Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pulled in different directions

As we've now moved into the warmest part of the year with the longest days, I--oddly enough--find myself with less and less time to do what I want to do. Should I make the dog some soup? Nah, no time. Feed her some Friskies along with the cats. Should I catch up on the news? I end up skimming the headlines and simply make sure Kyiv hasn't been turned into radioactive ash. No time for those things right now. I'm focusing on the basics.

What's got my attention? Providing food, water, and shelter, of course.

Before you get worried, let me assure you that Yulia and I are not starving, thirsty, nor cold. We are simply trying to improve the way we get food and water and make the shelter we already have better.

We've done our best to plant a diverse garden, and most of our attempts at growing food have been successful so far.

The tomatoes here seem to be doing fine.

The ones planted under the roof are OK (probably the best) too.

And then there are the tomatoes around the sea buckthorn trees, under trellises scattered around our property, and in pots. All in all we have over 200 tomatoes. ...Ya, I think we've got enough! But that's what happens when you wait years to move into a house and accumulate seeds as you impatiently wait to plant a fruitful garden.

We put up this trellis for squash and beans. It's on the site of the old compost pile, so we planted this area rather intensively to take advantage of the rich soil. This is an older picture. Most squash and beans are developing rather nicely, though some got chewed up and died before they ever had a chance. How sad!

Many of the fava beans have developed pods. I really like growing these. You can plant them early, and they get big quickly and out compete many weeds. They are sturdy, hardy plants.

You can also plant chickpeas early. I've never seen chickpea plants before. This is what they look like. I think they have cute flowers!

The sunflowers (green) and amaranth (purple) are turning into mighty plants.

And we might get half a handful of blueberries from the bush we just planted!

We also will have a few gooseberries. At the beginning of the spring they started out as two sticks about the size of your hand when you make a peace sign. I'm surprised they produced anything at all!

Aside from creating a system to get healthy food right from our own land, we are also in the process of installing running water in our home.

Here you can see the pipe running from the well to the building where the pump will be. Quite honestly, living without running water isn't that big of a deal, and doing all this hard work feels frivolous at times. But it's better to get this done before we start renovating the rooms where we want to put the taps.

Which brings me to home renovations. We are continuing to work on our house. Today, Yulia started lacquering our veranda (It looks wonderful so far--I'm so excited!), and I finished painting what will be the living room. Next I plan to install new windowsills in that room just like the one I put in the dining room recently:

Remember what this window looked like when it was installed in December?

I also finally got around to putting up a box to cover the hideous surge protector and electric meter (which are in the dining room for some reason):

So, yes, a lot going on. I feel like the more and more competent I get at growing and fixing things, the more work appears for me. I guess competence gives one an eye for all those things that still need work.

However, I should be clear. This is not a complaint. I'm so happy that I'm fortunate enough to even have this opportunity, and I would rather be no where else than here with Yulia creating a beautiful place for us to live. I titled this entry "Pulled in different directions." While I do feel like I am not devoting enough time to any one particular thing, these seemingly different directions really lead in one direction in the end: to what we will simply refer to as, home.

1 comment:

  1. New windowsill casings look great. Well done.

    Digging pipe lines. I've also been there, done that. Lots of fun with shovel in hard, dry, rocky soil to get below the recommended 60cm minimum (90cm is better) freeze zone so broken pipes don't occur.