Wednesday, December 24, 2014

SO IT BEGINS...

In a way I stumbled upon homesteading. I have always loved animals and filling my plate too full with them! When I began to realize this lifestyle, this idea, could actually be mine, I was addicted. For years I was under the impression I needed to have a certain cookie cutter lifestyle, the degree and the good job would come with that. For years I was slave to the idea that I NEEDED grocery stores, where else would I buy our meats and dairy goods. A milk cow? That is an idea my parents never would have entertained, and in the last years, this option was never in my mind or let alone possible...

(And now look at me, I can't get dairy cows off my mind. My hunky and ever so patient fiance continues to encourage me that all will come in due time.... I promptly stomp my foot and shout NO!!!! Ok..... ok,,,, just kidding, that may be how our 2 year old daughter would have reacted but he was lucky that I came down from my dream barn yard in the sky. Truth is, my dairy dream is completely real and possible, so don't come back down to reality quite yet folks!) back to business...

Until! A few months ago I decided that's it! I'm tired, nay bored of the way we were living our life, and knew we could do so much more! I have dabbled in gardening for years but never truly succeeded, I have raised many 4-H animals but never for personal consumption or slaughtered by my own hand, I excel in a few homestead crafts and skills but lack many more important sets of skills or knowledge; this my friends is my goal.

Over the past couple months I have immersed myself with thoughts of my future homestead.

The greatest part is..... I can start now! I already have started! I feel confidently that our sustainable lifestyle is just beginning to pick up speed.

My family and I are lucky to rent 5 acres in Central Oregon where we have great opportunities for all the things we love most. We acquired our chickens as hatch lings, in late March of this year. These 8 hens are now laying around 4 eggs a day.(Some are not laying yet as they are a bit younger, sadly we lost a few chicks early on, and one later to a dog,,,,,,, sniff sniff.... So we replaced them accordingly. Hence the younger hens.) 2 ducks and 3 drakes accompany the girls in their spacious coop. Right next door to the birds we have our newest farmstead addition, RABBITS! These fluffy little buddies are my Christmas present to myself..... Yes I said it..... So I won $60 at my fiance`'s company party, then 4 does and 1 buck came home last night. The perfect set up I wanted for our new meat project!!!
(So so so much about those little critters later) A short walk down the drive we have two quarter horse mares, Sweet Pea and Soleil, whom share our pasture with 4 horses a few of our friends board here. Under the barn right next to those kiddos is a now vacant lot where our ole pig Oinkers used to reside... Did I say how much I love pigs? Well I totally do! Anywho.....

One guess where he is now.....

This time of year makes us recall how grateful I truly am for all I have been given, and I am extremely grateful to Oinkers for providing for my family in all the ways he has and continues to daily. I am so grateful for the opportunity my family has been given to raise our own meat, and for a short while avoid the bustle of the grocery stores with high meat prices. Why not have organic meat from my own back yard? There's simply no reason why not. Another reason why rabbits.... SELF SUSTAINABILITY!!! The lifeblood and driving force behind all that are my homestead dreams, a self sustainable life. I am grateful for the skills I am learning to become more self sustainable, such as....

Skills I have learned in the last 6 months:

- Pressure canning
- How to pluck/disembowel a duck
- How to make pumpkin puree from a whole pumpkin
- Sexing ducks, chickens, rabbits
- Deep mulching
- How to make homemade cleaners
- Knitting in the round on double pointed needles (Yes, I am a crazy knitter and yes it counts as a homestead skill!)

My new mission is to share my love of this lifestyle with as many as I can and to learn as much as possible along the way, and I would love it if you would join me on what looks like a wild and bumpy ride! hopefully its longer than 8 seconds, yikes!


Well enough about that there will be so much time to talk all things High Desert Homestead later on..... There's another, I am grateful that my crazy life allows me time to blog and that today my little girl let mommy get a post in! Woo!


Ever grateful to the first person to read this blog,
Q