Building a homestead

2013/05/16 by Tagged with:  
Posted in: HomesteadingOn the Farm

Meadows Bee Farm MapHow long does it take to learn how to homestead?  What does this actually mean anyway?  People often ask us this and this spring seven years after beginning, our homestead is finding its function.

Over the ensuing years we planted numerous sets of trees, both fruit and nut throughout the farm.

Hillsides have been contoured with swales and ponds have been dug to help us gather water for numerous uses and to help wetter areas dry for cultivation.  We’ve installed water tanks to hold pond water for summer irrigation in the gardens.  We’ve constructed numerous culverts and even a few small bridges to get us over the seasonal creeks and help prevent flooding when the rains come.

We’ve created a veggie garden in on old field on a flat piece of land between numerous woodlands.  Medicinal gardens, an interns garden and several edible forest gardens are cropping up around the farm in pockets here and there.

Hayfields,  pastures for rotational grazing, bee meadows and woodlands complete our fields which offers the sheep, llama and cows the chance to graze the orchard and fields through the property, making sure they have access to nibble the best grass and wild flowers throughout our short summer season.

Firepits and a future tipi create outside areas of their own.

Room for solar voltaic on the ground and solar thermal on the roof provides us with a way to gather alternative energy and reduce our load on the grid.

A few barns provide first shelter and hay storage then a milking parlor, office and workers lounge and numerous places for our two cats Slade and Baumer.   A sugarhouse fills out the buildings.
Finally we have a staged area to act as a sometimes mill and wood gathering place for fenceposts, building wood and firewood.

To organize my thoughts I often begin with sketches as it helps me get my mind around what we’re doing.  This is a good way to envision what is going where and how we will access it.
It lets me dream, plan and document what it means to have a small homestead.

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