Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 17, 2009

Learning Year by Year

Each year on a homestead is a learning experience. Even those who have been doing this their whole lives still learn new things each year. I know my grandaddy did, and if there wasn't something happening on the farm then he was seeking out someone who knew something he didn't. A farm is like a work in perpetual progress. There are always new ways to do things or old ways to get back to that work better. I have always found that experience is the best teacher. Indeed each year I learn something. This year I learned that I did not plant nearly enough corn. That is ok. I will get enough silage to get the goats through the winter without hay. I will get enough corn for the chickens and the horses for a little while, certainly not all winter. I am pretty sure that I will not meet my 100 lb. goal for sunflower seeds. Most of my sunflowers turned out pretty small and I didn't plant enough. By the time all is said and done with the sunflowers I might reach half of my goal. That is ok, next year I will plant more. I have a small field that I think next year will be nothing but corn and sunflowers. That will more than double what I planted this year and should let me reach my goal better. This year has been a learning experience in the garden over all because I decided to try quite a few new varieties of veggies. When heirloom gardening the choices are irresistable at seed ordering time. I have learned that some things just do not do very well. My white bush squash has simply not done well in our humidity. While the plants have grown to tremendous size and been very prolific, the humidity causes the small squash to grow mold and rot before they get anywhere close to harvest size. I think I have managed to get 2 squash out of the bunch. Just enough for a taste. So I don't see myself wasting the time and resources to plant that variety again. I also planted 12 different varieties of tomatoes. Some have been hit hard by verticillium wilt and while they have grown, they were stunted with no flowers and no tomatoes. I will try them in greenhouse conditions and if I have a problem then will scrap trying to grow that variety. I will get enough sunflower hay once the sunflowers are harvested to feed the rabbits through the winter, so that is a plus. I think if I have one thing to tell new homesteaders, that would be seek to learn something from each year's experience. Don't ever stop learning and don't ever stop seeking for that learning experience. You never know what might happen with all that knowledge floating around in your head! God bless and have a wonderful day!

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