I had been dreaming of starting my own self-sufficient farm for a while before I even started to look. So when I actually started to look I had high hopes. I was envisioning lots of acres that had been farmed for a while, maybe a pond or spring, an orchard, a garden area, and pastures and fences built for animals, a few other things, and, of course, I hoped to find all of it for a bargain price. What I ended up getting was mostly bargain price, and I am just as satisfied.
I found my little homestead on craigslist.org of all places. It is an old farmstead that had been sold separate from the farm. The property had been left vacant for a few years before a young family bought it. They owned it for a couple years that they spent renovating and updating the almost century old house. They didn't have much time to spend on the land itself, but they did a great deal on fixing up the house. Life then took them in another direction and so they posted the property on craigslist where I was able to buy it.
It had all the necessities: good climate, fertile ground, sufficient water through irrigation. It also had some great perks: a house, a shop, an orchard, a small hay field, and lots and lots of trees. Aside from the house and the shop, the property was in a large state of disrepair. I have done a lot of work over the last two years and really I have a lot more to go before I get it to a show quality state. What I found is that starting, as I have, with a little bit of a mess has given me a lot of material to be creative with. I am able to uncover the old infrastructure and use modern techniques to make it my own.
My vision for my modern homestead it to create a small self-sufficient farm that bridges the gap between the farms of yore and todays generation. I am hoping to set everything up in a way to easily monitor and communicate information so I can share it with others. I hope that my work can help inspire and motivate similar ideas and action. I think that the modern world would be a better place if all of us understood what it was like to have a sweaty brow and dirty hands, if every person experienced the flavor of food that they nurtured from a seed. My hope is that my little homestead can help inspire that world.
I have a list of aspirations for my homestead. If I share some of them with you here you can watch to see what I do and don't do. Maybe you will all keep me motivated to follow through. Here are a few things that I hope to develop. I want to first develop a system to feed my family. I want to raise animal and plant based food. I'm sure I am going to try many different animals and so on before I find what works best on a homestead, I'm excited for that adventure. I am also hoping to have a garden, field, orchard, greenhouse and aquaponics system to make a complete meal plan.
To raise animals is to feed animals. In this vision of mine I am including methods of producing food to feed my animals. This includes a hay field, but it also may include other crops like beets. I am considering growing my own green fodder, and creating a system for that.
The modern world has close ties with electricity. I hope to spend some time with energy generation, electrical power along with other forms of energy. I can't guarantee that I have any expertise, but I am really excited to experiment. I have some rough plans for a homestead scale methane digester that I can't wait to try.
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