About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Get Started and have No Expectations!

Its been a crazy year here on our little city farm. There has been an extreme amount of work put into our backyard but looking back on the year makes me feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to learn so much and even more blessed to have the opportunity to raise my children with this knowledge and experience! Our backyard looked tremendously different this time last year. We had just brought home a few chickens at the end of last year to start our journey to our little city homestead but there was no garden, no goats, no compost, and no canning...just a lot of grass (dead grass and mud pits actually). January 2010 took off and so did we! We started all of our seeds for our garden right in our little loft, built a little "goat barn", petitioned the city and brought home 2 baby goats, plotted and planted a garden, ran drip irrigation, started a compost rotation, canned, dried and froze an incredible amount of veggies from the garden, grew well over 1,000 pounds of veggies, bread both our goats (we hope), collected over 1,000 eggs from "the girls", brewed up a lot of beer and well over 100 bottles of wine, but most importantly we started our journey!

We sure had a tremendous amount of success from our backyard farm, but we sure did have a lot of fails too! All of those failures have brought knowledge and a plan for how to fix it next year! I am so excited for next year!! I know it is going to be very different, seeing as I am going to be having a little baby in May, but we are always up and ready for an adventure! There will be a whole new set of challenges to work through and we sure cant wait to see what 2011 brings! We have high hopes, but our goal is to just keep going and do as much as we can with our time, energy and resources.

We have had so many visitors to our homestead this past year and continually hear people saying how they would love to do what we are doing, but they just don't have any idea where to start...neither did we!! My encouragement to all you newcomers... Get Started and have No Expectations!! Its only been a year for us and we are so encouraged with the steps we have taken and the knowledge we have walked away with just from 1 year. Yes, most of those steps were blind and we rarely knew what was going to be the result, but if we had never taken that first step then we would have missed out on so much! No Expectations - yes, this may sound like a very odd goals, but the entire year we told ourselves "worst case scenario, we fail"...and it is true, that is the worst case scenario! Yes, it was frustrating when we planted all of our plants from seeds and some never even made it to the ground and even more frustrating when we raised a plant from seed and it died or just did plain terrible (6 tomato plants never produced a single tomato!), but through that frustration we gained knowledge and tools for the next attempt!

What to look for from us in 2011!! In April our goats are due to kid and we will have a few baby goats around (for a little while anyway), and in May I am due to have a baby...we are only keeping 1 of these new babies though (yes, my baby!), growing more than our 1,000 lbs of veggies from last year, new adventure of milking goats, worm composting (I hope!), starting our own backyard beehive, and a ton of little things that we could never even plan to learn! Join us in our adventure...we sure can use the advice and encouragement!

Happy New Year!!