Introduction to the homestead

So as an introduction let me begin by saying I am a part (with seven other people- my wife Stephanie & our two boys,”Dick and Jane” & their two boys) of an ambitious goal to attain self sufficiency and build a community. I have known them for over a decade now thanks to being in Basic Training with Dick and stationed and deployed to the same sandspit together. So we went in together on a bit of land in the country, up in the hills you might say where the misty mountains turn cold over our heads. I won’t go into detail on some things or people as I am cautious of our privacy. That said I am eager to share my passion for Permaculture and Liberty on this Homestead as we craft it one day and project at a time.

Our 2 female American Guinea Kune Kune cross

I am a Suburbanite that spent his time as a kid reading about this homesteading stuff and jumped into it with both feet. Undoubtedly I will make some mistakes that once jotted here might save someone the same misfortune. We have a 4 boys, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 1 boa, 5 ducks, 2 pigs, 1 horse and 21 chickens with a passel of chicks from the Brooder Box (Incubator) that just hatched in our closet. So we figured out pretty quick that we were in the food business. How do we grow enough food on the property to feed us and the animals with little to no supplementing except for community trades and purchasing? One step at a time. We moved here in August and had 3 greenhouses gone to seed and some more outdoor garden space in the same condition. A beautiful Menagerie of mint, potatoes, strawberries, comfry and tomatoes, onions, garlic, fennel… you get the point. It was amazing for harvest and we did fall planting of garlic, potatoes, squash, beets…  It didn’t matter because blight took most everything out before first frost.

Blight is a nasty fungus and the moldy thing was growing out of the wood and soil in the soil boxes in the green houses! Well we ripped out everything that had yellow, brown, or grey and felt like slimy to the touch, most were really limp plants. So we realized  we have a ventilation, and with the winter, a heating problem with the green houses. Our solution to stop the blight spread by culling infected plants worked. The mold stopped spreading and we left the doors and windows open 24-7 to keep the air moving.  We have started garlic and potatoes sprouting inside the root cellar area and are probably going to rip out the contaminated wood and do mound gardening in a pattern that maximizes growth and allows harvesting efficiently (yay Permaculture)until we can get block and do block bed boxes in the greenhouses.

The chickens have done a great job at keeping us in eggs and even with the drop off in production due to winter cold we have enough surplus from their good laying periods that a family of 8 with about a dozen or more hens can eat eggs just about every day for just keeping the chickens alive and fed and watered and sheltered. Why just last week I was up the road at a neighbors checking out his calves (it’s the season for baby cows) and he tossed me 5 roosters he had just killed to thin his flock down. I was able to take 5 beautiful plump birds and dress them and deposit them in the freezer with the knowledge that I was feeding my family using the labor of my hands and the goodwill of a neighbor. It doesn’t get any better than that for me.

Hens share babies and teach them the skills of foraging, scratching, and getting water.

 

I thank you for taking time to join me on this adventure and feel free to comment and ask questions that will help me drive content.

 

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