Our homesteading adventure continued this summer and fall with a new baby, a good tomato harvest, a fattened pig, home butchering and sausage making, new day-old chicks, and a brand new hen house. I’ll blog about each of these aspects in much more detail in the coming weeks, but here’s an in-a-nutshell update about us and our little homestead.
- New baby: born in July, baby Thad joins his four older siblings and mom and dad on the homestead. He is a very happy, laid-back little guy with sweet brown eyes. We love having a large family — it makes everything more of an adventure. It also means that we look at our efforts to produce food from our land with a feeling of great responsibility. As enjoyable as it is, we need to be ready in case we are ever dependent upon it for our very lives.
- Small garden harvest: Our mini garden consisted of tomatoes, peppers and yellow squash this year. We really enjoyed all of it and are planning a large, raised bed garden for spring/ summer 2012. My husband and the kids are already clearing the underbrush and small trees for the garden.
- Our pig, which we got as a piglet and raised throughout the summer and fall, reached a very healthy weight of nearly 300 pounds before we butchered her in November. Home butchering was an all-day project, and the meat rendering was completed over the following week. We learned quite a bit from the work and found some great recipes along the way — looking forward to sharing those, as well as pictures of our home-cured bacon and sausage links, in the coming weeks.
- Coop & new chicken flock: We are currently brooding 23 female egg laying chickens and a rooster-to-be, which we purchased as day old chicks via mail order. They are currently in our basement, under a heat lamp, and now that their feathers are coming in we’ll move them out to the new coop in a few days.
As the days on our little homestead have shortened and gotten colder, we’ve enjoyed evenings by the fire planning our spring garden, growing chicken flock and the next pig we’ll raise.
As we watch inflation continue and the American dollar continue its alarming descent, we’re continually reminded that self-sufficiency could be critical in the coming months and years. I encourage you to take steps to increase your own self-reliance now and in the weeks and months ahead.
To see what others are doing, check out the Homestead Barn Hop.This is my first time participating and I was really impressed by the wonderful blog posts and great projects others are doing.
I’d love it if you have a moment to leave a comment below, letting me know what you’re doing on your own land or urban homestead!