Farm Wife · Homesteading

Why I Choose to Homestead

My heart is giddy with excitement. The idea of new baby chicks, ducklings, and piglets have me on edge with excitement for spring. Not to mention garden seed orders, plans of a flower garden and the additions of new animals to the farm have me bouncing. But first, I want to share with you why I choose the lifestyle I do. So here it is! The desires of one farm wife and why she wants to homestead!

I get the question so often. Too often sometimes. Sometimes it annoys me. Sometimes I am happy to ramble on. That question “You want to farm?…” gets thrown at me so many times. Or my favourite, “I didn’t think you were that type.”Ha! Well surprise surprise. I am.

I didn’t think at first I’d be a homesteader, a farmer, or a farmer’s wife. As many of you know I’ve pursued not one, but two university degrees to become a social worker all to decide I’m the happiest living life right here on our farm. Shawn didn’t ask me to stay home, he didn’t tell me to stay home, but in many of our heart to heart conversations discussing life we just landed at the fact that it was the right decision for us. For me.

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Shawn decided in our first year of marriage to raise a few meat chickens for ourselves. I was great with that idea. I liked the idea of having our own chickens in the deep freeze. So we dove in. But that one small decision, led to another, which led to another and here we are. I’m a full-blown homesteader, farmer, farmer’s wife and mother. I still don’t know what to call myself, what title do I pick? But for now (and hopefully always!), I called myself blessed.

Those few years ago when I chose to homestead I didn’t envision all of this. I didn’t envision the orchard, the hatching of baby chicks, or the addition of pigs and turkeys. I thought we were just going to raise a few chickens. But life had different plans. Plans I gladly choose to dive into each day. Now daily, I choose to homestead because I am able to stay home and watch over our farm and animals during the day while Shawn is at work (Hey! Something has to pay the bills!). I get to stay at home with Emma, leaving her out of daycare and free to have her own little routine at home. I also get to learn new skills that increase my homesteading knowledge. Just last week I made homemade bread! All by hand. I was so satisfied and it felt so good to know what I was putting into my family’s mouths. I don’t take this lightly. The more I get to stay home, the better I get to care for my family. I get to make homemade products like soap, I get to research alternatives to using harsh cleaning chemicals and I get to prepare homemade meals for us to gather around at the table each evening.

I get to make choices that lead to a healthier and happier life for my family and for myself. But most of all, and it may seem selfish, but I get to fall in love with this life I’ve been given. We’ve all had losses that make us realize that this life is too short. So I’m determined to carve out a life that makes me and my family happy. Nothing brings greater joy to me than to see my husband’s smile, when his dreams come true on this farm, or when our baby girl gets to play with chicks and ducklings. It’s no small blessing.

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I want to enjoy this life. I want to walk out into the field and see beauty all around me. I want to feel pure happiness in my heart. And right here. That’s where I’m finding it. And that’s why I choose to homestead…

L.

 

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

– Mary Oliver

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12 thoughts on “Why I Choose to Homestead

  1. Great post, and when I see you again, will you tell me all about making soap? Have to visit soon, in spring and see all the animals! Paula

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  2. Yesterday we called the bank and they asked me what the address of my workplace was. I felt blessed to say I was a stay-at-home mom. She said your a “homemaker” good for you. I had never thought of that title, but I love it. I can totally relate to your post! Although I am 12 floors up from the ground in a small apartment building, getting to see the beauty of my family each and everyday is such a blessing. I too made some homemade bread with stew today. Super yummy! We will have to trade recipes sometime πŸ™‚

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  3. Love this post. I am envious of your lifestyle but excited at the same time as I imagine myself doing it all one day as well. I moved from Toronto to a 100+ acre property on PEI so I could do everything you just said- stay home, raise kids and animals, garden, make things from scratch! I am eating up your Instagram posts and gorgeous photos, trying to figure out where to start with our land… πŸ™‚

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      1. I would love, love to pick your brain about raising pigs! We are looking to get two this spring for slaughter in the fall. I think two is good to start with, eventually more in future years. I have read countless books but none written by island farmers so some first hand experience would be greatly appreciated (with all the free time you have, haha). We are currently planning out a shelter for them, which we would build as soon as the weather allows.

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      2. No worries, it’s our ‘quiet’ time of the year! πŸ™‚ In short, we raise heritage pigs on pasture. Heritage breeds do so much better outside – they’re built for it and don’t sunburn like a pink/industry bred pig would! We give our piglets shelter only for the first couple of days to train them to the electric net fence, which they spend the summer and fall in. Both for their protection and to keep them where they are allowed. After that we just make sure that they are on a piece of pasture that has trees and that becomes their shelter for the summer (until it gets too cold) but preferably they would go to butcher before this! In addition to the pasture we give them a hog grower (pigs need the protein) and then supplement with garden scraps, pumpkins and apples!

        It’s so fun to see how happy they are on pasture! It allows for the ‘pigness of the pig’ (- Joel Salatin). Pigs are so much fun! Have great personalities! They’re a great animal to start with if you plan on getting into bigger livestock eventually!

        Let me know if you have any other specific questions and I’d be happy to do my best to answer them! πŸ™‚

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      3. Thank you so much for the info πŸ™‚ We are going to have our pigs on pasture as well- we have the space so why not! But we would have to make them a shelter as the area we want to put them has no trees so they wouldn’t have any shade otherwise. Right now we are planning out the shelter and fencing (sturdy wooden fencing with a strand of electric along the bottom). What do you use as a waterer for them? I know they can drink a ton of water, especially in the heart of summer, and I know they can be quite playful and knock over their feed and water dishes to play with πŸ™‚ Finally, would you have any piglets to sell this spring? I remember reading somewhere that you were hoping to breed your females. We are also hoping to get some heritage breed laying hens this spring if you have any of those for sale as well, but we would want our coop set up before we get them so we’re still a few weeks away from getting both pigs and hens.

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      4. So glad to hear that! Pasture is best!! πŸ™‚ We use water drinkable water hose run to water nipples (attached to a steal rod hammered into the ground – pigs are strong!). Fir their feed dish we use a rubber pan or this year we bought an industrial hog feeder…as long as you don’t mind climbing in with them the rubber pan is fine and they haven’t destroyed one on us yet! I can always send you a picture of our sow house that we use if you want an idea for housing! We plan to sell piglets as long as we get enough! Our black girl (Berkshire) is showing signs of being pregnant so fingers crossed! And we’ll be selling chicks as well πŸ™‚

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  4. Great! A photo of your sow house would be greatly appreciated. There is so much info out there it’s hard to known what will hold up or what the pigs might destroy. We would definitely be interested in getting two piglets from you if your litter wasn’t already spoken for. You can email me directly if you think that would be easier πŸ™‚ I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!

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