Our Little Homestead

home·stead --
n.  1. any dwelling with its land and buildings where a family makes its home. 2. a lot of land adequate for the maintenance of a family
Over the past year or so, our backyard homestead has really taken off. We have enjoyed getting our hands dirty doing some of the things that homesteaders of the 1860s may have done -- raising animals, gardening, mending, reusing, putting food by, and from-scratch cooking.

As was probably the case with many a homesteader, our path toward our little homestead probably began here, with our first real garden.  This photo was taken in 2008.  I probably haven't tasted a worthy store-bought tomato since this time. :)

Fall of 2011, we added laying hens to the backyard.  They love their chicken tractor and have kept us in farm-fresh eggs since their arrival.

January 2012, we rescued Cocoa Puff (a.k.a. Fertilizer Factory) from being a hungry snake's dinner.  Now, she hops around at our place, devouring carrots and creating fertilizer for our garden.

April 2012, our first batch of meat chickens arrived. 

They live in this tractor that John designed and get moved to fresh grass daily.

Also in April 2012, we brought home our small herd of Nubian dairy goats.  Since then, we've enjoyed using the milk in soapmaking, cheesemaking, yogurt-making, and various other projects.

We do not come by this lifestyle naturally.  We get most of our ideas and information on how to make those ideas reality from our reading.  Thus, we are literally learning as we go and loving every step of the journey.