Prepare Your Homestead for Aging or Injury

I recently discovered we had neglected some critical homestead preparations after having surgery related to a homestead injury.  I was unable to navigate much of our homestead with crutches and a walker, which meant others had to take over my chores.  I failed to train everyone to complete the chores I was handling.  It is much easier to put these systems in place before they are needed.

As you walk around your homestead, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could I navigate my homestead on crutches or with a walker?  Can I get to the most critical areas?  Can I get in and out of my house?
  • Am I the only person who knows how to complete this task?  Do I need to provide written materials to support the person I need to train as my back up?
  • As I plan projects, have I considered mobility constraints and injury constraints?  Can others easily manage the system I am putting in place or does it require special knowledge or skills?  How can I provide the knowledge and skills to others?
  • Can I alter current protocols to accommodate mobility challenges?
  • Can I move about the interior of my home with crutches or a walker?  Can I bathe or do I need items such as handrails or shower seat?  Do I have the items in place?

I am sure I have missed many other questions, but the most important thing is to think about these challenges as you improve your homestead.  After an injury is not the time to discover all these overlooked items.  As you go about your day, view each task through the lens of decreased mobility or limiting injury.  Make necessary changes now to hopefully minimize the impact in the future.

Modern Desert Homesteader

Back to Eden Garden – Update 1

As I have experimented with gardening, I have struggled with a major problem – WEEDS!  We are overrun with Bermuda grass in our garden and orchard area.  No matter what I tried, I could not keep up with the weeds and my garden would quickly become covered with grass.  So, of course, I turned to Google for help, searching for gardening solutions to weeds.  I kept coming across blogs and videos talking about “Back to Eden” gardening.  Here is a film describing Back to Eden gardening.  This is one of my garden areas as we were preparing it for my fall and winter garden:

BTEGarden1

I was very excited to read this post from Terroir Seeds (no affiliation).  I purchased the recommended weed barrier (again, no affiliation) and placed it around the edges of my garden over some cardboard.  I then covered the garden with wood chips from a local tree trimmer.  What a great free resource – it is free for me and it saves the tree trimmers from having to pay to dump it.  Once I had the barrier and the wood chips in place, it was time to plant!  I started with starts purchased at my local big box hardware store.

BTEGarden3

Every day I checked the garden for weeds.  I would occasionally find a few, but the quickly and easily pulled out.  As the days passed, I was cautiously optimistic that the weeds weren’t going to be a problem.  In my previous gardens, the weeds quickly consumed my plants and I gave up.  I would spend hours every day weeding and I couldn’t stay ahead.  Now I check the garden once per week for weeds and am completely done in 10 minutes!  What a difference!  I also noticed that I have not had to water my garden like I did in the last fall and winter seasons.  The next step was to see how it worked over longer times.

It has been several months and here is what my garden looks like:

BTEGarden2

Success!  Everything has grown so nicely – except for the weeds!  For my fall and winter garden I am calling this a success.  I have never had a garden be this successful.  I love sitting out in the afternoon and reading in the garden.  This garden season has been a pleasure, not a chore.  I look forward to seeing how this method fares in spring and summer when the grass starts growing again.

Have you tried Back to Eden Gardening?  Let me know how your garden is growing!

Modern Desert Homesteader

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Modern Desert Homesteader