Note: I wrote this post a week ago, but failed to post it. I think I’m getting the hang of a schedule here and will be back to posting regularly soon!

Hello everyone! First off, I want to apologize for not having any posts while we were gone. I had every intention of scheduling a series of posts to go up while we were gone, but I just never got around to it. Can you all forgive me? I hope so, because I have a ton of awesome homesteading and environmental stuff to talk about having to do with this trip!

We spent the majority of the trip in Paris where Baby Kennan and his family live, but we also spent five days in Ireland. Plane tickets from Paris to Dublin were pretty cheap, and Jeremy and I have both always wanted to visit Ireland because we both have Irish heritage, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The trip was amazing, and deserves individual posts, which they will get, but for now we are busy getting back to our regular routines now that we are home.

Though the trip was amazing, it didn’t stop me from worrying a bit about how our garden was doing while we were away from it. Jeremy and I came up with a solid irrigation plan for when we were gone in order to minimize the amount of work Jeremy’s dad had to do while checking in on our home while we were away, and in theory everything should have been just fine, but I am something of a worrier and I couldn’t shake the feeling something might be wrong. After all, we had just seeded our new polyculture lawn and it had only barely begun to grow before we left. Well, when we pulled up to our home I saw my worrying wasn’t entirely irrational. The lawn looked awful!

There were all kinds of weeds in it (by weeds, I mean plants I didn’t plant or want), most of which I suspect came from our bird feeders, and the fescue looked exactly the same as it did when we left, which is to say, like it had just barely germinated. I know it’s a slow growing blend, but to not grow at all in 16 days? Further, it was horribly patchy. In some places the fescue grew fairly well, in other places not at all. The only thing that seemed to be doing well was the clover. What happened?

After some investigation, we figured out what the problem was. The evening before we left, Jeremy found a leak in our lawn irrigation system. It was an easy fix, but he had to turn the system off to fix it. He never turned it back on.

Sixteen days this barely germinated lawn went without supplemental irrigation. We did get some rain while we were gone, but we also got high heat and lots of sun, and let’s face it, Colorado rain isn’t exactly the most bountiful rain (meanwhile, it was flooding in Paris where we were). Knowing that, I’m actually impressed with how good the lawn actually looks! I have a lot of weed removal to do, we might straight up break out the weed torch for some of the weedy grass that is growing in thick patches in the sunny spots, and I will need to re-seed with the fescue once more, but it’s not a total disaster. It does give me a lot of hope for it’s drought tolerance.

Other than that, most of our plants are in pretty good shape. The veggie garden is doing good, that irrigation system ran as planned and seems to have done it’s job fairly well. Our ruby voodoo rose is just starting to bloom, and it’ looks like it’s going to put on quite a show this year. All of the herbs in my herb garden have started to grow (also a small miracle because they were on the same irrigation as the lawn), our strawberries are in full bloom, and our service berry has a ton of berries on it. We have an abundance of quail eggs, and our radish are ready to harvest, which I should probably go do the minute I’m finished writing this.

I start my internship with a local parks department on Monday and am super excited! I am spending this weekend prepping to get our home ready for me to be working full time again. Basically, I want to have meals planned and prepped and some basic cleanliness achieved, as well as a chore schedule of sorts established so that we can keep up with everything. I also want to get a good schedule for writing set up for myself.

I have tons to say about the trip and things I learned and experienced that have to do with projects around here and sustainability in general, so please stay tuned and I’ll post them up!