Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Protecting My Investment

Moving from a two income family to a one income head of household has been challenging to say the least. When I sat back took stock and thought about where I wanted to go with my life, knowing that I was now really in the drivers seat I kept coming back to the things that have always pulled at my heartstrings. For as long as I can remember I known I wanted to live a life in balance with nature and one of the ways for me to do that is to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible. I wanted my own farm, hobby farm, way out west ranch, homestead, whatever you want to call it, I have had a vision in my head that won't go away.

In the past in my attempts to make it happen, I have jumped into way too many projects at once not thinking and planning things through as well as I should have resulting in losses, costly losses. I no longer have the luxury of making those kinds of mistakes. This time around I feel like I have a really good focus on what is important.

My steps towards my goals have been well planned and I have not taken on more than I could handle. The results are so gratifying. I have nine healthy hens who on average produce 6-7 eggs a day. I eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast and have a great sense of satisfaction that my girls are feeding me, we are dependant on each other. I have the beginning of a really good meat rabbit supply, with one pregnant female and two younger ones who can be bred in about five more weeks. My pair of Yorkshire pigs with hopefully produce a litter this spring or early summer and I will be on my way to a steady source of pork. I am paying very close attention to the health and well being of my animals making sure to learn as much as I can about the best practices as I go.

My point is that this time around I have been very careful to focus on how to get the best yield out of my investment and am constantly re-evaluating what my next step should be. Its really hard to blow 30 bucks on a new sweater when I think about how that might go towards the cool cheese press I have had my eye on, or the hand grain mill I have wanted for so long. My priorities have drastically changed. I feel like finally I am on the right track and as long as I maintain this kind of rational approach I feel confident that I will see my plans a success.

While I try to have a farmers attitude towards the animals I can't say that I am not attached to each and every one of them, I spend hours just watching the things they do and have established a trusting relationship with all of them. Killing an animal is not something I will ever take lightly, but I feel that if I am going to eat meat I can at least feel good about where it came from and the life that it led and know that it was killed quickly with the least amount of suffering possible.
I know that this home that I am living in now is not the final resting place of my dreams but while I am here I am learning all I can and preparing for the next phase in my life, one that will hopefully take me back out west to build the homestead that I will spend the rest of my life on.
I hope that by this time next year I will be posting that a much greater amount of my families food came right off of this little homestead. I see so many of my fellow bloggers accomplishing exactly what I have set out to do, I have to thank you for your continued blog posts that motivate me to continue on the path that my heart insists I travel. By the way Dad if you are reading this, your blog is my greatest inspiration of all.