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treerooted

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Hi there :frow

Starting slowly into the homesteading adventure. Had a unexpected move to a new city 9 months ago but was lucky to find a small farm to buy; 63 acres of field, forest and wetland, century barn and a new shop, and a lovely country home.

We stretched our limits to purchase this place, and as only my husband is working, things are a little tight but we're making it work! I'm at home with my 2 year old and trying to get a little homesteading started though it feels like I've accomplished next to nothing.:\

Right now we have 29 chickens - straight run, so extras roos will be dinner and the hens we'll keep. The garden exists - but it's not in great shape, hopefully I'll have something to show by the end of the season.

So that's the situation in a nutshell, thanks in advance for letting me hang around :)
 

Beekissed

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Hi there :frow

Starting slowly into the homesteading adventure. Had a unexpected move to a new city 9 months ago but was lucky to find a small farm to buy; 63 acres of field, forest and wetland, century barn and a new shop, and a lovely country home.

We stretched our limits to purchase this place, and as only my husband is working, things are a little tight but we're making it work! I'm at home with my 2 year old and trying to get a little homesteading started though it feels like I've accomplished next to nothing.:\

Right now we have 29 chickens - straight run, so extras roos will be dinner and the hens we'll keep. The garden exists - but it's not in great shape, hopefully I'll have something to show by the end of the season.

So that's the situation in a nutshell, thanks in advance for letting me hang around :)
:woot :welcome Glad to have you here! It sounds like you are off to a good start with acreage, barns and shop...that's most of the battle won, right there. How lovely to have that much land and shelters already built!

Please let us know how you go along with your chickens and garden, both good places to start homesteading skills. :thumbsup What breed of chickens and what are you growing this year?
 

NH Homesteader

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Welcome! That sounds like an amazing piece of property! There are times where we all feel we've gotten nothing done, but a little at a time and eventually everything is working the day you want it to! (or so they say, I'm not there yet either lol)

Looking forward to hearing about your journey!
 

Beekissed

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I agree! It's just baby steps, so it doesn't seem like a lot, then one year you look back at all the things you've changed and done there and can be amazed at how far you've come. I've been doing this a long time now and I'm still amazed at what we've accomplished over the years with just our now aging efforts.
 

baymule

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WOW! What a blessing to buy a place with barn and out buildings already in place! I am so happy for you! A first year garden is usually a hard start. So if you get anything at all, count yourself lucky. We are on year three on our garden and it is looking pretty good. Our soil is white sugar sand. Florida beaches got nuthin' on us! LOL LOL

With you not working, you will find that you will save $$$ by not paying child care, commuting expense and wear and tear on your vehicle. The real payoff will come by the food you raise. We will happily help you learn to can your garden produce, freeze it and dehydrate it. Start going to garage sales and Good Will looking for canning jars. They can be used over and over. Run your finger along the top rim, checking for chinks in the glass. If you find even the slightest chip, it won't seal, so reject that one. The more jars, the better! I canned pickles last week, we have recipes for you too!

You can also can your chicken meat. Inspired by @Beekissed I canned roosters last summer. Although I have canned for many years, I never canned meat. It is wonderful to have a meal you can just dump out of a jar! I love me some chicken salad, but it is such a pain to make. Not any more! I just drain the jar, dump the chicken, and add the ingredients for chicken salad. I use the broth for cooking.

We raised 3 hogs, one for us, two for neighbors. We just finished slaughtering them, I still have to process my meat. Best I can figure is that it cost me right around a dollar a pound. I still have several days of processing to do, but the rewards are great!

The best to you and family in your homesteading, we'll back you up all the way!
 

frustratedearthmother

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Hi there! Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you are off to a great start! Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures!
 

treerooted

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Thank you so much for the warm welcome, support and advice already :)

@Beekissed Breeds of chickens:

Australorp (Black)
Barnevelder
Brahma (Buff)
Orpington (Buff)
Sussex (Speckled)
Wyandotte (Golden Laced...and looks like one Silver though I didn't order one!)

@baymule I have the opposite problem - clay! I'm looking into converting some of our hay fields into future garden by rotating various cover crops. I'm also interested in applying some permaculture practices.


As for my homesteading skills, I've been canning and dehydrating for several years, I used to make sourdough bread, yogurt and tried a few other things from scratch. So I have a good stash of jars, a water bath canner and a dehydrator. What I really really want is a pressure canner.

In the garden we've got tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Peppers, hot peppers, romaine lettuce, watermelon, muskmelon, pie pumpkins, jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Basil and Thyme.
Perennials we've got going are rhubarb, asparagus and horseradish.
Many of these were starters my father graciously gave to us when then came to visit (they're 5+ hrs away).
Not sure how well everything will do given the soil and climate (my not get any watermelon, but it's fun to try).
I'm in zone 5b.

I find now that my energy isn't what it used to be, and chasing after my two year old really does me in (mostly mentally I think). So for the sake of my sanity I try not to feel guilty about the slow baby steps...but of course being a mom there's about a million things for me to feel guilty about all the time anyway! ;)
 

baymule

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I bought an All American pressure canner. Wish I had done so years ago!

https://www.sufficientself.com/threads/all-american-921-pressure-canner.14981/

Land we used to own is black clay, called "gumbo clay". That stuff is awful. When wet, it stuck to my feet, getting bigger with each step. Slick, gooey, it would suck a pick up truck down out of sight! Dry, it was harder than concrete. I feel your pain!

Wood chips is the best thing you can do to amend your soil. What kind of clay do you have? Black gumbo? Red clay?
 

treerooted

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@baymule Yes, that's the canner I have my eye on! I decided some time ago but we didn't have the extra cash for it this year. But I'm hoping to get one before fall arrives.
The big issue I have is that I have one of those ceramic top stoves with the heat that circulates on and off. However, my parents bought us a propane maple syrup boiler for christmas that I think will work perfectly! (found photo)


Luckily I don't think the clay is too bad, we haven't had the soil tested yet as we were still deciding where we wanted to do the hay-to-vegetable garden conversion. Clay is grey-brown
 

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