Happy New Year / Feliz Ano Nuevo everyone.
We have entered a new age. One that I do feel optimistic of. It is that optimism I work for and towards.
Our first year (2009) on the homestead we were newly unemployed. Working our 20x20 experimental garden while searching for employment and trying to get our bearings.
Our second year reality set in that finding a job was more challenging than ever before. We decided to be proactive and expanded our garden to 60x55. We were so prosperous that we canned, dehydrated, froze and still had enough to donate to a local food bank. We soon learned people were willing to stand in a line for hours with their hands out but couldn't take the time to plant a seed to provide for themselves.
Our third year, 2011 was a rough year. We had chickens, guinea fowl, and Muscovy ducks. Our garden was prosperous early in the year but later failed with the heat wave and drought of that year. We had wildfires to the west, south, and east of us. The closest was 2 miles. It was a scary time. We all survived thanks to our wonderful VFD. I learned that the county in which I live employees maybe 2 people. The rest are volunteers.
2012 is our 4th year here. The beginning of this year we started milking our Nygerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats. Our neighbor sent down their Lamancha/Boar cross for us to milk for them. We milked on of our Nygerians daily. She provided about 1/2 gallon where as the Lamancha cross gave us 3/4 of a gallon.
This year we had drought conditions again however we were sparred the heat of last year. Still nothing grew. Instead we focused on hatching fowl. We increased our homestead by adding more chickens, guineas, and muscovy ducks. We also added Pekin ducks, Rabbits, and Coturnix Quail. We now know we like rabbit and quail as we have already harvested some.
I learned spring through fall was to busy of a time for building. The only was to stay a step ahead or to break even is to do all building projects in the winter. It is windy and cold here on the hill. I wish I could think of a warmer way.
We also have decided that hatching fowl is best spring through summer. Fall through winter was a good time for breeding rabbits. The fowl need the warmth and the rabbits need the cool.
So we have had good years for vegetable growth and good years for meat production. We are hopeful this year we can bring them all together and create a balance.
I hope this year find you doing well. Our wish this New Years to you is that the year ahead is
filled with much happiness, blessings, and laughter. Reach out to those
less fortunate for they will in turn reach back and give you something
money can't buy. I am excited about the year to come and all that it
will bring. I also look forward in sharing that year with you all.