2015

it’s a little far into the year for another blog post, but I’m pretty much out a computer and Joe’s tablet is all I’m able to use for any internet use.  It’s not the most convenient medium.

Life updates:

– joe has completed barber school and has a profession now. Exciting times for the Corridoni.

– our apartment is expanded and we are no longer living in the close quarters of a single room for our entire family.

– our family has expanded to 5! Welcome Allistair Gregory!

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– we’re starting to get our homesteading act together again. If you ask joe, he’ll tell you how behind we are, but I think we’re much further ahead than any year previous, so I’m optimistic. We already have some of our seeds germinating in flats, chicks, and have bettered our garden plan and strategy. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of a no-till no-water garden. For more info, see http://www.backtoedenfilm.com

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– I’ve gone sugar, gluten, and for the sake of the bbaby, dairy free. I’m following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, and find that as a result, I’m eating the healthiest I’ve ever eaten in my life. It feels so good!!

– bridget turned 2 at the end of March

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I believe that is the major updates from our place! Until next time.

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starting at the beginning, part 1: take dominion

Since I vented a little last week, I’ve been struggling at where to begin my newly acquired, long list of posts. Today I just decided I would start where it makes sense: at the beginning.

As homesteaders and Christians, we turn to the Bible to instruct us on what we should do in all parts of life (or at least we should). So what does the Bible first say about homesteading? To the very first man and woman, who he created in a garden full of vegetation and animals, He gave this charge.

Genesis 1:27-28 (ESV)

“So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Then God destroyed the earth with a flood, preserving one man and woman and their progeny. Again, He charged them,

Genesis 9:1-3 (ESV)

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.  Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”

Later on, the Psalmist, David, would sing in praise of the mandate God has placed upon mankind.

Psalm 8:3-8 (ESV)

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”

The prophets prophesied about what manner we are to respond to the creation, fellow man, and the Lord.

Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

What can we learn about homesteading through these verses?

“…subdue it, and have dominion…”

When we think of the words “subdue” and “dominion,” several thoughts may come into your mind. You may be thinking of “dominance,” which may in turn cause you to think of “abuse” and/or “slavery”. I believe this is a very toxic way of viewing this mandate. God did not charge mankind with abusing and enslaving the earth, men, and animals. However, since sin entered the world, it seems as though that is exactly what mankind has done.

We have seen how barbaric some of mankind has been. Over the course of history up until present time we have seen slavery in many forms, and toward many people groups, along with various kinds of abuses including prostitution, human sacrifice (both child and adult), fighting to the death, warfare, etc. Testing, fighting, and other kinds of abuses in the name of both science and entertainment have been inflicted upon animals. Finally, there is earth abuse which we can see plainly from landfills, oil spills, air pollution, radiation, nuclear warfare, etc.

This is not dominion. This is sickness.

Christians should be the remedy instead of contributing to the problem.

Dominion comes from the latin dominus, ‘lord, master.’ In other words, humankind is to take charge of the earth and all that dwells therein. Furthermore, God destroyed the earth with a flood when men became corrupt and wicked, preserving the one man, Noah (and his family), who still obeyed Him. God wants His people to obey his mandate; to be benevolent caretakers of the earth He created. “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly…

It’s sad to say that the tree-hugging hippies and environmentalist pagans are doing a better job advocating for “mother earth” than the Christians who were given this charge.

Jesus told this parable:

Luke 12:35-40

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Do you think Christ, at His return, will be impressed at that you were waiting at the door of your house reading the book of Revelation? Or do you think he would rather return to His people who are working hard at obeying all the commands of His Father who sent Him.

Love God above all (obey him, not man)

Love others (do justice, love kindness)

Take dominion

Be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth
(have sex and babies! make sure there are more babies than parents – this is how multiplication works in case you forgot. if you can’t make babies, adopt!)

Make disciples of all nations (not just witnessing, but training)

a little harvest

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We were able to pick some green beans and peas from the garden this week. I have to say it’s very exciting to not be pregnant and have the energy to put up food this fall. Piper enjoys being outside, and there’s a little Baby Led Weening on and off with Bridget (she still can’t sit up on her own, so I’m really waiting for that to happen before I commit to solids) while I get things done.

The pigs are getting bigger, and I am looking forward to the meat we will have in the freezer again. Which reminds me, I must CLEAN OUT the freezer to make room!

It’s been getting colder here in Maine. We had such an unseasonably warm week last week with climates in the 70-80’s, and then this morning I turned on my heat because it was 34 degrees outside! Oh Autumn, you are here.

 

failure happens

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IMG_2366Joe and I feel like homestead failures lately. Both of us for different reasons.

  • We got a late start on planting seeds.
  • I have a new baby and Joe is working different hours. Add on the amount of rainy days we’ve had, and less time in the garden this year and we have found weeds choking out our plants that were coming up! Ugh.
  • We no longer have our own animals as we no longer had the time to devote to them that they required. No rabbits. No goats. My parents still have their chickens and I guess the pigs belong to both of us. So there, we are raising pigs…successfully.
  • I’m barely staying on top of the housework.
  • I’m being very lazy about potty training.

I find myself currently grabbing at whatever I can to make sure that whatever harvest we do get out of our garden this year doesn’t go to waste as it has in years gone by. We believe in being good stewards of the earth, but I will admit to not doing a very good job of upholding my beliefs in reality. I have become overwhelmed by abundance of food, while having a lack of time, and a lack of knowledge, plans, and creativity for preparing and storing that abundance.

We know we need to dig a root cellar.

I know it’s not fair to let Joe be the only one doing all the research and planning. But where has all the time gone?

I truly respect, and am in awe of Pioneer women, living in one-room homes (as I do) with young children, no indoor plumbing or electricity, and getting so much accomplished from season to season. On top of that they relied very little if not at all on the convenience of towns and cities for buying wares. I am so frustrated that I was born into a generation that has been stripped of its knowledge of living with simple means and independently.

Now I am going to knit and read about fermentation.

around the “homestead”

Well, I thought I would catch everyone up on what is going on around the homestead lately.

Chickens…

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this is what happened to the chickens my parents hatched last summer! they ended up with 6 hens and 2 roosters, so 1 of the roosters had to go. the hens are laying eggs now and are averaging 3 dozen eggs a week. great job ladies!

Goats…

we are done with goats. unfortunately we realized that it was more work at this time in our lives than either Joe or I could put into it, especially while I was pregnant. thankfully we were able to pay forward the kindness of others by giving goaty gifts to others we know who are raising dairy goats. we feel horrible because of the kindness others showed to us in their giving and we are just unable to follow it through. thankfully others will be able to reap the benefits of their generosity.

Pigs…

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last years pig raising endeavors began and ended quite a bit later than usual. we got our pigs in May ’12 which was much later than normal (we usually get them in March or beginning of April), and they didn’t get slaughtered and butchered until February. thankfully though, we now have freezers stocked full of pork, and home made sausage, bacon, and rillettes.

Joe also was able to hire himself out as an amateur butcher this year. a person he works with raised pigs with friends and they’ve hired him to butcher, brine, and smoke for them. he is currently in the process.

Garden…

I’m really looking forward to our garden this year! our plan is to buy (very soon) a couple of apple trees and start an orchard for our parents. hopefully we/they can purchase a couple of trees a year, and it should take no time for a small orchard to become established.

we are late, as usual, with getting our seeds started. thankfully this year Joe was able to get himself a grow lamp and if that can be set up in the next week the seeds will be underway and not too late. i’m not entirely sure yet of all the plants we’ll be growing this year, but I know I can be sure we’ll have potatoes, garlic, and hops. we have our priorities.

more about the garden as the season progresses!

hops: my newest post!

Happy Labor Day! And a happy one it is too…it looks like Labor Day’s gift to me is that I’ll have no more morning sickness 😀

Along with such good news deserves a new post, and hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of postings. Hopefully.

Joe harvested his hops today. He only got a little, but this was his first year. It is said that you don’t really get a harvest until the third year, so I think Joe’s very happy with getting anything! He immediately added it to one of his batches of beer.

The apartment is a mess, but I’m planning on getting that whipped back into shape now that I’m feeling better.

I’m also hoping to finish a quilt I started over a year ago, and get some baby knitting done. I’m so excited to be transitioning into my second trimester!

good intentions

Well I had great intentions for blogging when I finally got my computer back…only to find out I’m pregnant and to follow that up with morning sickness. Yes, morning sickness is what I’m going to blame my lack of posting on. While posting is easy, photography isn’t when all I want to do is lay down and wallow in my own misery.

However, I have not been! …wallowing, that is.

I have been chasing around a very whiney, very constipated 13-month-old though, and napping when she naps (for as long as she will nap). The constipation is being fought with irish oatmeal, sweet potato, and prune juice. I think we are on our way to a more healthy bowel.

I just have a hard time blogging with no photos. I know that the blogs I follow don’t just have to do with great writing. In fact, if I’m honest, I really mostly read blogs to stalk other people(who I have no relationships with)s’ lives through their photos. If you have a blog without photos and I read it, you are either a friend/acquaintance of mine who’s life I care/am nosey about or…you are ridiculously funny. So the fact that I haven’t been able to post photos makes me feel like my blog won’t be read anyway, so why bother…right?

But I feel the need to type, and here I am typing. Without photos.

Blah.

Joe and I have both been frustrated homesteaders this week. Due to a storm, all our corn was rained on and fell over, not to be saved. Our tomatoes are plentiful, but blighted from a lot of rain early in the season. Hopefully our potatoes will fair better. Insects seem to be feeding on our other crops. However, our beans and summer squash are doing quite well.

I’ve been wanting to make lots of things from veggies either from our own garden or from things picked up at the farmer’s market, but I’ve been really useless in the kitchen these days. My mental ambition forgot to translate to the physical. Oh right…icky tummy.

On a happier note, we are hatching our own eggs, and they should be ready to break out at the beginning of September (in a little over a week). I’m hoping morning sickness will be over by then and I will be ready with my camera. I’m super excited for Piper to watch little chicks hatch.

Things I’m looking forward to getting to after the sickness passes are:

  • every maternity tutorial from this blog
  • baby/infant knitting
  • canning & pickling
  • pie baking (I’d love to get this book!)
  • january pig butchery

Hope to be back soon!