Share your homesteading experiences and dreams.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I'm so glad to see this forum created. I want to be able to live a self sufficient lifestyle
in order to have an earlier retirement. While we are still young enough to enjoy it.

Wareham, MA

Ditto here Peggie. With today's companies, you can't be confident that you'll still have a job at the end of the week - or Social Security when you retire. I am trying to figure out how to be more self-sufficient JUST IN CASE - plus I like being out in my garden. At least having a fireplace and a lot of trees, I know we can have some heat in a power outage etc.
Juli

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

I don't consider myself a homesteader, but living in Alaska, it might seem so to others. My first husband & I moved to Alaska in 1974 hoping to sign up for some free homestead property in the interior, but we were too late. We settled in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, some 120 miles south of Anchorage, and I have lived here ever since.

I never lived in a big city, having been born in Gary, Indiana, but raised in a farming community some 30 miles east of there. However, even to a kid that lived on a small farm, the move to Alaska was a bit of a change for me! Back in those days, Seward was a lot wilder town. The bars closed at 5am and opened at 8am, every night! I can vouch for that because I worked in some of them. The Flamingo Lounge had nude dancers and gambling in the back room.

These days, Seward is a much tamer place, or maybe it's just me! No, the town is more civilized... the bars only stay open until 2am! I think we are beginning to have more churches than bars now, but it used to be the other way around in the old days. Some folks living outside the city limits of Seward carry water, burn wood and use generator power or lamps for light. They do this by choice, often purchasing unimproved property at a lesser cash outlay, then improving it over the years.

That is what my 2nd husband and I did. We bought four lots in a local subdivided area and began building a log house. He was a sawmill man, so we cut our own logs. He was a bush pilot, so I got to see lots of the country up here. He loved treetop flying to check out the hunting and fishing areas, as well as everybody's back yard... he was a real junk collector! In March of 1990, he had a fatal accident in his little plane, a not uncommon occurance with bush pilots up here.

At the time of his death, we were running a small circle saw mill. He was the sawyer and I was the offbearer. We lived in a little 16'x16' cabin on our property. It had electricity, but no running water. There was an outhouse out back. After he died, I spent another year or so alone in that cabin, hauling my own water, stoking my own stove. My eldest son who was about 23 at the time, cut firewood and split it for me.

When Dennis and I married in 1992, he worked on the log house until we could move into it. We've been here ever since. I live pretty crudely in comparison to many of you, but we have a good well with a submersible pump, Toyostove oil heaters for heat, cable TV and modem, phone service... we're stylin'!

We are self-employed. Dennis sells and repairs Toyostoves and I run a small nursery business for our local customers. I can see that we all share the same concerns about insurance, meeting expenses, etc. For many of you, you live in fear of losing those things. For us, we live without them and deal with each situation as it arises.

If it had been left up to me, I would probably still be living in Indiana. I've neve had the wanderlust my first husband had. However, after my first year or so up here, I became a die-hard Alaskan. I can't imagine living anywhere else.

New Madison, OH(Zone 5a)

Wheezy, it sounds like you have lived an interesting life so far!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Thanks, Marcy. Pretty long winded story, wasn't it! LOL! In Alaska we call living off the land 'subsistance'. The term is generally used in reference to native Alaskans who have special rights concerning hunting and fishing because their lifestyle is dependent on what they can harvest from the sea and land. At least, that is the principle.

I'm sure my family worried about all of us when we moved up here. In those days, there was little accurate information about living in Alaska. People still clung to the idea that all Alaskans lived in igloos and it was always dark and cold. I cannot say we lived a subsistance lifestyle when we came up here. We certainly lived a very basic lifestye!

If my husband had been able to procure homestead land in interior Alaska, I'm not sure I would have been willing to make the move. Being hundreds of miles from schools, doctors, or even a grocery store, with two young children to consider... it would have been a big step.

Alaska has some old time residents that have wonderful stories of their homesteading experiences. Reading about them can give you courage to trust in your own good sense and nature's bounty.

New Madison, OH(Zone 5a)

Yes Weezy...I bet so! I love reading about that sort of thing! Maybe I was a homesteader in another life? LOL!!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Marcy, I think we can all be homesteaders at heart, even if we never live that lifestyle. It's sort of a state of mind, an attitude about your environment. Some folks have it, some don't. For some, living on the grid gives you a sense of security. Society will provide for your needs as long as you pay the bills. For others, providing for themselves makes them feel secure and safe. It's good we have both kinds of people.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

This is my dream:
To raise my own animals and vegetables for our food- and to sell.
To have a root cellar.
To have a smokehouse.
To have a wood cookstove.
To have a windmill or solar panels for electricity.
To have an additional back-up water well [bored not drilled] with an old-timey bucket.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

A wonderful dream berrygirl. I can tell I'm going to love this forum.
Weezy, I wish I had your courage.

We got our 2 children grown and out on their own and decided to
buy in the country and build a garage to live in, then build a house
as we could afford it. As it turned out, the "garage" we made
plans for just kept getting (the plans) bigger and bigger, to the
point that we ended up with a little house. We built it all ourselves
and have paid for it as we go..............no more mortgage for us !

We still lack a lot to finish it, as I am making the stone for the
outside, using bagged concrete mix in molds, and then applying
it to the exterior with mortar like any other stone.

We are doing that part way up and then the half log siding the rest
of the way. It should look like a little log cabin when we eventually
get it finished. We are so proud of it.

Some of our work on it has been disrupted in order to apply our
efforts to getting a garden started so we can suppliment our self-
sufficiency for food. And a chicken coop also.

Chickens need a better looking coop, looks awful, but can't justify
building them a better house, when my own still needs to be finished.
LOL>


Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

That's so true Mayflwrhem, you just don't know what is going to
happen in the corporate world with jobs, the stock market, social
security. I remember in the 1980's when so many oil companies
and oil related businesses failed. Home mortgage interest rates
ballooned and doubled people's house payments. People were
losing their homes all over the place. It was awful. My DH was
one who lost his job in oil related field, and we couldn't make
that doubled house payment. We had just built our "dream home,"
we thought we were sitting pretty................til it all ker-plunked.

After that, we have determined that to be in debt for the basic
and absolute necessities like a place to live, and food to eat, was
a very vulnerable position.

Our little house is 24' x 36' with an upstairs loft. Very simple
and basic. Like you said, we have heat in case of power out,
and food canned so we can eat...........and the rest will all work
itself out. I'd rather live in a garage sized house and know
I have a little security than live in a huge beautiful house and
have the banker breathing down my neck waiting for me to stub
my toe. Been there, done that, not for me.

Besides, I think we who live out in the country are a lot safer
than our metropolitan friends..........who worry constantly if their
city is going to be attacked by terrorists, etc.

Guess you can tell I'm pretty comfy out here, huh ? LOL
I love it.










Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Sounds good, Peggie. Our house is far from finished, but we don't have a mortgage either. It's not cheap to live up here, but a mortgage or rent would be beyond our means. I think the key word here is comfy. We're pretty comfy, and we're pretty decked out compared to some of our neighbors!

Berrygirl, I used to have a lot of the same dreams. I'm getting to lazy for a wood cookstove, but I still long for a root cellar. It's not practical here because our water table is so high that it wouldn't stay dry if dug underground, and the temps get too cold above ground. I've considered a hillside, but first I have to make one! LOL!

I would be so lost in the corporate world. They'd eat me alive. You can bump into a bear or a moose around here any old time, but I still feel safer than trying to stay afloat in corporate America.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Wheezy, are you able to garden in your climate? Do you have
livestock ?

Berrygirl, we used to know some people when I was a kid that
had a water well with a bucket. That was their water source.
They were country folk and that was what they were used to.
When we would visit them, we would also drink the well water.
Theirs was awful, tasted bad because of the sulfur content.
Didn't seem to bother them at all though. Had an outhouse too.

I'd like to have a well for backup also. Would be nice to water
my garden as much as I want without worrying about the cost.

Our neighbors to our west have a water well with a pump house
that supplies it to their house. They use it for their only source
of water. We had to make sure our septic system was a
certain distance from it since they drink it.

Also, the smokehouse sounds good. I have a lot to learn about
that though. Is that where you hang meat to cure ?

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

No livestock, Peggie. Some neighbors have horses and some have chickens. Most livestock is just too expensive to keep up here. The winter feed is very costly, and wet, cold ground is hard on hooves. I do grow vegetables, but they are cool weather crops like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, leeks, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, potatoes, lettuce, oriental greens and summer squash. None of these veggies produce enough to subsist on. I just like the fresh flavor. Soil is also an issue. We have to have topsoil brought in.

However, if you go some 150-200 miles north of here, you will find good farm ground and hot summers. The Matanuska Valley became an agricultural area when many Dust Bowl refugees were relocated in the 30's. They raise livestock, grow hay, and lots of vegetables.

We are outside the Seward city limits, so we aren't on the city water line. Everyone out here has wells or carries water from town. We have a well with a submersible pump. They are preferable here because they don't freeze up in the winter. Our well water here is wonderful... better than town where they add chlorine. Our rivers and ground water are glacier fed, and the water comes out of the tap colder than it does out of the refrigerator.

surfside beach, SC(Zone 8b)

My dream

6 years ago my husband and I bought 30 acres and a large almost finnished cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains North West of Boone NC.

This land was part of a family homestead but has not been farmed for more than 50 years.We still have the original barn logs in the meadow.

For a few years we spent 6 month there and 6 months at the beach in SC.During that time we made many improvements.Most important for me was making a garden space because the cabin was in the middle of big trees.Not enough light for flowers or vegetables.

My dream is that one day I can have a dairy goat farm and make goat cheese etc. I have fallen in love with Nigerian pygmy goats.I will also need a few donkeys to watch over the goats.

I had a conversation with a friend whose dream was to have a horse farm and a dog rescue.Now she has both and it is getting to be too much work for her.We talked about,what if you attain your dream and then realize you can't do it for ever.We both agreed that the important part is HAVING the dream in the first place.If need be you can always change dreams when you have too.

I loved reading about the dreams of others and hope that more people will post here.

Nancy

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Ahhh, Nancy, you are so right about the importance of having dreams even if we never actualize them.

I did some solar (passive) design and building in the 1980's and have tons of books on solar and self-sufficiency, some of which are out of print.

I dream of a passive solar house built into a hillside, heated by the solar gain in massive concrete floors and heat augmented by a super-efficient wood stove with a cook top. Summer cooling would be by proper siting, tree shading and natural convection. For water, I dream of a gravity-fed spring and cistern up the hill.

Naturally, a veggie garden and maybe a few chickens. A spring house or a root cellar (or both!) is essential. I already can a lot of my own food.

I would only want to be off the grid IF I could make my own electricity. I've become too fond of the internet and other goodies. : )

Stockton, MO(Zone 6b)

I dreamed of the homesteading lifestyle for several years. When the children were 10 and 12 we bought @4 acres. It was great! We had chickens. and goats, a big garden and some fruit trees. I was a stay at home Momfarmer. It was a good life, a good way for kids to grow up.

We have lived on three different places through the years. each a little bigger than the last. The lifestyle gets in to your blood.

The 10 year old is 28, now, with 3 kids, and a cow, and horses etc.

DH and I don't have goats anymore, but we have chickens and a small garden. I work full time, for now. We have no mortgage (that was really important to us). You might say we have downsized the dream...
but, I still want an earth sheltered home... and a bigger garden... and the solar panels hooked up to power the well. I want to have my own greenhouse business, and maybe sell some produce.

So, Nancy, you are right, the dream can change, does change. The important thing is to have a dream, and do all you can to help it happen.

I think I'm gonna love this site!

Skyeblu

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

When I was a young housewife in Indiana, my first husband & I lived for a year in northern Wisconsin. It was a very wholesome place to be... fresh air, fresh food, good water, and good people. There were little cheese factories dotted around the area, and lots of dairy cows. It wasn't particularly good farm ground, but everyone had a garden. There were lots of berries to pick and most folks hunted deer in the fall and butchered out cows or pigs. Most folks had chickens and fresh eggs. The summers were hot and the winters extremely cold, and there wasn't much of a way to make a living, so everybody 'put food by'. Next to Alaska, it is my favorite place.

We spent our summer there in a little lodge off one of the little fishing lakes, so fresh fish was often on the menu. There was electricity, but no running water...just a hand pump outside. We really loved it there, and when we moved back to Indiana, we began making plans to move there. We even bought property, but never made the move. Years later, after we moved to Alaska, then later divorced, my ex-husband sold the land to get out from under the payments. It was a dream that didn't happen.

Dreams change, and some dreams remain, but are unfulfilled. In some cases, the dreams are not really workable in the first place. We would have been hard-pressed to eek out a living in northern Wisconsin. Wages at that time were at best $3 hr. We didn't have a daddy with a dairy farm, and we didn't have an retirement income or trust fund to support us. We were thinking with our hearts, not our heads.

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Quoting:
We were thinking with our hearts, not our heads.

Weezin ... 'thinking' with our hearts is certainly a double-edge sword. But, oh my goodness, when you stab into the rock that was meant to be your foundation in life - welllll, life on this ol earth, just doesn't get any better. And it's after this, when most of us realize that our heads simply needed our hearts to guide us there ...

((huggs))

- Magpye

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

You have a point, Magpye. When we made the move to Seward, Alaska, we rented for the first 3 years, then bought a house. Unfortunately, my first husband moved me out and a new wife in shortly after! LOL! I rented a house in town and over the next six years I was in rental homes. My second husband (commonlaw) had two kids, so we needed enough room for four children, three dogs and ourselves. In the early 80's we began buying property outside of town, and by the mid eighties we had four lots and had begun building our log house. We still lived in town in rentals while we slowly constructed.

In 1986, all the kids were old enough to venture out on their own, so we decided to move into the little cabin that was already on our property. It was 16'x16' with electricity, but no water or sewer. We installed a woodstove, and had an outhouse. For the next 4 years, we lived in that cabin, working our little sawmill business during the day and returning to the cabin every night to haul water, build a fire, fix dinner, wash up, go to bed, and start all over again the next day.

When we moved into that cabin on our own property, I felt as if a great burden had been lifted from us. Paying rent is like throwing water down a well. From that point on, our land payments were going toward our hopes and dreams. In very short time, I became accustomed to the simpler life. Many of our belongings were stored in another shed, and I lived with less. For the first two years I cooked on a camp stove, the got a little apartment sized gas range... I thought I was really 'stylin'. I loved the cabin, I loved my life, but I did yearn for more room and a garden.

When my 2nd husband died in his small plane in the spring of 1990, I continued to live in the cabin for another two years until my present hubby got the big log house finished enough to move in. If Mike were still alive, I don't know how long we would have lived in that cabin. It was cozy, and it seemed all the money we saved to work on the house had to be used to buy more saw logs for our little sawmill business.

Sometimes, not only your dreams change, but the partners in your life change, as well. Sometimes, time passes and the lifestyle you longed for is no longer achievable. I love my little greenhouse business, but I didn't really get started at it until a few years ago, and I'll be 59 at the end of this month. Every spring, I'm huffing and puffing, hauling around potted plants and wheelbarrow loads of soil, wondering how long I can continue. Dreams have to change, to evolve, or life will always be disappointing. I know I'll move into another phase of gardening at some point, but that's just fine with me.

Valrico, FL(Zone 9b)

Quoting:
Dreams have to change, to evolve, or life will always be disappointing.


No truer words have been spoken. This really jumped out at me, and I had to pause for a second. Thank you for including them in your post. I've really enjoyed reading about the Alaskan adventure.

Chris

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Thanks, Chris. I've never been very good at setting up a long-term life plan. I'm more of a dreamer, and I let those dreams point me in a direction, but not make my decisions for me. It sure helps to have a partner in your life that has his or her dreams pointed in the same direction!

Wareham, MA

You are so right about getting rid of the mortgage. We have 12 acres here on saltmarsh - oysters and clams in our backyard but inedible because of pollution from upstream - ocean nearby for fish - deer and ducks in the backyard - dozens of wild blueberry bushes - too many trees right now to garden well but at least firewood. We've only been here for less than 3 years and I am moving along with my self-sufficiency dream slowly - fighting the deer who decimate my baby fruit trees - composting and trying to improve the absolutely terrible soil - fighting with tree roots - growing and hybridizing perennials. The beehives haven't been too successful - I seem to have developed an allergy to bee stings. Realistically, I think all I can really hope for is to supplement my income a little bit someday. I did grow up in a house where we lived very frugally and ate our own chicken, rabbits, and ducks, had horses, goats, and heifers, and had a good garden - so I do have a little of the knowledge but my dad has most of it. But with a hefty mortgage and high taxes, I am chained to a company which demands much too much of my time and energy.

One horoscope reading says I was probably a farmer or landowner in a previous life, accustomed to providing for my own needs. It says in this life I need to learn give and take with other people too (or something like that). Thank heavens for forums like this, maybe eventually I will read something that will click and help me survive without that awful job that takes my nights and weekends without pay and makes me worry about getting fired all the time. Unfortunately I have specialized too much and there aren't similar jobs (or similar paying jobs) without a very long commute. My significant other is about to retire and I would like to be able to do things with him, not just work all the time for the next 30 years. Probably should move somewhere where the cost of living is lower and the soil more fertile - but I just found out grandbaby #3 is on the way - want to be near my kids and my parents.

I hope someday I will come up with an idea that will help someone else too!

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Ahh, mayflwrhem ..

Hang on to 'em & clutch 'em tite, kiddo !!
(your parents, those lil grandbaby 'blessings' .. and, the 'dreams'!)
.. all in 'due' time, and, all in 'do' time ..

((huggs))

- Magpye

Wareham, MA

Thanx for the encouragement Magpye!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Once the kids are grown, I think it is entirely a matter of choice. If you have a partner, you need to consider their wants, but downsizing can make life better for a relationship, as well. I think the greatest worry might be losing health coverage. Once you reach 50, it is very difficult to become self insured, and the cost is prohibitive, even if you do qualify.

We live without health insure or even home owners insurance. We've got several years before either one of us qualify for medicare. By that time, we'll be in pretty sad shape! LOL! I guess it's easy to tell someone else what to do, but I've worked jobs that I dreaded going to, and dreaded not going to. No wonder so many of us dream of homesteading!

surfside beach, SC(Zone 8b)

Weezingreens
I couldn't agree with you more.The most scarry part of getting older is fear of not having health insurance.Even with Medicare there is guite a bit of out of pocket cost.My husband and I are both 63 and have been lucky enough to do most of what we wanted to do thru most of our 41 years together.That included living abroad and lots of traveling.Now he has some medical challenges and so needs to have insurance.We are not allowed to discuss politics on DG but I think it is obvious what my opinion of our health care policy is.

Getting back to homesteading;When we bought our place in 1999 it was advertised as perfect for Y2Kers.I sort of feel comforted by the fact that I think we could be self sufficient up there.(maybe I am kidding my self)

There is a large community of people in our area interested in sustainability issues and lots of work being done in that field.

Darius I love your dream house!

Wareham, MA

Downscale, do you have any tips from your experience of carving a garden out of an area with huge trees?

Health insurance sure is a huge problem. I guess if you're in critical condition they have to treat you - but you can still be stuck with huge bills. I hope things change in this country, soon! Neither of my kids has insurance coverage (both work).

Still, partial self-sufficiency is better than none at all - might give you the chance to work part time at a job you like rather than more than full-time at a job you hate; or make your retirement years a little better.

I've really enjoyed a book called "How to Survive Without a Salary". It and Eliot Coleman's gardening books are very inspirational. Trouble is, I'm much better at reading and dreaming than actually taking action. :(

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

It's a shame that we couldn't have known how to homestead
and learn about being self-sufficient at a younger age isn't it.
So much time and "money" has been wasted over my lifetime, just trying to keep up with the Jones'es in life. Only to find out finally, that isn't what's
important in life. We stayed in debt, trying to live above our means and
keep up a social level that now I don't think was at all worth what it cost us.
Life's too short to live like that.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I once heard an old-timer say...............

When you're young, you worry what everyone else thinks of you.

When you're middle-aged, you no longer care what everyone thinks of you.

When you're old, you reazile, it wasn't about YOU anyway.


Sooooooooooooo True ! ! ! !

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Wish I had the energy and strength to put into homesteading now,
that I had back when I put so much energy to those things that are now
all rusted, worn out, thrown away and in the junk pile now. "Things" don't
last very long, but a good wholesome life, that's a keeper.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Yeppers... I agree, Peggy.

surfside beach, SC(Zone 8b)

Mayflwrhem

We created our gardening space in stages.We are fortunate that we have people in our area who were willing to take down the big trees near the cabin.All they wanted was the wood.They weren't insured but they have been doing this all of their lives and have a sawmill so we trusted them.

After that we cleared other smaller trees by ourselves and created terraces because the area is very steep.We had to truck in topsoil and compost to make beds.This is an ongoing operation.Every year I get some more area to plant.

We also have a meadow where the original homestead was.We have made terraces on one side and planted fruit trees.We mow the other side just once a year because there are so many wildflowers that I love.It's a shame that there is so much wild blackberry everywhere with all their briars.There are several white pine trees in the meadow that have gotten too big and are starting to take over.They will also have to go one of these days.It is a constant fight if you don't want the forest to "take over"

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

We had to build up & OUT from a very steep hillside for a similarly 'terraced' garden spot. Used a good many of the already 'downed' trees, as our horizontal supports for the 'extended' ends. Of course, the trees are going to rot enuff, soon .. that they'll have to be replaced; otherwise, the garden will be shifting itself into a portion of the driveway .. and taking out the larger of the Peony & Iris beds with it! .. lol ..

We've been collecting a few used tires to re-vamp the area of the 'end' of the garden. Seems the most logical thing to use and do; planning to stack and 'stagger' them as we go .. while driving a long metal stake into the ground to hold 'em in place. I know, I know .. I've thought it myself: 'uuggh' tires(?) .. But, the tires can be painted AND filled with soil .. and planted with most any type of perennial flowers, that cascade down and over the tires .. to cover the hideous things! Would certainly never need to be concerned about them 'rottening'. So far .. the tree trunks continue to hold very well. But, it's a 'due' project. Just hope we can get it done, before the trees rotten so much, and give completely away ...

There are pics already posted on a few of my threads, elsewhere ... so, I won't use PeggieK's thread to post any others, here .. Wouldn't be neighborly at all! ((huggs, Peggie))

- Magpye

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Hey Madpye, I wouldn't mind, I'd love to see your pics.

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

This, is yours and others 'limelight' ...
But, again, a dandy 'thank you' .. Tis xtra kind and mitey sweet of you PeggieK ..
((huggs))

- Magpye

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

you can always stucco the frontside of those tire-walls, magpye...

peggy, i am somewhere between middle aged & old, according to that description. yes, wissh i'd gotten it figured out sooner. hope to teach my kids better!

tf

Olympia, WA(Zone 7b)

Yay-- I just found this thread/forum! My husband and I recently moved into a rural area and are LOVING it! We only have a little over an acre and a half, but it's set up wonderfully and we're still close to modern conveniences. So far we have a few perennial garden plants and chickens (we moved here in July, which was too late to plant a vegetable garden), but are planning a nice garden this year, adding to our chickens, and would love to plant a mini-orchard. A semi-subsistance lifestyle is what I dream of: actually, it would be my childhood re-created. If we get more animals, I've also thought of getting a goat or two for cheese. I'm excited about this forum! It's certainly added to my favorites.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Danak, your ideas sound like mine. We only have just a little over an acre also, a few chickens, a veggie garden, and have put out peach trees and blueberries so far. We just moved to ours last Feb., so it's been almost a year now............... and we LOVE it out here. We are about 10 miles from town, so that's just about right. I;ve started a couple of perennial flower beds, and the garden is "coming along". This past summer being the first for the veg. garden, it did kind of poorly, but they say that each year gets better as we work with the soil conditions. I was able to freeze a few green beans and a little okra, but that's about it.

I wondered about a couple of goats for milk and cheese also. Something that Horseshoe wisely pointed out to me was that if you have a goat that has to be milked, you have a hard time going on vacation or short trips.
He said it's pretty easy to get a neighbor to feed your dog, but milk your goat? I guess it could be pretty confining.

Olympia, WA(Zone 7b)

Yes, I've had the same thoughts about goats. Which is probably why we don't have any yet! At this point we don't have kids yet either, so we like going on lots of spontaneous trips. Maybe that will work out later. :)

We're lucky about our garden: we already have potatoes, rhubarb (with some frozen in our freezer), blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, currents, a couple of fruit trees, and wild blackberries. The soil is also good quality as I think the previous owners were into gardening. We have high expectations for our first garden, so I hope we don't disappoint ourselves! I think we'll be excited by whatever we get, though. Someday I'd love to can and freeze quite a bit of food to enjoy throughout the year (just like my mom used to). I'm anxious to plan our mini-orchard and start planting trees this spring.

And about our chickens: we got TWO green eggs today, confirming that both our Americaunas are laying now! That makes four of four. It's amazing how much joy having chickens brings into our lives. :) Also a nostalgic thing for me, besides the fact that we have lots of fresh eggs!

It's great to find people with similar visions here. Hopefully we can inspire one another to keep pursuing our dreams!

Olympia, WA(Zone 7b)

Yes, I've had the same thoughts about goats. Which is probably why we don't have any yet! At this point we don't have kids yet either, so we like going on lots of spontaneous trips. Maybe that will work out later. :)

We're lucky about our garden: we already have potatoes, rhubarb (with some frozen in our freezer), blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, currents, a couple of fruit trees, and wild blackberries. The soil is also good quality as I think the previous owners were into gardening. We have high expectations for our first garden, so I hope we don't disappoint ourselves! I think we'll be excited by whatever we get, though. Someday I'd love to can and freeze quite a bit of food to enjoy throughout the year (just like my mom used to). I'm anxious to plan our mini-orchard and start planting trees this spring.

And about our chickens: we got TWO green eggs today, confirming that both our Americaunas are laying now! That makes four of four. It's amazing how much joy having chickens brings into our lives. :) Also a nostalgic thing for me, besides the fact that we have lots of fresh eggs!

It's great to find people with similar visions here. Hopefully we can inspire one another to keep pursuing our dreams!

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