It has been four months since we totaled our RV and settled on a 5-acre homestead in southwestern Virginia. The house is (mostly) furnished, and we are no longer going to the store every day to replace missing items. We are moving out of survival mode and beginning to enjoy our new version of home. Welcome to the Happiest Camper Homestead.
Our landlord is extremely lenient with the five acres we are renting. You know what that means? Animals!
The baby chicks, now chickens, grew up fast. One is already singing the egg song, so we hope to find some eggs soon. I ordered this fun basket. This rooster is fond of the old, rusty chair we found. He is friendly and likes to follow people around the yard. His name is Bubba.
If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, then you know we got pigs! We purchased the only three registered Idaho Pasture Pigs in Virginia. Meet, Willaby (above), Gertrude (below left), and Rosemary (below right).
Idaho Pasture Pigs are a gentle, grazing breed that will keep vegetation on the hillside down. Rosemary might be pregnant. We are so excited to have piglets! (Update – Click here for piglet pictures!)
Every good homestead needs a garden, right? A server at a local restaurant told us you can throw seeds anywhere in southwestern Virginia, and they’ll grow. That is especially true when it rains every day. This is a great place to grow your own food.
The cucumbers are so light and refreshing during the summer. Most of them have become refrigerator pickles. The baby can’t get enough!
Happiest Camper Homestead
A good number of summer squash were harvested before beetles got a hold of the plants. We will have to come up with a solution for that next year.
Multiple ears of corn are growing, but we aren’t sure when to pick them. The same is true for the carrots. How do you know when to pick something that grows underground? A lot of gardening is trial and error for us.
Are you waiting for me to tell you where I got my dress? It is the softest item of clothing I have ever owned and appropriate for just about any situation. I throw a cardigan (this one is cute!) over it and wear it to work or add a jean jacket for date night. It can be paired with flip flops, heals, or boots, and I don’t have to worry about staying covered up while chasing my 1-year-old.
The dress is from Shop Ashley LeMieux. I have crossed paths with Ashley multiple times in blogging circles. Her shop is designed for women who do. “Women who do are out serving in their communities, they are leaders in the work place, they are students, they are stay at home mothers, they are friends, sisters, wives, teachers, and doers of good.” I love that. Her clothes are flattering on most body types, functional and beautiful. New pieces are added to the site weekly, which makes shopping from my rural homestead a breeze. I also love knowing that my money will go to a family who deserves it. Ashley and her husband lost their two foster children to a custody battle after parenting them for four years. Can you imagine? On top of their heartache, they spent over $130,000 on lawyer fees to fight for their children. I’m happy to help, especially when I get a pretty dress in return.
OK, back to the animals. Camo is having a rough summer. Two weeks after recovering from a copperhead snake bite, he chased a ball into the street at exactly the wrong moment. His front, left leg was broken in three places. The local veterinarian felt the surgery was beyond her capability, so he got transferred to Virginia Tech. His surgeon said the procedure was in his top 10 most difficult, but Camo is home and recovering well. He needs a full eight weeks to heal, and preventing him from jumping off the couch or running down stairs is a full time job. Camo is, by far, our happiest camper!
With one dog down for an extended period of time, we needed another chicken protector for the homestead. Loki is an Anatolian Shepherd, a livestock guardian breed. We lost some chickens to a fox, so he is on duty 24/7. He is a bouncing puppy with giant feet and will grow into quite a large dog.
One fun part of the summer has been watching flowers pop up. It seems like something new blooms every week. Some of them may be weeds, but they all look pretty in my new flower vase.
We are making friends and connections in our community, exploring more, celebrating simple joys, and even taking vacations. There are many more photos of life on the homestead on Instagram and Facebook where you can keep up with us in real time. We hope to ‘see’ you there!