Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I might not get to blog often but I would love to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I'm a 54 year old mother of 3, grandmother to 1,who lives inside the sidewalks for now. We're raising our 14 yo grandson and have been since he was 2 months old with the exception of 3 or 4 years when he first started school. We now have legal custody of him with no idea where his parents are these days.
We live inside the sidewalks for financial reasons both ours and my mother's, we can't afford to buy the acreage that we dream of someday owning and my mom can't afford for my sister & brother-in-law and my husband & myself to leave the family home property or she wouldn't be able to afford to keep up the payments.
The company that my husband worked for was sold in 2005 and in 2009 that company packed up all the machinery and the client list and moved everything to other plants that they own in other states a year later when he finally found another job it meant taking a $6 an hour cut in pay but he took it to get back to work and we make do. I am trying to start my own cleaning business but it's been slow going. We only have a little 1/2 acre homestead here but we make the most of it.
I have a 30 X 26 foot vegetable garden every year, my sister & I raise chickens, turkeys, & ducks both for eggs & meat, we also raise lamb & pigs off site. She & I built our chicken coop on our own with just a little help from my son when it came time to put the new roof on, it started life as a lean-to for 3 mini donkeys and a mini horse and after we were forced to give them up due to a town ordenance forbidding equine on a lot smaller than 2 acres we redid it and turned it into a permanent chicken coop and added to the existing flock. I also have a half dozen fruit trees that I planted 2 years ago with plans to add more a few at a time. I have a small blueberry patch that will be added to this spring and a strawberry bed.
I have a large compost bin that my husband & I built and I compost everything I can. We have 3 pet rabbits and all of their droppings as well as everything from the chicken coop go into the garden for fertilizer and then we hunt around for free cow & horse manure that also gets added. I am a prepper but my storage is small compared to the pictures I have seen of some of the others on here, but I do make the best use of what space I have.
I have 2 freezers and my husband has added shelves to one wall of my kitchen that I use for my food storage. We have no closets so that isn't a storage option for me, I have a small area where my washer & dryer are located that I hope to be able to add a couple of large cabinets to to expand my storage area. We have invested in 4 generators 2 for each residence. And have had the opportunity a few times over the past few years to find out just how well they will power 3/4 of each house if they are ever needed to long term, we have a small storage in an outbuilding of the gasoline to power them that we rotate on occasion to make sure it stays stable.
This spring my husband & I have plans to renew a permit to get my permanent greenhouse built that will be attached to the garage, it's going to be heated with the wood stove we are in the process of searching Craigslist for and we're also in the market to buy a pellet stove for back up heat for our house to cut down our oil consumption. I have hopes of finding a wood stove for the garage/greenhouse area that can double as a summer kitchen for canning and freezer cooking, I do already have a stove top oven for a woodstove and most of my small appliances for cooking and food processing have come from freecycleing and thrift shopping.
I've picked up a 60's era meat grinder, a 60's era Sears stand mixer, an older model Kitchenaid stand mixer and shreader slicer attachment, a countertop rotissery, and a Cuisinart food processor all free. A dehydrator, and a pasta maker for less than $6 each and 2 extra heavy duty 5 shelf plastic shelving units for in the garage to store everything on when it's not in use for $10 for the pair. I have invested in 2 incubators that have served us well hatching the eggs for about 1/2 of the chicks that we add each year as we rotate out older birds that have either stopped laying or have slowed to just a couple eggs a month, I also hatch the turkeys that we raise for the freezers, and ducklings that my sister takes to work and sells.
We are very fortunate to have a number of like minded neighbors who like us also struggle financially and we help each other, we also have one other family that lives together in 2 homes on the same property like us to make ends meet that lives across the road. We share tips & resources.
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