Sensory benefits and struggles of gardening

I decided to get some new plants for my yard today. Usually planting gives me a peaceful feeling. The kids love it and I think it teaches them some important pieces to life. Not to mention the sensory input it provides.

Nevada’s high winds and hellish soil can make it quite the experience. My own sensory quirks made it a tad bit annoying today when things weren’t going as perfectly as I’d like.

My youngest loves to plant. Each plant she calls a “bible”. I have started my biblical garden adding plants and herbs found in the Bible. It will take some time but it’s something I love and can’t wait to one day finish.

Hyssop has an earthy mint smell that I just love.

We found some anemone but need to find a partially shady space for it before I add it.

HB calls it the Jesus flower. Referred to as the wild lilies in the Bible.

Love my sensory seeker. She loves getting her hands and feet all up in the dirt.

I love that it’s a family affair. Teaching them about gardening. Sharing the importance of flowers and herbs with them.

My sensory avoider doesn’t do messy. He’s a tad like me.

But even he couldn’t resist getting his toes all in.

Gardening gives kids with sensory challenges such great input.

It provides grounding. (Yes we garden barefoot)

I will say I was a tad bit agitated the wind was driving me insane. My things were blowing away faster than I could plant them. But welcome to Nevada.

I plant mums every year. They were the flowers at my wedding. So I just love them a little extra. And they scream fall.

I found this beautiful hibiscus tree to add to the walkway that will be stunning year round once I can dig through the soil from hell.

Todays planting extravaganza did not go as I had planned. Simple as that. But I do love all the new beauty around us and I’m guessing the kids sensory needs were met so they should sleep soundly with a little copaiba after an afternoon of fresh air and a lot of dirt.

Danielle

The ugly reality to living a sustainable lifestyle

When we started our homestead and decided to try and live a more sustainable life I had no idea the work it required. With my husbands job he is gone more hours than home a lot of days. Leaving me to handle the homestead alone.

The idea of chickens was enticing. Goats seemed an easy way to control the landscape on our little farm. Gardening seemed so magical. And mini cows seemed like a dream come true for my animal loving self.

With the state of our country it seemed unwise not to add a little sustainability to our lives. I don’t think an apocalyptic ending to earth is on its way. But I do think there are a lot of benefits to sustainability.

But there is an ugly side to running a small little farm. And a reality that it isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Living a more sustainable life is a lot of work. On Pinterest you see screenshots and images of how to homestead. How to live a sustainable life. But I’ve yet to come across and article that depicts truly how much work it can be.

Some days it seems easier to just forego all this homesteading business and shop at our local grocery store for items we want or need.

Making most things from scratch is time consuming.

Farm animals love early mornings. I personally despise them. I’ve never been a morning person. No matter what voodoo potion or positive self talk I give myself.

I don’t like them. And never have. I’m not a morning person.

Farm animals poop a lot and they are dirty. It’s a lot of work keeping their stalls clean.

Farm animals don’t only need cared for in fair weather. With bad weather comes the same responsibilities.

Their food bags weigh a ton. It’s not for the weak to carry animal feed across the property.

Goats are incredibly stubborn. Sweet. But stubborn. They will demolish your beloved plants in seconds if you aren’t careful.

They are little Houdini’s. At least once a month discovering a way to break free and unleash the rest of your farm animals.

Chickens can and will eat their own eggs if you aren’t careful.

You have predators to worry about (depending on where you live.)

Chickens need their wings clipped unless you want them flying out of their pen and pooping all over your property.

Making most items from scratch is a LOT of work. Some days I find myself in the kitchen cooking my days away.

Call me little house on the prairie.

Gardening can be a fun experience but is also a lot of work. There are bugs to battle that want to enjoy your hard earned garden goods. Wildlife will take a few bites from your garden as well. Where we live in the high desert gardening is a lot of work with the harsh seasons and crappy soil.

So if you are thinking of starting a more sustainable life. But want to know some real ups and downs about homesteading maybe you will find some answers to questions you may have.

Maybe you too love the idea of self sufficiency but struggle with the work that it entails.

What do you despise most about homesteading?

And of course what do you love about it?

I love a lot about homesteading as well but thought someone else could benefit from reading the negative side as well.

It’s nice to know full well what you are getting into.

Danielle

5 Simple Steps to add more flowers to your homestead for free

I will cut to the chase on this. I know it can get frustrating reading a wordy article just to get to the 5 steps you chose to click on.

But I love anything free.  And I always love to add to the landscape of our ranch.

One of my favorite things to plant is the potato vine.  It has such a beautiful deep purple color and flourishes in our climate here in Nevada. (we will see how it survives the harsh winter next year)

Find a plant you want to propagate (I chose the Ornamental Sweet Potato)

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  1. cut a piece of the stem (I’ll be honest sometimes I just pinch them off but they say it should be a clean cut)
  2. dip in water
  3. dip in rooting powder
  4. place in the soil appropriate for the item you are propagating.
  5. water generously, I try to keep the soil pretty moist until it perks back up)

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And it’s truly as simple as that!  This method doesn’t always work for every flower, tree, or vine you are attempting to propagate.  I’d do a little googling before trying different items from your yard.  Also generally I put the new start into a pot, our soil here isn’t the most planter friendly.

Also if you have friendly neighbors you will find that people don’t mind if you take a cutting if you see something you’d like to add to your yard.

Happy Planting!