This is it, you guys…what we’ve been dreaming of for years. We decided that a small family homestead was in our future when our second baby was, well…a baby. We even looked at a few properties back in early 2012, but it just wasn’t time yet.
After several more years…lots of changes…saving up…it’s finally real.
Our kids get to grow up on our very own farm.
The NEW Modern Alternative Homestead!
We are still settling in, but we are beyond excited. We have a beautiful new (to us) home that was built in the late 60s and recently remodeled. Hard wood floors, tons of counter space in the kitchen, large living room and dining space, large play room. Outside, we have almost 10 acres of land.
On this land, we have a small orchard. An apple tree and a pear tree are each 10+ years old (shown above!) and in full production, and there are about 10 additional 2 – 5 year old trees that produce apples, peaches, and pears (or, they will — in a few years). We had planned to put in trees ASAP when we found the right place…so it was beyond amazing to find a place that already had trees!
We have a small strawberry patch. It really is pretty small, and we hope to add a second patch out in the yard, because our kids just love berries. I think we’ll have a good amount to eat fresh, but none to preserve this year.
There are a few perennial herbs growing around the property — some rosemary and sage for sure. We found some kale. And what looks like onions, too. There’s a cute little patch next to the apple trees.
And a chicken coop.
Our new chickens were left by the previous owners, who were moving to another state and didn’t want to move them. So, we have a small “herd” of 16 chickens that are already laying. The kids are beyond excited!
It’s a bit of a learning curve for us — the property is already well on its way to being what we wanted, and we have to dive in and take care of it immediately! But we are so thrilled to have found this. It’s just what we wanted, and it’s in the perfect location (in a township so we can raise animals freely, but close enough to town that it isn’t frustrating to run errands). We got so lucky.
Unschooling on the Homestead
The food production isn’t the only thing we’re excited about. (Although the kids love the chickens and are constantly trying to play with them, feed them, and search for eggs.)
We also have a creek that runs through part of our property, and the kids absolutely love it. They have already searched for different rocks, played in the water, tried to identify different plants and even found some fish.
This is at our house, you guys. We can literally head out there everyday.
I don’t have any pictures of the inside yet, because we’re still setting up. But we have a built-in bookshelf on the upper level, which is already stocked with tons of different books — story books from baby board books to chapter books, science experiments, art and coloring books, various non-fiction.
On the lower level, we have an entire room just for the kids. They have their Lego table, a couch, and some other toys. Over time, they’ll have an art table and space for their projects.
We also have a two-level screened porch, where the kids keep their “outdoor toys” and where the starts for our garden currently live.
And can I just say…I love that we have so many dandelions!
First, I just love dandelions. The flowers are sunny and beautiful, and they are edible (dandelion muffins, cookies, and wine) and they have mild pain-relieving and skin-soothing properties. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals and great in salads or as tea. The roots are so beneficial to liver function. All around, awesome plant.
Second, the presence of so many dandelions means that the yard wasn’t sprayed. And that is a great start for our organic garden.
This is the dream, you guys. It’s totally the dream. We are beyond excited to start this chapter of our lives — at long last.
Where We Go From Here
I hope you’ll follow our journey, especially if you’ve been dreaming of your own homestead, someday!
We’re working to get our food production all set up (considering meat birds this summer, plus a large garden), creating our compost bin/area, fermenting all the things, and more.
It’s our goal to share our lives on the homestead, now that all the planning and preparing and learning we’ve done over the last 8 years has finally come to fruition. It’s not just bits and pieces anymore, or theoretical some-day stuff…. It’s real.
Look for more tutorials on farm cooking and fermenting, DIY projects (my husband has promised me custom-built coffee table and kitchen table), wild crafting (harvesting herbs and other wild-growing things), and ideas for the homestead-dreamers.
And of course…all our usual health research, unschooling, and other wild, free, alternative living topics. 🙂
In a week or so…step two will be to show you the inside, once we’re out of the boxes and set up! I can’t wait to invite you in.