Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
We are kicking some serious ass this month at Hawk-Mo.
I don’t quite know where to start, so I’ll start with the biggest dealio: Two weeks ago mom and I completed our Dave Ramsey debt payoff snowball plan that we started 3.5 years ago. Credit cards, student loans and car payments are ALL GONE!!!!!!!! I get giddy just thinking about it.
The journey from debt overwhelmed to debt free (other then a mortgage) has been a far more satisfying experience then I would have thought. I now have an entirely different relationship to money, spending, and budgets. I positively delight in figuring out ways to not spend money on things, or spend less money, on things that don’t matter. Thrift stores and craigslist and ingenuity and clarifying what you really need/want have all been key ingredients in this journey. We often buy used, and we try to buy mechanical things that will last, rather then need replacement. Which means that we don’t necessarily buy cheap, so much as we try and buy smart. And when it comes to food, we don’t cheap out at all. We grow as much as we want, we buy in quantity, and we buy local and organic, no matter the cost. Food is a priority to us, as is our health, new clothes and cars, not so much. We don’t eat out, we do a lot of DIY, and Hank has become quite the fix it guru – repairing our washing machine, the tractor and the new old mower.
Equally as exciting, is that this week, for the very first time, we don’t have to go to the market to buy veggies for the week because we were able to harvest enough from our own garden!!!!
Last years garden definitely had more going on by now because Spring was milder and I wasn’t starting the garden from scratch, but I never quite got a good balance of variety to go along with the quantity. Meaning, I grew a lot of beets, but they were all ready to harvest within a 2 week period, and then we had no more beets to eat fresh. And when the beets were in, not much else was. I didn’t grow enough onions that I was willing to harvest any as Spring onions. And my spinach and snap peas didn’t keep growing for as long as I thought they would, nor did I grow enough greens in the first place. I guess I somewhat paid attention to what we bought at the market last year, and tried to grow more accordingly this year. Not because I’m an awesome record keeper or anything, just because I keep trying different things in my attempts to figure out what works best for us. This year I think it helped that we basically built, filled, and planted beds as fast as we could so I was always trying to squeeze a little bit of everything that I wanted to get planted into a small area. Instead of beds full of beets, they are scattered, a dozen here, a dozen there. I did much better at succession planting this year too.
Both of these things are something we’ve been working towards for a long time out in our bigger picture and it feels oh so good to have hit a milestone with each of them.
Hopefully the garden will continue to surprise me with its bounty – I have my fingers crossed that I will grow enough tomatoes and potatoes this year to not need to supplement. That the storage onions will grow and store well enough to get us through the winter, and that the squash won’t get annihilated by squash bugs. I’m also looking forward to trying to grow some fall crops and overwinter some others so we can eat fresh all year! A girl can dream right?
Financially the goal now is to continue to add the infrastructure that we’d like to this place with cash only. We’ve come up with a way to make a proper space for RAGGEDedge that will be both affordable and practical in the long term, even when RAGGEDedge is no longer around. The space that its in now will become our indoor/outdoor workshop because we don’t have a garage, so nothing goes to waste. And the RAGGEDedge addition will be built with help but also a lot of our own sweat to keep the cost down and the learning curve going up. The other biggies on the docket are a permanent fenced pasture for the goats, and eventually (read years down the road) turning Hank and I’s cabin into a respectable little off grid place with a real kitchen.
Always churning in the back of our heads are ways to create other little revenue streams from the property that don’t require full time care to add to our income quilt. I’m not sure yet what this will entail, but so far I like the idea of you-pick blueberries on the hill meadow. We’ve also considered selling hay, a mountain bike event, and growing a couple of high dollar crops like asparagus. But really, who the hell knows. We aren’t there yet.
Other things awesome right now: