Virtual Homestead Tour

Here’s a way for you to see and keep up with what we’re actually doing out here. These photos will change periodically.

This past year we did a lot. I cleared almost all the trees to make room for more garden, and my girls and I sold organic produce at the farmer’s market. Here’s what it all looked like.

Cleared some Trees in the Front

We cleared the trees on the back of the front garden, which we call plot B. This is the northwest corner of the property, The trees cleared up roughly 40 feet by 150 feet of more garden space, and my father-in-law loved the firewood.

We Cleared some Trees in the Back

I cleared 1/2 acre of oak and poplar trees in my backyard. As much as I love trees, we decided we had to do this. We cleared it so I could grow pasture crops for our pigs. I am replanting trees around the edges of the pig paddock areas. We put in mulberry and poplar trees as coppiced fodder trees, and apple trees because we all love apples. Sometimes you have to tear down to build new.

We finished just in time for my sow to have a litter of 12 healthy piglets. Now instead of tree trunks, the soil is full of rich green grasses and alfalfa for the pigs to munch on. That’s worth a lot more to them than fallen dry leaves.

We Planted Corn in a Gravel Driveway!

This was previously my neighbor’s gravel driveway. After I bought the lot, he had to move his drive over about 30 feet. I tilled in roughly one ton of manure and a lot of old hay. We broke the rototiller, not surprised, but the ground worked better than I expected. After harvesting, we ran through it with chickens and I’m going to sow some alfalfa the next decent weekend I get.

The corn worked. We planted Wade’s Giant Indian in this plot. In other plots, I planted Early Pink popcorn and Atomic Orange flint corn. I always loved growing corn. These all made an interesting cornmeal and hominy.

Selling at the Howard City Farmer’s Market

Sales were slow, but my girls and I showed up every Saturday at the Howard City Farmer’s Market in west Michigan. My main crops were beets, potatoes, shallots, and onions. UI also sold various tomatoes, brassicas, and squashes.

My daughters Ester and Adaiah, the two oldest, grew cucumbers for the market and they got to sell all the surplus eggs from their chickens. They had an absolute ball at the market and want to go back this coming summer.