Homestead Gardens and Winter Rest

20180103_073048The first seed catalogue arrived in the mail the other day.  My four year old granddaughter, Maryjane, took a sharpie and circled everything we need to order.  Instead of toys, she circles plants in seed catalogues.  She is one of us.

It is impossible, I believe, for a homesteader to not think of the garden at all times of the year.  I am creating a new space, roughly 500 square feet of ground.  A square, fenced in, next to the chicken coop, three feet from the porch turned greenhouse we are planning, and ten feet from the compost.  I dream of the colorful rows of fresh produce, the front yard of fruit trees and medicinal herbs, the patches of volunteer vegetables and wild foods.  But, these gardens, of course, cost money.  Fencing, glass, extra compost, and seeds do not come cheap.  I know it will all come together wonderfully and before I know it, I will be sitting here next year pondering the next season’s garden!


I do love January, even if it is not my favorite month in the least.  It makes me rest.  We homesteaders aren’t much for rest.  We are a lot less anxious with our hands dirty, faces in the sun, planning, harvesting, moving.  The ground is asleep.  My fingernails are clean.  And I can dream, and January brings that lovely reflective sense of peace and accomplishment.  We dine like kings on everything we stored in the root cellar, freezers, and pantry from this last season.  We remark how beautiful our house is and our yard is coming together and in just short of one year’s time, we have transformed it into a working homestead.  Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude.

Hawks swirl and the large lake is out our south windows and the city bus rumbles by out the north panes proving you can homestead anywhere.  I write on my list that I need lamp fluid for the oil lamps and more tea candles.  Wood is chopped and piled by the stove.  The chickens are waiting to be let out.  The farm dog sleeps and I need another cup of coffee and a sharpie so I can start circling items in the seed catalogue and create dreams for spring.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. bpangie says:

    Ah, seed catalogues: homesteader crack! Enjoy the rest.

  2. Yes, January is an important month–for resting, reflection, and maybe most of all for drooling over seed catalogs and beginning to plan that spring garden. That’s what keeps us from going berserk!

    1. And freezing! Come on spring!

  3. terrifortner says:

    We sat down just last week and picked out our seeds. The varieties we would like to grow, my husband even pitched in on that. He usually just lets me do whatever I want, but this time he had some thoughts on he process and it was all the more fun for his involvement.

  4. Jane Gealy says:

    Maryjane sounds awesome! I guess it won’t be long until she has her own small patch to look after?

    1. For Christmas Pa and I gave her a garden shed/playhouse complete with place to grow a green roof, catch rain water, and plant a flower bed. My daughter caught a picture of her running midair with the biggest smile on her face! It is in my new garden area. She will certainly have her own little plot at Grammie’s house. She is so much fun!

      1. Jane Gealy says:

        Wow, sounds like you are all truly blessed!

  5. I love this. I got a little wild this week looking through our seed catalog too! This is always the time of year for huge garden dreams, like jars upon jars of preserved vegetables lining my shelves. One of these years it’ll work out!!

    1. I haven’t ordered a thing. Going to use up all the seeds downstairs first! I have big plans for this year too! It keeps us gardeners going!

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