The First Year on a Homestead:
What We Accomplished and Future Goals
Tropical Storms and First Years on a Homestead
The first year on a homestead has been kind of wild. We’re officially experiencing our first storm, Tropical Storm Colin, as homeowners and homestead owners! Although we’re calmly watching countless episodes of Netflix we’re also hoping that Colin doesn’t completely wipe out our gardens. We have so many crops planted out there and it would just be a shame to lose it all. Being a homeowner is so nerve-wracking and, if I’m being honest, we don’t even have homeowners insurance! It turns out that insurance companies don’t love to ensure modular homes with farms. Who would’ve known that? Picky-picky.
Raised and Learned
We’ve had a good first year on the homestead here in Homosassa. We hatched our own chicks which were very fun and educational! We bought a special incubator, one for beginners, and it is really great. It’s called the Brinsea Mini Advance Hatching Egg Incubator and you can incubate all types of poultry in it! Turkey, Duck, Quail, Chicken, YOU NAME IT!
This incubator turns the eggs for you and everything and is worth every penny. I will say that if you’re planning to incubate a large number of eggs, this incubator is not for you. On our homestead, we only ever incubate 7 eggs or less at a time so it’s the perfect fit. UPDATE 4/12/2018: There is a newer version now (also a little cheaper) called the Brinsea Products Mini || Advance Automatic 7 Egg Incubator.
Another thing I can tell you after our first year on the homestead is that raising ducklings is a really messy thing to do! This was not a fun thing to learn. Also, we weren’t very prepared for the ducklings when we got them. We just had a little blue kiddy pool with bedding, a heat lamp, and spots for their food and water. THEY SOAKED EVERYTHING within the first few hours.
Grew and Prevented
We also grew our own vegetables and found that the easiest veggies to grow for beginners are zucchini, squash, beans, and red Russian kale! Another thing we did…or were forced to do better yet, is learn how to keep digging dogs inside of a fence. You dig a foot or two down and lay the chicken wire in the trenches, zip tie them, and then cover them up. Now…one side of the dog yard is about 50 feet long. So we had to dig, lay, and tie around 150 ft or chicken wire in the ground. But, it worked so that’s great.
When we went into our shed, where we were keeping them for some insane reason, and there were flies all around. And I mean 50-100 flies just buzzing around the wet, matted, poop filled kiddy pool. Those poor duckies. If we ever raise ducks again, I’ll be building a proper space!
The First Year on a Homestead Was…
A serious learning experience! The first year on a homestead was a serious learning experience and I can’t wait to continue onward! Of course, we learned far more than what I told you in this post. If I put all my knowledge in this one blog post, I’d have to publish it as a tiny eBook. I’m convinced this is probably the healthiest way to live and I really wonder where we’ll be in 5 or 10 years, or even this time next year! I hope you check back in! Happy Homesteading!U