Welcome to Greasewood Homestead

Hello!  Thank you for checking out Greasewood Homestead!

My name is Marla, and this is my first foray into the blogosphere.  So, please be patient with me.  I am currently 61 years old and do not believe that old dogs cannot learn new tricks.  We can however take longer to pick up what the young pups seem to learn intuitively.

The purpose of this blog (and hopefully some youtube videos in the near future) is to explore the possibilities of permaculture in a high altitude, very dry, often very windy and sometimes bitterly cold environment.  Where, you ask?  Well, I often refer to it as Middle-of-Nowhere, Wyoming.

My land is in the middle (I think) of the Laramie Valley.  There are very few trees, except near well-filled water troughs.  The land was severely overgrazed, and is now populated with greasewood, sage and a few sickly clumps of a coarse grass.  (There is other vegetation in very small quantities.  I hope to do a more comprehensive inventory this summer.)

More to come as I figure out WordPress.

Featured post

Greasewood Homestead is no more.

Well, Greasewood Homestead is no more.

I had too many close calls driving to work this spring.  Coupled with the stress from the job which caused considerable sleep deprivation and aggravation in general, I chose to resign my position in hopes of surviving until I can retire in January of 2018.

In late February, I resigned effective April 30, but was talked into staying until the end of May.  I am now getting a small pension from the state, but . . . Oh, Boy!

Now I am trying to survive in a small, hostile town on 1/3 the income I need for another five months.  I’m making soaps and working an online garage sale, and so far have sold a total of $43.00 worth of goods.  And I have all my land up for sale.  Boo hoo.  If I could sell just one of my five lots, I could easily make it to January and beyond.  And then keep what’s left for further development.

Don’t feel sorry for me though!  I feel so much better now that I’m sleeping through the night.  Just need to get out of the ‘oh, crap’ mode and further into the ‘I can do anything now’ mode.  I’m working on it.

SO, I’ll see about changing this blog site to Rock Creek Homestead.  Or something similar.  There is no greasewood in this little town, but there is rabbit brush – HMMM.  And Canada thistle, and hollyhocks, and bindweed.  And loads of beautiful grass in my garden area (stuff won’t grow in the lawn – oh, no).

Off to do some research.

No, I’m not dead.

So much for posting daily.

My last job was extended further than expected.  I still have one more day to work, but will then be able to concentrate on a less stressful future.

Judging by the rain we’ve had lately, I’m guessing Greasewood is still pretty much inaccessable. I’ll make my next trip up there in early June. My last trip was in mid April and I got stuck in the mud. That. Will. Not. Happen. Again.

Until then, I am working on the in town homestead. Here’s what I’ve done so far this year:

  1. Dug up and seperated one of three humongious rhubarb plants.
  2. Replanted three rhubarb pieces; one near the surviving nanking cherry and two near the apple tree.  Did you know that rhubarb is supposed to deter deer? Gonna find out. They have decimated the apple, cherry and even lilac bushes for too long.
  3. Planted three (so far) raspberry starts generously given to me by a very kind neighbor.  Hoping to plant the rest at Greasewood. Same with the renaining rhubarb starts – which are doing far better in buckets in the back seat of my truck than they are in there new homes (though even they are doing pretty well now).
  4. Moved a cattle panel lined with chicken wire to protect the raspberries.  The chickens tore up the first one while I was digging the hole for the second one.
  5. Moved an old, heavy fence section to protect the fresh dirt around the third rhubarb plant near the cherry bush.
  6. Mulched the two rhubarb plants with trimmings from the wild rose bush.
  7. Oh, yeah. Trimmed the new runners from the wild rose.
  8. Re-mulched the first two rhubarb plants with hand trimmed grass clippings from under the currants and the apple tree. Chicken feet don’t seem to mind rose thorns.
  9. Fertilized the raspberries with rabbit poo.
  10. Harvested and dehydrated 4 trays of dandelion flowers and 4 trays of dandelion leaves.
  11. Harvested and dehydrated about 5 pounds of rhubarb.
  12. Started a list of items I hope to sell at Marla’s garage sale (a work in progress).
  13. Started some fermentation starter (recipe is from Rain Country Homestead @ youtube – thank you Heidi!) using store bought blueberries from 2014 from the freezer. It’s been almost two days and it is already starting to bubble!
  14. Started some vanilla extract using a single vanilla bean and half a pint of vodka. It smells like vanilla after only a few days on the window sill!
  15. Finished several small crochet projects to hopefully sell at Marla’s garage sale.
  16. Worked on some larger knitting projects.
  17. Learned a new crochet technique – the flower of life – but it (as in I) need more practice time.
  18. Relearned how important hydration is on the one sunny warm day we’ve had when I wasn’t working.  Still managed to get the back yard mowed and mostly trimmed.
  19. Between all the above, I have been sorting through all the boxes of ‘stuff’ I recently emptied out of a 12 x 24 storage locker. So far, I’ve taken four large bags to the dump and eight boxes to goodwill. And can finally move around my living room.  Only two more rooms to go.

Still trying to overcome years of sitting on my ah backside. Remembering to eat breakfast helps with the energy level – imagine that!

OK. Enough for now. I won’t promise daily updates, but will try for more frequency than so far.

Thanks for checking in!

What I’ve got.

Another day! I’ll try to post daily, even if only a few sentences.

More about my property – now known as Greasewood Homestead. (Where are the emoticons?  I need the big grin.)

This land was part of a massive cattle ranch.  It has been overgrazed and is now eroding into the seasonal creek at the south end of the property.  The north end is about 50 feet higher than the south and there are fairly large gulleys all across the central portion.

High = 6,950 feet of elevation at the highest point.

Dry = average of 11-13 inches of precipitation per year, the majority of which is snow in the winter and rain in the spring.

Cold = zone 4.  Can get down to -30 F, with wind chills into the -80s. Though just last year, or was it the year before, temperatures in the area dropped to -45.  And windchills in the area this year dropped to -90.

Windy = 60 mph winds are not uncommon.  All of my hats (even the ball caps) have chin straps.

Remote = even county roads can be impassable in the area for months in the winter.  Further into the ‘development’, the roads are all clay, so tend to be impassable from the first snow until the last of the spring rains.  A friend who lives up there year round says he has been stuck up there from early November until late May at least once.  He is now moving to Utah.

Soil = haven’t had it tested yet, but it appears to be very silty clay with little organic matter and lots of fist-size or smaller rocks.


1.  Re-establish some prairie type grasses to keep the soil in place.

2.  Earthworks: the top 20 acres +/- already has a seasonal pond.  I’d like to expand it and line it if necessary to hold water for longer periods. Another 20 acres +/- in the southern section could use some swales and ponds to divert and hold more water on the property.  At present, spring runoff swooshes across the property and disappears along with a whole lot of soil both from my property and from the hundreds of acres upstream.  If I can slow that water down and collect it and the soil it carries, I may actually be able to farm (or at least garden) in that area.

3. Establish windbreaks! Plant trees and shrubs along the western and northern edges to start with. Preferably all edible to some extent.

Uh oh, its past my bedtime again.  More tomorrow!

Figured it out!

OK.  It only took me an hour to post that last blog.  Who knew you have to verify an account before you can post anything?  Oh, well.  I’m in now.  But its past my bedtime, so, more tomorrow.

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