Sometimes I get so distracted by the overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable amount of work I have ahead of me in terms of home and land restoration, raising animals, and general life, that I forget to stop and look how far everything has come. I look at my newly opened pockets of land wishing and dreaming for wide open spaces, and have completely forgotten that only a year and a half ago there was nothing but woods. Granted, we have only cleared about 3% of our land, but it's something and we are making progress.
Then there's the kitchen. Ohhhh my kitchen. I love it. It's old, beautiful, oozes character that few have, and I dare you to find a single level surface or square corner in it! But the old girl didn't always look that way. Ohhhhhhh no. She used to have painted teal floors, deep dark red painted brick, unsealed cabinets, and raw skimmed walls. Whaaaat? Yes, it was beyond horrific...and dirty. But, I saw the potential and started plugging away the second we stepped in the door. Now, it is the gem of the house and if I could, I'd sleep in it. To appreciate truly how far it's come, we need a starting point. So let's see where it all began shall we?
These photos are straight from the Zillow listing, and this is what I saw when I went to look at it the first time.
So I'm going to come right out and say it... I am not a fan of grass. That perfectly manicured lawn look is not for me. First of all, it wouldn't look perfect because I have oodles of animals and animals poop. I live on a small subsistence farm, and the last thing that I have time for is mowing grass. And for what? For looks? Sure, it can be fed out to the animals, but they don't eat it all so it ends up being a waste. A waste of time, and a waste of space. I don't want to spend hours mowing, or use what could be valuable garden space to feed my family on an aesthetic monoculture.
Last year I came across a French style of gardening that I wasn't all that familiar with. Potager Gardens, also known as kitchen gardens consist of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers woven into a beautiful yet functional space. I was immediately intrigued, and began googling my heart out. Results yielded photos of beautiful raised beds made of wood and rocks, with natural walkways woven in between bursts of pollinator loving colors. This was the solution I was searching for to transform the grassy area out my back door and kitchen (it was meant to be) into a useful and beautiful space.
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