Welcome to the fourth installment of our new five-week series, How We Homestead. Each Wednesday I write a post about a different homesteading topic to shed more light on where we are on our path to self-sufficiency and what homesteading looks like for us.
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a homesteader looks like? Here is a typical day for me.
I wake at dawn to let the chickens out of their coop and feed all the animals. This time of year, that means the alarm goes off at 5:45 each morning. I usually try to snooze a few times before getting out of bed, but Jasper won't have any of that and he climbs all over me until I get up to feed him and Fitz.
By this time, Sylvester (one of our outdoor cats) is sitting right outside the back door waiting to accompany me down to the chicken coop. I fill up a bucket of fresh water for the chickens and head down the hill with Sylvester by my side. Duchess is happy to see me emerge from the house because she knows I'll give her a few treats when I get down to the chicken coop.
The chickens are usually screaming at me to make sure I know they are in the coop and I need to let them out, so I open up the coop door and get out of the way because they all come flying out like they've been locked up for years. They follow me around until I throw them a handful of treats (scratch in the winter time, black oil sunflower seeds in the summer). I fill up the chickens' food and water, let the "pre-teens" out of their coop, then tend to Ellie and her chicks and make sure they have plenty of food and water.
After everyone has been fed and watered, it's inside to feed and water myself and get ready for work. During the school year, I also fix David's lunch and help him get out the door on time, but right now he's on summer break so he's been catching up on sleep! I pack up my lunch (usually leftovers from the previous night's dinner) and drive 35 miles to work where all day I dream of being back on the homestead.
Once the work day is over, I run any errands that I need to in town (like grocery shopping) then drive 35 miles back home. When I arrive home, I greet David and tell him about my day and ask about his, then it's outside for the rest of the evening. First I go down to check on the chickens and see how they're doing, then David and I walk the property and gardens to see how all of our plants are growing and changing. We do a little bit of work in the garden if need be and beg our plants to grow faster.
Usually I head back over to spend more time with the chickens. I make sure to hang out with the "pre-teens" as much as possible so they continue to feel comfortable around me and let me pet and hold them.
Ellie and her chicks are irresistible, so I usually spend a good chunk of time just sitting and watching.
I like to walk Duchess and let the chickens out for some supervised free ranging if there's enough daylight.
Once the light begins to fade, the chickens head back to the coop on their own and settle in for the night.
I gather eggs, lock the chickens up in the coop, lock the pre-teens back up in their coop, check on Ellie and her chicks one last time, and feed Duchess. I usually play with Sylvester for a bit, then if I'm lucky and the cows across the street are out by the fence, I go visit them and hope they don't run away at the sight of a crazy lading mooing at them with a camera pointing in their direction.
David is usually still tending to the garden at this point (he usually handles the flora department while I cover the fauna), so I head inside to get started on dinner. I try to fit in a little bit of exercise just before dinner (I really like my mini trampoline and free weights) since I really slacked on that over the winter.
This time of year we like to stay outside for as long as possible, so dinner is quite late; sometimes 8:30 or 9:00. We watch a little tv while eating dinner to unwind, then clean up and do any other inside chores that need to be done (like laundry). Lately we've been doing a little bit of reading at the end of the night just before heading to bed, and I usually end up falling asleep on the couch with a book in my hands. David wakes me up and tells me it's time to go to bed, so I groggily head towards the bedroom and pass out until my alarm goes off at 5:45 the next day and I start all over again.
Other than when I'm at work, basically my day consists of tending to the chickens, gardening, cooking, playing with the animals, and spending as much time as possible with David. We have really worked hard to get to this point and have the lifestyle that we have dreamed about, so right now we are enjoying the fruits of our labor. I recently heard someone say, "Think about how you would spend your day if you knew this was your last. If it looks completely different from your typical day now, then you need to make some big changes." I can honestly say if I knew today would be my last day, there is nowhere else I'd rather be than on my homestead surrounded by God's beauty, my animals, and my precious husband. Maybe I'd call in sick to work that day, but otherwise, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm right where I'd want to be.
Four other awesome bloggers are participating in this series as well, so don't forget to check out their posts to read more about where they are in their homesteading journey. You can find them here -
Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm
Meg at Little Homestead
Daisy at Maple Hill 101
Amber at Making A Home
Thanks so much for reading and please do let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you! Don't forget to check back next Wednesday for the final installment in the series where I will be focusing on future plans and goals we have for our homestead.
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