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Home » The Homestead Life

Dreaming of My Homestead

Submitted by on October 10, 2009 – 7:16 am 19 Comments
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Lately, as I’ve been going about my chores, I’ve been finding myself daydreaming of all the things I want to do here on our little homestead. It is so frustrating not to be able to do them all at once. It is especially hard with my husband working a full time job, and a part time job. The poor guy works every single day of the week. He never gets a break. Which means that he hardly has time to do any of the projects around the home that need to be done.

Sometimes I think to myself, If I could just go out and get a job outside of the home, we could save all of my income for a few years, pay off our house, then Jerry wouldn’t have to work himself to death.  But I know that wouldn’t be realistic. It would be many years before our house would be paid off. Not to mention it makes my stomach turn just thinking of sending my kids to public school! I am so disgusted with what I am seeing going on in our schools today. And if I sent Jada to public school, she would just be starting Kindergarten! She’s doing 2nd grade stuff right now… she’d be bored to death!! Plus, I would be seriously depressed if I had to send my kids off for someone else to indoctrinate all day long. No, that would never work.

So, it is what it is. I just have to keep trying to find creative ways to save my family money and do the best we can with what we have.

Anyways, back to what I really meant to talk about…

I’ve been thinking more about raising our own meat. We have the goats for milk, but once we start breeding them, I think I’d like to raise them for meat as well. I was reading that Chevon (or goat’s meat) is the most popular meat being consumed in the rest of the world. Why Americans don’t eat much Chevon, I don’t know. But supposedly it’s as good for you as Chicken.

I’d also like to increase our chicken flock and not only use them for eggs, but also meat. I’d like to get meat rabbits as well. No, I’ve never eaten rabbit, but everyone tells me it tastes very much like chicken. I’m sure I could get used to it. I’m still working on trying to find a good venison recipe. I’m still not fond of deer meat yet.

I’d love to get a couple of turkeys. We often buy ground turkey to replace ground beef in recipes. And, though we don’t eat any fish, I know it’s good for you and I’d like to start trying it, especially to get the kids used to eating fish. Through the woods beside our house, and down the hill are two large ponds which separate our land from my dad’s. I would love to raise some fish in there for us to catch and eat. I’ll have to look into what kinds can be raised in a pond.

Can we even fit all of these animals on our little one acre of land? I don’t know. But I can dream, can’t I? Honestly, I look around and I do think we have the ability to do all of these things here, eventually. And since my dad has 33 other acres beside us, I’m sure we could let the goats graze in some of the trees on his part of the land. So, I have high hopes.

I’m also confident that we will get our garden producing well. I want to grow all of the vegetables that we will need for the year. Corn, green beans, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, broccoli, onions, squash, and peppers.

Of course we’ll have to have fruit as well. Watermelon, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, maybe plant some fig trees. I did find a persimmons tree on the land. I missed the fruit on it this year, but I’m glad to know it’s there. Plus, we have the walnut tree here too.

We also have plans to build a green house. We have tons of old windows that we took out of our home during the remodel. We could also build cold frames out of them too. If I could just figure out a way to grow bananas and artichokes here, we’d be set!!

I dream of having an herb garden as well. Full of cooking herbs and medicinal herbs. I can just imagine the smell of beautiful herbs drying in my home. And cabinets full of everything I need.

I want a pantry full of my own home canned produce. Spaghetti sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing… everything made here, from scratch.

Having a mill to grind my own wheat berries into fresh flour to make homemade bread.

Making my own toiletries; deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, soap. Homemade cleaning products.

Homemade baby food. Cloth diapers drying on the clothesline. Handmade dresses hanging in the closet. Patchwork quilts and crocheted blankets.

A Water-stove to heat our home and our water. A hand pump on the well, just in case we lose power. A white picket fence around the yard, and beautiful flowers surrounding our home.

Yes, we are already doing some of these things, but it will be so wonderful when everything is as I dream. But for now, I’ve just got to keep going, one step at a time, until we reach our goal. I think it’s good for me to write down my aspirations, so I can re-read my goals as time goes along, and remind myself of what we are working towards. Sustainable living. Independence. True Freedom.

I dream of continuing this blog and one day sharing how I have been able to do all of the above things with you, my readers, so that you can be inspired and hopeful of your own self sufficiency one day. Or at least entertained by my fumbling along the way! Whether you know it or not, you keep me accountable. So thank you for your support as we continue on this journey in our young lives!

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19 Comments »

  • This sounds so much like one of my journal entries! I love it! 🙂 Have you learned to sew anything yet?

  • Katie says:

    This is what I would love for my family too! I am so enjoying reading your blog and getting to try some of the things (except the animals, because our borough won’t allow them) and getting ready for when we do find the land we can live on , we will be a little more prepared. Thank you again for doing this, it really motivates me to keep going with everything we are doing to move into a sustainable life! Good luck and we will be praying for you too! Keep up the great work!

  • Candi says:

    Kendra,
    I love all your ideas! While I haven’t set out to be completely self sufficient we are doing some of what you dream about and too dream to do more someday.
    Where do you get your inspiration? I’ve read a lot of historical novels (Liz Curtis Higgs, Jane Kirkpatrick) that are very inspiring. Also, (random) the book Super Baby Food has a ton of ideas about this. I wish I lived closer to someone with my same ideals. We are in Oregon.
    Have you tried worm composting? It makes the compost turnover a lot faster. Also, Epsom salt and pure alfapha pellets(not rabbit pellets)on your tomato plants yields a much larger crop. My uncle had a seven foot tall plant last year. Just a few of my lastest learned things.
    Well, this is one blog I can’t wait to watch progress. Good luck!

    Candi

    • Hi Candi,

      I don’t know, really, where I get my inspiration. I guess it comes from my utmost desire to be free from any form of dependence on anybody else for the survival of my children. Yes, it is the Mother Bear in me which fans the flames of my eagerness to learn. I have to know that no matter what is happening in the world, I will be able to provide for my children’s every need.

      To answer your question… I’ve dug up worms and added them to my compost bin. Does that count? LOL! I do add Epsom salt to my tomato plants, but I haven’t heard of using alfalfa pellets. I have got to remember that. Thanks!

      So glad to have you following along. I hope to hear more from you 🙂

  • Julie Ashley says:

    Kendra,

    This post really touched my heart.

    In December, my husband’s promise to my mom that I would finish college was fulfilled and I graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree. Following my heart, I gave up my intern job at a major telcom- one that just increased its size exponentially. People thought I was crazy to give up steady income and a chance for benefits to stay home with the six of my nine children that are still here.

    It is not easy to see my husband go to work seven days a week and try to get more hours in Louisiana’s triple digit heat – just so we can barely survive in our little shack. The house is paid for but it is very old and has no insulation so we cannot afford to have air conditioning. We don’t have things that other folks consider “necessities” and we can’t afford vacations or luxuries.

    We are together and we love each other – not love- the feeling but love – the action. Our family shares and cares more than many of the more “successful” families that surround us and that is real success.

    Keep dreaming and praying for your homestead because faith is the substance…. it is the material with which our dreams are created and manifested to us.

    and keep blogging! You are such an encouragement to me and I am sure many others.

  • We’ve been kicking around the idea of raising chickens for eggs and rabbit for meat at our place for the last few days. It just seems like it might be a good time to get more self-sufficient right now. We have slowly been getting out garden in order and built a canning kitchen this year. My husband works full time, also, and we just had a little girl last year so things don’t always move along as quickly as we’d like…but you just have to keep going.

    Thanks for posting about your dreams for your homestead. They’re very much like ours as well except we have a much smaller section of garden and no goats…but we’d really love to have one. Some day…

    Oh, and you might check out this ebook about raising meat rabbits – it covers everything you need to know and it really doesn’t seem all that hard. I personally love rabbit meat when I’ve eaten it in restaurants (pretty common here in Europe) and it’s insanely healthy for you.

  • Dad says:

    I heard your Dad already stocked the ponds with bass, brim and shellcrackers…and they are 10 years old and ready to harvest! No catfish though…(our state) Wildlife strongly advised against it lest they take over the whole pond. Grab a fishing pole and fill your freezer! Love you!!

  • Sarah says:

    I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for taking the time to post. My family started raising meat rabbits a year ago and we are still trying to find recipes that we like. My hubby is in the process of a study to figure out how much it’s costing to raise them. I’ll be glad to post the results when he is finished if anyone is interested.

  • Renata says:

    Hi Kendra
    I really am enjoying your website. I’ve written out my goals for our place here & it’s almost the same as yours (well except beef instead of goat!).
    Thanks for the reminder that it’s one thing at a time – too often I get frustrated that I can’t get everything done right now!

  • Jessica K. says:

    ME TOO, ME TOO!! I want that too! 🙂 You guys are actually farther along than we are, but HOPEFULLY, *fingers crossed*, we will be getting at least chickens next year. I want goats very badly, and turkeys, and just about everything else! We just keep plugging at it a little at a time and hopefully in a few years, we will be that much closer to our dreams:)

  • anna says:

    I swear, I could’ve written this.

    In 1997, we bought 10 acres with four barns, chicken coop… the works. It was SO expensive to heat the old farmhouse, do the renovations to it, keep up the land, and with only him working (two jobs, one of them a two-hour round trip), we just weren’t making any headway.

    So we sold the farm (just before the housing bubble popped), bought a 3-acre chunk (only 1.5 acre useable because of hardwood forest) and plunked a double-wide home on it. It was starting from scratch… but four years later, we’re REALLY going to on it. Way moreso than when we had the farm. It’s more manageable, more economic (yes, a trailer outshines a Victorian farmhouse in efficiency!), and we just don’t feel overwhelmed.

    On the farm, we never had a critter, never had so much as a garden. We didn’t have the time or wherewithal. Now? We have a thriving beautiful garden, goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, a dog, and I’m planting in alfalfa and a small blueberry orchard!

    Four years is all we’ve been here. When we saw it, it was so overgrown you couldn’t walk thru it. It’s AMAZING what dreams bring about.

  • Deanna says:

    We raised catfish in my dad’s pond and harvested them. My kids really like fish and they were great as little nuggets. Well they actually might like the tartar sauce and ketchup to dip fish in 🙂 Croppie is another good tasting fish but we catch it in the lake- don’t know about ponds. Turkies are fun but rather expensive if you can get it on sale. Ground turkey is really cheap. We had the same idea with turkies and they are hard to raise and eat a lot. They are not really smart creatures and will die from starvation with food right in front of them.

    I’m interested to hear about your goats. This is something I really want to try. Let us know when you have your first taste of milk. Deer meat… my friends make sausage and it is pretty good. We have also made chili with half ground deer and half ground beef and it was also good. We then canned it for later use. My new homesteading project is to can soup. This has been challenging and fun. Makes a quick lunch.

    Thanks for all your homesteading encouragement!

  • Lanna says:

    Once you have things written down and you have your general game plan, things happen. By brute force or by luck, but still. 😉

    And fwiw, a banana tree? Get yourself a giant pot to stick indoors somewhere in your house near a good window. Eventually when my kids aren’t as into digging in everything dirt-related I want my own little banana tree, lime tree, lemon tree and maybe orange tree. I’ve seen those dwarf trees (i.e. decent for indoors) in… I want to say Stark Bros. catalogs or something.

    You can also totally do a ton of stuff with “just” one acre. Especially if you can “borrow” a little extra land of your dad’s… just let a few of the animals fertilize it on and off if you have fencing available. I don’t know if you’ve seen photos of my garden, but our entire house lot is barely .28 acres, and much of it is off limits between the house footprint, driveway, underground utilities up front and the septic/drain field in the backyard. You can squish a bunch of stuff in when you’re motivated enough. 😀 I could do so much damage (food growing wise) with an acre. Ah, to dream.

  • Abbigail Gutierrez says:

    Dream Big and go for it. I love that. The best way to acheive a goal is to write them down. You are inspiring to me, you work hard for your family and your home. I hope to learn a lot from you and I am excited to read what you have to write for many years to come!!! Thanks.

  • Amanda in FL says:

    Kendra,

    Wow! Your vivid descriptions of what you want your homestead to look like some day had my mind captivated! I share those same dreams for my own home and family. We have a long way to go to get to most of them though! Isn’t it such a nice thing to be able to dream and set those goals for ourselves that give us a target to work for? Blessings on your journey and keep up the good work on your blog!!

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