Off-Grid Agrarianism

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63 articles in category Off-Grid Agrarianism / Subscribe

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We started these seeds a few weeks ago thinking that by now they would have made it into the gardens. But there’s not enough water to warrant a planting. The ponds are starting to go dry. The house hole is dry. The gardens are dry.

Last week we mixed that wood ash into the spot in the chicken field that once held popcorn. These jobs are always exciting because it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are; digging in the dirt is fun. So we added lava sand and Texas green sand and compost and mixed them all together into the heavy clay soil. The clay was pretty much impenetrable so we will wait for rain to finish the job.

The livestock need water and the perennial trees need water so what pond water remains is reserved for them and not the annuals that we could be planting. Still, we planted a second round of starts the other day only knowing we are to plant, never knowing what will become of what is planted.

Our personal water tanks are getting low now too and so we pray for and think of rain often these days. I never dreamed of a land without water, not when rain fell often and waterways were plentiful in my native Minnesota.

It is now a constant presence in the back of my mind. When we wash dishes. When we make meals. When we bathe. When we fill the water filters. When we wash our hands. Water is in use constantly and holds a high value in a place such as this.

We don’t know when the rain will come, though some are guessing at a small “possibility” this weekend. We don’t know if the fall garden will become the winter garden or if tomorrow will bring the five inches that rained down in October of 2011 after months and months of drought. That was two days before we first set foot on this land.

We just don’t know. And so we pray… and wait… and prepare for rain.

IMG_8747 IMG_8749 IMG_8751 IMG_8752IMG_8721IMG_8756It hardly seems reasonable to claim this as a month of transition from summer to fall but here we are in September. Summer – particularly July and August – bring a paralyzing halt to just about everything. It is simply too hot to work on as many homestead projects as we’re accustomed to. So we’ve learned to use this time for major freelance projects, hiding away in library corners with laptops or tucking under a fan for a hot afternoon.

Now that September is upon is it is firewood collecting and garden bed making, little girl egg hunting and Papa building shelters for new arrivals. It is back in the kitchen and baking and catching our breath when 95 feels like a reprieve from recent weeks. It is having an appetite to gather around a table once more and earlier to bed with no blankets needed… at least for now.

It is full and fast days passed under a changing light that we find only in this, the month of September.