Today I wanted to talk about how our family and farm breakdown.
Our family includes five children ages 13,11,9,7,and 4, and my husband and I. We homeschool, so all of us are home for all three meals. Our children have a decent size appetite, especially after helping around the farm! My husband and I are average size and build, about 5' 6 for my husband and 5' 4 for me.
The farm includes a 300lb hog, two turkeys, 3 roosters, 20 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 rabbits, 3 barn cats, 1 indoor cat, and our English Mastiff puppy. The turkeys and 2 roosters are heading out to be processed this week and the pig will go on the 23rd.
The farm sits on five acres but we only have not even a half acre in pasture for the animals. I do buy our hay but I'm going to attempt to see if next year our neighbor who has a dairy farm could bale the field for me so I don't have to buy hay.
We live a old farm house built in 1832. We have no air conditioning, not even window units. Our source of heat is a wood burner. The house is between 1800-1900 square feet. There is a basement but it's the original basement so it's not usable for much except storing outdoor toys. We also have an attic that isn't usable as an extra living space but makes great storage!
Our hens provide all of our egg needs as well as some to sell. We only have one dairy goat in milk right now, but the other has been bred so God willing we will have another doe in milk sometime in January. Our currently milking doe is going to be bred soon so I'll be able to milk for another couple months before we dry her up.
This was our first year raising meat turkeys and a hog. I would totally raise another pig! It really didn't cost us much to feed her and I just love her personality! I don't know if we'll do turkeys again. They eat a ton of feed and are not the smartest animals. However, I said I wouldn't do meat birds again but we do it every year!! If we do raise turkeys again, I need to really think about where I want to keep them. They are so smelly!! All of our meat chickens were killed in one night so we won't have any this year. We are butchering a couple rooster and older hens though.
We grow a large garden that helps feed us through the summer and winter. It is still currently producing an abundance of red raspberries and our ever bearing strawberries are producing their fall crop now. I was able to put up an entire years worth of corn, green beans, pepper, and tomato products from our garden this year. We also have black raspberry plants, black berry plants, and several rows of June bearing strawberry plants. I have blueberries planted but they haven't produced anything yet. This year was the first year that all the plants were really producing so I didn't buy much fruit at all.
We are also blessed to have a local orchard just a couple miles away that provides all our apple needs for really great prices. I buy almost a bushel of apple a week for $14.00 my children eat those for fruit and whatever else is coming from the garden.