Or How This Came To Be
A little background may be in order to see where I'm coming from.
I grew up in a family farm environment. We had several farms as I was growing up and if we weren't on a farm we were looking for one.
My Dad grew up on a typical small farm in the 40's and 50's. They raised pretty much everything they needed and got along OK.
We concentrated mostly on dairy cows but Mom would drag home anything that caught her eye. We almost always had a flock of chickens, even if we weren't farming. But we also had a couple of sheep, pigs, horses and goats at various times.
I spent some time away from home after high school and really got to missing the country life but just before I got out of the navy the barn burned down and Dad had a heart attack.
So they put the farm up for sale and I had to work on finding a place of my own.
I got married (second time) to a wonderful local girl and after filling her head with wonderful tales of the country life we rented a house on a farm.
We were able to mess around with plants mostly, and observe the farmers animals. Slowly I could see Tammy was coming around to my way of thinking.
We finally found a place of our own 2 years ago. It has just a touch over 2 acres, a big old 5 bedroom house and a detatched 4 car garage. It also has a couple of apple trees.
Self sufficiency never really came to mind as I went along. The concept had never really been presented to me. I did know that I would like to be able to grow most of my own vegetables, and I enjoy livestock. One day browsing through the library I happened upon John Seymours Guide to self suffiency and everything started to come together.
Why not try to grow most of what we need? Why not have a small jersey cow instead of 2 big hulking holstein steers? Why not get a couple of pigs to take care of any extra milk?
So here I am working on a website tracking our moves in hopes that someone else will find a nugget of information later or someone reading the pages will offer any tips they happen to have come up with.
Our 2 acres is L shaped with an acre across the back long ways and our buildings in an acre like the tall part of the L.
We have a nice deck on the south and east sides of the house and I plan on building a green house in front of the patio doors on the south side.
The yard is very nice with a big old maple and a nice mountain ash in the middle and maples around the north side. We put a small pond in last year and worked on some landscaping. we have a bit more to do this year but we should be able to get it done after planting the garden.
Last year we finally bought a rear tine rototiller and were able to work the garden very well in the spring. We didn't have nearly the weeds we did the year before.
We also tried planting the potatoes by just placing them on the ground and covering thickly with the manure from the steers. This worked out rather well. The spuds liked it and the weeds didn't come through.