My husband and I live in Upstate NY with our three children. Ours is an old house, built in 1775, with 12 acres of land. When we were house-hunting 15 years ago, I wanted a big house for large family gatherings and visits from the grandchildren you know (talk about long-range planning!) and my DH wanted land for hunting ... and so we purchased our property which met both requirements. As the years have gone by, I have developed another passion, and that is for self-sustaining living.
Why? Many people wonder about that (mostly my family!).
Well, for a lot of reasons. I have always been the kind of person who loves "living off the land." That used to mean camping, fishing, and hunting, all pastimes that DH and I did a lot of early on. I think that as I've gotten older, I realize that there was a reason that our ancestors settled down from "hunter-gatherer" to farming! A properly run homestead is more reliable and stable than depending upon just fishing and hunting. We dabbled with vegetable gardening for a couple of years and then last year (2010) we started to get more serious. We had a kick-butt vegetable garden and I started to learn about the best ways to preserve food ... and we also got our first chickens! This year we've expanded the vegetable garden, gotten more serious about composting, installed 4 rain barrels for watering the chickens, compost, and gardens, and plan to experiment with root cellaring this fall and winter. Later posts will expand upon all of these topics and more.