The Homestead Today

winter time garden
It doesn’t look like much, but this is where next year’s main garden will be planted.

I learned. a while back, that in order get where I want to go, I first have to know where I am.  So today, I would like to share where I am right now on my homestead.

Today the ground is covered with snow, but a lot is sitting under that snow on this one and a half acre piece of ground.

My Writing

The books that I am writing will be based on my actual experience, not just on a bunch of research. This year has been about foundational preparations. A lot has happened since my last post in June. Here are a few of the highlights. Currently I am working on the first book of The Perpetual Homesteader, The Perpetual Vegetable Gardener and I am working on a couple of smaller books that I plan to share for free as e-books. These books will be called The Seasonal Garden and The Ultimate Survival Garden. I doubt I will be able to publish The Perpetual Vegetable Gardener until later this year, but considering how things are going in this country right now, I want to get the two smaller books into the hands of as many people as possible and before the spring planting season.

The Garden

In September I planted elephant garlic, regular hard stem garlic and Russet potatoes in preparation for next year. The garlic will definitely produce. The potatoes? They are an experiment. In the spring I am going to plant another planting of the same. I’ll show the comparisons in how they grow as the season progresses.

I also have sweet potato slips started from roots saved from last year’s crop from which I got about twenty-five pounds.

I am not using a rototiller but am using a broad fork to dig up the garden. Part of the reason is that I want to see if I can produce a majority of my own food using only hand tools. I’ll explain more about why I am using this tool in my next post.

The Chickens

Chickens in winter
The chickens are making the most of their home this winter

I ordered my chickens last spring, but they didn’t arrive until July eighth. We moved them out to their outdoor pen when they were four days old. Within three weeks we put up a portable electric fence. This made it possible to raise most of them to adulthood even though foxes lived just outside the fence. Feeding the foxes helped too. The hens started laying December twenty-first, the shortest day of the year. I am thinking that I will be sure to get replacement chickens at different times of the year now that I have fresh eggs every day. I have a dozen eggs in the incubator right now. We’ll see how they do.

The Perennials

Not much to see here. I just transplanted some June bearing strawberries last fall. I hope to have some strawberries from them this year. I also ordered some other perennials and other berries including everbearing Ozark Beauty strawberries. They should be arriving later today (2/8/2021).

The Herb Gardens

Medicinal Garden in the Wintertime
Not much to see here, but this will have a variety of plants come spring.

Here’s the beginnings of the medicinal herb garden. I have a few echinacea plants and a few lavender plants. What you see are the kale plants that I grew last fall. The chickens really enjoyed the last of the greens when they were free-ranging. Last year I started growing basil, oregano, lemon mint, and thyme from seed. I saved seeds from the basil. Again, more culinary and medicinal herbs to come.

The Orchard

Five Small dormant fruit trees
These trees were temporarily planted here while I wait for the weather to get good enough to plant them in their permanent location.

I have these five fruit trees to plant when this weather warms up again. I have three apple trees—Liberty, Yellow Delicious, and Braeburn—, a peach tree, and a pear tree. There’s not much to see right now, but they will (hopefully) grow. More to this story later.

The Pantry

The pantry currently consists of one small freezer, some home-canned and store-bought canned and packaged goods, and a few plastic buckets and metal containers filled with rice, sugar, white flour, salt, and the like.

Canned Sweet Potatoes
After eating some fresh sweet potatoes, I decided to can a few and add to my pantry.
potatoes in buckets in the kitchen
I don’t have a root cellar yet, but i have found some success in storing potatoes in a cool, dry place in my kitchen.

Potatoes keep well for several months without any kind of special care. I just bought 100 pounds last fall and still eating on them now. I believe I have enough to last the two of us until I get a potato crop from my own garden.

So what will the next season bring? Stick with me and continue with me on my homesteading journey.

Do you have plants for producing your own food this year? If so, I would love to hear about your plans!

Published by 1authorcygnetbrown

Author of the Historical Novel series: Locket Saga including--When God Turned His Head, Soldiers Don't Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward's Solace, Sailing Under the Black Flag, In the Shadow of the Mill Pond, and The Anvil. She has also written nonfiction books: Simply Vegetable Gardening-Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Help from Kelp, Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard, Write a Book and Ignite Your Business, and Living Today, The Power of Now, The Survival Garden, The Four Seasons Vegetable Garden and soon co-authoring the first (nonfiction) book in Ozark Grannies' Secrets-Gourmet Weeds.

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