Celebrating All of the Newcomers to Homesteading

Reader Contribution by Marissa Buchanan and Buchanan's Barnyard
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With every headline filled with the words “Pandemic,” “food shortage,” and more; I think that most realize we must all live a little more sustainably.  Small farms are seeing a boom in sales and CSA shares. The Pandemic scared everyone and food costs are expected to soar in the coming months. So many people that have never gardened before are planting a garden, people who have never owned livestock are now owning livestock, and many are taking a hard look at their lifestyles.

If the food supply chain was to “break” or even be put under the stress that it has been lately, many worry if they’ll be able to provide for their families. In more Urban Areas, Victory Gardens are becoming the latest trend and I hope that this trend stays. It wasn’t all that long ago that this was the normal way of life. This type of Lifestyle kept our ancestors in shape and alive for millions of years. 

For many, this first step is a small one. Ours was owning chickens. This made us really look at our carbon footprint and we want to leave our land better than we found it for our future generations. We live on only two acres and have everything that we need to supply our family and extended family if the going gets tough. Except for having a well and solar, we are almost to our goals.

Our first year we only had chickens and geese. The second year we added guinea fowl, a garden, a compost area, and four fruit trees. The next year we built a barn which we sadly lost to a fire and replaced it with a shed and a lean to. We also added a small herd of goats. This year, we have added turkeys, a dairy cow, and honeybees. We also planted a small orchard consisting of 16 trees total, two blackberry bushes, two raspberry bushes, and eight blueberry bushes. We also had more fencing put in for field use and are in the process of adding a pond for our waterfowl. 

Take your time learning before doing. Before getting bees, I studied and learned what I could for close to three years. Every step can be intimidating, but with knowledge those steps are easily handled. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at what you have learned when you put it into practice. With more of the population participating in a self-sustainable life, the Earth can heal. 

Marissa Buchananis the owner of Buchanan’s Barnyard, a mini-pig rescue and poultry conservation farm. Connect with heron Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Read all of Marissa’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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