Words mean more to me than I care to admit. A compliment will have me floating on clouds and a criticism can ruin my day. I know that my ‘love language’ is words of affirmation and boy was I feeling loved this morning.
You see, we are beekeepers and farmers and homesteaders and grow-your-own-fooders and all that kind sort of back to the land kind of stuff. We have been since we’ve been married and haven’t looked back, because well life just wasn’t quite as full back then.
Not like it is now anyway with children and umpteen hundred farm animals and who knows how many tons of chicken litter and 3 no wait, 4 different farms that we’ve been on in the last 6 years. Someday, Lord willing, we’ll have a place that our children’s children can glean from, but until then, we’ll keep stewarding the land to the best of our abilities wherever we live.
So, this morning when I received 3 different messages about our honey and our toil on the earth, I was over the moon. You know, we hear it every now and then. Someone will say our honey is the best they’ve had or we’ll win a blue ribbon at a honey tasting or a customer will call us with their yearly order to be shipped across the country or simply driven into Savannah. It always encourages us and gives us motivation and joy to keep going.
The crazy thing is, our honey is sitting in buckets in our bedroom. We’re making do, sitting on a pile of liquid gold in the corner of our bedroom, because we have limited space and that’s the safest place for it. Also, I haven’t been promoting our honey at all even though we’ve already harvested our spring and fall honey and reordered jars and it’s all ready I go. I’ve been sort of hung up about making a really cute label and transitioning from ‘Urbanna farm’ to ‘the honey bee queen’ for our honey jars when it really shouldn’t even matter what the package looks like, because like Andy always says: ‘good products sell themselves.’ I know details matter, but what really matters is that I love this gig. I also love when other people love this gig and tell me all about it.
Baby bananas are popping up in the pots under the big bananas. The strawberries from Bakers Creek have also exploded in the raised beds and multiplied by at least 150. I promise I’m not exaggerating. The rest of the garden seedlings are patiently waiting to be transplanted with their buddies into the ground and the greenhouse is looking fuller and lusher than ever.
Perhaps it’s the different fruit trees and bushes that are going to be put into the ground soon or the 11 raised beds that are overflowing with plants or the huge pile of potting mix and the smell of soil that I love. Or maybe it’s when Sweet Pea drops her sippy cup in the dirt to dump out the small pots of potting mix into a large container that will actually benefit from the extra dirt. Maybe it’s just Andy faithfully watering and tending to the precious seedlings and hardy trees and growing plants from seeds and taking care of us and the farm. That must be it. I sure love glimpses from the greenhouse.
Andy’s got jury duty this week. It’s so strange for him to not be on the farm, but the kids and I decided to take a little off-farm trip of our own, so we went to town for some errands and fun. I didn’t take any photos of our time at the library, park or fire station, but we had such a sweet time and I’m so glad we left the housework for a few hours and enjoyed our little town for the morning.
I am clearly a ‘home-body’ and it isn’t unusual for our minivan to stay parked for multiple days in a row. There’s so much to do at home and around the farm that leaving it all behind can sometimes seem intimidating and exhausting. I used to be a busy, busy, busy gotta go, go, go gal. I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to stay at home, take care of my family and live in a peaceful, beautiful place. I’m thankful that God has given me the opportunity to be a ‘home-body.’ It’s not something I ever desired and it wasn’t modeled for me in my youth, but it’s a beautiful thing and I’m glad for it!
Did I already share that we’re expecting a new little honey bee to join our crew? Well, we are thrilled and finally over the first trimester woes of nausea, exhaustion, queasy goodness that always accompanies my baby’s earliest weeks of development. I’m thankful for each season and this last one has been a doozy. We returned from our road trip completely wiped yet feeling accomplished and have jumped right back into the tremendous prep work that comes with changing seasons on a farm/homestead.
We don’t have snow or any major blizzards or knock your socks off freezes (it does freeze but the ground doesn’t remain an ice block all winter), but there’s still a lot of garden work, preparing a new flock of biddies to replace the almost 2 year old layers, taking off the shade cloth from greenhouse (okay that only took an hour, but it’s a change!) and the normal mulching and weeding and butchering and drying off the cow and milking the goats and bottling up the Fall honey and the whole shebang.
Honestly, things are always changing and evolving that it can sometimes seem monotonous. Sounds like a huge oxymoron, right? But, it’s true. It’s totally normal for no two days to ever look alike. No matter how much planning and prep work and scheduling you do, sometimes it all just sort of blends together into one big happy lifestyle of crazy. That’s just our life these days.
Andy and the kids are down at the Ohoopee River catching minnows while I take 15 to put my feet up as this roasted chicken finishes up in the oven. That reminds me of the new batch of meat chickens that arrived yesterday and that Bullfrog in all of his 5 year old glory is now solely responsible for the rabbitry. Andy will butcher, but Bullfrog is taking excellent care to be sure ‘Carrie Carrots’ (the buck) and ‘Rainbow’ (the doe) have plenty of sweet potato greens and water every day. We’re slowly getting back into raising meat rabbits after the fire ants decimated numerous litters last season. We had to call it quits for a while, but we’ve got a new system set up and are excited about it.
Lots of other little fun things happening including officially starting structured table time in our little homeschool. The boy already knows subtraction. I’m impressed and I promise it’s not because I’ve been drilling math problems into his mind. Oh my this has gotten long. It’s good to write again. Thanks for reading.