Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dreaming of Homesteading - Long Range on the Range

Christian and I have been trying to determine what we will do long term.  For some time we've thought about having a subsistence farm of sorts where we could produce our own fruits, vegetables, electricity, and compost.  We became fascinated with self-sustainable housing - a kind of homesteading for the 21st century.

Christian lived in Ojai for the first 5 years of his life.  His family kept chickens and rabbits for food.  Of course, Christian also has a hunter's instinct as well.  He figured out how to spear fish as a child and feels very comfortable with a gun.  I on the other hand, feel better with plants (though I had a limited exposure to gardening as a child).  In order to be more self sufficient, we would need to have other lactating animals, such as goats, sheep, or other larger herding animals. 

Goats and sheep are easier than other animals, and certainly much less expensive than say lamas. Cattle are a typical choice for farmers, however they require a hands-on approach.  Bison, however, can be used completely and are less high maintenance.  Keep them in an environment that mirrors their natural habitat as much as possible, and they're fine.

Having a homestead is far from our current place in life.  Owning land that is ready to support a small farm and a family is not exactly in our immediate financial future.  Right now I'm still waiting to find out what is happening to us this summer, to our now unemployed renters in Phoenix, and all the other smaller issues contingent on those circumstances.  Still, a girl can dream, can't she? For now I'll settle for visualizing my homegrown Bison steaks on our grill.

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