We have been looking everywhere for a homestead site! Where are you? It is proving difficult to find something that meets our needs and requirements. We need a larger type home, so as I search for those, many times the land is just too small OR there are ordinances that do not allow chickens, ducks and certainly not goats. I’ve even looked for chickens and ducks that don’t make much noise in an effort to compromise with ordinances. The newer type homes are gorgeous and offer us a lot in terms of space, but walk into the back yard and you are looking at a large wall just ten feet from the back door. Of course I’m exaggerating right now, but I’m starting to think there is a conspiracy against having an urban homestead…or even a suburban homestead. I’m joking about the conspiracy, but it certainly feels that way. I really like the house I posted pictures of in an earlier blog entry, but one very large problem remains with that property…there is a HUGE cottonwood tree in the front of the house. The boughs of the tree are huge and extend well over a quarter of the house roof. Can you imagine the massive root system underneath? The tree is no more than 15 feet from the house and the girth on this bad boy is enormous. It is such a beautiful tree, but unfortunately it would need to be chopped down. That is a huge undertaking!
So the search continues. I’ve looked in my local area, and also opened up my mind to the possibility of relocating to somewhere totally different in NM. We did find something that we really like, so my son and I took a ride down to southern New Mexico to check out this place. From my house it is over four hours away and is about 35 miles north of the Mexican border. I couldn’t help but go since this particular house had me so intrigued! It was well worth the drive. The house has all the space we are in need of for our family (and then some!) and also sits on two acres of land. The house itself is outdated, but who cares…it has everything we’ve been looking for in a home and its only about a ten minute drive outside of the city limits. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.
I try not to get attached to any property and to keep an open mind about other places, but I feel like this particular home has wrecked me! LOL I like to see all options out there and available to us, but now I view every place through the lens of the house just an hour north of the Mexican border! That’s not good.
In the mean time, we’ve been getting our yard here ready for some planting. We don’t know how long it will take till we find something and we’re ready to actually move, so we decided to just start planting things here anyway. At first, I thought it would be a waste of my time, but then I realized that even if we find something that we are ready to move into in the next few months, there will be fresh fruits and veggies in the garden for whoever decides to move into our house. They would have amaranth, amaranth flowers, snail flowers (and beans), lots of other types of beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, watermelon, beautiful night scented tobacco flowers filling the air with fragrance, heirloom lettuces, celery, beets, peppers, eggplant, squash, carrots etc. Wow, I would love to move into a home and find a whole garden filled with love and produce.
We had planned to plant a garden this year after doing some observing last year of our yard, so we’ve been busy getting things ready. I’ve never grown food in the southwest before, so I’m not sure what to expect. What I do know is that we have so many different types of birds, lizards and other animals running through our yard, making me wonder if anything I plant will survive! We have roadrunners, about three different types of very large doves, sparrows, territorial hummingbirds and lots of other birds I’ve never even seen before. It is amazing to see some of them because when I look out my window I have to take another look and point saying “what the hell kind of bird is that?” Last year we saw this flock of birds inhabiting one of our bushes and the bright, almost iridescent colors made me gasp and took my breath away. The lizards come out to bask on our sunny walls that separates our house from the neighbors, and they are always on patrol for some yummy little treat that scurries across their path. Rabbits love to come in at dawn and dusk eating the tops of wild flowers and leaving the stems. There is also a feral cat that wanders around the neighborhood but is never there when you need her to chase the rabbits away! Instead she’s content to walk all over my truck and lay there in the sun, leaving her little paw prints (well they aren’t little…she’s a feral cat!) tracked all over the hood and windshield.
Even though we have our property completely gated, somehow dogs seem to get in anyway and leave little gifts for us! I’m not sure what will grow or even survive, but it is worth a shot! What we have observed over the last year is that the roses which haven’t been tended to in the years prior to us moving in grow profusely. No fertilizer, no pruning, just amazing full bloomed roses that never get watered or cared for. Here are some pictures of the roses in our yard towards the end of their blooming last year:
The smell of these roses are intoxicating! There is one other rose bush that is probably the same age as these rose bushes, but it was planted next to one of the large evergreen bushes. Even though it doesn’t get any sunlight and really hasn’t grown more than three thick branches, it still produces huge yellow roses with a power packed scent. This thing gets very little sunlight and no water unless it rains, and yet there it is still producing.
We will plant…and then watch to see what grows! That’s all we can do at this point, without doing a complete overhaul of the yard. Some seeds may not make it past the birds and bugs, others may make it…seedlings we transplant may get eaten by some very hungry rabbits, or maybe they will be repelled by all the herbs growing around the yard. Who knows, but its worth a shot!