A Backyard Homestead?

Homesteading is something that has intrigued me for quite a while now.  What is homesteading?  According to Wikipedia: “Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency. As of 2010 the term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land-movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. According to author John Seymour, ‘urban homesteading’ incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking.”

In our previous home I dreamed of having a small farm, being more self sufficient.  My problem however was I married a city guy.  I love him dearly but his extent of “farming” is mowing the lawn (which he doesn’t even have to do anymore since we have three teenage sons to do that chore).  He wouldn’t have denied me doing it, but I would have been on my own.

I tend to under-rate my abilities, and am afraid of failure on many things so that will often prevent me from trying.  Making my own raised beds was actually a challenge when I first did it – but once I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a try it was very easy (especially since LOWES will cut your wood to size for no extra charge).  So homesteading remained a dream for me – until one day a wonderful lady came into my life.

This gal moved into our area a few years go.  She and I hit it off right away and have become very good friends.  She is not afraid of a challenge and has the husband who can create and fix almost anything.  A couple years ago they purchased a modest home on about an acre of land, and have started a homestead.  They have a wonderful garden, chickens galore for both eggs and meat, goats (expecting their first babies this spring), turkeys, rabbits and who knows what else they have added recently.  She has made soap and cheese from the goat’s milk (both are wonderful by the way).  She is my inspiration and cheerleader!  Smile

Their family are living their dream (and mine – lol) homesteading.  So slowly I’m expanding from my little gardens.  I glean much information from her (and the internet).  Yesterday I came across this book that I decided to purchase:  The Backyard Homestead (I got the Kindle version that I can read on my netbook so I wouldn’t have to wait a week to get it).

I have only just started to read it, but found this little blurb very interesting:

Estimating Harvest

It’s difficult to say exactly how much food you’ll be able to produce from your backyard homestead, since so much depends on the kinds of vegetables, fruits, and animals you select, what the weather is like, how long your growing season is, and how intensively you’re planting.  but to give you a general idea of just how much it’s possible to produce, given the quarter-acre layout on page 14,  here are some ballpark numbers:

* 50 pounds of wheat

* 280 pounds of pork

* 120 cartons of eggs

* 100 pounds of honey

* 25 to 75 pounds of nuts

* 600 pounds of fruit

* 2000+ pounds of vegetables

That’s pretty cool if you ask me, and just think what you could do with more land.  I’m anxious to see what other wealth of information this little book holds.

Until next time – Happy Gardening!  Light bulb

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About Garden Grower

A wife and mother of 5 who enjoys getting her hands dirty in the garden.
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6 Responses to A Backyard Homestead?

  1. Pamela says:

    Dawn, I wish we lived closer to one another. I have a feeling we’d be great friends! I HAVE THAT BOOK (and a bunch of others like How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine and Gardening for Maximum Nutrition, Easy Ways to Double the Nutritional Value of Your Backyard Garden by Jerry Minnich). When we worked at Faith Ranch, we dreamed of developing the land surrounding our house with a variety of crops that would could sell at farmer’s markets and we raised rabbits. Between our homesteading dreams, interest in gardening, homeschooling, bookselling and who knows what else, I think we might be twins! 🙂 You’ve never thought about writing a devotional applying gardening principles to the truths of Scripture, have you? That project has been on my to-do list for about 12 years, ever since we started a community garden to reach out to disadvantaged children with the truths of the Gospel while providing them with the skills to provide food for their families.

    • Garden Grower says:

      Yes Pamela, that would be awesome. The friend I wrote about in today’s post claims were are twins separated at birth (even though I have several years on her – lol).

      What a wonderful ministry for children! God bless you for doing that! I hadn’t really thought about doing a devotional but will have to pray about that. I’ve been wanting to write for our quarterly church newsletter but never seem to have the ideas. (Give me the ideas and I can run with it but to come up with something on my own forget it – that was always my problem with painting).

      Make sure you post pictures of your gardens this year on FB – I love seeing other people’s gardens!

  2. Carol says:

    I love reading your gardening blog! Being a city girl I could not imagine living on a homestead. Ok maybe living on a homestead but not working a homestead. Hahaha

  3. Tammy says:

    Awesome is all I can say about the massive quantity of food a 1/4 acre can produce!

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