Broadly Speaking, It’ll Do

Sounds JUST like our place! It’ll do. 🙂
Breaking away from the perception of perfect food is a hard one. Home grown tomatoes look different to the supermarket ones (and taste and smell different (better) too) and homegrown carrots are never as straight as the ones in the ships. However, does the straightness of a carrot affect its taste or just its packageability? They fit better in those plastic bags if they are all a certain size.

Union Homestead

Self sufficiency is our ultimate dream but we’re not stupid; we know it’s an impossible one.  

There’s no way the Homestead, in this location and this guise, can ever be totally self sufficient.  There will always be the need for a weekly grocery shop, a monthly electricity bill to pay, and there’s no way we could ever grow all our own animal feed. What we can do is put systems and practices in place that limit our reliance on others; be they people, organisations or the planets resources as a whole. It all sounds very grand and egocentric but really it’s pretty basic when you boil it down.

It starts with growing some of your own food.  The scary thing is that gardening is an art steeped in rules of good practice and right ways to do things. There’s the proper planting times and seed depths, full sun verses semi…

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8 thoughts on “Broadly Speaking, It’ll Do

  1. mikestasse says:

    Actually…….. if you can grow grass, you’re 3/4 of the way to growing your own animal feed. It’s a myth that you have to feed chooks grain. Grow some fodder trees (we like – and they LOVE – ice cream bean trees) and you can feed your goats, without buying anything. Goats will eat any leguminous tree forage, just don’t overshoot your block’s carrying capacity.

    This spring, a lot of our ‘asian greens’ went to seed. I’ve been throwing seeds all over the place to see if they will self seed in the animals’ free range areas, a bit like chop and drop. Should work, I haven’t planted asian greens in years, they all self seed! Make it part of your food forest…. All we need now is some rain to germinate those seeds!

    Good luck..

    • Our major problem is that we only have a 1/2 an acre so we are space limited. Also, one of our goats is missing teeth and struggles with a forage only diet so we have steamed barley and lucerne chaff for them. It’s not sustainable after the crash but until then… We’ve some tagasaste which they love and I plan to plant many more, plan for indigo (goats can eat it, it’s leguminous and I would LOVE to make some of my own indigo dye) and plans for blackwood and wattles, both of which are native and good for goats. 🙂 We also have hawthorn and poplar which they both eat. I hope to sow clucker tucker for the chooks and reckon we can go a long way to growing some of their food but all? Unlikely. As for grass, despite being all poplars and grass when we moved here, we are slowly but surely eliminating anything that could be considered lawn (albeit most unkempt and weed filled lawn) so as to not need a mower. 🙂
      I am also planning to fill a bath and grow azolla which both chooks and goats can eat and hope to stick comfrey everywhere for lots of goat protein and nutrien mining. LOTS more to do but it’s all about the time. Getting there though. 🙂

      • mikestasse says:

        Didn’t realise you only had half an acre…… your place looks bigger in photos! Are the plots around you lived on? Because if any of it isn’r, I’d be inclined to to some guerilla planting myself…….

        Haven’t heard of goats losing teeth before… how old is she? And what’s ‘clucker tucker’?

        I have to say I have been wondering what to do with our ‘front lawn’, as the post crash mowing thing is definitely going to become a huge problem, especially here where the Sartaeia can gro from zero to six foot in about six weeks in Summer!

        • Yep, 1/2 an acre with a seasonal watercourse (stormwater drain with some trees instead of concrete) and a great view being currently eaten up by construction. 😦

          Anna is about 8 or 9 and we believe she may have come a cropper with someone elses horns (she’s been disbudded) or some such. She came to us malnourished as she is unable to forage effectively with missing teeth. Clucker Tucker is a seed mix of good chook food plants. http://www.greenharvest.com.au/PoultrySupplies/Information/ChickenFood.html about 1/2 way down the page.

          Our grass grows for about 3 months of the year. Spring. After that it all dies off for another 9 months. Mind you, it’s an insane 3 months of weekly to biweekly mowing to maintain it at a level uncomfortable to snakes. 😦

  2. Thanks for the reblog 🙂

  3. narf77 says:

    “Homegrown carrots are never as straight as the ones in the ships…THE SHIPS?!” are you going on a voyage Ms Hippy? 😉 Check this out…

    http://foodpreservation.about.com/od/Sausage/r/Spicy-Scrapple.htm

    Breakfast meats for people who don’t want to buy breakfast meats any more…

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