It’s good to get to know your neighbors.
Most of the time I think of homesteading as a pretty solitary activity, almost all of my daily human interactions are with the members of my family. That suits me well most of the time, I’m not the out-going sort.
The truth is, though, that without a larger network of friends, neighbors, and providers, homesteading would be very, very difficult. We can’t grow all the feed we need, our soil doesn’t contain all the minerals the animals and plants need, we can’t grow all the foods we like or the all the wheat we need for flour.
Today, a neighbor called to bless us with a windfall (literally) of apples. He said the recent wind storm we had brought down a lot of his ripe and nearly ripe apples and he wouldn’t be able to sell them. He doesn’t have an orchard sweeper, so they will all have to be raked and picked up by hand. It would take a good bit of work, but if we wanted to do it, we could have the apples for free.
Who says “no” to free apples?
I was picturing maybe a pickup load, but Derrell had seen the orchard and knew this was a job for the big dump trailer.
All in all, it took two days of raking and three trips with the trailer to get all the apples. We estimated about 2 tons of apples with each trip. It worked out well for everyone, we have an abundance of apples we can use, and our neighbor got his orchard cleaned up and ready for the winter.
The boys sorted them as they raked so one load was ripe apples we could use and preserve and the other loads were for the animals and compost. Our lucky flerd will be enjoying apples all winter long now.
A homestead of any size is a lot of work, most of us don’t have time for much socializing, but when you get a chance to meet a neighbor, it’s worth taking a minute to make that connection, it’s good to know your neighbors.