Time and Patience….Easier Said Than Done!

I know I’ve said this like a billion times on this blog…but nothing about me or my upbringing lends itself to this farmy, homesteading-y, dirt digging, poop scooping, type of lifestyle.  And I don’t just mean that I lacked the experience.  But personality wise.  Ask my parents and I’m sure they will tell you that I have never been patient or good at waiting.

But maybe that’s why when we made the “big switch” three (almost four!) years ago, it has been such a good thing for me.  Everything about homesteading, homeschooling, and simple living takes a lot of time.  Endless amounts of patience and perseverance.

Just take my garden for example.  When we first purchased our little ten acre farmstead, the first thing I wanted to do was plant a big garden.  But we had ZERO equipment. No tiller.  Not even a hoe and rake.  And our soil was TERRIBLE.  It had so much clay that it was back breaking to hand till.  And it had so many large rocks (I’m talking foundation stone sized rocks) that we couldn’t borrow a gas tiller…it would for sure be messed up just after one pass through the garden.

So we just did our best.  We had tilled about half of the pre-existing garden plot.  It was maybe 20×30 ft.  Put a few vegetable varieties in.  There was no running water so we hauled water from town.  No good fence so we sacrificed many plants to the bunnies and deer.  The next year things were a little better.  We expanded a bit.  Rotated crops and tilled old plant material back under to help improve soil quality.

I prefer to hand till in small strips. It allows me to do a bit of gardening every day, making it feel less overwhelming! Plus it’s less likely to dice up all the worms, which we want in the garden!

This year is my fourth gardening year on this plot.  It has more than doubled in size.  And this year, hand tilling was a breeze!  The soil has drastically improved in quality.  No more huge clay patches.  Good, dark brown (sometimes even black!) healthy soil.  Instead of spending hours removing rocks, I was able to quickly hand till and plant rows.  Amazing!  And we were able to mechanically till one section of the garden that was too overgrown with grass.  No more large boulders to damage machinery! So much different than when we started.

Planting garlic in some nice, loose, brown soil! Our first year the soil had such a high clay content it was red and you couldn’t even grow a root plant!

I needed this reminder this week.  It was a rough week for Annie.  It is so insanely frustrating as a parent to not be able to find answers.  To be sitting at my computer again, for what feels like the millionth time trying to figure out the right terms to “Google” to find new research, doctors, clues, anything that might help restore her health that seems to be slowly slipping away.  To not be able to fix problems right now, and to have so many different people and doctors giving different suggestions, some that contradict each other, so you just can’t figure out what ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH is the right decision.  When all choices seem like lousy options and you are stuck trying to figure out which option “sucks the least”, because they are all terrible choices.   When you have to choose which long list of side effects are “worth” the benefit and you have to make choices now that will impact her profoundly for the rest of her life.

But gaining health takes time.  Just like improving the garden soil, our bodies need time to build a strong foundation.  But just because it won’t be “just right” the first time you try, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best shot.  And just because something you tried this season failed miserably (been there!), doesn’t mean you just give up.  Take a few days (or all winter haha!) to feel discouraged, and then get back at it.  Do more research.  Learn from others’ experiences, others’ education, and find your path somewhere between the two.

So, time to regroup my homestead-born patience and perseverance and try again!  Both in the garden and for Annie.  What if we gave up now, only to later discover we were already halfway there? <3