The Self Sufficient Life

Being self sufficient...or coming close to it... seems to be the new *in* thing to do.  Move to the country, plant a garden, get a few chickens...life is good.

Maybe.

Or, at the very least, I think those things are good steps in the right direction.  

Steps we are going to be taking on our own.

Originally our ten year plan (like 5 years ago) involved buying land in the country and doing the full scale hobby farm deal-io that so many others are doing.  God had other plans for us, however, and we really believe that we are living in the house we will raise our children to adulthood in.

That doesn't mean we will be giving up on our dream of homesteading, it is just going to look a little differently than we thought in terms of what we are able to do on our own.   Even though we weren't able to plant anything (well...a few things, but we'll get to that in a minute) this year, we have mostly been doing a lot of planning and grunt work this summer.

In addition to a patio and driveway, we have put in a small mostly flower garden in front, an herb garden in the back, sandbox, tilled/edged/filled 3 other garden spaces for fall, put in a small cold frame, put in a fire pit, and built a clothes line.  Before the snow flies, we also plan to build a storage shed at the end of the driveway for bikes and gardening tools and have a couple other projects in mind as well.

Honestly I don't know how close we will get to self sustaining, but I anticipate within 5 years I should be able to cut our grocery budget in half if we plant smart.  We have room in the back for a small orchard (5 treesish?) and maybe enough maple trees to provide syrup for a year.  We inherited a fairly robust grape arbor, which should have a decent crop even this year.  The biggest bummer is that because our acre is inside city limits we can't have our own chickens.  We need to check though because someone told me the other day the chicken boundary is NOT the same as the city boundary.  Officially there aren't any regulations on bee keeping so that is another thing we are going to look into, we have an acre and plenty of space for a couple hives.  

I'm thinking by the end of my five year plan, we won't have much yard left to mow, but that's a good thing, right??!!  Honestly, I learned a lot about high yield gardening in small spaces in both Utah and our last house in Minnesota.  I have some ideas and I'm sure there will be even more of a learning curve, but I'm looking forward to it anyways.

Here are a few pictures of all our hard work thus far!

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My somewhat distracted labor force.

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Tim found that door at the ReStore and it has pop out glass panes with screen inserts.

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This one (below) will eventually become half shed/half garden.

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Part of our grapes, the small herb bed, and in between you can see where we've started tilling and filling in for the largest garden we plan to attempt our first year (400-500 sq ft. I think Tim said?).

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Just last weekend, Tim had the brilliant idea to put additional circle gardens around this one for strawberries.  I had been wondering the best way to make use of the front yard and I think that's a great one.

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1 comment :

Marsha said...

This looks great! I love your plans, and definitely check on the chicken rule. Where we live chickens are allowed in the city, but no roosters.