After a bit of a sad and emotional goodbye to our old house, we stepped into the future God has waiting for us and we have been HOME for 5 month now! Our forever home. Our dream home. Our anything goes home. Our wild and free home. Our little piece of Heaven nestled right at the base of the Sierra Nevada Foothills home. What a relief. Home is a very nice place to be. But home still needs a lot of work…
We have been working. our. tails. off. for the past 5 months to get lots of balls rolling in the direction of self sustainability. At least in the scope that we have envisioned for our family, which is to produce as much food to feed our family as possible on our own property. God has blessed our hard work! Here is where we are:
Meat, Eggs, Dairy:
We arrived with 4 laying hens, we now have 13 laying hens, 15 that will be laying by next Spring, and 12 bantam hens that will be patrolling our garden next Spring when the fencing for their run is complete. We also are raising our first turkeys this year! I chose a few heirloom varieties; midget white and royal palm. We have ended up with 3 toms (males) which will be Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner but I think I’ll keep the ladies. They are so pretty and I LOVEthe pretty whistling sound turkeys make! Who knew?
- We have never been able to raise meat birds due to space constraints…we raised 17 Red Ranger meat birds this year! We processed them ourselves and now have a freezer stuffed full of pasture raised, organic, homegrown chicken! YUS! This was a biggie for me! When I was vegan….it was mostly because I felt that if I couldn’t actually know how the animals were raised and processed, I had no business eating them. So I feel MUCH better about knowing exactly what kind of life and conditions these chickens were raised with. I also learned pretty valuable “gutting” and “butchering” skills that you can only learn by doing.
- The hubby scored with a deer AND elk tag this year! Pretty confident he will at least be able to get a deer so that will be at least 100 pounds of fresh game in the freezer. Hoping for an elk…which would feed our family for several years!
- We have our 3 little goat ladies that are doing great and are very happily growing fatter every day. I mean….how do you get so fat eating grass? I don’t get it! Lol. I will not be breeding these girls at 9 months, like a lot of people suggest, but closer to 18 months. Goats have a 5 months gestation period so….we’re looking at a year in a half before getting any milk from them. I am considering looking for a goat in milk before then. But once we get the whole cycle in, we will be good on dairy! YAY!
So that has us good on our eggs, meat, and dairy….eventually. If there is no deer or elk meat for the freezer we will continue to purchase our grassfed beef to fill the red meat void.
Fruits and Veggies
- The property was very neglected for a looong time before we moved in so we have been cleaning up a lot of dead and over grown growth and then mulching, mulching, mulching with woodchips to start building up workable soil. We have been blessed with an abundance of woodchips from a local arborist which we have been spreading like maniacs all over the property. The initial idea was to do a nice deep layer over the front lawn to prepare it for a dwarf fruit tree orchard next fall! We will have 4-8 different kinds and varieties of fruit trees planted! Probably 16-20 trees in total.
The second focus has been to get the back right quarter of our pasture nice and mulched and ready for a huge garden area! I did end up doing a very small “test” garden this Summer, which performed MUCH better than anticipated! I will do a quick blog post on the methods that I am experimenting with and how everything did soon! We will be fencing in a large portion off at the end of the Summer so that I can expand my winter garden plans! YES! I said…
- Winter garden!!!!!! I did some experimenting with overwintering crops and winter gardening in my last house, with minor successes, but then pregnancy. I have a lot of new information and am excited to put it into practice to see what does and does not work here. I think our biggest issue will be the wildlife, not the weather.
So there you have it! A basic 5 year plan to (God willing) produce our eggs, meat, dairy, fruits and veggies mostly right here on our very own little homestead 🙂