This morning my head is off in Future Plans Dreamland. When I let the dog out I heard the neighbors' roosters crowing and cows mooing, and I blame them for setting me off.
One of the reasons why we worked so diligently at finding what amounted to Our New Home is because of what we want to do with it. Our list of what we want to do with our new spot in the 'country' came from all the things we couldn't do with our old place. Granted, there were also more practical driving factors behind our move, like our old floor plan just not working, the overbearing rules of the HOA, and the fact that our yard had a grand total of four trees.
Now, as our to-do list becomes more and more manageable and realistic, I find myself coming up for air and thinking about things I want to do with our place.
Things like gardens.
Planting fruit trees.
Chickens... and maybe even a couple or three goats down the road.
These things I've dreamed about, read about, and dreamed about some more for years. They all feel tangible now, and I just can't help myself when it comes to glancing around the place and seeing it as I want it to be in the five year plan.
First, because I'm a hands-on learner, I've decided I need to find a place where I can go to really immerse myself in the experience of keeping bees. I've read Keeping Bees by Ashley English and thumbed through The Hive and the Honey Bee (a thrift store score for fifty cents!), but it's such a foreign world to me, this world of the apiarist. There is something magical, ancient, and beautiful about keeping bees, and I want to take my first steps in this world with caution and as much prep as possible. Luckily for me, there are two resources I can draw from to start this journey as prepared as possible: The Texas Beekeepers Association is one, with locations everywhere and membership ranging from the most seasoned of beekeepers to folks like me. The second is the Metro Beekeepers Association, a club more specific to my area with open meetings and opportunities for hands-on learning... ah-ha! So step one of five-year plan: join beekeepers association.
Second, I need to figure out exactly where my garden will go, because honestly I feel downright off without one, and missing an entire season has been a bummer. Where our old place only had four trees, our new place has woods. A blessing and a curse, really, because while we love love love the dense beauty and privacy of our own little wilderness, there's not much openness to offer 8 hours of sunlight for a veggie garden. That translates to finding a place where trees have to be cut down and cleared... I guess all I can do is try and pick a place that minimizes the clearing and then hope we can clear enough to make it worth it!
Third, I need to- wait, I get to- plan my chicken coop and chicken run! Oh how I've longed for this task! I grew up with chickens at my mom and dad's place, I kinda know the ropes and basics, and I feel certain that this will happen sooner rather than later. The hard part and the delight of it all is planning exactly how this step will be realized here at my home. I've already mentioned the 'chicken garden' plan I've found, and honestly I'm pretty sure however we go about this our end product will resemble this design in some way. I've also found inspiration from Reinventing the Chicken Coop by Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe, Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom, and another all-informative and general info go-to from the Homemade Living series, Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. Somewhere in these resources is my perfect setup, and I can't wait to see it!
Lastly, I believe at some point I'll start pining for goats (or if I'm being honest with myself... maybe I already am?). I've read that they'll eat anything, which will definitely be a selling point for the hubs as we're surrounded by scrub, brush, wild vines, and weeds. Like I said, though, that's much more long-term.
For today, though, I'll just have to pacify myself by drifting off into our future little mini-farm, walking through our apple and peach trees in my mind's eye, tossing kitchen scraps to our chickens and collecting their still-warm eggs, and watching our bees move from flower to flower in our garden with a smile, even though it's just a dream... for now.
Photos taken during our trip to the pumpkin patch last year.