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!


  1. I don't know the answers to your questions as they relate to CA but I can say that goats are well worth the money. They provide kids for selling, milk for drinking, and they clear brush better than any other animal. You would be surprised at how easy it is to raise chickens, and the eggs are wonderful!

    Good luck.

  2. Chai Chai! I love your blog, Admittantly I spent over an hour there trying to learn or glean all I can about your farm family! I saw you raised Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I have actually spent a few hours online today looking for the perfect goat for me and hands down I think those little ones are "the ones". I look foerward to going backto your blog, I have to admitt the "Ghost" story was quite adorable! Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I know nothing about CA. I know you can grow lots of veggies on even less ground. Most all are grew among my flowers & shurbs among the rock beds. I live on 1 acre. I have a 5 acre property that is cleared with no well or septic that my Pap & Gram gave me. It is my some day plan. I think it is amazing you have this many children. Your faith had to be strong for all this. My advise is to keep your faith & pray about property. I have so enjoyed my adventure of raising a small flock of chickens. I had a chicken coop built & had no chicks. What do thay say counting your chicks before they hatch. Children I have found seem to bond with creatures of all kind & are made happy by them. Me too! Maybe you would enjoy books about Tasha Tudor. I hope you find your goats & all your dreams come true. Looking forward to your future posts. Stop by my blogs & visit any time. Blessings!

  4. Don't know about California but you seem to have a pretty good well and the growing season is longer there. I live in the Pacific Northwest so year round growing is a challenge. It's easier to put by for the winter. A green house is mandatory if you want to grow somethings here in the off season. You didn't say what part of California your property is in. North or South.
    I do have something to say about goats though. Check out the Kinder Goat. I had them at my other property and loved them.(Can't have them here or I would) Great dual purpose goats easy breeders and kidders. Small enough for kids to handle and just a great all round goat. Been know to kid up to 6 at a time. Most I ever had was three in one kidding.

  5. Thank you EACH of you for responding.. DH and I went to dinner with some friends last night and apparently the reason there are so many lovely homes in the foothill areas available for sale is because wells are running dry. What used to run at 35 GPM now runs at 3 they are having to buy the water for their house and have it delivered. That was some Great information and has helped us decided that California is NOT the place for us unless we go way North. I dislike much of the States laws, (they don't reflect our belief systems) so I guess we begin to look into other places to live. Oklahoma was really green so I don't know. We Will keep you all posted. Oh I am currently living in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in Clovis. We rent a 4 bedroom and are waiting to make the decision as to where to move. Until then we continue to weed it and and trust that we are being led by One who loves us and has a great plan for us! <3 Now to go finish my Kombucha Making it not drinking it) and get the car smogged and buy some new tags!

    1. Hey Rhoda,

      You may want to look at the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I live in Washington but we will be checking out the valley this spring. I have been there once to a farm with a friend that had a friend that owned a farm there until she got too old and had to retire. Her place was in a little area called Alsea. Nestled in the coastal mountain range about 60 miles from the coast. Someone else owns it now and they have a blog called Leaping lamb farm. It is well worth checking out. The other thing I have been thinking since I read your post is there is no such thing as a "perfect" homestead unless you are made of $$$. Getting a farm up and running is hard, time consuming work. It isn't romantic and you will never have decent fingernails again! :) Here are a couple blogs and a book that I highly recommend. Book is Goat Song by Brad Kessler. About an author and his photographer wife who lived in New York and longed for a farm so bought 75 acres in the mountains with barn and farm house. They raise goats and make cheese. Look it up on Amazon and read the intro but you should be able to get it from the library. I did. Also look at cam He is a Canadian living off grid with solar and wind power. He has an enormous blog chock full of info and has written two books. Little house off the Grid and Thriving during challenging times.He and his wife have a publishing company (from home)call Aztec press and publish those kinds of books. Take a look and let me know what you think.
      Have fun and check out my last blog from We have new babies.


  6. Not sure what arid means to you but we get 10 to 12 inches of precipitaion a year. Sometimes I think the perfect place is simply doing the best you can where ever you land. As for my garden, the soil is so... bad, we grow on top of it hauling tons of manure and shovel sawdust from the goat sheds on top. Fruit trees struggle to survive, heavens, any tree struggles. Our animals are on leased land a couple miles away. Definitely not perfect but we've made do for almost twenty-eight years. Do I wish for the perfect farmstead, you bet, and hopefully someday in the next few years we'll get to move to someplace better, but for now, I'm learning all I can right where I'm am.

  7. That looks like a nice piece of land, and since is has a water source all the better. What is the soil like? As for a house, there are several home builders here is this area that will build a home for you on your land. Oak Hill and Western Homes are two I can think of. Animal shelters, you can start out small, fencing, consider having perimeter fence professionally. Livestock panels (wire 16ft by 4ft tall and t-posts can be used to contain livestock in smaller (night time areas) and moved as needed. Good luck on your dream. I agree this area of the Sierra Foothills is pretty arid, but if you have a good well you can make it work. This year my pastures are already dry and brown, yes it would be nice to have more rainfall, but, I would not move to tornado alley or hurricane prone areas to have summer rain. Oregon is a good choice, but if you are looking for the now aspect, start small, see how you like it, go from there. Maybe in about 5 to 10 years down the road you will figure out the ideal place to go.