Around the Homestead, Gardening, Green Living

A New Year and A New Plan…

It’s a new year and time to start some new things at our little homestead.  I have slowly been trying to use up or discard items in our home not organic, chemical-free, homemade, homegrown, etc.  For example, I’m using up the bar soaps, shampoo, lotions, and all bathroom items we have and will begin making our own as needed.  My first mission is to make lip balm.  I have placed an order with Mountain Rose Herbs for the items I am missing in order to do so.  I got the recipe from Crystal Miller’s website and can’t wait to try it.

After Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I got serious about the idea of eating locally, growing as much of our own food as we can, going organic, and grass-fed meats.  So, this will be our year to make that transition also.  We are planning to increase our laying hen flock and hopefully change from raising Cornish-Rocks to a slower growing heritage breed for our meat.  We will still get our milk from a dairy, but are researching and thinking seriously about adding a Nubian dairy goat to our farm.  We will keep the size of sheep flock around 40-50 with our llama, Hank, at the head of the pack to guard them.  We are considering trying to raise 2 pigs for meat, but first things first is the dairy goat.

We have our two cats, Spooky and Cooter, and don’t intend to get anymore.  However, my husband and I have both agreed that if we are ever able to rescue an abandoned dog (“abandoned” meaning dumped along the side of the road, left to starve or freeze to death in the wild, NOT “we got a cute little, furry little, puppy and now it’s a dog and doesn’t fit into our lifestyle anymore, however if you remove the burden for us we will just go out and get another puppy in three years because we didn’t learn anything the first time around, I’ll step down now) we would take the dog into our home as long as it gets along with the two dogs we have now, Ash and Koal.

I have started doing yoga in the evenings and walking on our treadmill whenever I have a chance until it is nice enough to get outside and do some outdoor manual labor. 

We have lots of yard work to do from a recent ice storm.  There are limbs down everywhere that will need picked up, a new roof on our house in the spring, cut down the Austrian pine trees in front of our house with needle blight (we are considering replacing them with bamboo, anyone familiar with bamboo, and not the wild stuff?), repair our damaged fencing from the ice storm, and put up new electric fencing around our pasture.  Whew!  It’s going to be a busy spring as usual.  Did I mention we are expanding our garden also? 

We have a trip to Ohio and Michigan planned for the summer to visit my in-laws and attend a wedding (a friend of Randy’s).  Other than that we will be needed at home to tend to the garden, herbs, animals, and everything else that will need to be done through the summer.

We have also purchased two VW vans to restore.  One will be used for parts while the other is transformed into a lean, mean, 55-mph running machine.  It should be a fun project!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  I will spend mine baking, preparing our meals for the week ahead, cleaning, and spending time with Randy and the animals.

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