Off-Grid Agrarianism

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62 articles in category Off-Grid Agrarianism / Subscribe

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.

IMG_8563IMG_8565 IMG_8579 IMG_8592 IMG_8594 I can’t exactly remember the last time it rained. I suppose it might have been just before I posted this update on the gardens at the beginning of July. That would have been over six weeks ago now. Since then the solar pump coming from the ponds died and died again and something in the pallet garden took full advantage of our weakened plants because it is all gone. The tomatillos, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers were completely eaten by some large and hungry pest.

The chicken field fared just a bit better. We harvested the popcorn which had taken a beating but still gave a bit. The yellow summer squash is singing its final farewell. And the okra, well, if we can keep the ants away they seem completely unfazed. I must remember to plant okra in June, if nothing else.

But what I really meant to tell you about today was rain. It is hard to put into words what water is to a homestead in a dry land. You can go weeks and months without it before hearing the sweet sound of raindrops on a tin roof. And when it comes, it is a celebration of gratitude.

The skies here are so intense, much like the extremes in climate we feel through every season. With dark clouds on the horizon we all ran out to the clothesline to bring in baskets and baskets of clean laundry. And when that was said and done and the first drops pinged off the roof, the children gathered around windows to watch the rain.

Stewart and I just sat and soaked in the break in the heat, the silence coming from the children, and the first rain we’ve seen in I don’t know how many weeks.