As we begin to move the Freehold to another location, I look around at all the homestead positives. Of course, the population at large has no interest in these things. The large raspberry patch that I started from six plants that a friend gave me is considered unsightly, though I think it beautiful, especially laden with fruit, glittering precious gems.
The mulberry trees give a veritable shower of berries every year. They are incredibly sweet and easy to harvest. Just put sheets on the ground and wait for the berries to fall. Mulberry syrup over whole wheat pancakes is one of the finer delights in life.
Honeysuckle weaves its way through the hedge and the fencing. Not only are the flowers a delight for children to pull out the “honey,” the flowers can be steeped in hot water, making a tea that can be used for making jelly or sore throat syrup.
Lamb's-quarter and violets, the first green harbingers of spring, grow all over the yard that was once only sisal grass that my grandfather took great pride in. These greens are packed with vitamin C and other nutrients. They make excellent salads before the garden starts to produce.
The soil is so rich that a shovelful seems to wiggle on its own. The dark and loamy soil is full of earthworms and beneficial critters.
The three grape vines along the fence grow huge and produce an abundance of grapes that are seedy but tasty. Not really very good for fresh eating, they make tasty jelly and jams. I'm sure my neighbors will be thrilled when the new owners tear them out. I know they can't stand the vines that poke through the fence.
Blackberries grown along the front fence line, though I made the mistake of having people come dig them out, so there won't be any harvest this year. Fortunately, it's almost impossible to get rid of them, so I can dig up the new plants, transplanting them in our new locale.
Though this is a suburban lot, it is still considered county. Though the new owners probably won't take advantage of it, the codes dictate that they could have any livestock other than swine, which need to be so many yards from another person's domicile. We have had turkeys, chickens, ducks and rabbits at varying times for meat production.
Odds are good that the volunteer potato plants, holdovers from last year's garden, won't be appreciated, but I just can't bring myself to tear them out. I put tomato cages over some volunteer tomato plants, just in case the buyers might like them, however unlikely that may be.
While the many lifestyle choices we made may not help to entice buyers to the short sale, I look around at our tiny homestead. And I'm proud.