The Problem with Multi-tasking

Light frost the last few nights and our first snow forecast for Thursday with 1 to 3 inches. Not complaining as it is later than usual. I’ve been praying for two months that it would hold off until the end of September and the Lord has given me a huge blessing. The garden was poor this year due to ‘too many irons in the fire’ as they say. Yet in some areas we had a bumper crop.

I’ve learned that multi-tasking can be taken too far.  

We are running faster than we have the strength. So I’m rethinking what I’ve been doing.

How can we concentrate and do enough where possible for 2 years worth with the livestock and garden.

That is going to take some serious praying as only the Lord knows the weather to come, certainly not the weatherman, he changes his mind at least 3 times a day and still can’t get it right half the time.

Some things will be decided for us like this year with only one hen setting on eggs the whole 21 days. We will have some replacement hens but little meat. In that lesson we’ve learned that the rabbit population is more controllable and not ravaged by predators. I’ve lost 5 hens over the last month. We will learn to substitute rabbit for chicken in most of our dishes this winter. With the knowledge gained, we need to set up our chicken and rabbit habitat more efficiently as far as time, money, and space.

We’ve decided to not raise beef from calves and just finish one off every two years unless beef prices, price us out. Less hay to haul would save time and money. This is where Dorper sheep may come into play in the future. A friend uses Dorper meat instead of beef for about everything.

We are going to learn to be more flexible and resourceful and create more reliable supplies as our base.

One idea to lower the multi-tasking is crop rotation. Grow large amounts of one crop one year and stock up so the next year we can grow a few just for the fresh taste we crave. For instance lots of pickling cucumbers for pickles one year and none the next but instead just the fresh eating variety. That way no cross pollination between the two so I can save seed with little effort.

We use a huge amount of tomatoes. I bought 5 boxes ordered in June and delivered in September. With a bumper crop due to a new type of tomato I tried that did really well, we have oodles. Many still in the green stage and ripening on the garage floor. That breathing room from having to grow a large amount next year will allow me the opportunity to experiment. I can play with a small number of plants and work to increase yield and size, something my multi-tasking has noy allowed me time for. I want to see if I can get more from fewer plants decreasing my work load and space needed in the garden.

More from less.

To the shock of our grandkids, I did not grow any pumpkins or squash this year. I have a lot in jars still and since certain varieties do well here, I need to learn to extend my recipe base and cook more things with pumpkins and squash. There is a pumpkin chili I want to try and pasta and… Pumpkin should be one of our staple foods.

We want to concentrate on raising or growing what does well within our five acres and adjust our pallet to comply.

I’m learning to better adjust what’s for dinner with my supply. A super valuable lesson for difficult times when it isn’t what you want but what you have that determines what’s on the table. Doing more with less and learning to substitute are essential skills. 

I need to built up what I have to its full potential.

My old, poorly shaped, apple trees we’ve inherited out did themselves this year producing more apples than leaves. They are particularly sweet and though they weren’t thinned, the apples are good sized. I plan on making lots of apple pie filling with the big ones. The success is credited to the amount of manure I piled on top.

a. I put sulfur on a couple times because of our alkaline soil with a sprinkling of commercial fertilizer. The commercial fertilizer gave immediate nutrients.

b. Then I piled on well mulched manure which gave a continuing amount of feed.

c. On that was fresher, clumpy manure with poop laden sawdust bedding from the goat stalls on top of that. The fresher manure has higher nitrogen which the wood needs in order to break down quickly. The decomposed wood lowers the PH making the soil more acidic as needed. It was a thought out plan. The height had me a bit worried I’d over done it but it worked out beautifully. Now to see if I pushed the trees too hard and next year will tell.

The green manure and bedding from the stalls was handled once in its disposal instead of piling it in the corral to break down and then hauling it off to where we wanted it in the first place. Another time and space saver. We are learning.

The deep mulch method really held the moisture and that was a big factor in the size of the crop. The trees only had to be watered once a week. Normally it takes twice so it saved a great deal of water, price for electricity to pump the well, and time.

Multi-tasking too much has taught that more can be less simply because it is not well done.

We are determined to find out: 1. How we can simplify. 2. How we can establish a highly efficient ecosystem which works with nature. 3. How we can conform our lifestyle to become whom the Lord intended when he sent us here to our new home. We can’t do it all. 4. How to create a life that opens our eyes to the blessings our corner of the world sets at our feet so we can call every day blessed.



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