Thursday, August 26, 2010

How does your garden grow??

I figured I better get on her and update you on the Snyder Homestead. Well in a nutshell.....we have planted a ton (this pic doesn't do justice), harvested a ton, have a growing little 3 year old, new baby on the way, homeschooling starts on Tuesday, Zach's antique business picked up and we are also selling at a booth at the The Bus Stop Flea Market in Slatington, Pa. He has added larger items to his list of things to sell and well business keeps the bills paid!!
I have been helping out as much as I can with all the gardening, but I must admit it has been hard because I have been sick with morning sickness. That is coming to an end so its canning time in Sept!!
Our water main broke about a month ago and thank God we brought the bunnies in for some really hot days we had. I had them in the basement and walked past the door to hear a weird hissing sound. I thought something was wrong with them and discovered water pouring into our basement. So they came and hooked up a garden hose to the hydrant outside to our water spout. We had water inside but not outside. We didn't know what we were going to do. I could no longer haul buckets because I was pregnant (we had lost a baby last year and didn't want to chance it), and Zach is sooooo busy with the business I was sure we were going to lose all our food. So we did all we could...we prayed. We let me tell you, every single day we had to water....it rained. When the sky was calling for sun, but we needed to water....it rained. By the grace of God our plants were saved!!!
We plan to visit our dear friend Jenna next year in the spring. We love going up there. It's humbling to us. We have realized from what some would call "wanna be farmer". We have realized her passion for life and her compassion for others. We have realized that farming can be romantic and beautiful as well as hard and dirty. We have realized a "farm" can be a house in a town with neighbors and motorcycles. We have realized that they're are people who are going to criticize what we do, say, or believe, but in the end it is us that need to feel fulfilled. We learned it's about helping each other out and lending a hand where needed. These things to me are commonsense, and also to MANY farmers. My husband has had many a time to sit and talk to the locals who are too old to farm but still do it. I am blessed to my farmer friend Jenna who I have watched grow up become a woman who has followed her dream. Now it's time for us to follow ours.....God bless!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's been awhile.....

Okay, so this is a REALLY creepy picture of me but it shows one of our angora rabbits (Blue or Purple). They are both bucks a generous gift from our dear friend Jenna for helping her move into her new farm. Madeline named them by the way....she swears that purple is a girl!!

So much is going on down on our homestead. We expanded the garden and we have peas, corn, potatoes, spinach, kidney beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, onions, garlic, scallions, and horseradish planted. Whew good thing I didn't have to say that!! Who says you don't have enough room on .13 acres??!! This year we are really trying to see HOW to grow and what does well. It's all about learning and Lord knows we need it. Otherwise I don't think he would've given us this house.
I have never been more busy in my life and I have a 3 year old. Between church, bible study, chasing Madeline, weeding the garden, planting, canning, blanching, sewing, cleaning, and the list keeps growing, I barely have time to sit down. But at night right before bed when I say my prayers, I thank God for such a beautiful day He gave me. I am learning more than in college, and I am learning more about myself than I ever have. I also am learning more about my husband. We have grown closer because of this garden. It's our date night in the evening and when we eat dinner we pick it from our yard that we worked so hard on. Madeline is really enjoying it too!! She has her "own garden" near one of our with no seeds but she keeps on watering it. I don't mind, she is learning where things come from. I have noticed she is not about picking. She would rather water the plants, herself, the dogs.....
Zach's business is doing great. He has expanded our business over to etsy.com under Snyders Homestead. Check it out and help support our dream of a farm. There, we sell all vintage things. Along with ebay, it seems to pay the bills. He will also by starting up a clean out business in June. Can you say BUSY!!!!
Everyone here is great and healthy and I thank God everyday for that. I cannot wait till tomorrow to can my strawberries that I just picked from a local farm our way. They smell so wonderful in my kitchen as I type this.
Hope everyone has a blessed Memorial Day!!!! Be safe :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My fiddler on the roof :

Hit by a Farm






So many vacation at Disney World, the beach, or even go camping.....we farm!!! We went up to New York this past weekend to visit our good friend Jenna who just bought a 6 acre farm from 1866. We have followed Jenna the whole way from finances to closing so it was only appropriate we go and help her celebrate her biggest accomplishment....her farm. We arrived on Thursday evening (Madeline travels better at night). The journey only took 5 hrs. Madeline had fallen asleep so it was great to be able to catch up with Jenna before we hit the hay. Zach and I got ready for bed and as we layed down to sleep.......silence. Something we haven't heard since we lived in an apartment in the woods when we were first married. We actually had trouble sleeping!! We are used to the motorcyles, trains, and cars that go past our house near our homestead. I missed the sound of silence and that began my time of reflection on the farm. After what seemed like forever, we finally fell asleep dreaming of our own farm someday.
The next morning I woke up to a horrible sound. I listened carefully next to the window. It sounded like an animal dying outside. All I could think was "oh my, what is attacking what outside". But it was only Winthrop, Jenna's rooster, who aparently sounds like a dying animal in his cock-a-doodle-doo's. What a wake up call....it was 5:30.
That day was filled with seeing what Jenna does on her farm and helping her at her old cabin and getting and loading her 3 sheep in her Subaru (aparently Sam had gas...glad I wasn't in the car with Jenna and Zach!!!).
When we were all back at the house we all rested and chatted. We went out on the porch and Jenna taught us how to play the fiddle. It has such a beautiful sound. And it's especially beautiful watching our daughter dance around in her bare feet on the grass, on a farm, with no cares in the world. I'm so glad we have the oprritunity for Madeline to be a part of that.
After dinner we headed outside again for evening chores and to enjoy the ending of the day...that night we had no problems falling asleep to the silence.
On Saturday, we woke up and Madeline and I stayed behind to clean Jenna's home while Zach and Jenna went over with some of her friends for more fencing for the sheep. We put on the record player with some bluegrass and got down to business.
Outside we checked on the animals and mowed the lawn (push mower style!!). Madeline's favorite spot was the natural spring. I found myself stopping and looking around really coming into the fact that this is what we want. I want my daughter to know where her food comes from. I want her to understand responsibility and hardwork. I want her to breathe fresh air and use her imagination. But as I was reflecting on all this, I realized, I want that too. I don't want to go to a grocery store and ask myself "okay, what's for dinner". I want to do that out my back door. I don't want to read a label and trust they didn't miss anything. I want to put that trust into my own food KNOWING that what I feed my family truly is safe. I want to understand that some animals are food, and some are loving lazy pets who like to be scratched!! I have this burning desire to make this world work for my child, my future grandchildren, and of course us. I feel God wants us to be farmers. But I must say I was beginning to get into a rut....until Jenna's. I told Jenna in the car how she was an encouragment to me to keep moving forward towards our dream to farm....
On our final day around dinner time, it was time to say good-bye. A part of me was sad because so much will change on the farm until we see her again, and we won't see it and maybe I didn't want to leave....But a part of me was ready to go home....to go home to our homestead. It may not be a farm yet but I had that burning desire to get that farm and I was ready to take away what I had learned at Cold Antler and use it here on Snyder's Homestead.
As a thank you for coming up Jenna gave us 2 angora bucks to start yet another journey in homesteading. They are settling in here nicely. We may not have a farm, and we may not have the farm animals, but we have the dream and we have the passion to make it.......and Jenna is just a phone call away......never know, we might just call New York home one day :)







Saturday, March 27, 2010


I'm sorry I haven't been writing in the past month. This is our first year with a garden in the ground of a new house so lets just say......we've been busy.
Well, where to start..... We bought seeds and planted the cold weather crops in the ground (peas, turnips, carrots, spinach and onions). The garden beds look great and I think our neighbors are starting to roll their eyes to all we want to plant. We had a neighbor drive past and look at our yard in fear (okay, so it may have been after we had 6 loads of dirt delivered after a heavy rain..lol). But we want to do something with the land God gave us. Don't get me wrong, beautiful landscaping is great and my husband worked landscaping in college, but we want more for our rich soil. It's cost effective, as local and organic as we can get, and it's a great homeschooling project.
So we decided not to get chickens this year. Zach has become a vegan because he has asthma and meat, eggs, and dairy trigger it. Plus if our neighbors hate gardens, I'm sure they will complain over chickens.
My husbands business is doing well. It's not bringing in a ton of money, but we get by and he is HAPPY!!! He is looking for a part-time job so he can be home most of the week for auctions. We love how our family has grown together just in this short time of him being home, and (not that he wasn't), he is even more a hands-on-dad!!
We finally have found a church that we feel comfortable in and share our same beliefs. From the moment we walked in we knew this was our church. We had jumped right in to our new "family" and we are excited to grow with God there.
Our biggest news is we are expecting......RABBITS THAT IS!!!! Jenna our kind friend and farm sister is giving us 2 bucks to start our angora rabbits business. We are traveling up to the new Cold Antler in April to give her much needed manpower for all the things she needs done moving. I think it will be a great experience for all. I told her I'll do the cooking and cleaning and she and Zach can set up outside because well, he has bigger muscles than I!!
Well, sorry this is in rundown for but I have a whining Beagle wanting breakfast (if you have a hound I'm sure you understand). Have a wonderful weekend!! Blessings!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Again???

I know, I know when I say this because I live in PA.....I hate snow. I mean it was beautiful the first two time, but now its delaying things we need to get ready for spring. Outside sits the place where the greenhouse should at least be somewhat done. We have our seeds resting quietly on top of our fridge. I have 40 packages to take to the post office today. Thank goodness we have one right in town and 2 mins down the road. Zach woke up really sick so I am pumping him full of collodial silver and making him rest. He has asthma, and weather and him being sick=trips to the hospital if he's not careful, and they want 12-18 inches.

All is well with ebay. It takes time to get a business up and running but Zach is doing a great job. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband.
I visited a new church the other day. I have to say I finally feel comfortable in it!! I have been longing to find a church similar to the one I went to growing up, and I think this is it!!
Well, I must get dressed and head out into the blizzard.....if it is snowing where you live, stay safe....and even if its not...
God Bless

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The total was 18inches. It was simply beautiful. Madeline and I were playing in the snow most of the day yesterday. She has never seen so much snow in her 3 years of life so it was exciting to see her attempt a snow angel!!

Maggie our lab mix broke her leash to get after the plower. I thought it was funny because here is a dog in a red sweater acting all tough. Miles (our Beagle with a "weight problem") just stood there like a slug...it was his only defense (I love a Christmas story)!!

Zach got a lot of work done yesterday...probably because we were outside so much. I made bagels for this morning and stew for dinner/lunch.

Well, Im off to help my husband get our cars out. I hear the humming of the snow plows so its time to venture out into the tundra.....Have a great day folks!!!