From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Week 14: Clearing Out and Redirecting

WEEK 14

The week started out nearing completion for our new heating and AC system. I can tell you wholeheartedly, central air is a wonderful thing as we continue to remodel this house in near 90 degree temps! There are still a couple fixes to be made yet but I feel confident they will be back to make things right so we can write them a check.  


Recognizing the fact we are inching closer to flooring installation my husband and I devised a plan to concentrate on lighting this week. For starters, we’d like to see what we are doing as well as keep any debris off the upcoming install of carpet and hardwood flooring.

Zoned living room lighting was installed over the course of two days. Jeff also ran new outlet and switch wiring for the living room and dining areas.  

As we continued forward my excitement climbed as I hauled out the Wayfair lighting I purchased for our dining room table. What the “$&%?” The lighting was missing one of the four shades! Here I was, on a Sunday calling Wayfair who kindly resolved the situation by sending another fixture. By Thursday it was in my hot little hands but we were not able to install it due to further unexpected (yet pleasant) events.  

On Tuesday of this crazy week, we continued to measure and mark lighting for the bedroom areas. Through random discussion we contemplated whether or not we’d even be ready to cut carpet on Saturday due to the sluggish nature of wiring the new lighting.  

I offhandedly asked my husband if we shouldn’t call our contractors Shane and Gary to see what their job lineup looked like. I was actually praying like hell Jeff would be open to consider having them install our hardwood. Not even 5 minutes after his approval to do so, I was on the phone and crossing my fingers they’d have an opening in the next couple weeks.

It appeared they were waiting on materials for a current job and agreed to set Thursday as a start date on our hickory floors! Unexpected event reviled! As relieved as that made us, it changed our immediate lighting plans. We now had to clean out tools from the space, prep floors and purchase our underlayment ASAP. Not to mention, we needed to get the flooring into the house from the Quonset to acclimate.

My husband, my son and myself set to work prepping the floors. On Wednesday we scraped, hammered, filled old vent holes and swept to beat the band. Box upon box of flooring was hauled into the dining area and stacked. We even opened a few and started to daydream as the day came to a close.

By Thursday evening, 1/2 the living room was covered in blonde and chocolate tones of our long awaited hardwood. That same evening we removed the old kitchen sink and applied floor leveler to various areas where walls once stood.


The results so far are beautiful! We hope the contractors are able to place the majority of the floors prior to supplies coming in for the job they were originally on. It will take a few days for our installation as the floor planking is not wide; it basically triples the work. If they aren’t able to complete it we may have to finish it. Still, 1/3 of the job is much easier for Jeff and I to handle, we can’t be disappointed with that.

Life on the farm wouldn’t be complete without the critters keeping my time totally occupied. The dogs have actually become the easiest to manage until realizing one is shoulder deep in their latest quest to find that elusive “squirrel”, aka chipmunk. Sometimes it feels like I’m living my own version of Caddy Shack.


The ducks are still happy and awaiting ladies…actually in desperate need of ladies…soon I hope. I ended up catching a couple frogs one morning so they seemed entertained with that until they were inevitably gobbled up.

The chickens are awesome! I love them a little more everyday as they were a large part of my homesteading dream. I’ve heard the rooster crow a couple times in the early morning; it sounds oddly familiar in a teenage pubescent sort of way. Each bird has its own temperament and personality which makes it a pleasure to visit them daily. I have one gal who is so friendly she comes to perch on my arm, I’ve nicknamed her Clinger. I haven’t started to free range the chickens yet but I did put them in the outside back pen with tall grass and the composter – they enjoyed the added bugs in their diet!


And lastly, the garden. Insane. This week I made the move to sacrifice a few zucchini plants because they grew too well. The over abundance was getting out of hand. I pulled a large portion of the lettuce and spinach leaving just enough to go to seed for next year’s garden. My green beans are pittering out slowly but I sill managed to pick a full 1-gallon bucket just yesterday. 


A few tomatoes have turned color, the spaghetti squash are ginormous and the cucumbers and peppers are following suit. The melons are my babies now, I’d love to see big fruit develop into harvesting season. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention the potatoes! All plants are still green but I felt around for a few spuds and they are huge! I plucked a few for eating!  


The harvesting hurdles while living in a small space (the camper) have forced me to try new things. We have so much produce I’ve learned a few creative ways to preserve my harvest. The power of refrigerator pickling will never again be underestimated! This week yielded 2 quarts of bread and butter pickles (we love these), 2 quarts of banana pepper rings (also love), a big gallon of whole dills (as an experiment) and a pint of pickled okra (a pre-harvest rush experiment).  

There will always be new things to try and a million more things to do but one thing is for certain, I love this life. We are inching ever closer to moving into our house and I am beyond excited to have a new full kitchen. Soon.  

As a random side note, you’ll have to Google by delish.com Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread…it took a while to bake in the camper but it’s a slice of pure, chocolate heaven!

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