The other day a few of my favorite homestead bloggy friends and I were discussing the overwhelms and expenses involved in raising and growing our own food, and we realized we all feel the same way about homesteading- it’s hard. And overwhelming. But it’s also a source of pride, joy, and, we believe, true change. In an effort to portray the reality of homesteading, which includes highs, lows, and a lot of work, we all agreed to document “a day in the life” on our particular homesteads.
Here’s a look at a pretty typical day for us at this very moment, in July of 2015, with an almost four year old and an almost one year old.
6:30 Wake up, but only because the kids wake up. Bridger bounds upstairs, wakes up the baby in the process, and I carry both of them downstairs at the same time while praying my knees don’t give out (they’re heavy!). I start a load of diapers washing, whip up some deodorant(because we are completely out), and get breakfast going. The kids play happily in the living room.
Bridger does some early morning artwork for his Nature Journal since I left the art supplies all over the table from yesterday.
We head outside to eat breakfast on the back porch and read our chapter from the Jesus Storybook Bible for the day. The kids eat sneaky egg pancakes and fruit and I have my usual, two eggs over easy with avocado and tomato on top. I make us eat all our meals on the back porch now, mostly so I can sweep dropped food right off into the grass and not have to deal with the sticky funk all over the kitchen floor. It’s true.
8:30 Chores. Our morning chores seem much shorter now without the chickens. Not that the chickens took up much time, but it just seems like much, much less. We fill the cows’ water (for the remaining three cows we haven’t sold yet). For the longest time we siphoned their drinking water, but now Farmer Dickie has rigged up a little rain barrel-esque tote that is perpetually filled by overflow from the spring box. I simply turn a valve and water flows.
While it fills we wonder around and pick mullein flowers for earache oil, check/pick/eat the wild blackberries, and pick calendula flowers for salve.
We also collect a bunch of narrow leaf plantain to make plantain oil for diaper rashes and skin irritations.
9:30 I plan to go out to the garden and mulch the melon plants, but the baby falls asleep in the carrier. It’s easier to do more upright activities whilst wearing a sleeping baby, so I weed around the greenhouse and work on removing the greenhouse plastic. It’s falling apart and needs to be stripped off and redone. (I am trying to be zero waste, which generally means avoiding plastic, but I haven’t gotten far enough to come up with plastic alternatives for the greenhouse.)
I also water the cucumbers I planted a few days ago. Note, this is late for cucumbers, but I’m attempting a second planting to see if I can have more cukes later into the summer. We shall see. I planted them as close to the house as possible, along the fence line (which is electric but is no longer plugged in), in hopes of simplifying my garden work.
10:00 The baby wakes up so I set up the pack-n-play and the water table so the kids can play and I can actually bend over to do some weeding around the yard gourd and my other plants growing near the greenhouse (comfrey, calendula, hyssop, flower beds).
11:30 Bridger heads out to my inlaws’ for the afternoon, and the baby and I head in for lunch (leftovers from the night before).
I start another load of laundry and hang some diapers on the line.
I switch over the milk kefir and note that kefir is taking over my life. In the summer heat it ferments at a pace we can’t keep up with.
I work on cleaning the house. The baby was sick for three days last week and things got a little out of control, so I have my work cut out for me.
2:00 The baby naps. If Bridger was home, this is the time he gets to watch a cartoon and I might blog a little. Sometimes we bake a treat. Sometimes he does some artwork. Since he’s not home, I clean.
I also spend a decent amount of time taking tons of photos of all the pollinators on my hyssop plant.
My hyssop brings all the bees to the yard. And their life, is vital to ours. Kill them, and we move to Mars …What? You don’t make up songs about your plants?
4:00 A time blip has occurred and suddenly I realize it’s 4 pm. Farmer Dickie gets home and I do the mini-est workout you ever did see (a few sets of squats with the baby as a weight, pushups, and planks).
4:30 I start supper. We’re eating chicken salad made from one of our home-raised Cornish Cross chickens with homemade mayo, pecans, and raisins. Farmer Dickie fries some potatoes because we are obsessed with frying things in the lard we rendered from our pigs. I start some chicken broth in the crock pot to simmer over night (recipe here).
5:30 I head out to the garden for the first time. Yes, at 5:30 pm. It’s super buggy in the evening, I get eaten alive and make a mental note to be sure I get out to the garden in the mornings from now on. The cucumbers are yellowing from too much rain, the tomatoes are not quite ready, the okras are growing along, and the melons are just starting to form.
As usual, the whole place looks like a jungle.
6:30 Farmer Dickie’s parents drop Bridger off and we chat with them for a while and then go inside to get the kids ready for bed. By the time we are actually ready for bed, it’s closer to 7:30. Farmer Dickie gets Bridger ready- teeth brushed, stories read, prayers said- and then Bridger plays in his room until he is ready for sleep. Meanwhile, I nurse the baby.
8:30 The kids are finally asleep, an hour later than I prefer, but oh well. I read my book on my phone and Farmer Dickie comes up to bed.
9:00 My bed time. Good night, folks!
There are a few things I want to point out.
- Yes, my child is wearing Christmas pajamas. In July.
- Besides morning chores (which typically includes garden harvesting), I try to have only one “homestead” goal per day. Be it mulch a little in the garden, weed, plant, whatever. In addition to morning chores, I just can’t seem to get more than one outside thing done, so I don’t even bother trying. We usually stay outside from about 8:30 am to 11:30ish, and then we’re done for the day.
- At a minimum, I try to accomplish these household chores each day- unload the dishwasher in the morning, load it throughout the day, start it at night, and complete one load of laundry. I also try to do a mini house pickup before Farmer Dickie gets home. I often fail, but these are my goals nonetheless.
We currently have no animals, really, and our garden bounty is not yet ready, so there is less stuff to do around here as of late. Sometimes we’re moving meat chickens, or feeding pigs, or canning and preserving. But not this summer. While I miss the animals and I’m ready to preserve some food, I actually enjoy the pace of the days lately. I like the down time to nature journal with Bridger and I also love it when I have time to blog.
P.S. Go check out what a day looks like at other homesteads:
On The Farm: A Peek Into Our Life by Ashley of The Browning Homestead
The Answer to “And what did YOU do today?” by Chris of Joybilee Farm
A Day in the Life of an Urban Homesteader by Connie of Urban Overalls
A Day in My Shoes by Emilie of The Toups Address
Homesteading Rhythm with Little Kids & A Bump by Isis of Little Mountain Haven
Homestead Truths, Minus the Sugarcoating by Janet of Timber Creek Farm
A Day of Homestead Living by Jessica of The 104 Homestead
A Day in the Life of a Homesteader by Katie of Livin Lovin Farmin
A Typical Day of Homesteading by Laurie of Common Sense Homesteading
It’s Not About The Work by Leona of My Healthy Green Family
Life, Unfiltered by Melissa of Ever Growing Farm
A Day in the Life of This Urban Homesteader by Meredith of ImaginAcres
A Day in the Life of a Homestead by Quinn of Reformation Acres
A Day on Acorn Hill Homestead by Teri of Homestead Honey
A Day in the Life by Shaye from The Elliott Homestead
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