Oct 112010

Have you ever wanted to move to the country and become more self sufficient? If so, you are not alone. More and more people are choosing to move out to a more rural setting and acquire some land.

You don’t have to go crazy and buy 10, 15 or 29 acres. Even 5 acres will allow you to live a country lifestyle and become more self sufficient. You have your land, now what? The first step you need to take to become more self reliant is to grow your very own garden. If you have never gardened before, small may be better the first year. Any garden can be a lot of work and a very large garden can be a huge amount of labor so be sure you know what you are getting into.

Once your garden is lush and producing abundantly, you should consider learning to preserve your harvest. There is really no sense in growing lots of veggies if you can’t have them through the winter months. You can also talk to your neighbors and maybe trade some of your abundant veggies for some you didn’t grow this year. It is also possible to learn to harvest your own seeds to put up for next year.

Living in a more rural area usually means that you can find wild fruit trees and berries like black berries, cherries, plums, apples, etc. You may also check with your neighbors to see if they have any fruit trees that they don’t mess with or that maybe have an overabundance of fruit. This is a great free way to be able to put up jambs, jellies and juices for the winter months. Just be sure that you don’t “steal” from your neighbors by getting permission first.

The next thing that all small farms need to become more self sufficient are livestock. Chickens are perfect animals to start with because they are small, easy to care for and they can provide eggs and even meat for the not faint of heart. You will need some chicken fencing, a chicken coop and a chicken run if you have a lot of predators.

Depending on how adventurous and strong of stomach you are, you can also try your hand at raising a few rabbits, goats and hogs for meat as well. The goats are also a great source of milk that you can drink or you can sell in your local area.

You can live a country lifestyle and become more self sufficient. Living this kind of lifestyle can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.

CLICK HERE to get more ideas on how to become more self sufficient.

Jun 272010

I made the decision to buy some chicks a few years ago on a whim.  Now, I can’t image not having my chickens because they have given me a certain amount of self sufficiency that I really enjoy.

People ask me all the time if they pay for themselves and really, that isn’t what this is about for me.  I usually say I doubt it and I really don’t care.  This is more about my need to not be so dependent on others to feed me and my family. 

Chicken care and chick care are all about how to best take care of my family and my flock.  A broody hen is a great thing to me becaus she is ready to raise the next generation of chicks for me.

My chickens provide eggs, meat and new chicks for future egg layers and meat producers.  They also provide a lot of fertilizer for my garden in the form of chicken poop.  The chicken poop makes my vegetable garden healthier and it produces a lot more vegetables for me to feed to my family as well as sell to locals.

They also provide a lot of entertainment. I can spend hours watching baby chicks run and play as they discover the joys of being outside.  I also love to watch my hens and roosters peck and scratch around the yard.  Even when they manage to escape and cause havoc in the garden, I still have to chuckle at them.

So, to those of you considering raising chickens and making a profit, I wish you luck.  I’m sure it can be done but I’m just not that into that.  My initial goal wasn’t to be more self sufficient but it has transformed into that for me as the years passed.  I enjoy knowing that no matter what our government does or the state of the economy, I will be able to feed my family.

To learn how I figured out how to build my very first chicken coop without pulling my hair out, check this out.

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