Off-Grid Agrarianism

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66 articles in category Off-Grid Agrarianism / Subscribe

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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.

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The days are warm and the nights are cool and the rain falls with some semblance of regularity. When we walk the land we find pear blossoms and salad makings and dirt filled with seeds at all stages of life. It is spring, so they say.

I’d say this is a busy time of year but I can’t quite remember one that wasn’t, so maybe it’s just another season. It beckons us all outside with fence work and seed planting and laundry hanging. It hints at garden potential with fava bean leaves, cilantro, garden thinnings, and garlic scapes.

It is a sweet time of year when the smells of rain and soil mingle to make it feel almost like summer in Minnesota.