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Our Homestead - Lessons Learned

For over a decade my husband and I have been making efforts to become more prepared and self-sufficient. When we lived in the city we stored food, water filtration equipment, etc., but we came to realize that while we could make it for several years with the supplies we had, we were not capable of true long-term self sufficiency. Then, a few years ago, we were blessed to find 5 acres in the mountains of central Idaho to start our mini-homestead project.

There are special challenges to our climate- we have an official growing season of about 60 days and our winters get very cold (negative 20 or so is not uncommon). But there are perks as well, such as high water tables and a low population. All in all, we love our little mountain town, and have learned that no matter where you live, a self-sufficient lifestyle is more possible that we ever imagined.

Our first summer was insanely busy! We planted 98 fruit trees, as well as 70 gooseberry, 30 currant, and 350 raspberry bushes; built and fixed fences for our new Yaks (yes, that's right, the hairy animals from Tibet with big horns), built a winter worthy chicken coop for our recently acquired Buckeyes, and my husband built an explosives magazine and got his explosives license from the ATF (more on the why and how from him later).

Have you ever seen the old TV program “Green Acres”? Well we could definitely relate our first year! We had to learn about everything, including buying hay, developing water systems for our livestock, and the right way to plant an apple tree. We have had our laughs along the way, like when Lilly the Yak got a barrel stuck on her head and when we realized the snow had built up so high the yaks could just walk over our fences. We have learned so much that we can't wait to share with you!

Keep your eye on our blog as we will be sharing our experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) on our work-in-progress homestead.

3 Comments
  1. Our-Homestead-Lessons-Learned
    01/09/2013 at 10:37:44 AM
    Badgerpeak,

    If you publish your experiences I would love to subscribe. There used to be(1990s) a Homesteader's Bulletin Board hosted by UNC and it was a blast. A couple in Canada would publish stories that made me laugh so hard I fell out of my chair at work. I believe the woman's name was Megan Scammel or something like that.

    I've got 15 acres in very rural Alabama. A couple of years in Afghanistan helped me pay it off. Now I am trying to figure out if I can make it work.

    Thank you.
    Dwaine Castle
    dwaine.castle852@gmail.com
  2. Our-Homestead-Lessons-Learned
    02/25/2013 at 05:04:37 AM
    I believe we are near by (central idaho) small town near Salmon. You?
  3. Badger Peak
    04/16/2013 at 05:00:39 PM
    We're in the McCall area. There are some climate related challenges, but it's hard to beat the Idaho mountains for a place to live.

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