Week 1 Homesteading

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Our home, built by my husband, his brother and his late father in the mid 90's. It is a rock and cement home, most of the building materials for this home came from the land and mountain behind the home. His childhood home is no longer standing, it was a large multi-family home where his grandparents, two uncles and their families, and his family resided. Homes in Albania tend to accommodate multi-family/generations, our home was built for a single family, although originally it was discussed to add a second floor but it remained a single floor home with two bedrooms, one formal living room and a kitchen family room combo, and a bathroom. When his family immigrated to the states in the late 90's it was left as is for almost two decades minus a brief stay by his sister and her in-law's family while they were building their home. Some improvements were done during that time such as new windows, roof, doors, kitchen cabinets, and tile.

My husband arrived in September to start the process of getting the house ready to be occupied. Some furniture, dishes, linens and other odds and ends were left by his family and his sisters so he had some sorting to do and some deep cleaning. By the time I arrived in October he had new custom furniture and closets made and set up in our bedroom, washer and dryer installed, gravel poured for an actual driveway, buried the water line, gas and electric up and running, fiber internet installed, acquired two pigs Bacon and Sausage and deep cleaned (mostly his sister) the entire home. We did sort through the rest of the linens and furniture after I arrived and kept the dining room table and chairs, coffee table and a box of linens, the rest of the furniture and linens were given to a local family in need. It was a wonderful homecoming after 6 months and two continents apart.

We took our time exploring the hill, land, caves and views behind the house. It was fall so the colors were magical and we collected wild pomegranates, tea and pears from the trees and land.

And I got my first lesson on the vines in our vineyard and garden. We have variety of fruit trees in our garden two varieties of persimmons, quinces, pears, plums, dates, thanas, olives, three varieties of mulberries, figs, pomegranates, four varieties of apples, cherry, peach, bobes and several blackberry and blueberry bushes. Growing up the closest I ever got to gardening at home was when we left out pumpkins on the side of the house and the next year we had vines with pumpkins, beyond that my aunt and grandma had gardens. I had zero experience with the planting, maintenance or harvesting.

We finished up my first week with a bit of shopping for new custom furniture for the living rooms and second bedroom. And I started to work from home in the early mornings and late evenings to keep in contact with the correct time zones for New Zealand.

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