Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why "The Homesteading Maven"?


 noun \ˈmā-vən\
: one who is experienced or knowledgeable

Well, it's Friday and my thought was that every Friday we would define a word that has to do with homesteading.  There are some funky ones out there, I tell ya.  But everything must have a beginning, so the best place to start is "Why Maven"?  The two words above say it well.  I have experience, that's for sure.  Experience at total failure some of the time!  I have had gardening beds overrun with bermuda grass, I have fought (and sometimes lost to) squash bugs, I have purchased tools that ended up being useless and I have purchased transplants that ended up being the wrong plant!

Good grief, Maven!  Don't you know when to stop?  Why are you still doing this at all?  Because I have also enjoyed having more peppers in my freezer than I can possibly use, I have loved the quiet mornings listening to the birds as I play in the soil, I have relished the challenge of solving problems with the animals or in the garden and I have served meals to my family that have been completely home grown!

I have a saying that I came up with.  You are welcome to use it:  "The best teacher is experience and the best experience is somebody else's!"  As the youngest in a large family, it kept me from many a spanking, I'm sure.  As a homeschooling mom, it allowed me to rely on other people's expertise in math, literature, history and science to graduate functional, well-educated adults.  As a homesteader, learning from others through reading gave me the confidence to attempt things I had never learned before!  Really, people, I'm a city girl!  I had never really been around a cow until I purchased my own!  Before this, my experience in gardening was solely in flowers and landscaping!

So here on The Maven, you can expect a lot of 'how to get started' - 'how to decide if this will work for you' - 'what are the problems that come along with blank' .  Hope that sounds like a useful thing to you, I'm having a blast sharing the joys and challenges of homesteading.

Winter is coming up and is a wonderful time to make plans for a new adventure.  Here are some of the resources I have found useful:

  • Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin - he breaks down the process of Management Intensive Grazing and empowers you to work with nature to manage your livestock
  • Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich,  How to Grow More Vegetables... by John Jeavons and The Winter Harvest by Eliot Coleman - the first explains the concept of using beds and aisles, the second sells you on the idea of planting intensively and the last is all about season extension.  
  • Territorial Seed Company catalog - their planting guides are helpful and the pictures are lovely
So, there we are.  I guess 10 years of this means I have experience.  Reading other people's work has made me a little knowledgeable. I'll be working to apply that knowledge and experience to the unique situation of homesteading in the South.  Come on back!  There's a whole lot more!

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