|1st batch, mostly Americaunas.|
Boy oh boy are we off to a great start on our new homestead. I haven't blogged much because I've been so busy doing what we've been training to do for years.
If you've been following my blog (are you two still out there?) you'll know we've been preparing to be homesteaders for about seven years. We started in Mesa, Arizona with a cookie-cutter home crammed between two other homes in a packed subdivision.
We determined that smog filled, crime infested, traffic laden city life was no longer for us. We started studying SurvivalBlog.com
, and similar websites to learn what we didn't know...how to be self sufficient. YouTube helped tremendously thanks to some folks like LDSprepper
and the like.
Most people, I think, sit back and say "We don't know how" or "I don't have time" and never start. We made a conscious decision to start no matter what. We began planting gardens on our 0.17 acre city house and attempted to raise chickens. I started learning how to handle different weapons and Wifey started sewing, canning, dehydrating, and crafting.
|Simple swing does wonders for children (and teens!)|
Did we succeed? Not as much as we would have liked but we learned a huge amount of knowledge
. Our chickens were quickly eaten by our dog and our garden succeeded about one third of the time.
I began slowly collecting hand tools and items we could use for self sufficiency. I have about fifteen 55 gallon drums that I've been towing around the country that will someday be a rain water collection system, better than the simple two barrel system I experimented with in Mesa. Along the way, I acquired an 8 x 10 enclosed trailer and slowly built it into a mobile workshop.
|Enjoying a gun show less than one mile from my house.|
If you aren't where you plan to be permanently, don't let that stop you. As a renter, my approach was to make everything modular. Make a workshop that I could tow behind my truck and take it with us when we moved. Same for the garden. Build raised bed garden boxes that can be put in the back of a truck if you move. Same for chicken coops...they can be mobile too.
Fast forward to now. We have attained our three acre paradise and can easily slide into gardening, building rain catchments, canning, planting our orchard, etc.
In the past two months (we've been here for almost three), we've have:
- planted apple trees x 2, pear trees x 2, peach trees x 2, raspberry bushes x 2, blueberry bushes x 2, strawberries and herbs. (video link) Trees were $11.69 at the CostCo in town.
- built two pig pens to hold the 4 or 5 swine we will be raising for 4H projects in this May.
- rebuilt a Briggs and Stratton hand push lawnmower (you can't beat a good B&S engine) and slowly started to mow the property. Two were left on our homestead = free!
- consulted a local honey grower and learned how to start our own hive this August. (Video link)
- purchased 32 chicks at a local coop sale at a wonderfully low price of $0.89 each! Got some different breeds but mostly blue egg layers ("easter eggers") to make for a colorful assortment.
- built a swing for the little girls to solve some "boredom" issues in our new home.
- restored an old timey self playing piano which provides HOURS of enjoyment.
- acquired a 1950s large freezer for the garage, absolutely FREE from CraigsList. This will be a necessity when we start harvesting our own pork later this year.
- Rewired an old Oreck vacuum cleaner and it now cleans our carpet.
- Refurbished Grandpa's old work stool as a Valentine's Day present. (video link)
- Built a craft room hide-away for Wifey. (video link)
|The first four trees of our "some day" orchard.|
I can't tell you have exciting it is to finally be on the property we've been praying for. I still have to figure out what to do with about an acre and a half of pasture. With only three water shares, a neighbor tells me that it isn't enough to grow a crop. Maybe if I can collect water in my rain catchment system that it would be enough to subsidize what my three shares won't cover.
Now that I have 32 chicks, I'll need to build them a home in the next couple of weeks. They live in a box in the garage for now. I'm thinking two or three chicken tractors, strategically moved about the property can serve a dual purpose: weed control and free food.
Other projects I am considering:
- solar panel similar to LDSprepper's to provide electricity for the whole house for less than half of what we pay to the utility company.
- meal worm farm for chicken food (I hear they practically grow themselves).
- a craftroom shed in the backyard for Wifey.
- build an enclosed hoop garden to protect our stuff during the winter months.
- build a one room shed in the backyard for the teens to hang out in
- someday, maybe someday, build a ride-able sized mini train to ride around the homestead perimeter (gotta think of the future grandkids!)
I welcome your comments.