The next phase as I see it in regard to homesteading is to figure out your plans. There are many things to consider that can play into the homesteading scene. I will try to go more in depth with each topic, but thought is best to try to lay out the basics. I will try to think of everything and am certain that I will leave some things out.
In the first part of this series, we talked about site selection. For this part and moving forward, I am going to assume that step one has been taken care of. I will figure that a water supply is secured and a home built. (I suppose that a site could be purchased and set up in a different way than what I am describing here. For instance, acreage could be obtained, yet the building of the house may be in the distance….so don’t lose hope if you can’t have the acreage and the home right off the bat.) Some of these steps can be taken out of order.
- Animal selection. I recommend starting with chickens because they are cheap and easy, yet you get the incredible, edible egg as a result. Most consider a dairy cow or a goat for milk production. Sheep provide wool. I would also suggest a dog of some sort for protection and possibly as a working dog.
- Building selection. This will need to be built around the potential animals. For instance,
a small outbuilding works great for chickens. They can even be managed in a portable chicken coop (or a chicken tractor)which has a variety of designs. A larger barn is necessary for cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and horses.
- Animal containment. This will again depend on the type of animal. Cattle and horses test fences in ways that are different from pigs. Chickens are a whole another ball of wax.
- Plant Selection. Do you want an orchard? How about a berry plot? A grape arbor? And of course a garden. I like Heirloom plants for seed saving, making yourself more self-sufficient in the process and potentially saving money down the road.
- Garden site. Raised beds? Traditional garden? Should you build a cold frame or two? (yes!)
- Medicine strategy. By this I am thinking along the line of herbs. You will need to consider which herbs that you will need and want to grow.
- Storage Consideration: With homesteading you will likely be saving root crops, making a root cellar a reasonable thought. You will likely be canning, so you will need jars, lids, and a canner.
- Tool Selection. What tools will you need to have on hand? Again, you might want to prepare for the practical and think toward the possibility of major circumstances changing. As an example, you may get a chainsaw and a really good handsaw, just in case fuel becomes scarce. I will suggest some nice tools that I have found for the garden throughout that content of this entire blog site.
I am certain that I have left some things out, so watch for this one to get edited in the future. I typically write these posts as they come to me, not well thought out and written down onto paper. Any thoughts and suggestions are always appreciated! I will get some more thoughts down on homesteading and put those thoughts into it as I review a few resources.
Until Next Time.