Motherhood, The Homestead Weekly

The Homestead Weekly, 3 March 2024

Years ago on my other blog, I started a series called The Homestead Weekly, which basically was just a little weekly peek into various areas of our “homestead,” like the kitchen, garden, and so on. It was one of my favorite blog series of all time, so I decided to bring it back, but on this blog this time (since my other one is now exclusively about flower farming).

Well, it was bound to happen, I guess — after holding out the entirety of the winter thus far, I finally got sick this last week 🙁 I really can’t complain though, since we’ve had multiple family members sick with various ailments on and off since October. Nothing serious or particularly lengthy (thank goodness), but I somehow had miraculously escaped each and every one until now. March doesn’t have a good track record in my books, since I’ve literally gotten the flu every single March for the last 3 or 4 years. I’m hoping this isn’t the flu, but I definitely haven’t spent this much time in bed since having Naomi last April, and even then, I didn’t stay in bed much as there were tulips to be harvested and milk to be pumped and the NICU to frequent.

Because of me not feeling well, that was definitely reflected in how everything played out (or didn’t) this week. Thankfully, Matt was still healthy and motivated to take advantage of a string of sunny days we had before the weekend (when we got hit with a snowstorm), so he actually got quite a lot done, but I’ll have more on that below.

Here’s what went down this week:

Note: There may be affiliate links to books or products mentioned in this post.

In the Kitchen

Last week I was fairly motivated to try out some new recipes and make generally heartier (and more time-intensive) meals.

This week, the name of the game was, “What will help me to feel better more quickly?” and “What will get me off my feet as soon as possible?”. Matt helped me a lot with the prep on most of the meals, which is why a lot of them involved more chopping than usual (since that’s the job he almost always took on). We actually repeated a lot of the same meals from last week too (which isn’t super normal for us), just because I didn’t even want to take the mental energy of trying to come up with much that was new.

Unfortunately, today (Sunday) I’m actually feeling even worse than I was a few days ago, so I don’t imagine that things will get too much more exciting for the near future, either. Ah, well. No one starved.

I also severely cut back even more on sugar this week, since my autoimmune flare-up this time just keeps going, despite me having gone off gluten months ago (which has always been enough in the past to kick it). Luckily it hasn’t been as hard as it normally would be because I’d already been cutting back on it quite a bit over the last month or so, so this is just like taking the final step. And I already have noticed some improvement, so hopefully by the end of March, I can be out of the flare-up for good.

On the menu this week: roasted salmon and chicken w/ root veggies + broccoli, pizza, cheese and avocado tortillas, Instant Pot sausage and rice, country sausage gravy over rice w/ mixed vegetables, mini meatloaves + scalloped potatoes

In the Garden

I felt pretty crummy/off for much of the week, so the only thing I really did all week was transplant a couple trays of stock, feverfew, and violas into the high tunnel. Thankfully, Matt was feeling as healthy as ever and got a TON done, including:

1) Renting a sod cutter and creating the three new in-ground beds we’re putting in the backyard this year for more flower farm space, and

2) Taking down the three big scrubby pine trees in our front yard that border our neighbor’s driveway.

The new in-ground beds will give me about 500 square feet more of space for cut flowers (which will mostly be housing all the perennials I ordered in this year), and the space that was created by taking down the trees will be used to plant a double or triple row of shrubs and perennials that are all good for cutting.

Matt has been working like crazy whenever he gets a semi-decent day of weather, and it’s kind of insane how much and how quickly our yard is transforming as a result. So much of my work for the flower farm is behind the scenes and/or on a computer, so it’s nice being able to have a very visible reminder that we’re making progress 🙂

Blooming this week: more anemones in the high tunnel!

In the Business

We’re on the cusp of some pretty big things for the flower farm, but since nothing is official yet, I have to be pretty vague and annoying about it for now.

One thing I CAN talk about, however, is that our mushroom compost sales are about to start up again this next week, and considering that we haven’t even officially announced it through any other channel but our farm’s weekly newsletter, I’ve been a bit surprised by how many people have already pre-ordered. I mean, we knew that this area needed a good source of bulk compost because we’d always struggled to find what we needed before, but now that we’ve kind of stepped into that role a bit, it’s been pretty crazy just how high the need really is.

It is nice not having all of our income for the farm tied up in cut flowers, just because it gives us a bit of a buffer in case we lose crops, and it also means that we offer more things to people down here that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a little tricky right now just because we’re having to sell everything through our house, which obviously isn’t ideal. I’m really hoping we can find a farm soon to purchase so that we can start building a small shopfront on it.

In the Playroom

We are lucky in that our kids still think that any chores to do for the flower farm are still The Funnest Thing ever. This week, they had plenty to help out with, starting with helping Matt roll up all the sod (which they then took to the chickens, who eagerly explored their new luxury carpet). The boys especially stayed out for hours with him, carrying loads back and forth (Raven was at school for much of it). Both of them dropped down into bed, exhausted, that night, from all the physical labor, but you could see the pride in their faces for having helped Daddy so much. (And the greatest part is, Matt said they were actually a legitimate help! He said they saved him tons of trips back and forth, and this is the exact kind of skill and hard work we wanted to teach our kids while they are still young.)

When the trees came down, all three older kids helped drag branches to the road to be carted off to the green waste dump, and then when Matt noticed they were starting to make a “nest” of the branches, he propped up all the branches around the base of one of our (still standing) trees so that they could have their own little fort. Talk about a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning! All three of them spent hours out there, pretending like they were the Boxcar Kids, having to survive by their sheer wits and determination.

And, since we can’t leave out Naomi, she had her Early Intervention appointment this week with her physical therapist, who showed us how to help her be better positioned to crawl. She’s already been getting up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth for several weeks, but he helped us to know how to better position her hips so that her balance will be more naturally conducive to going forward rather than scooting back or face planting. She’s a tough little thing, and we’re so amazed at how determined she is.

Naomi helping me with the mountain of laundry I needed to fold

In the Home

Ugh, I basically got nothing extra done in the house that wasn’t the usual — feed everyone, run a few loads of laundry, and do the dishes every night. I just didn’t have the energy to want to do much more than that, which means that our house continues to be a bit neglected, which is pretty much par for the course every spring.

So it goes.

I guess I did vacuum the front room before the physical therapist came, but that was about it.

In the Soul

This week, I officially finished up the part-time marketing work I was doing for a friend of mine, and it was a huge relief to finally be able to close the books on that. It was a nice thing to do while it lasted, since we worked out a deal where I would get the specialized massage therapy sessions he does every month for my back for free, but it was starting to get really hard there at the end especially, just because we had so much spring prep work to do, and it was constantly dividing my attention between the two businesses. I was happy to help him out though, and it was gratifying to be able to see some definite markers of progress over the six weeks I did the marketing for him. (If you live in Utah and are in any kind of chronic or acute pain at all, I highly recommend him — he totally saved me from having to take more drastic measures for my back, like surgery or steroid shots or constant painkillers, and it’s only because of him that I’m able to be a flower farmer at all, since I would never have been able to do something so active all the time otherwise).

Now that that’s over though, it’s been nice to just have my focus in one place, on one business. Of course, me getting sick has meant that I hardly focused on that one business this week, but it will be nice going forward to just have the farm to think about 🙂

And that’ll do it for now! How did things go this last week for you?

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