I am the odd ball of my family that is for sure, they look at me like I am crazy one minute and then I get that look of aha! the next minute. I always knew I was different because I liked stuff that never interested anyone else in the family.
No, I am not into the "country" look or any of that, I actually like the modern look. I do not want a log cabin or dead animals hanging on the walls either. I want closed windows and air conditioning when its extremely hot.
There are a few things that I want and they are :
1- free power
2- free water
3- food growing in my own yard
People are always saying "sure have yourself a garden then get real, no one gets free power or water." But what they do not understand is I want food growing all year round, 365 days and I want to capture it at its peak and preserve it in my kitchen, in jars for the most part.
Life is crazy as it is and I am wanting to take it a step further, free or a cheap as I can get it, as in $1 packs of seeds.
But there is so much to learn, I am living and learning this lifestyle. I want to know more and more so I buy the books, one at a time and I read it, sometimes I reread it for it to soak up in this thick head.
Get the knowledge and then..... DO it!
So.... I try.
When I was growing up my mom had a greenhouse and she raised and sold houseplants, she passed away and every place we lived after that my dad had a garden in the back yard, till the day he died he had a garden for vegetables and fruits, flowers in the front of the house. I come from a long line of green thumbs. But for the life of me I did not understand the work involved in the greenhouse. Open and vent daily, close before dark. What kind of heat? Well solar for me in the form of drums filled with water, someone told me to use an electric heater, no! If I want to pay for power I would just buy the food and not grow it.
The greenhouse, maybe I am not cut out for growing in a greenhouse, not yet anyways. But I have not gave up just yet.
A root cellar? This is what I do need to keep my home canned food cool in the summertime. A plus is storage space too, but who do I get to dig one, someone with a backhoe? How much does those cost to rent or hire? how many blocks do I need?
Or Should I forget about all the other wants and go for the well first? I am sure they will hit water near the surface, this are is know to flood with the Springtime rains.Not every year but I have seen a couple here since I have been living in this area. I have names of several in the area but have yet to get the courage up to ask " how much?" I am afraid it will cost so much I will just give up right then and there when I hear the cost.
Although I am still on the grid I am learning and doing somethings that I want to try to make money, if one day I need to barter, I make all types of jams and jellies already but I am reading up on tapping trees for syrup and I am about to attempt to make soap.
I am learning about mushrooms and Tony picked a mess of turkey tails yesterday and they are in the dehydrator as I write this, for turkey tail mushroom tea, did you know they are supposed to help cure cancer? Yes I know these are edible mushrooms, so does Tony.
I am also learning about which weeds I can eat and which I cannot, some say do not eat poke weed but I was raised cooking and eating poke weed, we call it poke salad, its all in how you cook it, now eating it raw would make you sick but no one does that! As for the berries of poke weed its used for ink.
If I can manage I would love Chickens for the eggs, fertilizer and meat. When?
I need equipment, I mean equipment that costs. A tractor and a backhoe would be awesome.
There is more but I reckon I need to sit down with pen and paper and write down what needs to be done here and if I will do it, money is always the problem, everything costs so much.
For many this life would not fit well with them because they depend on others to grow them food or kill the animals for the meat, for me it does fit but I am still not sure if I can make this work, especially at my age and for the most part all alone.
2017 was not a good year for me and the homestead, a few times I was broken and gave up, something in me always got back up again. I have missed a whole month, December, around here because I caught the flu, The homestead does not care, it wants to be tended to and that is something else I need to think about, what if I get sick, who will feed the animals and tend the plants?
So in 2018 I will see and ask myself "Can I do this?" or "Do I really want to?"
I often have sleeping dreams of no land and just traveling with a silver bullet, dogs on back of the truck...... Who know where life will lead me.
By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry