Saturday, May 16, 2009

I realize it has been an excessively long time since I have blogged. Part of that has been laziness and total lack of motivation. Part has been the ridiculous schedule I have been trying to keep with work and baby and husband and training for my first triathlon. Part, which is more relevant to the blog is that I have been contemplating taking this blog in a different direction, but more on that later. Also,  I have been trying to figure out/avoiding how to share what all we have been doing in the Erdman household without having a huge update post, which I realize is almost impossible, so here is the huge update post, bullet style. 

  • Camille is doing great. She still has no teeth and no hair, but is a cute as ever. She is no longer crawling wounded-solider style, instead she is about the house on all fours, moving like a bull dog on a mission. She is pulling up on everything that will stand still, creeping on the furniture, and standing unsupported for a few seconds at a time. I have a feeling walking is in the pipes. She is now a total bottle baby (GLORY JESUS!). We have been making our own formula out of organic raw cows milk, which we purchase illegally from the most awesome hillbilly hippie,  and a variety of additives.   Camille totally loves the mix and immediately started sleeping three hours longer per night with all the extra fat grams she is getting from the formula.  She loves singing especially songs with hand motions, books, eating dirt treasures off the floor, eating big people food and chasing the dogs around the house.
  • Matt is about the same as when I last wrote, which is good, since at that time he was staying busy with his work and other various hobbies. He is still brewing beer and has an October Fest, an Irish Stout and a barley wine in the makings at this time. He is now using an all grain method and we are thinking about growing some of our on grains in the near future. He is also still weightlifting. He has been working on rehabing a knee injury and is slowly gaining back strength without knee pain. I am constantly amazed at his dedication and love of that sport. As far as work goes, he as had several big jobs as well as some smaller ones this past month. We continue to pray and have faith that God will provide the jobs he needs, and He keeps providing. 
  • I have been very busy training for my first (mini) triathlon which will take place on memorial day. I have really enjoyed the training and feel much stronger and fit than I did when I started. I still have quite a bit more baby weight to lose, so I am trying not to get discouraged on that end. I have also been working in our garden more these days. I have been struggling with my job, and am contemplating a change within the OT field, maybe even to pediatrics. We will see how that goes, I have not decided yet. 
Collectively we have found a church that we like and are actively participating with some of the couples there in a Bible study and get together time. I still think making friends sucks, but it is good to be getting plugged into a group of believers. These people seem to be really cool, thoughtful, interesting, non-traditional types. There are several kids Camille's age, which was important to me. The church itself is changing. They are taking a good, hard look at their traditions and making sure that they are not doing anything to alienate people just because it is the way they have always done things. Consequently, their numbers are small. Viva la revolution. 

We (being the Erdmans and Caffeys) are beginning the journey pursing a more holistic food acquisition method as well as an overall more natural way of living. We are now knee deep in vegetables that we have grown ourselves in the garden that we tilled and planted and prayed over. So far we have feasted on squash, zucchini, green beans, purple peas, heirloom purple and yellow beans, broccoli, and lettuce. Soon we will have tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, and black eyed peas. Later we will have winter squash, potatoes, and onions. We are trying to figure out how to eradicate several types of bugs WITHOUT (daddy!) using harmful pesticides.  I would love any suggestions. 

We are also about to purchase our own cows to put on my parents land (20 acres give or take). For the last few years my parents have rented out the land to a man who had way too many cows on that number of acres. He depleted the land and we have spent the last several months doing things such as fertilizing (with very good, not organic, but very much not typical fertilizer) and removing some old, dead hay that coated several acres in a 18 inch blanket of nastiness. God has been gracious with the rain and we should be able to make a first hay cutting and purchase our cows within the next couple of months. We are planning on getting 3-4 heifers and a bull and then using the offspring as meat for ourselves and selling others. If anyone in this area is interested in purchasing a cow for meat, let us know.  
In addition to the garden and cows, the people that rent the small farmhouse on the corner of my parent's property are raising chickens and ducks for egg production. We are getting grain fed, free range eggs at an alarming rate for free! God is truly blessing our endeavour to live holistically off the land that he has provided. 

I have to say that I am incredibly proud and thankful for my mother who has really thrown herself into the process of living more naturally and taking advantage of the resources at our fingertips. The word Green has become so cliche, but I really think that we are trying to make a change in our small sphere that promotes a healthful, natural, environmentally aware lifestyle. Not because some celebrity told us to, or because we think it is cool to drive a Prius. But because vegetables out of a garden you planted taste like nothing you can buy in the store, and raw milk from the crazy milk lady taste like cool coconut sweetened goodness, and duck eggs are truly delectable. Right now the cost of everything that we are doing is much more than if we just gave up and bought our stuff from HEB, but next year, we should definitely hear a sigh of relief from our pocket book. 

So, I was toying around with the idea of changing my blog into something specifically focused on growing up green, or hippies gone Texas, or southern granola, but I decided to just keep it the way it is and post about whatever I want and hopefully more often than once every other month. This will include probably include quite a bit of detail about how Camille is going to grow up green, how this hippie at heart is planted in Texas, and how some die hard southern parents go granola in their golden years (haha). 


Kim said...

Oh, it's good to hear from you! You sound incredibly busy. Gotta question for you on the you have those horrible green worms? I swore I'd never grow it again because of them (and the fact that I didn't want to spray stuff to avoid getting them). I'm so jealous you already have so much crop...our garden isn't even planted yet, but our last frost date wasn't until this week either. Oh, I'm missing my tomatoes!

Kellsotr said...

Actually, I just got attacked by the horrible green worms yesterday. In one day they almost obliterated my entire row of broccoli. I tried plucking them off one by one, which was time consuming and hard on the back. I do not know what I will do later. What do you do for the little leaf hoppers? Those things are killing my peppers.

Otis said...

Glad to hear you're getting into full swing with the garden! Ours is really tiny, but we use something called Neem to ward off pests and it's supposedly organic-y.

Which mini-tri are you doing? Really great to hear you're trying for that and the goal is definitely motivating for those days you don't want to do anything.

Definitely going to have to swing up there sometime to see what all you have going on.

Mrs. Smith said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the green/organic/au-naturel farming and food..... wish I lived on a corner of your land!

Rachel said...

:) ummmm....granola.

tonya_german said...

Have you heard of vermicompost. At our famers market there was a couple that sold worms. The worms eat your garbage. Garbage being your leftover food except for meat products. After they eat the leftovers they leave a very rich soil behind. This lady would then bag the soil and make compost tea. The tea would work as a fertilizer and was supposed to help keep bugs away. They also had enough worms that they could plant their crops in the worm soil.

Kim said...

We don't have leaf hoppers. We get tomato worms that attack our peppers and you can either pick them off one by one or just break down and spray. We spray once a year and it seems to take care of them. Our major garden nemesis are squash bugs. The blasted things can wipe out anything with a vine in a day.

tamie said...

Your blog entry totally inspired me. Jon and I have many similar thoughts...and I'm in the midst of planting a "salsa" garden (ie. all the ingredients needed for salsa) in the tiny patch of dirt outside my apartment.

I can't wait to meet you....soon, I hope.