It’s that time of year. The air is cooler and I have the energy to tackle some big projects like organizing the closets and food storage buckets. I really want to spend some time on refining our plot plan too. I like to have goals to work towards. It helps me focus which is important to my ADD brain. I want to know exactly what I plan to order come January and exactly where I plan to put it. I ordered way too much last year and ended up scrambling for space. I know some things didn’t do well (like the hops) and there are some things I can’t find at all. We have the space for two 10×20 beds for blueberries and strawberries. Now I want space for three times the elderberries I have and a whole lot more blackberries. We are enlarging the raspberries so we will have enough to sell in the next few years. The grapes produced this year and I want to have more of them as well.

I am learning a hard lesson about this homesteading thing. You can’t have everything, at least not all at once. I want an orchard but I am not at all sure that my site is right. My friend Sal, an expert on all growing things, says it may produce apples and plums but because of airflow and frosts patterns, peaches will probably never produce here. I know I have to stick to what I know will do well and plan to barter or forage what won’t.

I want a barn too but I can’t afford to build one until my MIL’s house sells and that doesn’t look likely. Even the usually optimistic folks on CNBC are sounding less convinced that a recovery is around the corner. People don’t want to buy homes if their jobs are not secure or if they believe prices have further to drop.

This egg recall thing has gotten my dander up. I fear it will be the cause of yet more regulations that will make it harder for small egg producers to stay in business. I firmly believe that packing thousands of hens into cramped quarters and depriving them of the ability to forage while stuffing them full of antibiotics to fend off the resultant diseases is a recipe for disaster. It’s the farming practices that have to change, not the number of regulations. I swear I will never purchase another factory produced egg. It is a pure pleasure to find eggs in the hen’s boxes each morning.

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