Our Property by the Creek

We live nestled up a little creek valley near the mountains. Back in 2009 we bought our place, and between putting our offer in and our several times delayed closing, we were able to start working the land and begin our gardens.

I didn't want to sink money into the place until we had it for sure, but we planted beans, corn, and a couple of tomatoes under chicken wire baskets to keep the deer off them. Our garden didn't produce much that year, as we planted things a bit too late, but it was good practice and let us see how large of a garden we needed and how much work keeping it weeded would be.

 We did a bit of work on the property apart from the garden, even tried our hands at raising pheasants, but most of the work was done inside to get the house habitable, especially since I was pregnant and we didn't want our baby crawling around on pet-urine- and smoke-stained carpets, or pet-feces-smeared sunporch slats. We replaced the carpets with wood flooring, took up the filthy sunporch floor and put down new plywood subfloor, painted kilz primer literally everywhere possible in the main house, and picked pretty new paint colors for our bedroom and the nursery.

During that first winter, we installed a new woodstove (with help from my father), and burned more wood than we had cut at the beginning of the winter (luckily low snow levels in march let us cut more before we used up all that we had). We painted the living/dining room, front entryway, and main hallway (during the winter olympics - actually during the final Canadian/US hockey game - talk about a divided household!). We learned a lot about each other, and grew as a team.

Little M was born early in 2010, so gardening that summer was done in spurts while she was sleeping, or when she was cooperative enough to sit by the garden in the stroller or bumbo seat. Our garden produced lots of corn, beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, carrots, zucchinis, onions, raspberries, and strawberries. Not everything was harvested at the perfect time (the corn was a bit tough and the carrots were huge!), and we definitely had more of some veggies than we really wanted (ie I froze enough shredded zucchini to make 2 loaves of zucchini bread a week until the next year's garden was producing zucchini - more than we could use!), and there wasn't enough of some veggies that I would have loved (ie the potatoes got smothered and didn't make it, and the peppers got eaten by mice on the sunporch), but overall it was a great garden!
Other aspects of our land improved in 2010 also. We kept better ahead of the weeds, and started some grass areas. We planted several new fruit trees, although we didn't manage to prune the old ones. My husband had a great wildlife garden to attract deer and birds - he mostly did well with the sunflowers, but got some beans and pumpkins too. He also got some pen-raised pheasants for his birthday in the fall and released them on the property, training the dogs better and generally having fun flushing them up all over the place. Then winter arrived and we started planning for 2011!

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