Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Life on a farm...in the middle of the suburbs.

Ever since I was a kid I dreamt of living on a farm or ranch. I've always wanted some land where I could have a big garden, horses, goats, chickens and maybe a couple of cows. Here I am, almost 33 years old, living in the suburbs with a yard that I've transformed into a mini farm and ranch. I guess I should have made my dreams a little more specific!

Okay, so it's not as bad as it sounds. I've shown you all pictures of our home and yard and I can not complain. As my stepfather would say, "Livin' the high life!" And it's true for me, it honestly is. When we moved into this house just over a year ago the back yard looked sad. There was only one bush in the south east corner of the yard, a small "garden box" near the back patio, and sod throughout most of the back.


But I honestly can't complain because it gave Michael and I a chance to really become creative since we had a "blank canvass." So over the next year we slowly transformed our back yard into the farm and ranch that it is today! And being the hands on person that I am, I did a majority of the work. There is just something about knowing that you created these things instead of hiring people to do them. Pride...that's what it is.

I honestly feel like the garden was the biggest transformation in our yard. After digging up and hauling all that sod I had to buy, haul and build the rock retaining wall and curved wall for the gate opening. And at the end of the year I added the permanent cedar fence which just completed the entire project! We were in the garden yesterday and I said to Michael, "It feels like this garden has always been here." Which I think is great because it means it doesn't look like an "after thought." Because we all know when something looks like that, it's never usually good! :)
I find it a little weird that all of this stuff is coming up for me right now. It's because it's spring, and it's our first full year in the house. We get to see the fruits of our labor, so to speak. We planted two dogwoods, a magnolia and two lilacs last year. The one lilac and dogwood didn't look too good last year, but this year they look like they've taken hold and are going to be beautiful! It feels so good to walk into the backyard and think, "We created this, everything in this back yard is 'us.'" It's an amazing and accomplishing feeling.
Whenever people come over they can't believe our yard. We've had several people say, "I didn't expect all this!" And we just smile and say, "Ahhh, it's nothing." But we are lying through our teeth! A lot of sweat and blood went into making our yard look the way it does. But we try to be humble about it. ;-) Try being the operative word!
In other news...we are still working with a budget these days. And much to my chagrin,  I've found that things are getting easier for me. I have it down to how much I can spend a day on groceries and it works. But I'm excited for the summer to come because we'll have fresh lettuce from the garden as well as other produce! Which makes me happy because I'll be able to spend more on other groceries! :) But let me tell you, budgets suck!
We are trying to gear up for summer around the farm, but its hard when you have to budget things for "home maintenance" or "household goods." What category does the garden and yard fall under? Where should we put lawn fertilizer at? Things that we've never thought about before. Secretly I want Michael to become so annoyed with it all that he scraps the damn thing...but I know that will never happen. So I just try to hunker down and ride out the rough patch.
I'm happy to report that we've finally planned a trip to Hawaii! Is it in the budget? Well, kind of. :) We had to do some moving around of monies, but we made it happen! I can barely sit in my chair right now. I'm trying to keep myself from packing my suitcase today! I haven't been home since my birthday of 2010, and let me tell you...the islands are calling me! Isn't there some song from South Pacific that the lyrics are something like..."Bali hai...may call you...any night, any day...in your heart, you hear it call you...come away, come away..." Only it's the shores of Oahu that are calling me! And I'm gladly answering that call finally!
A week away from our farm at the beginning of May...it can be a good thing, but it also makes me a bit sad. One of the main reasons is...these three adorable girls won't be with us anymore...
They will be leaving us on April 30th, to go live on Whidbey Island. I am going to have to work really hard not to become attached to them. But honestly...it's hard. When you have three adorable little peepers who look like this...it's hard.
But that being said, I have to remember that I have three amazing girls in my backyard who are making me a little bit of money. Well I wouldn't say making me money as much as paying for their own food!!!
The Wilson Phillips Girls!
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that...I'm Livin' the High Life! That's right! My little farm and ranch in the middle of the suburbs is exactly what I need at this point in my life. Cleaning out the chicken coop, turning the compost, weeding and watering the garden...while they may all be chores, they give me a sense of accomplishment. Because we truly are enjoying the fruits of our labor!
Until next time...Keep Cooking!


  1. Have you planted any asparagus yet? That takes about three years to get going, but is worth it.

    1. Nope! We haven't planted it. We talked about it, but we heard horror stories from his mother about how hard it is to get rid of it because it's roots go all over! :) But I LOVE asparagus!

  2. Where is the famous post about the pepper spray? Apparantly its all the talk here in Abq. Hahaha. Miss you