Mother bought the acreage in 1993. It was "uncleared" but walkable. We immediately dedicated it to our Heavenly Father and sold the largest trees to pay for some dozing work. Then my grown son and I started developing it--by hand. That's right, hand shoveling the disposal system, cutting cedars, hauling rocks and putting up fences. We started tilling the soil and sowing the grass seeds. Money was practically non-existent; however, as He always does, our Heavenly Father stepped in. He gave us an old 1972 trailer we gratefully survive in and He helped us get Mother connected to community services for the health care she needed.
Then (with damaged wood) my son and I constructed a large barn people still stop on the state road to look at, a buck house, a tool shed and an "all-purpose" shed. Please notice the large windows (with shutters) on the backside view of this barn.
Look closely and you will see a window in the top of this barn (right over the shed) as well as some Tuftex across about 6 ft of the roof. These permit the warm sun to shine in during winter months. Information about this alternative roofing material can be found HERE
Our finances being what they were, I decided to invest in "dairy" goats and chickens so as to provide food for the family. After trying out several dairy goat breeds, we chose the Nubian for its size, temperament and milk production. You can find the history of this dairy goat herd here
We soon added Brown Chinese Geese ("weeder geese" that alert us to intruders), ducks and guineas (a variety of colors that also alert us to intruders). We plan to, also, have rabbits to help feed the guard dogs. And of course, we have the "locals", i.e. the snakes, spiders, moles, mice, etc. that love it here.
David and I also prepared a large area for a garden and orchard to help supplement our food requirements to stay healthy. These projects were exciting new avenues of learning for both of us and such experiences can be seen on that gardening site (button above).
It wasn't long before we discovered the geese and guineas were not sufficient in protecting our place. We needed some type of a canine to keep the wild dogs, the hunting dogs, foxes, racoons, possoms and even badgers away from our food sources. We also wanted a breed that would alert us to what was occurring on our place at times when we were asleep. So David brought home a rescue dog he named "Chancey". Our experiences with guardian-type dogs can be seen in our "housing & guardian dogs" page (link above).
As time progressed, we learned to subsidize our feed bill by planting a diverse variety of shrubberies for our goats to "browse" on; and it didn't take long to learn that the bottom line of homesteading is the care of the soil. Such pays off, not only for gardening but, also, when harvesting time rolls around. We divided up our acreage so as to have two pastures; and we planted endophyte-free hay for the goats' to browse on and for putting in the loft for their winter feed. I chose a New Zealand grass, which I purchased HERE. and our local agricultural agent tested for me. He found this grass to be "...some of the best he's ever seen..." with crude protein of 28.47, TDN of 75.00, no mineral deficiencies and a low iron content.
With the death of my mother my son and I have been making this homestead as self-supporting as possible. We continued to raise our own meats, vegetables and fruits/nuts; and we sell what we don't use at local flea markets. David was studying herbal medicines for awhile and we were hoping this would turn into something that would bring a little income into the place. This did not work out and, since David is no longer living on this homestead, this project was not completed; however, I have found some "wild" plants that serve a medicinal purpose; and this informaton can be found on our gardening site (button above).
I have recently set up a small store to offer for sale a variety of items that might intrigue some. That store presently has a listing of jewelry (children's toys and medicinal salves to be added) and can be reached by using the "store" link above.
WE WELCOME VISITORS (both those who want to buy what we have for sale as well as those who just want to talk about the pros and cons of setting up a homestead from scratch). Making this a self-sufficient farm is difficult, yet very rewarding. Not only do we have food to eat that has not been "preserved"; but we also have the witness of an ever-present and loving God in the tall trees, the ever-flowing creek that borders the back acres, and all the grass, shrubs and flowers that grace our homestead.
We have set up a special page for answering any questions and will be glad to share what we've learned along the way that we wished we had known from the beginning. That page can be found ....(place page link here).... and we're looking forward to getting acquainted with you. DROP BY SOMETIME AND SAY HELLO.