I am a huge animal lover, and that was a big part of our reason for moving out to the country. I didn't want to be restricted by city ordinances on the types of livestock I could keep, and I also wanted plenty of room for my animals to roam and enjoy their lives. I told David a while back that one of my goals was to have some of each type of fowl, and so far we only have chickens and guineas, so we have a ways to go! Our next addition will be ducks to help with garden pests, and we are hoping to add them next year.
A little further out into the future, we want to get some sheep or goats. To me, there are few things cuter than a tiny goat kid jumping and bouncing around, so I really want to experience that firsthand. And of course it would be wonderful to have goat milk to make my own goat cheese. Yum!
|Just visiting with this sweetie, but hopefully I can have one of my own in the future!|
We have adopted a "learn as we go" mentality with gardening, and we still have so much to learn! Each year we are discovering more about our land and soil to help us maximize the efficiency and productivity of our garden. We recently expanded the garden and added lots of raised beds, and we are still working on enclosing the entire area to keep thieves from our harvest.
|Gathering fresh lettuce for a salad.|
In the future, I hope to keep adding new veggies to our garden each year and grow as much as I can from seed. One of our big long-term goals is to grow enough food each summer to last us year round. I think we are quite a few years out from realizing that goal, but we are working towards it. I need to learn more about food preservation as well so that we can safely store food to get us through the winter months.
We love houses with lots of charm (like our first home, a 1914 bungalow in the city) but our current house is really lacking. It is a newer house which is wonderful, but there isn't much in the way of the architectural detail or character we typically go for. We have been saving up our money for a while now, and today just purchased new flooring to go down in our living room and kitchen area (currently there is a commercial style carpet and linoleum). In July, David's mom and stepdad are coming to help us install the floor so we are very excited for that! We want to build bookshelves and make a new mantle for the electric fireplace as well to give the living room some more interest and charm.
A few more years down the road after we have saved up enough money, we'd like to change the outside of the house a bit. On the bottom part, we want to add a natural stone facade to make it look a little more cozy and woodsy. The previous owner was a big John Deere fan, so everything is green! It does fit in well with the landscape of the property, but we prefer brown tones, so we may also look into painting the roof to fit in with the stone on the bottom of the house.
The thing we wish for the most on our property is to have a pond dug behind the house. So far, we've had local conservation agents come out to map and flag the best location for a pond and got several quotes for the work ($18,000 - yikes!). Since it is so pricey, we are looking at other options and trying to figure out how to best make this become a reality.
|Back here is where the pond will go (looking out from our back porch).|
We had the property logged last summer and it is still a mess (the photo above is pre-logging). Shortly after we moved out here, David made several trails in the woods and we really enjoyed walking on them with Duchess whenever we could. Logging destroyed our trails, so over the next several years we hope to clean some of it up and make some new trails. Right now it seems daunting to tackle a 20 acre pile of sticks and downed trees, but somehow we will make it work!
Of course all of these goals require money, so we would like to be able to do something from the homestead to earn some extra income. Not sure what that will be just yet, but we are always thinking and open to new ideas. In our ultimate dream, we would both be working on the homestead each day and making a living somehow off our land. For now we still have our day jobs, but we are always dreaming for the future.
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!