Anyone else into homesteading, or self reliance, or whatever else you want to call it? I was a subscriber to Backwoods Home magazine and had read up on it for years, but never did much other than gardening, fruits, and chickens. And of course fishing, hunting and gathering. Now that I'm living on a bigger chunk of land I've gotten back into it and luckily Gail is all for it too. She's actually taken the "self reliance" thing a step further than I'd be comfortable doing as she's been self-employed for more than 11 years now. Even though I wouldn't want to leave my current employment, she has shown me that there is other ways to make a living other than working 40 plus hours a week for someone else. Here's a few things we've done so far... Garden - We took 2 old dog kennels that got to much direct sun to be comfortable for dogs and converted them into a raised bed/ tire bed garden. They've done a good job of keeping the critters out other than birds. We'll probably use some netting next spring so we don't have to replant 3 or 4 times.
Cattle - We got a good deal on a couple angus/longhorn cross steers that we are fattening up for the butcher. We're either gonna sell one to help pay for the other, or butcher it too and split it among the kids. Haven't decided yet.
Chickens - We've got 4 hens that should start laying any day now.
We've got more stuff planned, including installing a boiler for the house in case gas prices get stupid high again. I'll update this thread as we add to our little homestead. Feel free to share what you've got going on!
Looks like a lot of work, but I'm sure rewarding. I have an interest in the self-reliant lifestyle, but I guess at this point in my life it's not really a possibility. Any plans for pigs in the future?
We've talked about it. We had a good spot down by the woods for a pig or 2 but ended up making that into a dog kennel so they'd have some shade. I'm sure we'll give swine a try someday soon, especially after hearing how good a job the Odon meat locker does on bacon and hams!
Post by strippitman on Jun 29, 2016 8:05:29 GMT -5
Good for you! That's awesome! So that's why you don't have time to fish? If I didn't live in town I would be into homesteading big time. I already maintain a very large garden but I'd love to raise chickens, beef and pork. My problem is the wife isn't into it at all. I would be on my own if I did this. It would sure help to have a partner helping out with all the chores that go into homesteading.
It's good to see people being successful at this. I love the idea of a self-reliant lifestyle since my job is so unstable... feast or famine. My wife wants to try it too, but I'm with Patrick right now... Just not in the position to do it... yet. We're gonna start with some chickens, maybe next year. In the meantime, we started a large garden this year and hope to expand it next year. I just can't wait for the asparagus to be ready.... mmmmmm
Had our first misadventure with the steers a few nights ago....I had just commented on how "docile" they were too. I've been getting off work at 3pm all week and have been working around home in the evenings. I went in at dark the other night and then heard the dogs barking. Stepped outside and saw a standoff between a mastiff and the biggest steer. We went down and got him back in, he had somehow got through a small triangle hole in the gate. Before I could go to the barn and get a board to nail up he got back through the hole. Finally got him back in and the board up. I had bought some all livestock sweet feed and gave them that evening and I think it got them feeling rambunctious. Lol. They're only getting a handful of that stuff from now on mixed with their corn.
Our neighbor came over last night and bailed the field, got 50 square bails to put up when I get home today...
Got a cow in the freezer, but the overall experience hasn't been the greatest. I swear them things knew when I was working 12 hour shifts and thats when they'd decide the grass was greener. Instead of buying a pig we bought a half hog from Odon Locker.