home" (here we've only made one jar of piñon-juniper sauerkraut so far), and we also used a home-made bokashi-style bucket there. Bokashi ferments the compost so that it "ages" rather than rotting -- a huge game-changer! In the past we used compost starter from the garden store rather than real bokashi. Here that wasn't working so well, so we ordered the real deal EM-1 to make our own real bokashi. We finished our first bokashi fermentation and upgraded our composting system -- which needed it!
We started our orchard with Kimi’s birthday present, “Li’l Peach” planted between Bokashi trenches to eventually access the nutrients -- Anna lent her green thumb to the task!
We drove to Nebraska and bought a greenhouse kit! We waited for our trailer repair, but then ended up having to rent a trailer anyway because we needed a bigger size. We took a backroads route north and slept in the trailer in a Limon, CO truck stop. The great folks at Antioch Machine and Greenhouse in the Snow welcomed us, efficiently loaded the trailer, and generously spent time sharing tips, tricks. and stories with us. Creator/designer Russ Finch and machinist Allen Bright have made everything so easy! They welcome us writing openly about costs and process, so we'll be posting a lot more about this as it evolves!
They will also provide engineering plans so we can start in on the permitting process.
So now it's another wait-and-see, but maybe this time we are really on the verge of breaking ground...?