To be honest if you are gardening and/or homesteading: you are struggling. It’s even biblical, …. “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17. So there will be a struggle even if you read all the right books, use all the right techniques, and/or have a green thumb. I think that is one of the reasons it is so rewarding to garden/homestead; when you succeed it is even sweeter. There are times we struggle more than others with things like unexpected pests, weather, or life events that keep us from working. I mentioned in an earlier blog that 2017 was definitely a struggle for me. If you haven’t read my blog, “Heritage of Homesteading,” my homesteading and gardening problems didn’t start in 2017.
Almost every home we have lived in, I have figured out how to grow some food. I remember moving into a little house after our pink trailer. Our little house was in an urban area, but I figured out how to have a small raised bed garden. Our neighborhood had our street yard sale every year. I would sell tomatoes I grew in my backyard and, after a very generous cash offer, a bouquet of red zinnias. My homesteading husband said, “You’d sell anything not bolted down.” We moved again to a more rural area, and I had lots of flower beds and several raised beds were built for me. After outgrowing our one bathroom ranch (adding three boys will do that) we moved into a subdivision. I picked out the house after seeing a nice size backyard with a corn field backing up to it. I assumed the soil and conditions would be great. But, I couldn’t grow a thing. The wind whipped through the area so badly that my plants would break or just get wind beaten. I also had a very active toddler at the time, who thought that all green tomatoes were balls. There was a definite struggle. I remember my Mom trying to help me work through the gardening depression. She said, “You have a baby. Everything is harder with a baby”. I put my pressure canner on a shelf and let my Mom bring me the rewards of her hard work. There was still reading and research going on and planning in my brain about how to deal with the wind and my toddler. I had not given up. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the classic movie, Chicken Run, it’s a homesteaders’ must-watch movie.
Rocky: (the rooster) You see, flying takes three things: Hard work, perseverance and… hard work
Fowler: (the old rooster) You said “hard work” twice.
Rocky: That’s because it takes twice as much work as perseverance.
That quote has become one of our family mottos over the years. I think during this stage of my homesteading it was more about persevering through the challenges. There were more challenges and definitely double the work coming in my life, I didn’t know it yet but almost everything was about to change for my little family.
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