Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can You Do This?

Are you like me? I spent over a year reading blogs and books. I dreamed and redreamed of what my dream was. And then once I felt like this is it, this is what I want........I owned no land. Zero acres, nada. But I wanted the chickens, the garden, goats, maybe rabbits. Instead I ended up in a camper. Ha, God is so funny. Would I have to sit my dream on hold again, for even longer?

Or perhaps you're like me (I promise I do not have multiple personalities! you will understand more at the end) Can you possible make that happen with the land you have. You got the chickens, a small garden ...can you fit more produce? ...can you get two goats? I have time for more?

Sometimes we have to make the most with what we have. Yes, most of us would love the gorgeous farm house on 100 acres with fields of food for you and and your animals, as well as fields full of animals. Mountains in the distance with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Most of us do not have this.... not even half of this. Through crazy events my little family of three (and a dog) ended up full timing it in a camper. We are in the process of relocating to the farm with the fields, but till we get to the land and finish building, our camper is home. In a camper there isn't a lot of room for storing things. On our camper plot their isn't room for much more than a two cars. How can I ever achieve any aspect of my dream?

In come my parents. My parents are the best! They are just as eager to move into their own house on our dream acreage and share the fields and work with us. So in the mean time, we use their treed in one acre lot on the side of a hill. This is perfect for a starting place. Although we only have about a 15' x 15' space that we can garden in, we are growing a garden. We have managed to tuck 14 chickens away on the side of the property. And if we worked really hard we could manage the goats, but at this time they will wait.

So that said, are in living in the city with a small yard? Are you in a highrise? Maybe an apartment. Or maybe you have that acre property. You might be in one of those categories, but feel like you just cant do it, or you don't know where to start. Perhaps, you started and you want to expand, but don't know where to start. 

If you don't have the space, believe it of not, but you can do something! plant a few tomatoes in potters, so many plants can be grown in pots. AND they don't require a lot of time!!! But you want to raise your own meat? Rabbits can be raised in a spare corner of your patio or even in the corner of a room. Did you know some cities let you raise a few chickens in your lot? Check it out and see what regulations there are on raising chickens. How about goats for milk? Most cities don't let you have livestock, however people have been known to work around this by getting smaller breeds and raising them as "pets".....that just happen to give them milk! Pygmy goats are small and adaptable and just so happen to be capable of milking. If you are a family that doesn't require tons of milk then look them up online!

Another option is asking someone you know, with the land, if you can use a corner of it. A garden doesn't always require work every single day. Animals on the other hand do. So see if this is something a friend or family member would want to do with you. Split the cost, split the goods and work. It could be fulfilling for both of you.  My mom takes care of feeding and letting the chickens in/out. But when they are gone we stay at their place and take care of the chickens. I help with cleaning the coop on weekends or when I'm there during the week (which is like every other day!). I got all the seeds and planted the garden, they water it at night. We both reap the harvest.

If you are wanting to take the next step, but not sure where that is going to be....well sit down. Write down what your dreams and goals are. Cross off the things you have accomplished. Feel overwhelmed? Then look at your list, study it. What looks easy and plausible? Maybe it's expanding the garden, but you don't get much sun  in the area where you can expand. It only takes a few seconds to jump online and look up shade plants. Consider growing flowers that are edible! Take bee balm, it is part of the mint family. You can use every part of the plant for one thing or another whether it's flowers in a salad, leaves to flavor water or roots for medicinal uses. They don't need direct sun....and they grow like crazy!

Any thing is possible. Maybe you want to be able to make the most living space with the little space you live on. Think outside of the box. In a camper, things are as big as they are going to get! So then think outside. We gave our second car away to someone who needed it more. So with only one car we have the parking space of a second car that is not being used. So what did I do with the space? This...
My place of peace.
It's nothing special. Just some old carpets we had in storage and a few plants we got at an auction for less than $15. Please excuse the rocks, it has been really windy the past few days. But, that is my little spot of peace. I can sit out there and look at my plants and the hills around me and take a deep breath. It makes me feel good. During the day it gives Z and Joy Bells a place to play while I cook or clean. We eat lunch and dinner out there picnic style. It might only be 10' x 7', but it just doubled our living space.

Think out of the box. Make a list of what you want to accomplish and then start with what is practical. Sometimes a life style change in a great idea. It can encourage better health, lend to great family discussions and there tends to be a peacefulness that surrounds the accomplishments that come with setting out to homestead....whatever homesteading means to you and your family.

This blog has been linked to:
Homesteader Blog Carnival 13
Homestead Barn Hop 67

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