“To plant a gar…

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow…” – Audrey Hepburn

It’s about that time again!! Almost time to begin planning and plotting…  to start seeing the potential in that little piece of ground and calling the shots.

Can’t wait!

What are your plans for your garden this year?

“Along with mil…

“Along with milk and vegetables, kids need a steady diet of rocks and worms
Rocks need skipping.
Holes need digging.
Water needs splashing.
Bugs and frogs and slimy stuff need finding

Took the kids on a bit of a hiking adventure today in Grants Pass. These things simply needed doing…

I Dream of Chickens…

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. — Colin Powell

I seriously doubt that General Powell was talking about building a chicken coop when he said this quote, but there has been sweat, determination, and hard work built right into the framing of this coop. For those of you who are unaware – we’re in the process of adding chickens here at the homestead. We’re excited as this is something we’ve wanted to do for a while, and was finally legalized in our city year before last due to the outspoken crowds that stormed city hall. We can keep 5 birds now.

Once it’s done, I will do a big long post that shows the whole process from start to finish… but we’re not there yet.

We have managed to do two things on this coop that I am exceptionally proud of…

1) It is made from entirely recycled/salvaged materials. We pulled all our framing lumber from a couple of house demolitions, and managed to scrounge up the rest of the materials from various places. The only materials we have purchased new are the fasteners.

2) We are taking great pride in our finished product, so we’re both on board with making the best coop we can build with what we’ve got to work with, both the most beautiful and the most functional — and it’s looking incredible. I truly can’t wait to do the step by step post and show you all what we’ve put together… Patience…

However. With all of that said – I am beat. Near Brain Dead… While the dream of this chicken coop and our own backyard flock is finally coming to fruition, the 4-6 hours of extra work a night in the rain and weather on top of teaching insane middle school students just prior to Christmas Break is beginning to take its toll.

Good news is… I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both with work, and with the coop – it’s finally getting to the point where it’s almost there. Just a little bit more and it’s all downhill from there.

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There was a HUGE bright spot in our work tonight however, we framed in the roof system and it’s up and in place… and my lovely wife made us homemade pizza. Hard work ALWAYS goes better with homemade pizza and Widmer Hefeweizen.

Goodnight.

Ben

Beginnings…

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”
–Laura Ingalls Wilder

When my wife and I bought this tiny worn-out house on a busy main thoroughfare here in Oregon, we had no idea that our adventure would bring us to this point. We had figured we’d be here for a couple of years and move into something larger – hopefully some place with some land so we could garden extensively and get livestock as both of us had dreamed.

… then the bubble burst.

Our house value plummeted along with everyone else in the nation, and reality set in that we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Our dream of a home in the country has morphed somewhat… and it was decided — if we can’t get to the country, we’re going to bring the country to us. We decided that instead of dwelling on what could have been, we’d be content with what we have.

So our family of 5 embarked on the next stage of our journey. Living the ‘country’ lifestyle — with its values and ethics — right here in the middle of the city.

With 50 feet of 17th Street Frontage, the sirens are constant, and the traffic can be maddening — but on our modest 50′ x 135′ lot, we have installed a large garden, composting systems, are in the process of adding a backyard flock, water collection, and have tilled up the front yard to begin farming all that space previously wasted on grass… down the rabbit hole we go.

Join us as we embark on this adventure. Share with us the highs and lows, celebrate in our victories and learn from our mistakes, it’s going to be quite the ride.

–Ben and Shannon