Have you reached a point where you've been homesteading long enough to consider offering something to your community? So have we!
As a family and a business, we've maximized the space we're in and we've reached the limit as to the size of the workshops and classes we can offer… but we want to do more!
As homesteaders, it's an innate desire to share and teach this way of life to those interested. And this is exactly what my husband and I are experiencing.
We recently purchased a 40-acre homestead just a half-mile from our home (if you missed that episode, it's #349 of the Pioneering Today Podcast). We're currently renovating it and will be offering it as a Farm Stay short-term vacation rental.
We also have dreams to rent it out as a wedding venue, and holding classes and seminars on various homesteading topics.
Big dreams don't just happen, it takes planning and preparation ahead of time. That's why I'm sharing the steps we're taking with you because sometimes hearing what others are doing can help inspire and give direction to our own dreams.
I hope you enjoy this episode of the Pioneering Today Podcast (episode #360), thanks for dreaming with me and I hope it helps inspire your own projects.
- How we're preparing the Farm Stay for a future vegetable and flower garden.
- Planning how that garden will provide food for a Farm Stand or CSA.
- Tilling, amending, and covering the soil for next year's garden.
- Thinking ahead about how we can save money on elderberry trees and hydrangea bushes by getting cuttings. (Learn to plant and care for elderberries here.)
- These trees and bushes will provide a living fence that's beautiful and productive.
- Ordering chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery to raise up a flock of multi-colored egg-laying chickens for our Farm Stay guests.
- Procuring a license for next year to raise and sell meat birds to our community. (Learn more about raising meat chickens here, and how to butcher a chicken here.)
- Looking into getting a Scottish Hylander Cow! The meat is closer to Wagyu, but they do take longer to raise.
- Verse of the Week: Malakai 3:10
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- Your Gardening Questions Answered
- Grow Your Own Food: Helpful Tips for the Beginner Gardener
- Does Gardening Save Money
- How to Find & Buy Land Beyond the Usual Routes
- Best Vegetables for Small Spaces and Self Sufficiency
- 4 Tips to Success In Growing Your Own Food
Hey pioneers, welcome to episode number 360. On today's episode, I am going to be giving you an update basically on where we are with the new 40 acre homestead property that we purchased. But also walking you through our planning process as we look to increase the livestock and the things that we are going to be offering as production. However, you're like, well, that's great, I don't plan on operating a CSA type program or having a farm store. We are only looking at producing food for ourselves. However, the planning process as well as then implementing this is really going to be the same either way. And I really hope that some of you who are listening to this podcast and this episode have reached a part or a point I should say, where you have been home setting long enough now producing your own food or some of your own goods.
And you might be considering offering that to people in your community, not only as a source of income for yourself because I don't think that you should ever offer it for free when it has cost you something. And all of this have cost associated with it being seed, building up our soil, just the planting and the harvesting and the tending, even if it's just vegetables, but you definitely have costs involved. If it's livestock and I think that it is... Trying to find the right word, I find it interesting that there are people who think that you should give that for free. Now, there has definitely been instances where we have had an overabundance of zucchini as a actual example. And I know that there's people in my neighborhood who are friends of ours, and my own parents who did not put a vegetable garden in this year.
They've just reached that age and time in their life where they didn't put in a vegetable garden. And absolutely I'm taking them my extra zucchini and whatever extra vegetables that we've got coming in out of the garden to a few people. However, I charge for our eggs. So we have extra eggs right now with the flock that we've got. And there's people in the community who are more than happy to buy eggs from us. They don't have to drive as far. They can walk over and get the eggs. They know they're farm fresh. They literally see my chickens in the chicken tractors on the grass being moved. They know how they're cared for and they are more than happy to support us and not have to go get those eggs from the store. So I felt like I needed to lead into this because I have found very interesting comments on social media, which I take with a grain of salt. Trust me.
I get so many of them at different spots that you have to develop a bit of a thick skin. But I do find it interesting that a lot of people when you talk about selling things that they have this mind that they need to tell you that well, you should just be giving it away for free. People don't value a lot of things that they get for free. And there is absolutely I do not agree that you should be putting out all of the cost, all of the effort, just to turn around and hand that out for free. As I said, there're certain cases and certain people that we do give stuff for free. But I think just as a general standpoint that someone would have that expectation of someone else, I highly doubt that they are going to work and doing it for free.
So I just think it's interesting that for farmers and people who are producing food products, that they think that should be something that's given for free. I actually disagree in most cases. Anyways, we started off on a soapbox tangent before we actually got in to the meat of today's episode. So welcome to the podcast. Gosh, it feels like it's been a minute. I hope you are having a wonderful September. Our temperatures finally have cooled down a little bit. We're getting cold at night. The day that I'm recording this, we actually were down to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. And we had left all the windows open in the house because we've been having to cool it down. We've been so hot and I woke up this morning cold. And it was 54 degrees in our house which was very cold compared to the 70 degrees it has been, because we've been so warm and it's just kind of built in the house over the month of August.
And the first part of September it felt a bit shocking, but I also know that that means I've probably got a few more weeks. If I'm lucky on our peppers and tomatoes before those overnight temps being consistently low and dropping even closer to a freeze, we'll really start to drop the production there. So I know we're at the tail end of the garden harvest. However, that is not actually the topic of today's podcast episode. So where are we at with our new 40 acre homestead property? Well, we are two months into renovating the two bedroom farmhouse. And I've had a lot of people ask, are you planning on moving to the farmhouse? And we're not. If you saw the YouTube video on it when we first got it and did a tour of it, it's only a very small two bedroom farmhouse with one bathroom.
And I have a 17 year old son and a 13 year old daughter. And I am not going to ask them to share a room. So we are definitely not moving to the farmhouse, but we are turning it into a farm stay. So short term vacation rental, where I'm very excited for people to be able to come and stay. It's going to be a working farm. So the farm stay will just be one aspect of it, but the rest of the acreage and barns will be producing food for the community. We will be doing live teaching workshops there, lots of plans. We may have it be for a very select few weekends in the summer as a wedding venue. It's just a gorgeous property. And this sounds so funny for me to say because I'm looking at it with the vision which is what I wanted to talk to you about today, on where you see things and then how you create the plan in order to get there.
So I see the one barn area that we ended up having to put a new roof on... So we did get a new roof on it before we moved into winter which is very good. Not so great for the pocket book but very good. And as I'm looking around it, I am looking at how do we create this particular structure so that it can one, be a spot where people can come in. And when we do live workshops and have different teachers, et cetera, on the place for workshop days, that we'll have seating in here, we'll have somebody up front with a microphone and just a small portable sound system, et cetera. That they can teach from here. We're putting in a sink, water and power is actually going in right now. The plumber just finished today helping us with that, so that we'll have an area for our live workshop demos, if we're planning on next year doing chicken butchering workshops. I'll talk a little bit more about that.
And then we're also going to be doing... One of the workshops will be a herbal workshop. So we may need water depending on if we will be making syrups and tinctures and whatnot. So we'll probably need running water for that. And then we're going to do a preserving workshop where we'll be going through fermenting and canning, using salt, dehydrating, all of that. And so definitely for canning we're going to need running water. So we went ahead and plumbed it into that building. But I was looking at the area and we're going to be putting in... That is going to be one of the workshops we do in May, is putting in a full on preserving vegetable garden and showing how to do that. But that means we have to prep the soil because right now it's just an overrun field, basically that area.
So looking at that, if we expect that to be productive and to produce a good healthy garden and grow food next year, as well as flowers because my goal is to plan it out in such a way that it is both flower... So if you did have a wedding venue it would be pretty, but also be a food production. So for the farm, we already have our own vegetable garden here at our house that will provide for us but this will be specifically for the community. So for a farm stand, possibly a CSA, I'm not sure exactly which route we're going to go there if we're going to do a CSA model or we're just going to do a farm stand model. But also I need that to be a garden that's producing for the workshops that we plan on doing, because I want people to be able to go out, know when things are ready to harvest at peak harvest, how to harvest them so that they last longer on certain things and then be able to use that food actually to the preserving with.
So this garden and this space has a lot riding on it. I really need it to perform. So you may be in a spot where you're like, I really need to put in a garden. I don't have a garden at our house. Maybe you've never had a garden there before or on property, or it's your first year gardening, et cetera. It might not be that you're expanding in the way that we are, but ideally starting now at the end of summer for next year's garden, that's your ideal spot and time. So, first thing is we had to make sure that there was actually water to the area where the garden was going to go in, because we most likely will have to do irrigating at some level in August in order to keep plants alive. So making sure that there was a water spot put in. If you have water that's really far away from the growing spot, yes, you can use hoses, you do use pressure, there's different things.
If you're packing the water, you're going to have to pack it further. So we made sure that we got a water line put in right at where the garden's going to be. And then now as we're moving into the fall months, is looking at getting that soil covered up so that we can kill the grass. And oftentimes when we're putting in a new garden bed, now I know that there's lots of stances on till versus no till, et cetera. But if you have a area of really matted or a lot of grass, I have found that tilling it in the fall to break all of that up, which actually is great because it's adding matter into the soil because what you till up we leave there. And then that breaks down over the winter months into the soil.
So it actually is kind of doing composting and then we'll add stuff on top of that. So I'm kind of getting ahead of myself. So basically what we do is we like to go through and till up the area that's going to become a new garden bed. So you could definitely still do no till after this initial tilling of creating the bed. We've just found with the grasses that we have here and the way their root systems work, et cetera, this tends to work the best for us. So we do a till through of that. And then I like to add a layer of manure, any leaves that we've got fallen, anything like that put that on top of that newly tilled up area. And then we like to cover it. And then that way over the winter months it's going to break down.
You'll still get the composting items that you've put in there. They will break down even being undercover. But I like to put the cover on top of it because depending on how much compost material and layers I can get in there, that way I'm not washing away any of the soil. And it's not getting as compacted because it's covered with a big tarp. But the other reason for that is because then whatever minimum light we do get during the winter months being in a more Northern climate, we do still get some but not a lot of direct sunlight that time of year because we're so cloudy. But that is going to help any seeds that are present because when you till you do bring seeds upright, they come upwards. Or if there's any grassroots that didn't get completely chopped up, if they don't get light they're not going to grow.
So then come spring time when I'm actually ready to begin cultivation and planting, I pull back that cover and the soil is nice and it's ready to go for me. So that has worked really well for us. And sometimes we'll even just till up the soil, cover it with a tarp and not put anything down on it until the spring. Then we'll remove the tarp, work in our planting... Excuse me, whatever amendments we're putting in, usually it's a mixture of compost and manure, and get that in the row area where we're planting and then add our mulch and other things like that. So right now we're deciding how big of an area do we start with so that we can get that prepped and tilled up, and at least covered so that we've got that ready to go when we come closer to springtime. And also deciding on, even though we've got the waterline plant in there, what type of system do we want to use to water this? Because it's a half mile from our house which means we're down there every day anyways.
But I know that at home, if I need to for the main vegetable garden, I can just go ahead and turn on our overhead sprinkler where I don't have my tomatoes and anything that's really more susceptible to blight. And then I can just turn it off right before I go to bed. And that's my preferred manner rather than watering during the day when so much of the water then just evaporates off when it's in direct sun. However, I know that I am not going to go down a half mile to this other property to turn off waters and sprinklers. So we really need a maintenance system that is very efficient and can kind of run a little bit without us to a degree. So we are looking at using the instead of SoCRA hoses, which I do like my SoCRA hoses, but we're actually looking... The SoCRA hoses tend to rot after so many years of use or they can spring the leak, especially if you've had to splice them in.
I just met with our plumber today, and so it's kind of like the same thing wherever you have to splice a line, you're putting that into a fitting. And when it comes to the SoCRA hoses, that tends to be the areas that they eventually will have a blowout on or you'll get leaking from. So we are looking at doing the drip tape instead and using that as an irrigation system down there for this new vegetable flower garden area that's going to go in. So thinking ahead, as you're planning out these new things is so important. And also on supplies because as everybody... At this point in time, everybody is aware of supply chain issues or has experienced it to some degree at one time or another in the past two years. We'll leave that as it is. But making sure that I have things put on order in plenty of time so that we get them.
And I'd rather have them months before I actually need them than wait and try to order them when I do need them and find out, oh, it's not in production right now, or you can't get it, or it's been delayed, et cetera. That has added a whole other element to doing the renovation, to get the farmhouse to a point where we can have guests there. And it's nice and all of that. So that's kind of phase one, is looking at what do we want to do plant wise. We also need to create a border on the fence right at the road because if we do have any wedding or events there, during a ceremony you don't want to see cars driving by. Even though it's a small not much traveled country road, you don't want to see them when the photographer is taking a picture at a wedding and you see this beautiful field, all set up with decorated, et cetera, [inaudible 00:16:39] you see a car zooming by because there's just a fence.
So I want to make sure that I'm doing a layering of not just pretty plants that are actually creating a barrier but there're also useful. And Elderberry is what I want to put in, because one they're beautiful when they're in early bloom. Like when the Elderberries are blooming, they're these big white lacey blossoms. So they look beautiful. And then they're even pretty as they begin to ripen. And then there very dark berries, the way they lay. They're very pretty and they'll get big relatively quickly, but they will also be a crop. So both for when we are doing herbal medicinal classes we'll be able to harvest from them. But it's also a potential crop that we can have available to the community. And possibly looking on if we want to do cottage law and all of that stuff. Maybe even making elderberry syrup and having that be a product that we could sell at the farm stand, that people for who if they don't want to make the elderberry syrup themselves, they could get it locally grown and locally made.
But that means we either are going to be buying a bunch of elderberry plants, which they are not always cheap and there's been elderberry shortages. So sometimes it's harder to get plants. Or knowing that we're going to do that with the existing Elderberry plants that we have, making sure that we get cuttings off of them so that they have time to root. And then they will be the plants that we put in there come next June. Again, that takes timing. So if you're looking to not have to buy certain plants by either grafting or getting starts or taking a cutting, et cetera, you have to back that up because you have to get that at the right timing. So, that has been another layer where I'm really looking at plants that at least during the summer months will create a nice, pretty natural border at the fence line but also serves a purpose.
And that I also can get in for this big, long field, this big line that we want to have this at, without having to buy each individual plant if we can help it, so that's kind of where our planning has went with that. I think I'm going to do cuttings. Well, I know I'm doing cuttings of the elderberries, then there's also a really beautiful lacey Hydrangea plant at the farm and it's just gorgeous. And so I'm going to try my hand at getting some cuttings from it as well and kind of doing some staggering there, because I think they both would be very pretty additions and would compliment one another alongside the fence. So that's one of the elements and some things that you might want to think about too.
If you need to add in some landscaping or you're looking at adding in plants, is there a way that I could get a cutting of this, or not have to go buy it necessarily from a nursery, or maybe just buy one of the plants that I want and then learn to get the cuttings from that so that I can get a lot more by just starting with one. And we do have some episodes where we've talked about grafting and whatnot here on the podcast. So I'll make sure in the show notes and the blog posts that accompanies this episode, which you can find by the way @melissaknorris.com/360, that's the number 360 because this is episode number 360. So you'll be able to find lots of goodies there. And then some of the next things that we are planning and putting in our orders for right now is the livestock needs. For the farm stay, I want to be able to offer guests when they come some produce and some things that are raised directly right there on the farm.
And they need to come from that farm and not our homestead farm, because I need to make sure that my family, our food needs are provided for. So my existing flock of chickens that I have right now... We've got eight chickens. Six of them are just coming in a year old and then I've got two girls who are five years old, but they still do lay for me. And so I'm keeping them though I'm definitely not getting an egg a day from the five year olds, especially as we move into the fall months. They do pretty good in the spring still but not so great as we move into fall. And then I know the other girls are going to hit moulting season and they're not going to be laying for me throughout the winter. But that being said, with the eight laying hens that we have here at our homestead, that definitely provides for my family and a couple of other neighbors as well.
But I'm not going to be able with those eight chickens to also provide eggs for our farm stay guests. And I don't want to cut off my neighbors access by that. So we needed to get a new another flock that will be down there. So that's a chicken tractor that needs to be built for them down there so that they'll be on the property. I want people to see plus I actually need it for pasture management. And there's areas of the pasture down there that really need some fertility and can use the chicken manure and the chicken scratching, et cetera. And part of it for us is that it is a teaching farm by example, as well as doing instructional workshops. And when guests come and stay, I want them to see what a check-in tractor looks like instead of just a stationary coop. And then have the ability to have an experience truly farm, fresh, pasture raised eggs. So we needed to get on order more chickens so that there is a flock down there.
And because I know it's some people's first experience this... The farm stay might be for some people their first experience of farm life and having farm to table food. Like really getting to experience that in comparison to just regular restaurants, grocery stores, et cetera. So of course, I want an egg of every color because your eye is really the first thing that sells you on something. And when I say sell you I don't necessarily mean monetarily wise. But think about that, when we look at something, our eye is the first thing that is like, yes, I want to bite to that, or no, I don't. And sometimes the eye can be deceiving of course. But I wanted to make sure that I was able to get the chicken breeds that would provide me with the blue eggs. So we got some Ameraucanas are on order, as well as some of the green eggs.
And then I did want a couple of white, even though I know typically grocery store eggs you think of about the white. But McMurray hatchery, I put in an order with them which if you want fall chicks, I highly recommend you get your order in as soon as possible. And you can also do future dated orders. And what that means with McMurray is you can go in and you can put, this is what I want and the numbers. You can even put a date in for spring, which for meat birds I highly recommend. And then that allows them to know how many eggs that they need to get to be putting into the incubators and to hatching out, et cetera. So is actually a very good thing. But you can put in that order, even if you know I'm not ready for these chickens, or I don't want these chickens until next spring. But you get your order in now and you future date it, which they have selections on their website that allow you to do that.
And we will be doing that with our meat birds, because our hope is we are going to be looking at getting our small poultry license, which is if you are doing 1000 or less birds a year you can get in the state of Washington. And this varies in every state. So you're going to have to look in your state to see if this is something you plan on doing. However, we are planning on getting that license for next year for the farm stand. And so I will have to get my numbers into McMurray for my meat birds as well, because we want to be able to offer a lot larger than what we've done just small scale in the past of meat birds to our community. And to have those something where people can come and purchase them. But as to... Because I know you guys are going to ask me this, as to the breeds that I got so that I have an array of green, blue, white and brown eggs.
I got the Ameraucana, those are the blue egg layers. I got Whiting True Green, those are the green ones. I'm sure you figured that out. And then I got some Buff Orpingtons, and Buff Orpingtons I have to say are my favorite. If I had to pick a favorite breed and I don't really have a favorite, but in all my chicken years, Buff Orpingtons overall are the friendliest and the sweetest chickens. They also are the ones that tend to go broody, which can be a good or bad thing because when they go broody they stop laying. And they try to sit on the eggs and unless you have a rooster to fertilize the eggs, it does them bless them hearts. Absolutely, no good. However, if you want them to hatch out eggs for you so that you don't have to continue ordering and buying chicks, well, then you need one that will go broody and the Buff Orpingtons tend to do that.
And I happen to the sweet chickens. I don't like the ornery ones. I admire a little spunk and sass, but I like a sweet chicken over a sassy one. So I got my Buff Orpingtons and they will be the brown egg layers. And then I also did the Pearl White leghorn. And of course, that is going to be a white egg, but they were the most productive of all of the white egg-laying chickens. A very productive the Pearl White leghorn. So I went with them because I want to be able to make sure that I'm offering each guest that comes to the farm stay, that there's enough eggs there that I can offer it to them and then have extra to put at a farm stand. So we're hoping to get a farm stand erected before next summer. And to be able to have all of this produce right there on the farm stand as well as for guests who are coming to stay.
So I say we ordered them now because most of your chicks are not going to lay eggs, breed dependent, some as early as four and a half months of age they'll start laying. Some of them not until closer to six months. So on average I guess about five to six months before you're going to be getting eggs. And right now I'm going to be getting these guys, the tail end of September they will be arriving as little baby chicks. And then it's going to be close to six months before the majority of them will be laying. So I needed to get them now in order to be set up for spring and summer, et cetera. I did not want to wait until next spring. I don't really like to get baby chicks in the middle of winter, just because our broader system it's harder when it's really cold out for baby chicks.
You still have to have a heat lamp regardless, but even that it's a much easier if you can get them into full feathers, which is usually about six to eight weeks before you get a truly nasty cold weather. So it was either I get them now in the late summer, early fall, or I'm going to have to wait until we get into later spring. Which would put me way further back on having eggs to being able to offer for guests. So that was kind of my planning strategy there and thinking about those things. And next up, we are wanting to offer more beef and we now have more acreage so we can increase our herd size. But that means we have to actually get more cattle, that I know shocker, right? But some of the things we've been thinking about is, do we want to continue within the same breed lines that we have been?
Do we want to bring in some different stock? Do we want to have two separate herds where we have just our existing herd here on our property? Do we want to have a separate herd for the farm? And those are some things we're still kind of batting around. We are looking at though. And this is where it's interesting because I am now thinking more beyond just for my family, because I also know that this is a form of tourism. It's a productive farm, that's the reason that we bought it. But we also are going to be doing a type of tourism with the farm stay. And I tell you what, there's really nothing cuter than a Scottish Highlander cow. They are so cute and adorable. So I have been looking at maybe bringing in some of the Scottish Highland cows. Now, they are adorable. They will do well here with our winters because we are typically cooler and they're great foragers. With those thick coats they're going to do well here in the wintertime.
But I've also been looking at as something that we offer because the meat is different. The meat is closer to Wagyu, the marbling is different. And they do take longer though to get to butcher size. So you just know that you're going to be raising them longer, but because they're such exceptional foragers you're not necessarily out more in feed costs, which usually at least in our experience in the past with pigs not cows. But when we did some of the different breeds of pigs that took longer to get to butcher weight, we did go through more feed costs. It was not worth it for us from an economic standpoint. But my research thus far with a Scottish Highlanders and because we also have, I feel like that would be a drop. Also, can you imagine if you're getting married and you look over in the field and the sun is setting, and there is the cutest little Scottish Highlander cow just looking at you. Wouldn't that make...
Anyways, maybe not unless you're a farmer. But to me I'm like that is the perfect backdrop for a wedding picture. So anyways, we are looking at possibly bringing in and starting a herd of Scottish Highlander cows. But again, that has been something where I don't have anybody in my family or close neighbors who raises Scottish Highlanders. And so I have been looking at other breeders, they're not as common. We raise black Angus and Hereford mix is what our herd has been, sometimes a little bit of red Angus, but we mainly have bred that out. And we're just with a Black Angus and Hereford mix. So I can find at Maine-Anjou, we have a little bit of Maine-Anjou. So I can find a lot of stock to purchase. And I prefer to purchase locally myself. I like to know who the farmer is I'm getting it from.
The way that the cow has been handled, just knowing that I'm getting really good healthy stock because I can see. And I know the people who are raising these animals, I can go and look at them any day the week and see how they're maintained. Whereas when you buy from the auction, you don't know what you're getting. You don't know if you're getting someone's problem, is that the reason that they're getting rid of it? You don't really know... There's just so much you don't know. And you can get great stuff at auctions too but it's more of a gamble. So I am having a more trouble finding some good leads on Scottish Highlanders. They're not as prominent as a breed. And so that has been interesting. And the reason I'm sharing that is because if you are looking to bring on livestock at your homestead, and you've got your heart set on a very specific breed which is not necessarily anything wrong with that, but you may have a harder time finding that especially locally and being able to get that on.
And so I do have a lead actually from someone local on a Scottish Highlander Heifer. However, if we want to keep her as a breeding line, I have to find a Scottish Highlander bull. Now AI is an option you can go, it's more difficult especially with a heifer. AI has its pros and cons but it might be our only option if we wanted to make sure that her offspring was a pure red Scottish Highlander, because I haven't been able to locate a bull anywhere in our area either. So anyhow, just kind of sharing with you where things are at, what we have been planning for the new place. So we're hoping... I'm not going to still be the famous last word. We're hoping that all of the renovations on the new farm house will be completed and that we will be able to go live with accepting guests the first part of October.
But we shall see if that remains because every step of the project... Any of you who have done any type of renovations before, you're like, aha, we know how that goes. But I'm like every step we get to there's some type of setback or just something that takes longer than anticipated. So I'm loosely holding that October 1st date as being able to be open, and accepting guests and ready to go at the farmhouse. So we shall see. And I plan on sharing like a full reveal video and everything on YouTube once we're actually at that stage. And I have to say, I am having a ton of fun picking out things which I've been doing in aggregating things for the house, because when you're doing a short term vacation rental, it's furnished. There's towels, there's bedding, there's beds, there's stuff in the kitchen.
It's a furnished house. Well, when we bought it, it wasn't furnished. It didn't come with anything. We were able to get some really cool pieces back the owners when they knew that we wanted to take it back to a more farmhouse state, and have it be a place where people could come and stay. And have it be a working and a teaching farm, they are so supportive and excited that that's what we're doing. And so they found a lot of the items that had been in the house originally from the '40s and even some further back. And asked if we would like to have those as to put back in the house. And oh my gosh, I said yes, but it hasn't been enough to furnish everything. But I've really had a lot of fun going to yard sales, and thrift stores, and antique stores and trying to find items one on a budget. But two that I felt really fit that farmhouse in that era. And we're very true on and authentic to that time period, but also functional for people who are coming to stay in this space.
So that has been a lot of fun, even though I'm like, oh, I want this in my house. And I'm like, no, this has to go in the farm stay. So once we get to do a full reveal of that I'll have a lot of fun telling you guys some different stories along some of those pieces. But I just wanted to come on and kind of share where things were at, what we were doing, what our plans were. We've been doing a lot of plans walking the property, daydreaming and just trying to decide what do we want to do here? And then mapping out what has to be done basically for phase one so that we can be operational for next year. So I do plan on having very soon listed the workshops that we'll be doing in person at the farm.
My goal is to have those up before the end of the year so that people have enough time to plan for next summer and that type of thing. So I guess stay tuned, that will be coming your way very soon. Now for our verse of the week, I chose Malachi 3: 10, bring the whole tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house and test me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you, the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. And of course talking about storehouse, we have been talking about creating food for people, both for ourselves and for others and the community. But it's been really interesting because 10 years ago, we would've never ever been in a position where we could have purchased this farm that we did, the 40 acre farm.
And I remember very clearly we had just moved into the manufactured home, the double white house that we live in on our homestead. And so this was in 2007... It was 2007, 2008, right around there because we'd been in here I think about a year. And I was working at the pharmacy store and I wanted a book deal so bad. I wanted to be an author so bad, if you've listened to my podcast already in my books, you know this part of my story that I've been wanting to be an author since the time I was a very little girl. And I remember sweeping up the ash from around the wood stove, those of you who have burnt, that's been your source of heat. You know what I'm talking about. You're always having to clean the dust and the little bits of ash from up around the wood stove.
And I remember cleaning that up and oh, I was so naive. But at the time I'm like I was praying because I wanted a book deal so bad. And I'm like, God, Lord if you get me a book deal, I will tithe my 10% of whatever advance I get. Well, you don't bargain with God but his grace, there's a lot of it, at least with me and... Or I should say I probably tested his grace more than most people. But I remember as I prayed that, immediately I was hit with the thought, why would you wait until then? And why would he think you would be faithful to tithe at that point when you're not tithing with what you have now? And that really hit me. And up until that point, I tithe some. And if you're not a Christian or you aren't tithing regularly, that's between you and the Lord. Go to your Bible, that's what we all need to do when we have any questions about what we should be doing.
We should be going to the Bible and looking at what God's word says on that. So I'm going to leave that where it is, because people get funny when you talk about money. Anyhow, back to my story and my personal experience, then I vowed right then and there that I was going to tithe 10% of everything, no matter how little or how much we made that I would be faithful and do what I was supposed to do. And I have to say once I started doing that we have seen our income increase, which doesn't really make sense if you look at it from a mathematical standpoint, not really. That you give away 10% and then you just see everything grow. And I don't mean like... It wasn't instantly. But I have to say every single year when we would do our taxes and we would look at what we had tithed, what we brought in, and every single year since then we have brought in more money.
We have been more blessed. And I don't know, I'm not really sure where I am going with this. Quite honestly, I was mainly talking about just the storehouse and food, et cetera, and blessings, but someone needed to hear this. I really do believe that when that happens, that it just means that somebody needs to hear that. So as I said, I'm not telling you to go tithe at a certain place or that that's what you need to do. And I don't believe in something... I guess you call it like the prosperity gospel, like well, if you do this the Lord is going to do this and you're going to make a whole lot of money. That's not where I'm going with that because I don't think that's necessarily true. But I guess where I am going with that is we feel extremely blessed to be able to have been in a position where we could buy this farm and not just for ourselves, but in a position where we could turn it into a place that is blessings to others.
It's not just blessings to us, but our goal and hope is that it will be a true blessing to our community and those who live on our road. Those who live close to us geographically, that it will be a blessing to you online. That you will get to watch what happens and you'll be able to apply some of those things to your own farm or your own homestead, et cetera. And then to those who actually come, so if they come for the workshops or people who come to stay there, that they will truly feel that it is a place of blessing and renewal. So I will leave this episode with that. And I thank you so much for joining me today. I will be back on here with you next week. Blessings and [inaudible 00:41:34] for now my friends.
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Hi Melissa. I’m really enjoying hearing about your new farm.
I have a half acre near Portland. I have 10 garden beds that are 4ft x 25ft. I have 2 drip tape lines in each bed. They come off a half inch poly tubing header that runs across the top of the beds. It’s all on a timer and runs automatically during the summer. I got the stuff five years ago from DripWorks and it works ok, but I’m not happy with the durability or ease of use. The drip tape is not soft and flexible, especially after it’s been out in the garden for a year. It’s kind of brittle and kinks easily. It won’t curve, straight lines only. It’s also thin and really hard to get it on fittings and make a tight connection that doesn’t leak. It’s not stiff enough to slide it on. It works at 10 psi, so I had to make 2 zones for my 1000 sf of beds. Last year (year 4) it was an effort to get it working because of all the breaks. This year it took me hours to patch it together enough to get thru the season. No way it will be viable next year. It’s too expensive to have to replace it every 4 years.
I saw a recommendation in a book for 1/2″ inch poly tubing that has emitters built into it every foot. In addition to the 1/2″ poly as the garden supply, I also have couple hundred feet of 1/2″ poly supplying micro sprayers and drippers in all my flower beds. It’s much easier to work with and way more durable and flexible. Also, it handles up to 70 psi, so it should be able to cover more area. I didn’t know you could get it with emitters already in it. DripWorks had a 30% off sale a couple weeks ago so I got enough to replace everything next year. I can’t guarantee that it will be better, but it doesn’t seem like it could be worse.
Be aware – I found out the hard way that there are 2 different sizes of 1/2″ poly. The stuff from DripWorks is thicker and has a larger OD than the stuff from (for example) Home Depot. Compression fittings that slide over the top and grip the hose aren’t interchangeable.
A side note: Every year (except the last 2) there’ a Good Earth Home Show in Eugene OR around the 20th of January. It runs Friday evening to Sunday evening and it’s chock full of presenters talking about gardening, etc. I’ve been going down to Eugene every year and staying for the weekend and going to all the presentations. It’s great way to kick off the new season. You would be a fantastic presenter. Probably sell a lot of books. https://eugenehomeshow.com/our-shows/good-earth-home-garden-living-show/