I have spent most of this past winter working on a new book about homesteading. It has been a challenge, an in depth look at my own lifestyle choice and the choices of others and how I would describe the effects of those choices. Details on the book are coming soon! But for now, I feel an update on our farm is in order.
As followers of the blog know, we live a relatively simple life with no indoor plumbing and limited electricity in an old house that had been abandoned for a number of years. We first moved in Spring of 2016, and we've been focused on recovering the fields around us and expanding our livestock holdings and gardens for the first two years here. But the time has come to make the house a little bit more livable, or at least more friendly to guests who aren't used to using an outhouse.
Our 2018 project is the house, which we are rebuilding ourselves with the help of a few neighbors and family. After going through several ideas that all involved additions and expansions to our current set up, we finally settled on building within the existing cape structure. This allows us to keep more finances set aside for the larger farm project and to get the job done ourselves with limited need for outside contractors. The simple construction will hopefully be manageable to get done before it starts getting cold again, and while our finished home will only be around 1500 square feet, that will seem like expansive space compared to our current living quarters - which we've adapted to quite comfortably.
And so without further delay we began to rip down the back part of the house, a ramshackle ell that had been added on by some previous generation. The house project should keep us busy throughout most of the summer, but still with plenty of time for an expansive garden and some new fowl. As mentioned in a previous post, we are not breeding our goats this year but look forward to doing so come fall for kids in spring of 2019.
Our other farm projects for this summer include building a chicken coop separate from our barn so that we can expand our goat quarters. This will help keep our barn a little bit cleaner, and allow us to keep more of our 2019 kids (or expand the goat herd in other ways).
In fact we don't have many new animals coming this year at all - mostly to keep us sane with so many other big projects! We will have some goslings on the way in addition to twenty guinea fowl for tick control.
After a winter focused on writing, the very first of April marked a big shift in my attention. We started ripping siding off that day. The sun has been out and the snow is melting, and before we know it the grass will be turning green. Perhaps it was the (seemingly) overlong winter, perhaps the number of projects waiting for spring to begin, or maybe just a shift in my perspective, but spring has an especially heady feeling this year.
Spring is always a time signaling rebirth and new life, and this year seems even more full of promise. It's going to be a busy summer full of hot, back-breaking days where the work stretches passed when the sun goes down, but it's those kind of days that fill me with meaning and joy in our accomplishments. So here's to the coming months!
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