So, as odd as it might sound, I’m excited about this whole homesteading thing. I did the high tech stuff, don’t get me wrong, I still love the high tech stuff. But I’m an introvert. I don’t have any big draw to live in the hustle and bustle of the city. I don’t want to hit the clubs and go to the hottest party. Nor do I really like the idea of living in a developed community where every house looks the same and if we both lean out our windows I can hand the neighbor a cup of coffee without leaving the house. Now at the same point I’m not sure that I want to live in rural Idaho on a homestead that is 200 miles from any city. (If you listen to enough homesteader stories you might believe that Idaho is entirely made up homesteads and potato farms). At this point I don’t know that I want to raise any four footed critters.
The Plot That’s Home
Due to some job issues we ended up moving in with my inlaws. They had just moved to a 12 acre plot. The house had enough space that there is space for our family and theirs. About 6 acres of the plot is a hay field that one of the neighbors cuts and bales in return for the hay. It was an arrangement that started with the previous owners and has carried on. It is enough that we qualify for some of the farm credit so that’s a plus. But I can hear you ask…what of those other 6 acres? Well, in addition to other things that I’m doing, I’ve become a land manager. Do I know much of anything about managing 6 acres of land? Well….no, not really. I’m learning. I have been reading various magazines and books to brush up on subjects.
So what to do….what to do. At first not much. I mowed the lawn every other week. It was a good time to listen to podcasts, relax, have some quiet time. Really I don’t mind mowing it still. I still listen to podcasts, still can have some quiet. However I started coming up with plans. Some long term, some shorter term. As of the writing of these a couple that have been completed.
Plans, Delusions, Goals
And what of these plans you say. Let me tell you. None of them can really be called goals as of yet. For a goal you need it to be specific, obtainable and measurable. I’m sure I’ll mutter on about that sometime in the future. But first we needed to expand out the garden that was there. It had been about a 20 X 40 plot that was held in with a few t posts and some fencing kinda lean on the t posts. The gate, in so much as you could call it that was one end of the fencing that wasn’t attached to anything, you could push it to the side to access the garden. The first step had been mowing down the garden, putting down cardboard from the moving boxes and then putting raised beds in. It sat like that…I looked at it while mowing and figured I could do better.
So the plan formed. I could get some timbers and put up a better fence. And while I’m at it, if I’m going to have a better fence I might as well fence in more area. The plan got doodled down to paper and supplies where purchased. To shorten things up a touch, I now have about a 50 x 50 plot fenced to contain a garden. There are still raised beds to build and fill, decisions on what should be planted in those beds and all, but so it goes with a garden.
Still to Come
As far as other plans… I have in the past done some beer brewing. I’d like to get back into that, and with that comes the thought, perhaps I could grow some barley and some hops. I have this delusion of one day being able to brew a batch of beer where all the ingredients came from my own homestead. Of course that leads to making cider as well. And that leads me to thinking about apple trees. One could also think of making some wine and growing some grapes. Don’t forget mead…though I already have some beehives.
In addition I have done some woodworking and would like to set up a place I could do some more of that. I’d love to learn some blacksmithing as well, I reckon that both of those might be handy things to have set up on a homestead. I have also been reading on aquaponics and think I’d like to give that a try as well. As you might guess with all of these things, I shall need to work on building some sheds, seems like another useful skill to be cultivated.
My wife has talked about chickens for quite some time. And for a while I figured, hey I’ll do bees she can do chickens. But I felt that I should at least read up on chickens a bit. Reading about chickens led me to reading about ducks. And I started telling her that I thought maybe we should start with ducks. It seems that I may have convinced her, since it seems that in the spring we will be getting some ducks.
Let’s Wrap this Up
I started writing just to get some ideas down as I’m starting this site up. I’m sure that there will be more to come and more to write. I welcome you all to come on this journey with us. Comment on the posts and let me know if I’m missing something or if you have a great suggestion.