1. We started off the week by planting, planting, planting. (Followed by mulching, mulching, mulching!) We are not finished yet, we hope to plow up some more ground, but this is what we got in so far:
Cabbage, lots of different herbs (culinary and medicinal), bell pepper, zucchini, carrots, jalapeno peppers, ancho peppers, chili peppers, sweet banana peppers, yellow pear tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, red potatoes, white potatoes, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, eggplant, and a butterfly bush. I know I am forgetting something!
I have rhubarb, peppermint, a thornless blackberry bush that still need to go in yet, when I get their place ready. I hope to get some corn, lentils, oats, green beans in soon, and plan to start some more herbs from seed this week - to trans plant later. We really wanted to put snap peas in, but were forwarned that people don't have success down here with them because of our intense summer sun. I am told, with some experiance, people have had success starting them really early in green houses, but that they would be ready to harvest soon! So I suppose I will need to save THAT experiment for another year. :-) I also need to move my Roman Chamomile on the advice of a friend who says it doesn't do so well in direct sun down here either...so I will try to put it on the east side of the house, where it will recieve part shade.
2. We have LOTS of trees to clean up. Two of our Amish neighbors came and took what they wanted from many of our cedar trees (about 20) and 4 walnuts. Now we have the top 20 feet or so of each tree to cut up, clear and stack for firewood. I think daddy will be mostly in charge of the cutting part, we help with the stacking part and clearing part. :-) What a blessing our farm truck is for things like this!! We re taking the cedar trees down for the sake of our new apple orchard we just planted as there is a fungus that is caused by having cedars close by. The 4 walnuts are coming down because they are in the middle of what will be come a driveway/parking area for the farm and guests. (They were not well anyway, their time was close at hand naturally.) As a result, I think we are going to be well prepared for wood next winter! What a wonderful feeling.
After we get the tree cleaning up and what we can use stacked, we'll look into getting the stumps ground down.
3. The hole has been dug for our root cellar; it measures 12x32 and is a little over 8 feet deep. It rained right after it was finished, so it has almost a foot of water sitting in it. We are thinking we are going to have to pump it out to help it dry up so we can continue our work. A pond may come later...but this is NOT the time (or the place!). :-) We have a neighbor who is a construction Foreman and he excavates with his own equipment on the side. (Nice, huh?!) Our (Amish) block layer showed up after being out of town for the last several weeks, to check in. We had some rain the last couple days here, so we need to wait until our little "pond" dries up before he can start getting to work. If the weather works with us, he is projected to start Thurs.
You can really see the dirt we have here on the farm to plant in too. It's rocky orange clay...(the orange clay reminds me of PA) Its gonna take many years of adding to the soil (and removing rocks) in our planting areas to get it where we really want it. Until then, we work with what we have and make the best of it! We are very very thankful to have it!
As a part for this project, the dirt that is being pulled out for the root cellar is being used to grade the very hilly side next to the shed as well as filling up the old hand dug well that sat in front of the house (right in front of my porch rockers). It was a big cement slab with a large cement circle and metal dome cap. U - G - L - Y! My kids used to play all around, it, riding their tricycles around the circle and using it as a "home base" for tag. Which was cute, but I can't tell you how many times I have lost my breath over a child tripping over the cement slab and falling toward the big cement monolith in the center to be "safe". I am happy to see it filled in. Right now, it is a muddy mess with the rains we just had. The whole front porch is blocked by about 10 feet of mud. Imagine pouring dirt and rocks into a class of water, it's gonna over flow, right? So does a wet well when it is filled in! These pictures don't show the worst of it (If forgot to take pictures then. But this is the state of it at the time of this writing, (about 5 days after). We have had to put boards down to get over the mud to our front door - not so pretty now...but it is worth it! I am looking forward to driveway plans and landscaping in the future....(Maybe next year?? Not sure when.)
4. When Ben was in town last week he ran into our chiropractor and he excited pulled him aside, as he seemed to like to do with Ben. He loves to talk about Scripture and He loves to ask Ben's opinion on stuff. Well this week, he said, "What are you doing this Sunday?" Ben was silent, knowing that Sunday is always our biggest chore day on the farm. He knows this guy is really active in his church. Our Dr. continued, I want you to come down to my (Baptist) church and teach my Sunday School Class of 20 year olds. Ben asked what it was He wanted him to teach on and He said, "What ever the Spirit leads you to teach." They agreed that he would not have to stay for church service, that he could run the class and leave. The Dr. would be there in class so Ben agreed. We have not been in a "Sunday Church" for 5 1/2 years...Yah gave us a sense that He is going to use us in this way some how (about a year ago) to aid in the restoration of His family ...so we continue to wait (and be "at the ready) for His leading and provision and guidance, as we ONLY want to go where HE sends us and do what HE has sent us there to do!!! I am prayerful, and asking, does this have something with the "ordination papers" he just had us get???? Hmmmm....
Ben reminded me, that just a few days before, I asked him (out of 'nowhere'), "Do you ever just get a 'wild hair' to go to a Sunday Church if we were lead too?" His answer was "Yes" and that was end of that topic - neither of us had any more to say. We don't know what YHVH is doing here...but we are certainly going to follow His lead! After much prayer, Ben decided to teach "Who is Israel" to the group. It was a small group and half way through the teaching the class doubled with a group of older women who came in. This made it kind of awkward because he had been creating some "foundation" before they arrived that was lacking for them which made Ben uncomfortable. He said the whole "atmosphere" changed when they arrived, but all in all, It seemed to go pretty well, the Dr. asked him to come back another time, (although a date was not set). We would appreciate your prayers in this regard. We so long for YHVH's people to lay down this modern (false) notion of replacement theology that has snuck it's way into churches and for people to understand the fullness of the gospel in The Scriptures that starts in Genesis and runs all the way to Revelation. We hope to be used to help people understand the Scriptures more clearly in the context in which they were written, rather then the context in which their denomination (or "non denomination"!) chooses to paint it. We hope to encourage His people to let The Scriptures transform us into His likeness rather than trying to transform The Scriptures and Him into what we like. (Hence we have over 2000 denominations, theologies and brands of "churches" today.) Father please forgive us for what we have done!
We pray you all have a wonderful week in Him! May YHVH bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you!
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