It’s official: Today is my fresh start, back into the world of blogging! Sounds so dramatic, eh? In reality, I shoved my blog to the back burner of my very full stove because life had simply become, well, too busy – but oddly enough, it’s because of everything I have put on my plate that I feel the urge to get back into it! Today!
Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?
Almost 1 year ago, to the date, our family was given the opportunity to fulfill a dream I had been pondering for quite some time – to accrue some acreage, have enough room for hubby to get his dream shop, and for me to have a garden, a few chickens, and a milking goat. Simple requests I have, right? Well, as they say, if it is meant to happen, it always finds a way….
I suppose it all started when I began thinking of how I could become just a little more sustainable. Because, ya know, I can’t be too lofty with my ideas, right? I thought, “Hey, I could get a couple chickens one day, have some fresh eggs, and ooh, I do love goat cheese, so, maybe a little milking goat too? And of course a garden! Yes! That would be a great start!” After coming to that conclusion, even though those things weren’t feasible at our current house, I delved into research – online, books, whatever I could get my hands on. I was that pathetic person that had a bookshelf of homesteading books, living in a small neighborhood lot, no farm animals, and only lettuce thriving in my raised bed out back. Yup, I was a poser. And I think that was when my husband started to think I was crazy (Don’t worry – I passed that bug on to him as soon as we moved!).
Once we moved to our new home, however, we were full speed ahead (After all, I had to make up for all that research time and my personal library, right?)
So here we are now, on our little 5 acre plot, with the house of our dreams. Unfortunately, we don’t have that dream shop built yet, but what we have accumulated is our own little menagerie of a farm. Yes! I said it! A FARM!!! (Sorry, I still have to pinch myself sometimes).
Ready for a Roll Call??
First it was the chickens – we thought 7 was a good number to start with, it IS lucky, after all. Well, I will tell you from experience – NOT ALWAYS LUCKY. Our Great Dane/Hound girl, Sage, decided she needed to put 3 of the 2-day-old chicks out of their misery a bit early. Tragic, yes, but this was when I first saw that my husband had contracted the “bug” – He immediately went out to purchase replacements while I was at work – but not just replacements. I came home to a grand total of 22 chicks – in my spare bedroom. 22. (Deep down, this girl was smiling SO BIG) Out of our 22, only one ended up being a rooster – not bad, huh? We have a nice variety too – Americaunas, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, and some Golden Sexlinks.
Next came the goats. Yes, I know I said I wanted a milking goat, but apparently they do best with another for company. We decided on the Nigerian Dwarfs for our farm for a couple reasons – they don’t get too big, and they produce a lot of milk for their size – averaging a quart twice daily! That’s a lot for a little squirt! As I said earlier, if it’s meant to be…. We ended up with 2 four-month-old Nigerian Dwarfs doelings – for free! Ah, the joys of knowing someone who knows someone. We are beyond grateful. Totes and Magotes have provided constant entertainment on our farm – they are by far the goofiest animals I have been around!
Then there came the sheep – we purchased a breeding pair of Barbados Black-belly sheep – for the purpose of breeding for meat. They were also youngins, at four and five months of age.
Our most recent addition (and I swear our last – for awhile!) is our calves. At 4 and 5 months of age, we acquired a castrated Jersey (for meat) and a Holstein heifer (for milk one day!). Although I didn’t have the chance to thoroughly educate myself on the cattle (as with the other animals), I think we are learning way more as we go along!
Whew! And did I mention that all of these animals have been acquired only in the last months?! The best part? It has been just as fun and satisfying as I thought it would be…