northernhomesteader


To do or not to do….where on the list should it go?

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Thank you for this great post over at Not Dabbling in Normal You’ve inspired me to consider the lists in our lives a little more deeply.

Do you have a “to do” list…or does your spouse have a “honey do list” for you? Do you use multiple lists or different areas in your life? Perhaps one for groceries, one for repairs, one for homestead upgrades, one for hobby wants/needs, etc?

I would be lost without my lists, and my wife would definitely also be lost without hers. I am a techy-type, so prefer to keep my lists on my iPhone’s “notes” app or as calendar entries on my Mac. Tanya prefers the large coiled scribbler method. In fact, I am actually writing this blog post in the Notes app…after having added the “lists” idea to my list of blog post ideas….

We most definitely have a number of different areas to build and manage lists from We were able to knock a few off the various lists in 2011, including:

-clear land
-build coop
-get chickens
-get rooster
-get feather plucker
-learn to process chickens
-fencing and fencing and fencing (this one is definitely not complletely finished yet…)
-get pigs
-get rabbits (well..only one doe so far…so that item is also still on the list….)
-provide heat sources for the aforementioned critters…and also keep their various water dishes in a liquid state throughout the winter
-learn how to and make yogurt

Plenty of items on 2012’s list, including:

-get more rabbits
-build rabbitry and rabbit arks
-put in garden
-more fencing and cross fencing
-begin compost piles from all the critters “night soil”
-look at worm bins (as our 2011 worm bin didn’t work out too well!)
-dig a well
-determine and implement alternative heat sources
-explore solar and/or wind power options
-dig a dug out/pond
-consider ducks
-consider goats
-learn how to and then dehydrate food
-learn how to and then can food
-learn how to and then preserve meat through smoking, etc

Should be another fun year!



From the desk of a brand new blogger….

Well…one of my 2012 New Years resolutions was to finally start a blog….  So here we are, a brand new blog entry from  brand new blogger.

To be honest, I do not really know where to start, so perhaps I will start at the beginning of our journey into self-sufficiency….  Make no mistake, we certainly have not yet “arrived”, but we are definitely closer than where we were 5 years ago.

We own a home that is Southeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and we are situated on a 16 acre piece of land at the end of dead-end road.  We have only a handful of neighbors…and plenty of moose and deer who like to visit. We have  two dogs, and many cats.  I am a husband and father of three, and most recently became a grandfather as well.  Our 3 daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter are all integral parts of this family team, and we are working together to create a better lifestyle for today and for the future.

Back in  2006, we first began to understand the impact of the food that we eat upon our overall heath and well-being.  More accurately…we began to understand the negative impact that the antibiotics, growth hormones, and factory-farming-conditions that our food lived in and with had already had and were continuing to create.  We decided that it had to stop, and began taking steps towards becoming a more organic home.

Wow…talk about a long walk down the road of expensive groceries and supplements!  Thankfully, we have been blessed with a successful business and (mostly) understanding children, and as a result we were able to very quickly move our home from a completely-non-organic home to an almost-all-organic home.   During this time we have learned an awful lot of things, and this blog will help to chronicle some of that.  We have also learned that buying organic is only one way to protect ourselves from what might be in our food….  We have since realized that by growing our own…we can keep a much better eye on our food supply and how it is raised and treated.

What started out as a discussion one cold spring day around whether to try a greenhouse or square foot gardening, and how to go about clearing some of our bush to accommodate these…led to an initial group of four egg-laying hens…which led to more hens, a rooster (and of course subsequent chicks), pot-bellied pigs, and even a rabbit…..  For a family that up until recently had almost always bought their groeries at the local grocery store, and enjoyed many meals in many restaurants…things were about to change for the better.

Some of the topics that I plan to address will be livestock and small farm options, Northern climate gardening issues, preparing for the unexpected, and eventually alternative energy option and ideas.  Along the way I will review various books, DVDs, tools, and equipment that we have used or experienced.  I may also bring in other bloggers and guests, in an effort to share all that we have learned and are continuing to learn.

So, I hope that you will subscribe to this blog, and that you will enjoy what we share.  I look forward to interacting with you through comments, and to bringing you along on our homesteading adventures.

Talk soon!

Jason




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