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Monday, July 23, 2007

Dear Rosemary,

Wonderful to hear that you will be moving onto your own homestead soon. To answer your question about how our homestead is set up, well it is still a work in progress. When we moved out here there was already a house and outbuilding. The house is not set where we would like it to be, and we are building a new house, hopefully soon. The house is set back from the road about 125 feet, and almost centered on the land. We would have preferred it more off to the side. We do keep up a front and backyard, as we are pro-grass people around here. And tend to plant only edibles for flower garden. In the back we keep it clear for the children to play. We have 3 acres of field 2 of which our being prepped for cattle. 1 acre is used for an orchard. We keep our goats, sheep and poultry in a 1/2 acre pen next to the barn and lagoon.

I have yet to tackle more than a spring garden. It's harvest sustains us well. I keep a garden diary so that I know how much of what I need to plant every year, where it does the best and when it was planted. Timing depends on the weather. Some things will go into the ground as soon as the soil is workable, while others need to wait until the soil is warmed up. We harvest when needed.

My homestead already contained outbuildings and fencing, so technically we are not starting from scratch, but we have to redo many things that were neglected or done incorrectly, so of which was my on fault. I am still learning.

I order my seeds as soon as I have had a little time to relax after harvest. During those long winter nights. My garden diary reminds me of what we went through quickly the previous year, and what seeds I was able to save. If I had a poor harvest, I will reorder what couldn't be saved or what ended up not growing at all. Usually I throw in a new vegetable as well. I order my birds at need. We had a mess this year, and lost all but 1 hen. I reordered pullets so that I didn't have to brood them in the house. Usually I order birds as soon as the weather has warmed up enough. Our goats are pets, so not a priority as in a homestead need for us. But they are very useful in keeping weeds down. Our sheep was a gift from Tales from a Texas Farm Wife. Sheep our on our list of livestock that we want, for wool and meat. We should have a donkey in the spring, and she will be used to guard the cottage cows that our planed for our future.

Our homestead is ever evolving. New chores, new projects, new responsibilities come fast, even though it is planned slowly. Good fencing and guard animals are a top priority, meat, dairy and fiber animals are second. Up keep of buildings comes into play at some point. But a lot of this I ended up learning the hard way. Something I hope that you won't have to endure.

Good luck in August. I wish you the best of luck on your new adventure.

If you have any more questions, please ask. I will do my best to answer them.



Bobby Griffin said...

Hey there Phelan,

I'd like to take this time and congratulation you on your awesome blog and inform you that you are in the running for Bestest Blog of the Year. You are up against 104 other excellent blogs that have all qualified by being "Bestest Blog of the Day" in the past 12 months. Voting starts TODAY (July 23rd) and will end in 2 weeks (August 6th). Winners will be announced on August 7th!

The winner will be receiving (at least) a $50 prize and a ton of new visitors I'm sure. Other blogs that finish in the top 10 will also be getting a few new links and extra exposure. Full details of the contest can be found here. So what can you do to increase your chances of winning?

1. Go vote for yourself (duh!)
2. Encourage others to vote for you. Here is the URL: You can also find a nifty little graphic to include on your blog here.
3. Encourage others to register before voting. Registered users votes count 3 times more than guests.
4. Keep up the great blogging that got you here in the first place. People are going to be stopping by your blog before voting, and if you have some great, new content, that'll surely increase your vote.

Again, congratulations and good luck! And if you're interested in winning another "blog of the day" award and get in the running for next year's award, check out the new "Blankest Blank Blog Directory." Questions? Please feel free to email me or drop by the forum.

Paula said...

I want to let you know how much I love your blog. I've learned a lot from you and have discovered so many other great blogs and other resources from you. I only recently found your blog while browsing the web for info on homesteading and eating local. I live in an urban area now, but we dream of moving to a rural area and having our own homestead. In the meantime, I'm learning everything I can now. We do have a garden, which I hope to expand next year, and I'm trying to eat more locally by frequenting farmers markets and local farms.


Phelan said...

Thanks Bobby.

And thank you Paula!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for the detailed response!

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