What No One Tells You About Growing

No one tells you it sucks. No one tells you that it is more work physically and mentally anything else in this world. They don’t tell you how time intensive it is to grow.

Grow what you ask? Anything, plants, animals, tiny humans, and most of all they don’t tell you about growing yourself. Or maybe regrowing yourself. I am not going to claim to be an expert on anything but I might have everything down pat except myself.

I am working or rather reworking myself. The last three years have been total hell from the word go. Watching my dad’s health decline and his final days. Adjusting to life without him. Helping my children do the same. Trying to get my daughter help for mental health issues, her story to tell if she wants to share details. Job changes and health issues. Some really life altering health issues. Life has just given me a lot to consider.

I have been told that I am strong and how most people would have given up already. I really do appreciate the sentiments. Most have not seen the dark parts of this journey. There are still some dark days ahead but they are getting fewer. What it has lead me to is the belief that I am strong enough to be weak and ask for help. It has shown me how precious life can be and how fragile.

The goals for now are to explore the world from a different perspective. Not new really but a better understanding of permaculture as not only a function of healing the earth but of healing myself.

One of the reasons I think that my gardens have struggled is that I have been struggling. As if they have been a mirror image of my inner turmoil. That and clay soil just simply sucks.

The three ethics of permaculture are what I am choosing to live my life by.

1. Earth Care

2. People Care

3. Future Care

Out of those three principles will come the self care that I need. That is the tough part. I am regenerating myself, mentally, spiritua6l, and physically.

Today is a brand new day and it is ok to struggle and to misstep. Just pick yourself up, learn, and forge ahead.

Let’s forge ahead together and make a new beginning today.

Light, Love, and Peace
Tammy~SSM~

A Real Update

Farm life can ruff.

So much has happened since my last post. I started a new job and I an learning to be a dialysis nurse. I have had a heart attack and triple bypass, and a few other health mishaps we shall call them. But I am still here, kicking and finally getting the farm, though only as a supervisor because of a health mishap, fully underway.

Going in the right direction.

Our current projects include modifying the new barn to accommodate the chickens and goats. Getting fencing up around the new field. Which includes a pond for our silly ducks. And getting our garden beds prepared. We also have seed starts in the greenhouse.

It’s a hen party.

For those of you that get our not so monthly, monthly newsletter, or on one of our customer emails may have seen that after last year’s abysmal garden we decided not to do a CSA program. We keep tossing it around, especially of late. What we will do is send out an email when we have a surplus of produce. The same with eggs. I will be setting up forms on our Contact page so that you can let us know which list you would like to be on.

I will attempt to post more often and get the newsletter out in a more timely fashion.

Tammy ~SSM~

Creating a Culture of Change

I am not looking to change a business, society, etc. I am looking to change the way I live personally. That includes how I eat, think, buy and sell. Do I hope that others will join me? Of course, but this is really about my personal journey to live a quiet, peaceful life.

What do I want to change?

A lot of things I would love to change about myself. I want my body to be about 15 years younger. I want my brain to not feel quite so bogged down. I want my spirit to be lighter. I want the energy I used to have. This where I started this new part of my journey. I made a list of what I wanted to see happen in my life. The question really has become how do I make these changes more than just what I want to do.

I am a list person, including putting my goals down on paper. So I have set out to make these changes happen by creating a culture in my home that accepts change. There is no reason to keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. So I made of lists of who, what, when, where, and how I want those changes to happen.

Where do I begin?

I began with searching for a job that would bring me closer to home. It has been a drawn out search but a friend stepped in and helped me find what appears to be a perfect match. We will see, honeymoon phase begins in that but I have a feeling becoming a dialysis nurse is what I have been looking for.

I also I have had to step back and look at things that stress me. Finances is a big one. So how do I change from spending and living pay check to pay check. I have to look at expenses that can be cut. Look at the items I buy and become more conscientious about whether or not I really need them. This includes chickens and ducks, I really need to do a 12 step program of some sort.

Another big stressor for me is clutter and disorganization. For so long I have lived in organized chaos. The chaos has to go. This goes with every part of my daily life. I need to find a system that works for me. Including getting my children on board with how things need to be done to create a peaceful household. I am not talking about the energy that kids bring into a home. I love that actually but I cannot enjoy it when things are helter skelter.

Making a plan

I am making a map of my life. I am taking all of the lists I have made and setting goals. These goals include health changes, organizing time, organizing my home, and organizing my finances.

Health goals include keeping my diabetes under control. Working on rebuilding my health and energy through meditation, yoga, and exercise. They also include gardening and creating a landscape that is productive.

Organizing goals are a little more difficult. I am great at making a plan but sticking to it can be hard. So instead of making big huge changes in how things will get done I am making mini goals that are easy to accomplish and will make a more permanent change in the life I live.

Finances are undergoing a change as well. I should be able to live off of the money I earn at work. It is a matter of getting other spending under control. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges on board for me.

Changing with the seasons

Maybe it is the influence of the changing of the seasons. I have always felt a draw to the sun, moon, earth, and stars. We are heading into autumn. My goals seem to be following the path of the seasons as I create this culture of change in my life. As the Earth changes with the passing of seasons so must we.

 

Finding Resources in Your Own Backyard

It has been a massive search for things to use for building materials. I was considering pallets but as right now I have no way to transport them without paying someone. Remember I like free and cheap. I can’t afford to put out money and run to Home Depot, Lowe’s, or any other type of store.

So what to do to get stuff done has become the question. Well here are some ideas I have come up with, inspired by my new friends over at Accidental Hippies.

Where to get wood?

It is all around our property honestly. From trees that need to come down to the ones that have already fallen. Not to mention the pieces from various older projects that are just hanging out. We already have a chainsaw and many other tools to make them all work.

How to put them together?

Well that is a little tricky. We have various size screws and nails already. Some cam be recycled from old projects and well there is always tongue and groove. They are also inexpensive enough to just go and buy. Free is best but cheap works well too.

Tools?

Well with what we already have and family members close by we can find what we need. Somethings we could even possibly make. There are plenty of options here including for human power. We want to be self sufficient not hermits. I am lucky to have a family equipped with multiple trade skills.

My main outlay will hopefully be in food. Nothing like working hard and having a good heart meal to celebrate a job well done.

Upcoming projects

  • Garden fence
  • Rabbit cages
  • Our own henhouse
  • Property fencing
  • House repairs
  • Barn
  • Outdoor kitchen

Not all of these this year but as time goes by. And many other things that will come up over time.

Light, Love, and Peace

Tammy~SSM~

Single Sustainable Mom vs Enchanted Farmstead

There has been some question as to why there are two different names floating around. I am Single Sustainable Mom and my farm name is Enchanted Farmstead. It really is that simple. I use SSM for Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. For farm business I use the farm name.

Single Sustainable Mom

I have spent the last few years establishing an online presence as SSM. I talk about family life, farming, work, basically my entire life. The trials and tribulations of being a single mom, trying to be eco-friendly, and life as an adventure. I am a mom, nurse, farmer, crafter, and so much more. I want to inspire other people to look at life as a journey, adventure. I want people to realize that no matter the cards you are dealt you can always discard and pick up new cards and take off with it. That is Single Sustainable Mom.

 

Enchanted Farmstead

I own the farm. It is not a person but a place, my home. It is part of the lifestyle of sustainability that I am creating for my family. I am creating a home that is a sanctuary, a life that I do not need a vacation from. The end goal is that the land pays for itself by providing most of what my family needs. Whether it be food or products to sell. It is a business, escape from the world, and a place of peace all rolled into one.

 

Light, Love, and Peace
~Tammy~SSM

 

By Popular Demand

biz-logo2What makes my stuff different?

Probably not much. I know you can scour the web for various worksheets and information. Usually going through tons of different places to look. My goal is to build a comprehensive collection of sheets for my fans to download for FREE! Yep, everyone loves freebies. These worksheets are coming at you in easy to download and print PDF format. I believe in being able to make my own family planner. Definitely a discussion for another time.

Where can you find these little nuggets?

Well that would be on the new resources page. There are currently two sections of reference there. One is going to be all link resources. I will list reference books and other items as time goes on. But for now these worksheets will have to do. They should all be simple and easy to understand but if you have any questions please feel free to ask them here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Why am I doing this?elegant type

Well because I have always found resources helpful in getting my shit together and keeping it together. It at least gives me the appearance of being organized and on top of my game. It works most of the time, there is no perfect system but I think I am getting pretty close. I will have to work on getting more organized if I am going to work full time at the hospital and run a small farm. Luckily I have help with all of that.

Egg Pie

In our house we don’t eat quiche, we eat egg pie. This wonderful concoction looks and tastes much like a quiche, go figure. It is a quick simple recipe that will fill your family up and makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack if you make minis.

Ingredients:

  • Pie crust
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 cup Cheese
  • 3 TBS Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray your pie plate with cooking spray (put a little oil in a spritz bottle and voila! you have cooking spray you can mist).
  3. Place your pie crust into your pie plate.
  4. Beat your eggs with the other ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup of cheese for topping.
  5. Pour your egg mixture into the pie crust and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a knife goes into the center and comes out clean (make an allowance for gooey melted cheese on top. You don’t want to see uncooked egg on the knife.)
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
You can add meat and veggies to your egg pie. Experiment with different cheeses for different flavors. 
To make mini quiches I use a muffin pan and make small pie crusts to fill. 

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

1. Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
2. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.
3. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.
6. Now add your soap mixture and stir.
7. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.
8. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel