Saturday, April 23, 2011

More background on this journey...

Well - this journey to self-reliance will be a long one.  My background includes growing up as a city kid in a "suburban" area.  However, I have farming in my blood and come from a long line of farmers.  I have always loved the farm life, gardening and canning....and basically "living off the land" and, of course, homemade delicious food!  I feel this way of life agrees with me and contributes to a healthy lifestyle! 

I visited my great-grandparents farm frequently when I was a kid.  Now that my future involves relocating to this same family farm area that my ancestors emigrated to in the late 1800's - I am more passionate than ever about what I want to do...just as my ancestors were so long ago.

I am currently working in a large city - Chicago - and living in a "typical" suburban neighborhood.  Raising three kids who are on the cusp of starting their adulthood lives on their own.  I adore my family and am very proud of all of them!! 

However, what most people do not know - is that I (actually me and my husband) are on this path to relocate to a farm in a rural area of Indiana.  This smallholding farm has been in our family for about 100 years and at this point in time - I just visit on weekends and vacations!  This farm is right around the corner from another one of my family farms - which I visited as a child.  I absolutely had a blast running around being a "farm" kid for the weekend...visiting with my father.  I loved playing outside, fishing, shooting, and playing in the various barns and seeing the farm animals.  I have always felt a true connection to this area of Indiana and love the rural farm life.

I have assisted in the process of raising chickens (Rhode Island Reds and Silver Laced Wyandottes).  These chickens have provided us with a TON of nice brown eggs over the last year.  Right now we have one rooster and 11 chickens.  We initially ended up with three roosters - which didn't work out that well at all - so we had to eliminate two and they became stew chickens.  I have recently purchased an incubator (with a turner) to try my hand at increasing our numbers and possibly meat production.  I will keep you posted on how that process goes.



Further down the line I have my eye on possibly raising goats, pigs and cows too.  My Uncle has raised pigs and already knows the ropes so it will probably be best to start with those and he can guide me properly.  My concern is that I will fall in love with the piggies and nickname them "Wilbur"...when actually I should name them breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  I read that somewhere and thought that was funny....but in actuality that keeps it real!

In the process of making this transition to the self-reliant lifestyle.  I have been purchasing some items that I feel will be necessary to be self-reliant.  For instance, a canner, food processor, meat grinder/sausage grinder for my stand mixer, a dehydrator, a saurkraut maker, pickling crock, incubator (w/turner), two apple trees, two pear trees, and a cherry tree, and my newest purchase was an apple grinder, and fruit press!  I am so excited to use these items.  On another day, I will tell you about my first experimental use of the saurkraut maker.  As this is a learning process - I feel I have a lot more to learn about lactic acid fermenting! 

My interests also include beekeeping - so I am hoping to purchase or build my own beehive down the road.  
So anyway this is always a gigantic learning process for me and I am enjoying the various items out there to assist in making the transition to country life.

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