This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Month: February 2016

Garden – Winter 2016 – Update I

We thought we’d give a little update on the progress in our Winter garden this year so far…

We’ve been able to start transplanting from the mini-greenhouses. Basically, I would take my pocket knife, cut down the middle of the dirt in the mini-greenhouse, trying to separate the soil between the two plant sides, and then just use my fingers to dig in between, scooping out one side, and planting it in the mulch garden bed.

And by God’s graces, so far so good! I was a little worried about how the transplanting process would work out, but I don’t think we’ve lost one yet, which is nice, although I don’t know if the unusually warm Winter we’ve had has been a major factor.

And so, things are starting to grow out on their own…

Winter Garden 2016

The peas seem to be doing the best:

Winter Garden 2016 Peas

More Winter Garden 2016 Peas

And here is some cabbage:

Winter Garden 2016 Cabbage

And broccoli:

Winter Garden 2016 Broccoli

And beets:

Winter Garden 2016 Beets

We’ll see how things continue, but we are thankful for what the Lord has granted thus far, for the recent rains, which really put a spring in the plants’ step (so to speak 😀 ), and we pray God might grant food in the end!

— David

The Barn – Update V – The Loft – Update III

We were able to gather some more materials and make a little more progress on the barn loft!

I decided to extend the back section to the end so we could continue laying down plywood from that end. After adding the three new joists and cross pieces, and clamping the joists together, I attached an 8 foot 2×4 to help hold them in place, and then clamped the other side:

More Barn Loft Floor Joists on Back Section

And laid down a new plywood sheet in that area:

Another Piece of Flooring on Back Section

Then the same thing in the front section, adding three new joists:

More Barn Loft Floor Joists on Front Section

And a new sheet there:

Another Piece of Flooring on Front Section

Getting closer! 🙂

We are grateful to the Lord for granting the supplies, and the physical ability to work!

— David

The Orchard – Winter 2016 – Fruit Tree Pruning

January rolled around, and although I got a bit of a late start, it was time to get out and prune the fruit trees! This year, I needed to do all of the ones older than probably a year or two at most, whereas last year I only did the biggest ones.

Here is what it looked like before:

Winter 2016 Orchard Pruning Before

And then, after about three weeks of getting out there in the mornings, here is the after picture. I hacked them up quite a bit…hopefully didn’t overdo it:

Winter 2016 Orchard Pruning After

And here are some of the leftovers, which I think once dried out will make good kindling for the wood burning stove!

Winter 2016 Orchard Pruning Leftover Branches

There are obviously many spiritual teachings and lessons in the Bible that are agrarian based, including trees and taking care of them. While in pruning the tree is cut back, it is a necessary process for the success of the tree. It is the same spiritually, and the Lord prunes the trees of our hearts, which is often painful, but necessary for His fruit to come forth. I mention more in detail about this spiritual example in last year’s pruning blog post, and I encourage you to take a look at it.

We are thankful for God’s lessons in His word, and to be able to experience them and better understand them when actually living the “types” (or physical realities) of the “antitypes” (or spiritual fulfillment of them). And we pray the Lord might grant the increase from the bearing trees this year, in accordance with His will, as we pray He bring forth His fruit in our lives!

— David

The Barn – Update IV – The Loft – Update II

It’s been some time since I’ve done some work on the barn loft, and I had new materials waiting in the wings for 8-10 months, but finally, I recently started adding a new section!

Since the end of the previous section had full 2×10 inch (the size of the joists) cross blocks in place, the plan was to use 2×4 inch boards to cross block new sections next to the full-sized cross blocks:

Barn Loft Next Joist and Cross Block

And here are the next seven joists in place:

Barn Loft Next Floor Joists in Place

Another View of Barn Loft Next Floor Joists in Place

I thought it best to work my way out from the previously-built section without blocking and attaching the far end of the new joists so that I could square the joists with the plywood flooring as I went. Also, I used a bar clamp to pull together and straighten the torqued joists:

Adding Barn Loft Floor Joist Cross Pieces Using a Clamp

And here’s the first line of cross blocks:

First New Barn Loft Cross Pieces in Place

I also added an extra 2×4 board behind the first joist to just give a little more support under plywood that would extend past the joist next to the barn wall:

Extra Barn Loft Back Joist Suporrt

And here is the section completed with the materials I had, including the second line of 2×4 cross blocks and the far 2×10 cross blocks in place. I decided not to attach that far end to the beam yet to continue to try to make sure the floor stays square as I Lord willing add more plywood over time. This is where our new guest Trina spends the nights 🙂 :

Next Barn Loft 8 Foot Section in Place with Plywood Flooring

As always, we are thankful to God for granting provisions to continue on the homestead!

— David