At the beginning…

So we don’t actually have a farm…yet. I’m working on it but for now it is just a dream. A really big dream. There is so much I want to do….have lush gardens full of vegetables, grow greenhouse vegetables, raise pigs, ducks, chickens, goats, make my own maple syrup, my own blackberry jam, tomato sauce, etc. I eventually want to be able to sell some of the things from my farm as well.

So far all I have is this:

IMG_6281

Two small raised bed vegetable gardens. Oh, and a devoted helper named Cee (a.k.a. my three year old daughter).

But I do have a long term plan to slowly add all the things in my list above. My husband doesn’t know all this yet, so don’t tell him. The only thing he really cares about is pigs because…bacon. Otherwise, he thinks I’m crazy for wanting to do any of this.

Current Year (2016)

  • Two raised-bed vegetable gardens
  • Flower garden (where I will eventually plant edible day lilies and sunflowers)
  • Learn how to can items to preserve them
  • Make and can blackberry jam
  • Make and can tomato sauce

1 Year From Now (2017)

  • Raise pigs for meat
  • Plant dwarf apple trees (remove old dying apple trees first)
  • Tap maple trees and make maple syrup
  • Make apple sauce
  • Expand raised vegetable beds

2 Years From Now (2018)

  • Build a green house
  • Add more berry bushes – blueberries and raspberries
  • Add a small corn field
  • Expand raised vegetable beds

3 Years From Now (2019)

  • Add a small wheat field
  • Learn how to make bread and pasta
  • Raise chickens for eggs and meat
  • Expand raised vegetable beds

4 Years From Now (2020)

  • Get goats? Ducks? Become a beekeeper?
  • Expand raised vegetable beds
  • Who knows, anything could happen!

Why do I want to do all this work? What is the benefit? Well, I have a lot of reasons really. For one, I was raised by parents who believe wholeheartedly in homesteading and the old timey way of doing things. My father would honestly be the happiest living in the wilderness like a mountain man. My mother is quite crafty and could totally be the mom from Little House On The Prairie. I used to think both of them were super weirdos, but as it turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Recently I’ve become more interested in survival and preparedness. I have had an awakening and realized that this world isn’t what it seems. Folks that are self sufficient and self reliant will be the most resilient through whatever situations life serves. There will come a time when mankind will go through great hardship and our basic needs will not be in the abundance they are now. In fact, this is already true in many parts of the world. I want to be prepared for when that happens. I want to be able to provide for myself and my family. To do that, I’ve realized that I need to learn how to grow and raise my own food. This “homestead” is only one piece of the preparedness pie (and I plan to discuss other pieces of the pie in future blog posts).

Finally, health and nutrition have recently become concerns of mine. I work at an agricultural college and within the past year I have learned a ton about sustainability and ethical agricultural practices. I think a lot of people realize that the food they buy from grocery stores isn’t the best for them, but I think many people don’t want to think about it or they plain just don’t care. I have decided that I cannot turn a blind eye anymore. I want better food choices for myself and my family. I’ve gone on an #eatlocal and #supportlocal spree. Not only do I believe that eating local is better for our health, I believe that supporting local is better for the health of our local economies. During my time at the college, I’ve also learned that there are approximately 60,000 agriculture job opportunities that open annually…and only about half that number of students graduate in a related agriculture field to fill those positions. With our exponentially increasing population and our decreasing agriculture workforce, learning how to raise food is going to be a huge opportunity and ever more important.

So there you have it – my homesteading dreams and the motivations behind them. I’d love for you to stick around and see how my first year of farming gardening pans out.

 

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