It has been 3 months since we moved into our new homestead. It has been quite the change. The weather in Missouri is a lot milder than it was in New Hampshire. We have had a few some snow, but it melts within days. In New Hampshire the snow lasted for months!
We are still getting used to our new surroundings and unpacking boxes. The kids have settled in to school and are making friends. Baseball season has already started and the fist game is only two weeks away! I love that! I am one proud baseball momma.
Those of you that follow along with me here and on my Youtube channel, know that we moved to this home in November, right before Thanksgiving. Which didn’t really give us much time to set up the homestead, before the snow fell. I have been spending these last few months preparing for spring and doing small things to get my homestead set up.
As many of you know, homesteading is not cheap! Everything has an expense, especially when you are starting from scratch! I have been spending my time making lists and plans, then changing plans and rewriting lists. I was getting overwhelmed and depressed at all the things that I wanted to accomplish. However, I was reminded by my husband that we can’t do everything all at once. First of all, we don’t have the time and second of all, we are not millionaires!
I decided to make a list of things that I wanted to accomplish this year on the homestead. I needed to a mix of major purchases and investments with simple additions. I needed to be realistic on what we could afford and what we could handle, as well as still tying to make improvements inside the home.
I had big chicken dreams, when this all started. I wanted a chick mansion with a chicken moat and dozens of birds walking around. Well, the reality is building or purchasing a coup is not CHEAP! My husband is very handy so we can save money by having him build it, but as you know the price of wood is outrageous, so my chicken castle will now be a modest chicken coop for my flock. I knew I wanted to get my birds locally and I wanted them to lay colorful eggs. I found a hatchery about an hour from my home and ordered 15 rainbow assorted layers. I even thought of a clever name to pay tribute to my favorite chicken restaurant as a kid, but that is a secret for now. My chickens will be ready for May 9th!
This year we will build our chicken coop and fence in part of the yard for them. Our long term goal is to have a chicken moat around the garden, but that is too big of a project for this year. I would love to free range, but my husband runs a business on the property with customers coming and going. That would just cause issues in the long run, so we have agreed that free ranging is not for us right now.
We will also be adding two pigs to our homestead this spring. We will likely do this every other year to supply our family with all the pork we will consume. Pigs aren’t too expensive to add to the homestead, which is ideal for the first year. We will need to fence in a portion of the property and have shelter for them. They will also need a feeding through and a waterer. We also need electric fencing because no one wants to be chasing around pigs all over the place! Which my husband had to do the first time we raised pigs.
My dream of growing all my own fruits and vegetables is going to be a slow process as well. The soil at our new homestead is not ideal and it full or rocks. So, we will need to build raised beds. Again for the amount of food I want to grow, this will not be cheap. For our first year, we decided to start off very small due to the investment with the chickens and the pigs. For this year, I will be doing an herb garden, sunflowers and maybe some watermelon. Since I haven’t grown anything in Missouri before and I have no idea what the summers will be like, I thought the herbs would be a great learning experience. Plus, I want to start learning about herbal medicine, tinctures and homemade personal care items. I am just starting this part of my homestead education, but I think it will be very beneficial.
The last and least expensive item we will be adding to the homestead our first year is a compost bin/pile. I have found some plans online to build one out of pallets so, we will be doing that soon. I have found a few tutorials, but will probably come up with something on my own. However, if you are looking for a simple design, check out this post. I am hoping to record this process, so stay tuned for that.
No, I am not getting my whole homesteading dream this year, but I am well on my way to the life I want. Every year we will be adding new things and every year I will be learning new things. I hope you follow along as I grow Hollydays Homestead into my homesteading oasis.