As I write this we are in the middle of a pandemic. The Novel Coronovirus known as COVID-19 is running rampant throughout the world. It’s been over three weeks since it started here in the United States, and typing that still feels strange. My husband always talks about preparing a homestead, and how we need to be more self sufficient. I politely nodded and responded with “some day that would be nice” Well, someday has come and gone and we have realized that putting off the homestead we dreamed about wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Over the last year we focused primarily on the renovations needed on the inside of our home with the exception of our goats, the two pigs we care for and our first set of chickens. We learned a lot over the last year and now it’s time to put some of that knowledge to use. Our plan was always to have a small homestead. I had dreams of digging around in a garden, collecting eggs everyday and spending my time in the kitchen baking bread and canning fruit. However, let’s be honest. I have a job and responsibilities that seemed to keep getting in the way of these dreams. It all seemed to need more time and money then I was willing to give.
Time is no longer an excuse
Fast forward to the last few weeks and as I walk up and down the aisles of a grocery store and see nothing but empty shelves I find myself wondering how much of what is there do I really need? The truth is we are using a fruit and vegetable delivery service called Misfits Market since our market is closed, we can only buy 1 dozen eggs at a time and forget meat. You get a choice of only what they have that day.
I have always made excuses that I didn’t have the time to set up the things we wanted. Well, now with everything shut down I have begun working from home and I have more time then I ever have. So here’s the plan.
New plans for the remainder of the year…
Although a homestead is a dream for us I have a hard time wrapping my mind around being completely self-sufficient. I know that I have certain things I’m just not willing to do, but I also know there are lots of things I can and will do. Some of the things we have loved about our property are our fruit plants, avocado tree, and our animals that bring us so much joy. This means it’s time to expand on the things we love.
Year one of a vegetable garden was a disaster. Almost everything died or got eaten by bugs and a bunny who had a liking for parsley. In addition to that we seemed to be under attack by wild bores. We would wake up every morning and found they had dug up just about everything. It was very discouraging.
Building a raised bed garden is first on the list. We have missed a lot of the planting season here in Florida but getting the beds in place so we can plant in the fall is very important to us.
We need a chicken run. A big one. I feel awful leaving chickens in our tiny http://www.Tractorsupply.com coop and leaving them out is simply not a option.We have learned we have more predators than chickens so we need to do what we can to keep them safe. The plans are to build a large chicken run and new coop for laying hens, and building a chicken tractor (a movable coop) for meat birds. Don’t worry, we will take you along for this crazy journey via our Instagram feed. https://www.instagram.com/ourfloridafarmhouse/ I have already identified the company we want to purchase our wood and supplies from, we are just waiting until things feel safer in the real world.
My husband is a huge lover of honey. I’m not going to lie, it’s not my go to sweetener however, the benefits of housing a healthy hive on your property are amazing. This will likely be one of the last things we do because I need to educate myself. I will be participating in my county’s bee keeping classes to learn everything I can about honey bees. It’s pretty exciting!
Well, now you know what we have going on… what are your plans? Anyone else out there building their first garden? Buying some more chicks this spring? Now is as good a time as any to get started on those homestead dreams you have had. The best part is, you don’t even need to go out and buy yourself a farm. You can have your own little homestead by growing in pots on a patio, housing a couple backyard chickens or simply leaning a new way to do things. Baking bread is my new favortie past time!
For those of you reading this, I wish you the absolute best. We pray your families are safe and healthy.