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Showing posts from October, 2015

The ugly part of setting up a homestead, the initial costs.

Well it has been a fairly busy week this week and plans are starting to solidify even more.  Until this week we had played with the idea of staying in the Military for one more tour, I had been nominated for a follow on tour with the Defense Attaché Service and I had been offered an opportunity to go to Ottawa Canada for my next tour.  This would have pushed my homestead plans back three years but would have been close enough for us to work on the property and get on a little stronger financial footing before making the leap. On the other hand, it would have put me at 50 before starting my homestead adventure.  This week the choice was taken out of our hands as my functional branch in the army (Finance) declined to let me stay with the attaché service, they wanted me back with Big Army.  Meaning after this tour in Jordan I would go where ever the army needed me. 
Often in the Army we say we know when it is time to go, when to retire and hang up the uniform, well I was pretty sure that…

Pond

Well, this post will be a little different as it is more about ideas rather then a concrete plan.  We currently have a small stock pond on the property, only about 1/10th of an acre in size, so when I say small I mean small.  The pond is spring feed (although I could not give any of the details on that, just know it stays about the same water level).   My hopes for this small pond however are much grander then it current size will support!  Let me list what we want this pond to be able to support and then what I am thinking, hopefully you some of you will have some experience in this and can give me some more input on feasibility.

1.  Need to be able to run water from the pond to livestock grazing areas, year round.
2.  Needs to be able to support farm geese and ducks with their needs to include reproduction
3.  Be able to support some wildlife without becoming fouled. (not thinking wild waterfowl)
4.  Would like the pond to be big enough to sustain a small fishery, most likely pan fi…

Other trees to plant!

This weeks research has been on what other trees I need to plant on the homestead, earlier I went into some of the fruit and nut trees I was thinking about but I would like to get a little more variety out there as well.  When I walked through the property a couple of months ago most of the woodland on the property was poplar.    While poplar can make a decent forage and it is fast growing it is not much good as a building material   and as fire wood it burns hot but very fast, you are constantly having to put more in!  There is three additional types of trees I am thinking of planting other the the fruit and nut trees mentioned earlier.

Maple Trees
I am thinking of planting a variety of Maple trees, a 6-7 sugar maples, 2-3 red maples and 2-3 silver maples.  I have to admit the idea of making our own maple syrup does intrigue me and gives me something to do in February!   Terri loves the color change of the leaves  and as they grow they will provide shade for the cattle in the pasture…

We will do Rabbits!

Well after thinking about it long and hard  if I really wanted to add another piece to this complex jigsaw puzzle of my homestead I have decided to add Rabbits to the homestead but not in the typical way you think of rabbits on a homestead, in elevated cages with chickens feeding below them but in a separate colony set up.   The potential of setting them up in the Colony is the only reason I decided to go this route, just like I do not like the idea of chickens spending their whole lives in a small cage I feel the same way about the rabbits.  A little more about the colony set up a little later in the post.

I have spent  the last couple weeks spending alot of time on two Facebook groups, Backyard Meat Rabbits and Rabbits in Colonies.  These two sites have educated me, gave me confidence in taking this route, and at the same time intimidating the hell out of me!  These two sites have such a wealth of knowledge and so much experience in raising rabbits, you can post almost any issue an…

What did not make the first year cut?

What will I not do the first year?  So far my postings are self admitting quite ambitions but even I who wants to do everything has to draw the line somewhere, at least for the first year or so!   So without further ado!

In the livestock category I decided to forgo sheep.  Basically it came down to a choice for me between goats and sheep.  I went with goats over sheep for various reasons, I like the goats ability to eat the shrubbery and brush in the wooded areas and not have to depend on the pasture for them.  The pasture is already going to be used with the cattle, pigs and chickens and I was a little nervous about over doing it especially with giving the land time to rest between grazing (at least 30 days).  I also valued the goats milking ability over that of the sheep's wool.  Honestly I have no idea of how to sheer a sheep nor what to do with the wool when I was done!  Sheep are also much more vulnerable to parasites then goats not to mention easier pray for predators.

With…