Yep, we bought the farm last year. Five acres of beautiful land where we can raise chickens, tend the garden, make soap, do other homesteady stuff and grow a goji berry orchard. The first goji orchard in Illinois as far as we can tell!
We are one year in and now we want to share a condensed version of our life at Maple Brook so far. First off, Maple Brook is the name of the brook that runs through the east side of the property. It’s small but it does have water flowing in the spring and early summer, and of course when we get two inches of rain in one day it fills up for a few days.
We spent our first night here in May of 2017. That meant that I wasn’t going to have chickens, a garden or a goji orchard just yet. Project #1 was to build a bridge. The east side of the brook has nice shade on hot afternoons and a great location for our future gazebo. The sunsets will be amazing from there! SO, I needed a bridge for easy access across the brook where my hammock sits and I lay.
I spent a lot of time cleaning out old trees, brush, poison ivy, weeds and other vegetation. Of course, we had to get the lay of the land too so we explored the woods and scoped out some hunting spots.
Project #2 was a rain collection system. The previous owner left a 450 gallon water tank behind so I quickly made plans to get good use from it. The end product looked great but I just didn’t have enough surface space to collect enough rain to keep it adequately filled. I’ll let you in on a little secret, this later becomes a small garden shed.
I was able to start a small compost pile and quickly turn it into a large pile that’s already producing great compost! I love playing in the dirt!
Winter came and went and in the spring of 2018 I got chickens, started my garden and started my test phase of maintaining a goji berry orchard.
The posts that follow will chronicle life on Maple Brook Farm. I’ll share our goji experiences, composting experiences, gardening, soap making and anything else that farm life brings. I hope others can benefit from our trial and errors as I know I have certainly been blessed by other bloggers who have paved the way and passed on their knowledge!