Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking in all the right places

Granted I just started this blog and feel as though I am completely clueless as to how to grow one. On the positive side I can tell you that I have found the mother load of helpful blogs that will no doubt help us in our endeavor to become the happy hobby farmer or what I really desire, a self sustaining family, with a handful of farm animals a beautiful garden and all of the other "trappings".  So for today I will continue to do what I can to prepare myself for my tomorrow. I am planning on dehydrating some tomatoes. I just finished  drying some organic Basil I picked up from Fresh -n-Easy for 35cents a 6 oz package which normally runs 2.99! I purchased all they had and had enough of the dry stuff to fill a quart jar. So off till tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally a start to building our Dream!

Everything I do begins with a thought.  For me that thought will go onto a list and then if I prioritize it normally it eventually falls off the list because of everything else that demands my time in my fast paced life. I am a wife, a mother to 7 children 2 of which are grown, I am a retired mortgage office manager, and now I run an outreach based ministry and attempt to run a home. Since my husband and I married (long story I will have to make it another post) 7 years ago we had a dream, to own some property and just skip this fast paced life We thought Oklahoma would be great. Our dream quickly changed (re-prioritized) having added 5 children to the picture. Our dream now is to take these 5 special blessings away from this lifestyle and into one where there is time to slow down long enough to enjoy a butterfly that flutters by and enough space to run without hitting a city street.

So back to our new dream, The decision is made and just like the family thought we were crazy when we kept saying yes to Social Services taking one more meth addicted baby after another we have made the decision to leave our little rented suburban home and buy our family a small acreage farm where we can have a few goats, some chickens, a nice garden. Now all we have to do is to dial in the location however narrowing it down to where we want to live is proving to be quite a challenge. My husband is up for early retirement  in three years. We thought initially we could wait it out and leave California but as we watch the times change we understand the growing need to become independent.  I personally do not see another 3 good years with another 3 to get it together. So we may not have the luxury to move out of state and as a result have begun to look outside our valley into the foothills into much smaller communities where there are 5 acre parcels to be had for a semi-decent price. This would allow hubby to finish out his 3 years and for the family to make the move and begin a self sustaining lifestyle. BUT honestly I am not convinced I want to be a part of this arid place.

This is where I need you. I have recently started this blog in hopes to start conversations, to incite thought and to openly share my struggles. I only know family farms from my Grandparents,  and Aunts and Uncles places I visited as a child. I have had nice vegetable gardens years ago but nothing recently. I have become totally dependant on others for my food supply and the what ifs cloud my mind. So now is the time for action, the time for a plan.

My questions for you;

What does the perfect homestead look like?

What are the key or most important elements to look for when searching out a property?

Is this possible in California?

Please chime in.. some of you have come through many trials, from which I desire to learn from. No need for me to travel down a path if it is not proven.

Here is a look at a 5 acre parcel we have looked at $110,000, a well that pumps 99 gpm. but has no home, or out buildings. I think it would be a huge labor of love and perhaps a ton of money to get fences up and start.

 I appreciate your help!

Big hugs and many thanks!