In 2008 my husband and I decided to try our hand at farming. We had no previous experience at what we were doing except for raising a few laying hens. After all the media hype with E-coli and other strange things in our food we just had a strong desire to know where our food was coming from. We both have full time jobs and a 14 year old son. We have jumped into this with both feet and we are learning as we go. We are interested to hear other people's comments.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Being Self Sufficient
In the last few months I've had to step back and look at what we've accomplished towards our dream of being self-sufficient.
I keep wondering if we're not going behind instead of ahead and closer to our goals.
I know that we'll never be completely self-sufficient. For one thing we don't have the land for complete self-sufficiency and if we did, that would mean that one of us would have to farm full-time.
So far we no longer need milk or eggs from the store. We also haven't bought beef from the store either. We tried raising pork, but it was too time consuming and expensive. The meat was incredible but we don't eat enough pork to warrant keeping pigs. So every once in a while we buy pork from the store.
We try and raise enough chickens to last us through the year. Sometimes we have to buy chicken from the store (esp. chicken wings. we need to raise 4 winged chickens!) but most of the time we have enough chicken for the year.
I also found that we were spending to much money on bread. So I started making my own bread, in the breadmachine. But I'm technically still making my own bread. It's a lot cheaper. It's also stopping us from eating a lot of bread. We only go through one loaf a week now, instead of one a day.
We started with the rabbits for another source of meat, but I'm thinking it's just a bit too time consuming. Jamie is not taking care of them like he should. I think it's just a bit too overwhelming for him. We started with 3 rabbits and we now have 28 counting the babies! I believe we have to downsize.
My garlic/onion and lettuce bed.
The raised beds seem to be going well this year and if all goes well we'll have lots of tomatoes and I'll be canning some salsa! I used to make a mean salsa, but we stopped making it a while ago since we couldn't find a cheap source for the tomatoes.
We usually buy a boer goat from our friend and keep it till the fall. This year we got two. We also bought a boer/Lamancha doeling. My plans for her are to breed next years meat goats! We probably won't milk her since we get plenty of milk from Maggie and Azelle. But if the cheese making grows more, then her milk would be richer than the other girls.
The new doeling is cute as a button with her elf ears.
So last week I was reading The Book of Negroes (which is an excellent book. A must read!) and one of the slaves was called Glory. I really liked the name so that's what I named her.
Glory and her half brother Pappadum
Now the only thing left for my realistic dream to self sufficiency is bees!
Can you imagine! No more buying sugar!
At the moment that's not going to happen.
I have to work on Dave. He hates bees!
and the second reason is I have no time left in my life.
Maybe in a couple of years. But that is going to have to go on the back burner for a while.