Since moving here over a year ago, I've given a lot of thought to sustainability. Kelly and I have talked about chickens, and goats, and cows, and fruit trees, and vegetable gardens. Mostly, we've been all talk though. We're finally ready to put some real effort and hard work into being at least a little more self-sufficient here!
A week and a half ago, Kelly tilled up a small spot of earth and the kids and I sowed some seeds: corn, snap peas, Lima beans, green beans, squash, cucumber and cantaloupe. My wonderful cousin Dave also shared some of his seedling tomato, pepper, blackberry and cabbage plants with us. Last weekend, I weeded and worked two raised beds that Mom and Dad had used years ago, added some compost, and planted some broccoli, more tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and started an herb garden from seed. I think it would be fair to say that I jumped in without much research, and already have plans for what I'll do differently for next year's garden. But I couldn't let a second May pass without getting something in the ground.
Our barn's in the early stages of disrepair. Kelly's painted most of it, and if the weather would kindly cooperate on his evening and weekends away from work, he plans on finishing the painting and sealing the roof. We're hoping to convert one of the stalls to a chicken coop and get some laying hens this spring.
As much as I love the idea of dairy cows or goats, I don't think we're ready to make the full-time commitment to all the milking at this point. I'm researching now to see if there's a local market for raising meat goats or sheep. We definitely have the space for some animals other than these useless dogs we seem to collect!