Homesteading

Building Our Backyard Homestead

TheHomeschoolingHomestead

My husband and I have always wanted to have our own homestead where we could be as self sufficient as possible, and this year we finally took the leap. We wanted our children to have the opportunity to learn important homesteading and life skills that could help them be more self sufficient in their adult lives. I am so excited to share our homeschooling and homesteading journey with all of you!

We have been working on fencing for the last several weeks and we almost have our goat and chicken lot finished. A few more days of work, and it should be ready to go. We will be getting our garden planted this week, and also finish installing our solar lights. Work on the homestead has been a slow process due to all of the rain we have had recently, but it is finally starting to all come together.

fence

The first animals to join our Homeschooling Homestead were some little chicks from our local Tractor Supply store. We purchased 20 Asian Black chickens, and then decided to add some Rhode Island Reds, and White Leghorns into the mix. We should have a nice egg supply from the amount of hens that we have already, but I do plan on hatching some more eggs in our incubators next spring to add to our coop. We should start getting fresh eggs within the next couple of months and I can’t wait!

Our next venture was to find some goats to join the homestead. After a lot of reading and researching, I decided that I wanted to start with some Nigerian Dwarfs. I wanted something that was good natured, on the smaller side, but could still provide for our dairy needs. After talking to my BFF, Amy, (she is the go-to for all things goats), I decided that the Nigerian Dwarf breed fit the bill, and the search began.

goats

We found our first little doeling, Charlotte, a few hours north of us. She was 12 weeks old when we brought her home. I was able to make contact with a lady who lives locally who also raises goats, and found our second doe, Elsa, as well as our other doeling, TaLula, and little buckling, King Bob. (I love the names the kids’ picked out) Charlotte and Elsa have become the best of friends and are always together. TaLuLa and King Bob are still with their momma on another farm, but will be weaned and ready for us to pick them up the first part of June. We can’t wait to introduce them to their new home here with us. I would like to add a Nubian doe to our herd next Spring, as well as breed our 3 does. (Hoping to have baby goats everywhere come Springtime!)

We plotted off a 50 X 50 area for our garden and had it plowed. Our raised beds have been planted for several weeks now, but we still haven’t been able to get the our seeds in the ground. (I’m hoping the rain holds off just long enough for us to get our garden planted this week) This year we are planting broccoli, cabbage, okra, green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, green beans, corn, zucchini, greens, onions, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries. We’ve got some blueberry and blackberry bushes, as well as some rhubarb. We added a couple more apple and nut trees to our small orchard this year, as well as planting some grape vines.

I’ve been working on some barn plans for which we hope to begin building soon, and learning as much as I can about canning and preserving foods from the harvest this year. Though the hours have been long and the work hard and often tedious, our family has enjoyed setting up our little homestead. We are praying for God to bless the soil and our efforts and to provide food and provisions for our family during the harvest. God has truly blessed us, and we are thankful.

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