We are trying to be as self sufficient as possible, so we do a lot of canning and freezing. Also cold room storage. We have started saving our own seeds, which we'll be planting for the first time in 2009 (rutabaga and carrot). By the following year, we hope to be able to add mangels and sugar beets to the seed list.
We raise weaner pigs, purchasing them in the Spring and butchering them ourselves in mid-October. My husband does his own brining and smoking of bacons and hams. We also trade pork for lamb and hopefully this year also beef. We also raise meat birds (Cornish Giants) to fill our freezers and those of our families and friends. We have laying hens to provide us with eggs. We sell eggs which in turn purchases the hens feed.
We grow as much of our animal feed as possible, relying on our huge veggie garden and our two animal gardens. Mangels, sugar beets, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, etc. What we don't use for ourselves goes to the animals.We want to continue to expand on this, as we would like to stay away from the feed store, if possible.
We're both originally city kids, so when we moved here, we didn't really know what we were doing. This has resulted in a lot of laughter in our neighbourhood, from folks who have listened to our (sometimes silly) questions. They tell us they're glad to see some new people come and trying living off the land, and they are eager to help us with advice or if we have problems.
A Place in My Country (Amazon.com)
A Place in My Country (Amazon.co.uk)
Urban Homesteading Blogs
Blogs about France