Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Homestead Dreams...

I have wanted (for as long as I can remember) to be self-sufficient as far as food goes. I also used to want to live up in the mountains by myself and far away from everybody (I even did a report when I was in the eighth grade about Mountain Women)...I got married, so that dream is no longer a possibility, but the self-sufficiency one is still alive and strong.

My family always raised beef (I currently just took one of my steers to the locker), so I've always been partially self-sufficient. I've had chickens off and on (I'm planning on getting some more this summer when you don't have to try nearly as hard to keep them warm AND their price drops to about $.50 a piece versus the $2-3.00 they are right now. Farm fresh eggs cannot be beat. My other livestock that I'd like to get in the near future includes goats (Nubians for milk possibly bred to a Boer or other meat-type buck in order to use the offspring as freezer meat), ducks (Muscovies because they are unique and I've had them in the past and love their personality), geese (probably White Chinese, but I'm really not too picky. I raised a few last summer and really enjoyed them), and rabbits (Flemish Giants if I can find them).

Things look really attainable to me right now. I've got my orchard planned out and ready to purchase. I've also got my garden planned. I'm about 9 weeks pregnant which I think is really causing me to push myself even harder to make this homestead plan of mine work. I want a child raised on food that we've grown and that way I know exactly what is going into my kid. I want a simple life of hard work and country living. I've got the country living, and I've got the hard work, but I just need to simplify.

Being that I am working from home, the thought of growing almost all of our food on the property is a bit of a relief to my worrying about money troubles. Yes, there is input costs for gardens, and livestock, and orchards, but I think the payoffs will outweigh the costs easily. Plus, since I will be home a lot with the new baby and my business I'll be able to focus on the livestock and garden and orchard to cultivate an incredible world to raise a child in. I was lucky enough to be raised on a farm that was dream-like. We had every kind of animal imaginable and it was more than a kid could ever hope for--and I definitely want that for my kid too.

My amazing farm dog Ace (part Newfoundland part Border Collie)

My Brown Swiss Steers from back in my 4-H days.

Some of my previous chickens

One of my previous geese.
Some previous Muscovy duck hens of mine.
So you see I've had bits and pieces of my dream life, I just need to focus on bringing them all together. I've got a wonderful farm as a starting point, so I know it won't be too far of a stretch of the imagination. Anybody out there who is in the same boat as me or who has been successful at becoming a homesteader or anything even close to that I'd love to hear any advice that you may have.

No comments: