This week we have been finalizing our plans to expand – homestead edition.
It is extremely exciting, to say the least. I cannot wait to see what these plans bring to our property, home and table.
The expansion is happening in several different areas of our homestead. It will help us in being more self sufficient across the board.
Bringing in more livestock that will help in filling both our fridge and freezer, expanding our gardens and upping my preservation game is the gist of it. But it is much more than that really.
This is going to give my family more homegrown consumption. Keeping my family healthy, knowing exactly where our food comes from and cutting down on the intake of the inevitable chemicals that come along with the growth, preparation and packaging of so many store bought products.
Plans To Expand- Homestead Edition
I talked a bit about how we are expanding our gardens in a previous article, A Peek Into Spring. Upping the amount of raised beds that we have and bringing in new and improved beds is going to give us the capability to grow more quantity of what we already do but also add in a whole new variety of produce.
More herbs for both cooking and medicinal purposes are on the top of my list too. I am gearing up to cut the cost of grocery trips down significantly. With that comes a lot of time and effort will be going into producing more at home and storing my production in different ways.
Dried herbs, seasoning blends and medicinal herbs used in a variety of ways will be of a focus come this summer and fall.
My focus won’t be just on growing up also on how to get the most of the crops once they are harvested. I am planning to do a ton more canning this year and get into a variety of different styles of canning. Dry canning, water bath and pressure canning. I also want to start to can ready meals. This would be of such a huge convenience for my family of 5.
We just purchased a large chest freezer and this is going to be beneficial for several reasons. Buying bulk will cut down costs. I can freeze a lot of our produce too. Having frozen vegetables on hand and ready to be used for a dinner brings me so much joy.
To know my hard work in the garden keeps my family fueled with good nutrition all year long makes every moment worth it.
Livin’ With Livestock
Our homestead is about to get a lot more busy. Having more livestock has always been a dream of ours but we have spent the last several years growing our human family that it seemed impossible to have the time to grow our livestock family.
Right now we have laying hens and duck but we are about to expand!
This year we will be welcoming three sheep and meat birds to our property. This is going to help fill our freezer with homegrown meat.
It will be a new adventure for us. We have never owned or processed livestock in this manner but we are enthusiastic about having the opportunity to fuel our bodies with quality meat that we raised right outside our kitchen window.
I do fear, however, that this is a slippery slope for us. We might end up with an entire farm up here at some point!
If you might have some interest in bringing in livestock that could help fill your freezer check out this article, Raising Chickens for Meat. It will give you an understanding of what it entails!
We will also be purchasing a half of a cow, which will fill our freezer up nicely. The cost difference in buying a large bulk animal like this rather than purchasing smaller quantity hauls from the store is significant…especially these days. This is going to be about a years worth of beef for us.
It also provides immense peace of mind in the world of the unknown. The last couple of years have seemed scary to us all. Things going out of stock, price increases, etc. In the minds of a parent it can be a little nerve-wracking not knowing what is going to happen to life’s necessities one day to the next. Having a stock of essentials never hurts!
Spring Projects Keep Springing Onto My To-Do List
It isn’t a secret that Spring brings a lot of joy but also A LOT to do. When you are small scaled homesteader the winter months can seem like a tiny little break. The load can lessen just a touch. Once Spring comes along things start to pile back up. There is much to do, much more daylight to do them in and lots of fresh air to refuel your body.
We have some big projects this year. Like, adding a deck onto the house. That is more for pleasure though.
Some of the other projects that are really high on our to-do list is putting together our new garden beds after we make the run for our freshly milled wood from family.
After that, we are going to be upgrading our chicken coop. This will allow our laying hens to have a safer area from predators. It will also keep them more actively out in the fresh air and sun throughout the winter months! We also plan to put together a rain water system to aide in watering them, easier and without as much effort on our end.
Fencing off a grazing area and bringing our sheep home will keep us busy for a few days.
My husband works full time so making sure we are on top of scheduling in homesteading time is crucial for success!
Other smaller scaled projects include things like building a new wood shed for our wood storage. We heat our home by woodstove so having a sturdy and dry storage area for our cut wood is extremely important.
We will also be amping up my outdoor garden area to allow me to have more at hand storage for tools, extra grow space for beginner crops or maybe just a place to sit with a cup of tea and a book after I’ve rinsed the soil off my hands by the hose.
What are your Spring plans? Some things may seem like a drag to look forward to. Lots of work and effort but in the eye of a homesteader it is all to keep us living the simple and self sufficient dream.
You Might Also Like…
- Repurposing A Shed Into A Chicken Coop
- DIY Greenhouse Ideas
- 7 Best Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
Love, light and a little grace…
Olivia Whalen is mama to three young girls who is devoted to creative learning, exploration and free range imagination. Olivia enjoys thinking outside of the box when it comes to preparing homemade baby food or meals for her family. She most enjoys allowing the little minds in her life to flourish and with that you will see her write about creative kid crafts, recipes that fit a family budget and keep everyone asking for more, tips and tricks for a tiny babe, and beginner homesteader fun! Some of her hobbies include gardening, hiking, reading, cooking or just basking in motherhood.