With warm weather inevitably headed to the Midwest, I have to decide how to manage our land.
The first option I looked into was the possibility of leasing it out to a local farmer. This path came to a pretty quick end, as apparently I am too picky. Finding an organic, responsible, no-till farmer willing to rent a relatively small piece of acreage wasn’t possible.
I have a ton of things to learn. In striving to attain as much self-sufficiency as possible, I must be constantly focused on adding to my skill-sets. I realized pretty quickly however that I will never be a world-class gardner, baker, permaculture designer, brewer, mycologist etc. I simply do not have the time to become an expert in all the fields of endeavor necessary.
I do, however, have the ability to become an expert in a small sub-set of these larger fields. I can learn, for example, to make one type of bread from scratch and strive to achieve excellence in that recipe. I chose a whole wheat rye bread. It’s simple, tasty, utilitarian. I make two loaves a week (we haven’t had to buy store made bread in two months!) Maybe she is just being kind, but Mama Anna says that I am getting better and better at it.
And while, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at an olive and rosemary ciabatta, I have too many other simple, homesteading skills to perfect. Like hard cider. After all, a fellow’s gotta have something to drink with his bread.
Here is the land on which I will build a future for our family and, with any luck, for generations to come. It is just under 14 acres of mostly rolling farmland surrounded with trees on two sides. We have a 1.5 acre pond and small creek.
When I began to think about permaculture planning, however, I was quickly overwhelmed. What can I do with fourteen acres? Continue reading
It was an eventful fall.
We were able to find that perfect piece of land. A plot big enough to feel like a farm but not so big that it doesn’t still cozy, somehow. It has a good-sized pond, good Ohio soil, wild roses and a couple gnarled, old apple trees filled with tart, compact fruit.
We also transitioned from couple to family as our first daughter was born in the first week of December.
The three of us are, until I retire from the Navy, living in San Diego, a family of wanna-be homesteading hippies trying to make the most of a SoCal suburb.
So, for now, we have to plan and learn, developing our skills, keeping the dream going!