Being Self-sufficient

Discussion in 'The Chatter Box' started by mistyblue, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    I do believe that we are well on our way to being at least half way self suffiecient. We have 21 acres that we have 5 horses, 20 goats, and a garden. We will soon have chickens and rabbits.

    So between the goats, chickens and rabbits we should do well on having meat for the table along with the eggs and milk. We will also on occasion get a pig or a steer for slaughter, plus the deer lease. With the garden wich is vegatable and fruit, oppps almost forgot that we also planted a few fruit trees this year, we should have plenty of veggies and fruit. Now on this land is also alot of dewberry bushes.

    So with learning to make jellies and how to can fruits/veggies and even meats, plus the dehydrater that we will be getting for jerky, I think we should do pretty well on our own.

    Does anyone else do this and any tips are welcome. Especially as I am not that handy in the kitchen and just learning how to can/freeze/make just about everything.
     
  2. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    736
    Mar 2, 2008

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Cinder...those are very informative.....thanks for the links.... :greengrin:
     
  4. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    You will love being self sufficient. Those are 2 good sites that Cinder already posted. Here is one for canning http://www.homecanning.com/ I'm just starting on my canning adventure and I love it. Don't forget to barter and trade. We've gotten many things for free that way. I sell hay, so I traded hay for a pig, then sold half the pig to my step son, which paid for the hay I originally bought. So that juicy bacon and ham cost me nothing. Be creative and find ways that will in turn cost you nothing or little to nothing. Where there's a will there's a way. We even got a free Angus cow 2 years ago because she gave birth and couldn't use her back legs anymore and the farmer didn't have room in his freezer for her. So he just gave her to us. We have a steer who is being fed and kept at the neighbors for free because they had another calf they didn't want to be alone. Be kind to your neighbors :hug:
     
  5. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Thanks for the links, they are now saved in my bookmarks. As for being kind to the neighbors that is always a given, as you just never know. As far as trading, I would have never thought of that, what a good ideal.

    This is really a new adventure as far as the canning is concerned. I really am not very handy in the kitchen, I thought learning about milking goats was alot, sheesh. But I think I can get the hang of it without blowing up the kitchen.
     
  6. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    Don't forget to learn how to make cheese, yogurt, ice cream. That goat milk will make all kinds of cheeses. You can also make your own wines from some of your left over fruits or the undesireable pieces from the canning.
     
  7. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    and with that many goats you will more then likely have enough milk to make goat milk soap and lotion. I have also heard of people making goat milk laundry degerant and shampoo and conditioner. as well as goat milk lip balm. which i have tried and other then bag balm its the best i have ever used.
    beth
     
  8. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    LOL - Ok, Ok I am not sure I am ready for all that yet. I will probably wait until we live where the goats are. Right now I live 15 minutes away from our land.

    But all of you have given some wonderful ideals and suggestions that I will be saving for later use. I am still trying to get the hang of just milking and using the goats milk for drinking right now. Plus with the garden, then chickens and rabbits, I am going to need some help. :ZZZ:
     
  9. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    Funny story ... I managed to blow up the kitchen once. I was in high school and doing a project for the science fair, involving melting wax. So I had a saucepan full of wax on the stove top, anyway it caught fire ... and at the time I didnt know that its a bad idea to add water to burning wax ... so I ran over to the sink and shoved the saucepan under the tap. Well, I singed off my eyebrows and left a great big black mark on the kitchen ceiling :oops:
     
  10. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    :ROFL: :shocked: :ROFL: :ROFL: Those are pics I would like to have seen
     
  11. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    Keren, that is too funny!! My SIL almost blew off my head trying to get the gas stove to work.. she's only used electric before and I went over to help her.. now we don't let her near the stove :wink:

    As for being self sufficient, besides goats (soap, milk, cheese, and yogurt), we have about 250 chickens for eggs and meat, we have several ducks and turkeys for eggs and some meat, my dad and uncles have an elk ranch but he's getting out of that, but that supplied some meat, we have four gardens where we grow potatoes, squash, pumpkin, beans, peas, carrots, chart, celery, lettuce, onions, garlic, gourds, peppers, beets, sweet corn, the fruit patches, bushes and trees include apricots, cherries, elderberries, apples, currents, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes (supposedly its a fruit.. so I'll go with that), gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries, and grapes. My mom cans, makes jellies and jams, and makes wine. We grow/raise 80% of our own food, the rest of the food we buy, if we need it, we buy at bent and dent food stores. All of the other animals like the peafowl and pigeons are mainly hobbies, but I do sell some pigeons for meat.

    As for advice, just stick with it, its alot of hard work and its easy to jump on the band wagon and buy those nasty foods in the stores, but if you stick with being self sufficient you'll be alot healthier and better off.
     
  12. Dreamchaser

    Dreamchaser New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Camp Verde, AZ
    Wow thanks for the links. I am trying to become self sufficient as well. One reason why I am here! I read Countryside magazine among others, and love it. I have only 2 acres right now, and the way that it seems the world is going these days, I am seriously thinking of moving out into the boonies and starting a farming homestead.
     
  13. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    I love our place, it only has one way in or out, landlocked except for the entrance road. I have been trying for the last year to have the owners sell to us, think I have finally wore them down. LOL
     
  14. GoatGirl

    GoatGirl New Member

    58
    Mar 23, 2009
    Portland, TN
    Get lots of heriloom veggies . . . They taste the best, and you don't have to buy your seed every year. We have some of the best German tomatoes, and we just start them a little early in our greenhouse (or get a minonite who lives close to when we are using the greenhouse as an emergency barn). Since then, we have collected at least 20 different kinds of heirloom veggie seeds.
     
  15. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Oh man, the garden is not going so good this year. My brother decided he wanted it at his house, so we put in a garden for him, buy the seeds, have him plant them in the little planting boxes and then when they sprout he can put them in the garden.

    We go over this Saturday to plant the garden, we should have had 2 different types of corn, beans, squash, and tomatoes. Nope, the only thing that came up was the squash and the beans, luckily we also brought some tomatoe and peppers plants to add.

    I also have 3 of those old clawfoot bathtubs out on the property that I will be planting strawberries and melons in. Just have to figure out how to keep the wildlife out of them.
     
  16. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    Chicken wire..... also make sure you put it at least 6in in the ground, gotta keep out the diggin critters. about 4 feet tall should work just keep it about 2-3 feet away from the garden so you have room to work and longnecked (deer) critters cant get in.Good luck with it. :thumb:
     
  17. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    What my granny used to do around her garden was to collect the hair in my momsand aunts hairbrushes and put it in those plastic mesh bags that onions from the store are sold in...she would tie these bags of hair to the corner posts of her garden fence and also to the fence itself....the human scent would discourage the deer from getting too close.....I have also heard that if you plant marigolds aroud the perimeter it keeps groundhogs and rabbits away...they have such a strong scent that those critters don't like them.
     
  18. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Burpee seeds did a test garden in Lancaster last year. $100 worth of seeds and supplies returned over $2500.00 in veggies. I purchased 10 strawberry plants last year, I just "straightened up" the little "patch" from last year and I have two full raised beds 5x16 full of strawberry plants!
     
  19. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Since I have three of the bathtubs, I have decided to plant carrots in one, cucumbers in another, and strawberries and melons in another. I will be fencing it off with chicken wire and hoping for the best.

    We planted our garden last Saturday and it is just barely making it. We are having to water it twice a day, we finally received some rain yesterday and last night but it really was not enough.

    The corn, and tomatoes did not make it, the only thing growing right now is the peppers, squash, beans and the pumpkins. Even the sunflowers did not grow. :hair:
     
  20. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Well, the day after I got the strawberries all planted and happy, it looked like somebody (chickens) had a party out there. Digging and eating my worms! Darn chickens. Dug up the plants and messed it all up, but just in one bed. So, replanted, and put some plastic chicken "wire" over top of the bed to keep 'em out.

    I made a compost heap with the used straw/hay from the kidding stalls last year, it was a heap about 4'hx7'w. It "cooked" down to a pile about 12" tall, wow does it look like good stuff! So, I haven't got it all moved yet, but I did get about 4 wheel barrows full, and then I got smart and got the garden tractor and trailer and almost have finished moving it out to the garden. I've got enough still to mulch my fruit trees with.

    It's finally raining enough to water in my lime! I'm so happy. Anyone got any other ideas how to get rid of all the moss growing in my pasture?