Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Catching Up Spring 2014 Part 1

IMG_20140520_091825Confession: I haven’t been posting here because I wanted to post professional looking photographs. Lots and lots of them.

I wanted to be that person who posts their nifty projects with step-by-step instructions and a picture or diagram illustrating every point.

I wanted to be that person who comes up with a clear how-to sheet that instantly becomes an Instructables favorite.

I wanted to be that person who has the most helpful YouTube video ever on how to make a raised bed, put in a drip irrigation system, or retrofit a milk house into a chicken house (by the way, now I have to retrofit another building into a milk house!).

Well, I have discovered, much to my chagrin, that I am NOT that person, and, well, I have serious doubts that I ever will be.

That being said, my husband IS that person, so hopefully we will have some good stuff coming up in the future detailing how we are doing what we are doing, insh’Allaah.

Until then, here is my update on all that we are doing here on our little homestead in the Ozarks.


Our house in Spring
Our house in Spring

This Spring has been pretty wet, with lots of rainfall and mild temperatures most of the time. The rain is such a blessing, with so much of the country suffering through one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Khalil had a list of important things to consider when we were looking for a place to settle; one of them was the amount of rainfall, so this is an affirmation of his decision to stop here, alhamdulillah.

We started a lot of seeds indoors, in seed trays. We used the ones with the little peat saucers that expand with water to several times their original size. I was disappointed in them.

Our seedlings under grow lights
Our seedlings under grow lights

Next time we start seedlings I am going to use recycled containers and my own potting mix, insh’Allaah. Many of the plants did really well, but others didn’t germinate at all, especially peppers. I read that many other people are having trouble with their peppers this Spring, mash’Allaah, so perhaps it isn’t just my fault.

A funny thing though. When I went through and took out the weaker, smaller plants so that the other ones would get healthier, Nusaybah, my 13 year old, was standing right there. She couldn’t bear to see them thrown away, and so carefully replanted all of them into a seed tray that she fixed up herself.

Here they come!
Here they come!

Hers are now outgrowing mine in the garden by leaps and bounds, mash’Allaah! Last week one of my friends called Nusaybah a “dog whisperer.” She has been blessed with an affinity for animals of almost any type, as well as small children- I think I have to add plants to that list as well now, alhamdulillah.

You can see Khalil's drip irrigation here
You can see Khalil’s drip irrigation here

We spent a couple of weeks double digging all of the old beds, as well as creating several new ones. Every day more rocks would come to the surface for us to pick up and toss out. We have a lovely rock pile now, one that should probably be kept far away from the gardens so that they can’t sneak back into the vegetable beds. We amended the soil with goat manure (yay for goat manure!!) and some other goodies (Khalil will write a post on what, exactly, in the future) and did what we could to improve the texture of our very clay-ey soil.

We waited until a week after the last frost date to put the transplants out, and planted a bed of peas, mixed lettuces, carrots, parsley, nasturtiums, sage, thyme, arugula, and other assorted goodies. We used the largest bed, one that gets sun almost all day long.

A few days later, I planted corn and sunflowers in one bed for a four sisters garden, as well as planting one bed with all four sisters (corn, sunflowers, beans and squash) at once. We also planted various beds with cucumbers, pumpkins, green beans, mustard greens, and watermelon, among other things. Lastly, I planted an herb bed. That went in last week and alhamdulilllah, flax, borage and lemon balm have sprung up already.

Maghrib time on the homestead
Maghrib time on the homestead

Khalil has five experimental beds, where he is doing a lot of work with various cover crops. Insh’Allaah he will give an update on those at some point as well.

That’s it for this post, insh’Allaah! I have a lot to catch you all up on, including more planting, chickens, and goats!



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