Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lessons Learned

My dear friend over at Watsourced has been making some amazing lists on her blog this past week. She inspired me to give it a try, so here goes.

Through this summer of drought and unbelievable heat, we learned many things here at the OAH:

We do not have a realistic plan for watering an acre of garden, orchard, and ornamental plants when rain is non-existent.

The rain barrel is only good if it rains at least once a month. With the slope of our roof, even a small rain will fill the barrel. Considering the addition of at least one more rain barrel.

Bunnies and chickens do not handle the heat well. We need a backup plan to keep them cool. I've heard some people suggest freezing excess squash and zucchini and putting these in as a sort of herbivore popsicle...faced with another extreme summer, we'll certainly give this a try.

Cats are a necessity around a homestead. Tex has kept our yard free of mice and rats (yes, you read that right) and he's made sure we are aware of all his hard work by leaving their remains RIGHT beside the front door. In fact, he's such a great mouser, he sometimes goes across the street to neighbors' homes to hunt there as well. Gotta love him!

Ornamental grasses are TOUGH! We planted some purple fountain grass and it is beautiful despite all that this summer has thrown at it.

While an in-ground pool is not in keeping with our steps to a more sustainable lifestyle, it is a great moralle boost during an almost unbearable summer.

With all my country girl-ness, I still cannot handle snakes. I cannot choose to respect a "good" snake...they ALL give me an instinctual reaction of fear that is overwhelming.

We need to dig out the ponds out at Willow Run. They need to be deeper to maintain water levels and keep fish alive through a drought, but this costs thousands of dollars, so that will have to wait a bit.

I am a quitter. I feel like I gave up on the garden too early and that I might have been able to save some of it if I'd just given more effort. This disappointments me more than words can say.