Off-Grid Agrarianism

63 articles in category Off-Grid Agrarianism / Subscribe

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Going through my photos I realized that one thing I do not have for this space right now are a lot of words. Instead, here is a collection of unrelated thoughts and somewhat related photos.

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The irony of weeks of triple digit temperatures is that you need to start thinking about firewood. Abram in particular really enjoys cutting and stacking so we told him to go for it.

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Our chickens are given complete freedom throughout the property. This means that we have to fence them out of the gardens. The benefits, of course, are that they control insects and get all the greens and bugs they can find along with a small daily grain ration. Also, you never know when cute baby chicks will show up in your front yard.

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Joshie also enjoys watching them from his own perch.

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These two photos are pretty indicative of the middle of the day. Everyone’s outside, trying to catch a breeze while doing school, snacks, or chores. Iced kombucha makes a great afternoon drink to beat the heat, by the way.

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One thing the children recently did was dig through a big barrel of books we had stored away when living in the old cabin. One of the gems we came across was The Organic Seed Grower that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. That book is a must have guide for the small homesteader or farmer, in my opinion.

Old cookbooks that made it into the kitchen were The Tassajara Bread Book, Fresh & Fermented, and Root Cellaring. What I love about good cookbooks is that while I’m not much of a recipe-using kind of gal, they provide some great inspiration at a time of year when I get a bit uninspired in the kitchen.

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Finally, we decided that if we wanted shade we were going to have to grow it. We ended up planting a pecan tree behind the house, several Hybrid Poplars around the yard, and a few of these Royal Empress trees you see above. So far we are having mixed results, but hey it’s July and this guy and a few others are still alive so maybe that’s a good sign?

Thanks for stopping by! Can I offer you a glass of kombucha?

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When we started our little homestead one of the things we decided was to just start with a couple of acres. We knew it would take us some time to really put those two acres to use and nearly five years later that was one of the few things we were actually right about.

Those two acres rapidly filled with three more children, a growing flock of laying hens, three garden areas, a chicken coop, and a food forest and orchard area. Also occupying space are the three ponds we dug, the nearly 700 square foot house the seven of us reside in, and the 300 square foot structure we used to call home. It took nearly five years to sort of meander our way through those projects and still we have so much more food to grow. But we needed to start thinking about more animals going forward.

When we were deciding what came next, the most logical step was dairy goats. One thing we wanted to try was pasturing the goats and whatever other animals we might end up with someday. When our neighbor offered us the option of purchasing three adjoining acres we began making payments. Abby and Daisy have been picketed on “the pasture” since they came home with us as we awaited the fence project to make it to the top of the to-do list. In May the community helped to put this stretch of fencing up along the dirt road and the video you saw here was the work Stewart and the boys did on the corner posts.

On days when Daddy is not working on the computer and we can’t find him in the garden, the fence is our next best bet. My littlest helpers and I head out the gate and walk (like we mean it, in Ruthie’s case) down the three acres of barbed wire next to the road. Eventually we find Daddy and his helpers digging post holes or pouring concrete or standing back while Daddy works with the wire.

The girls plop down in the road and play in the sand and I ask Stewart what he’d like for supper. Joshua gets some sunshine and his big brothers come over and say “Hello little boy!” and show him what they’ve been working on. And then we walk back on that dirt road, passing cedar and mesquite and eventually the goats… who are probably as excited about the pasture as we are.