Saturday, November 27, 2010

thanksgiving weekend

I decided to start writing again today after 3 years and 8 posts. Over the last few years we have been working hard at our dream of living self sufficiently. This year I truly felt it was beginning to happen. Many meals came from the land, and I noticed I didn't go to the store near as much, our animals began producing protein for us, and I had the beginnings of a small orchard, and some nut trees growing.
We have 16 chickens now, 5 rabbits, 3 cats, 2 bee hives, a large garden, @ 60 fruit trees, a great pyrenees livestock guardian dog, and my faithful golden retriever "Summer", plus 5 children, 2 have since moved out.

The garden produced for months, and I still have much for the winter, we have honey, an extra rooster for dinner, eggs from the hens, jam on the shelves (even a jar of salal jam... it's delicious by the way), herbs for healing.  We have pumpkins for pie, hubbard squash to enjoy in January, seeds saved for next years garden,  and new inspiration.

Sometimes you never hear from the ones working so hard to achieve their dreams, because they don't take the time to sit down at a computer to write... too tired, with all the work. Winter slows everything outdoors down for me to think, so I plan the garden, think about what I'll do differently, what worked, and what didn't. As with every year new lessons are learned, some the hard way. There is a learning curve to everything.

3 years ago when I started this blog, I wrote 8 posts, I was in the thick of teenagers, working hard at making money, (during a challenging time as a realtor) and in the thick of life.   Over the last 3 years, I had  a mini creamery in my kitchen for a couple of months, and practiced all the different things I could do with fresh raw cows milk.  I studied herbs, and bought a pharmacopoeia, so I could cure things the way they did in the old days.  I got chickens the day my husband said he thought it was time to get them, I had been wanting them for so long.  I went out and bought 24 of them, and lost more than half to the chicken keeping learning curve in the first few months.  I studied rabbits, and have lost my share along the ways, wanting my animals to have freedom, and being naive was an expensive lesson to learn.  I've always studied about gardening, farming, soil, and the history of the pioneering spirit.  Another reason I didn't write for that time was because we were unsure of putting our life out there so to speak, those of you from my husband Jarin's generation,(born in 1950) will understand.  For both of us, now just feels right to start again.

I'm no longer selling real estate after 12 years, and have chosen to follow my heart and the direction it calls me to go, we may have less money but will be richer in so many other ways.  Don't get me wrong, I do have to figure out a way to make money, and I will.  I like to pull my own weight in our marriage, plus it just feels good to have your own hard earned money.  I've thought about many things I could do to make money to tide me over until I can make it at my ultimate plan of having an edibles nursery and selling bare root fruit trees, unusual fruits, berry bushes, and herbs.  I'm working on this part of my dream but won't see much money for several years, rootstocks and fruit trees take time to propagate and grow to a good enough size to sell. 

So for now heading into winter my goal is to begin to write about it. I have a renewed energy from others as I actually sat down today and read their blogs.... which I honestly haven't done for several years. So let's see if I can stay dedicated to writing and revealing what works for us on our farm to be truly free from debt and self sufficient.