Wow. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year that we’ve lived here on our little homestead! It was just last November when we moved in, and here it is almost Thanksgiving time again. How time flies… especially when you’re having fun!
I’ve been reflecting on the things that we have accomplished throughout our first year of homesteading. I’ve learned so much. I’ve especially learned how much more I have to learn! I would never have been able to do the things I’ve done without the encouragement, help, advice, friendship and generosity of other homesteaders.
Here is how we have slowly begun our dream of self-sufficiency this past year…
- We started our first ever garden, and learned a lot of lessons the hard way!
- We got three goats, Sweetie and Mocha, then Lucy. Sweetie was killed by stray dogs. We are raising them for milk and meat in the future.
- We planted ten blueberry bushes, and a raspberry bush.
- We planted two apple trees and a peach tree.
- We harvested black walnuts from our property.
- We were blessed with free rabbit cages which enabled us to house our first chickens. Before this I’d never had farm fresh chicken eggs!
- We finally got a water stove (for free!) to heat our home and water with fire. We still haven’t gotten it hooked up yet, but hopefully we will before it gets too cold! (more about that when it’s completed)
- My husband shot and ate his first rabbit!
- We’ve tried fresh cow’s milk for the first time, and like it!
- I’ve made butter from scratch.
- I’ve begun collecting cast iron cookware.
- We’ve been eating deer meat.
- We’ve (mostly) given up buying disposable products… even toilet paper! well, almost. Cloth napkins, cloth diapers, cloth baby wipes, cloth cleaning rags, cloth dishrag… though, no hanky’s yet, and still disposable diapers for the newborn.
- I have a clothesline to dry my laundry. I’ve even begun trying homemade laundry detergent!
- We’ve given up our television!
- I’ve been learning how to can, and even got my first canners!
- I’ve been using natural home remedies, like for treating poison ivy and ear infections.
- We’re working hard on putting up a charming white picket fence around the yard.
- Hubby got his grandfather’s old wood stove hooked up in his work building, so that I can cook on it if we are ever without power for long.
- I’ve been making all of my own cleaning products.
- I’ve started a nice compost pile.
- And we cannot forget my biggest, proudest accomplishment ever… the home-birth of my baby girl Xia!!
Wow, what a year! A lot of changes, a lot of learning. I hope that next year, and the year after, and the year after that we are as productive as I felt we’ve been this past year. Maybe, if we keep working hard and things keep going well, we’ll be living our dream before we know it!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.