Thursday, February 27, 2014

And so it begins... Again!

Becoming more sustainable has been a goal of my wife and I since about 2007. I was working 80 hour weeks at a government tech job and never seeing my kids. What little time I didn't spend working, I was spending traveling to or from work. Something was missing for our family, and it was me. Providing a bit of food via hobby farming was a way for us to reconnect with each other and do something that made a difference for us in the long run.

Our only attempts at self-sufficiency before this point was a small garden and our once a year hog purchase and butchering. Surprisingly, I enjoyed butchering. Seeing how an animal goes from a living being into prime cuts of meat really struck a chord with me, and the health and cost benefits were a huge plus for my wife. Our small garden provided enough tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers to last a few months, and we really enjoyed canning and cooking with fresh veggies that we had grown on our own land. At the time we were living on 2/3 of an acre across the road from a 5000 home subdivision. Starting to become self-sufficient was definitely a goal, bit what could we do where we were?

First Chicken in 2009
Well, we decided that instead of asking permission, we would instead beg for forgiveness from the neighbors - who turned out to be surprisingly supportive.  In 2009 we purchased a few eggs and hatched them and our adventure began. Those first 3 chickens were a turning point in our lives. Since then we have grown chickens for eggs and meat (up to 100 at a time). We raised turkeys, quails, and guineas all on our land. We raised hogs on an adjacent property our neighbor was nice enough to let us use - in exchange for providing fencing and taking care of a few horses. I sold my Lincoln and bought an old pickup. I quit my job and started working from home. We read lots of material on hobby farming and gardening, and decided we needed to be able to do more. A simple idea we had together had blossomed into a lifestyle we wanted to pursue.  Best of all, we wanted to pursue this together.

Hot Pickles
Recently, we purchased 18 acres of land and uprooted our family to move back closer to our extended family and start providing whatever food and goods we could on our own. It isn't going to be easy, but I can guarantee it will be fun. This is our first winter on the new farm and spring is right around the corner. This blog will allow you to follow along in our learning experiences as we turn this raw land into our dream!

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