Big Changes

By the end of June, I think this is going to feel like a whole new homestead. There are some big changes coming this spring!

In the last month, we’ve made several major decisions. We ordered a tractor, we’re getting pigs, and we ordered chickens and turkeys! The tractor is going to (hopefully) allow us to take care of some bigger projects this year. Recently, I mentioned that we ordered a greenhouse as well, so things are really taking on a different feel!

The decision to buy a tractor was sudden, and yet not really. We have talked about it sort of off-handedly in the past. We didn’t have the resources to buy one, and we really discussed the possibility of getting a loader bucket more than a tractor.

Originally, we were planning to build a summer kitchen this year, but after talking it over, we decided a tractor would be a better option for now. In order to build the building, we were going to need to rent equipment to do some more cleanup around the slab anyway. And then we needed to rent equipment to take care of certain other projects as well, and, well… it just made more sense to buy the tractor.

So, we ordered the tractor. We do not have possession of it yet. We weighed the pros and cons of buying used, and when it came down to it, buying something that would fit all of our needs and last a long time was a better choice for us. We’re going on close to a month since we ordered the tractor, and they said it could take anywhere from 45-90 days for the tractor to come in. Covid really slowed down production, and it means we’re on a waiting list.

The waiting is a bit of a disappointment, as we’d be actively using the tractor already, but it works out okay since we have a bit of prep work to do before the tractor comes, anyway. But we would appreciate prayers that it comes in sooner rather than later as it would be incredibly helpful to have in order to do all of the garden amendments this year. I don’t want to be shoveling sand by hand!

We had planned on getting pigs this year, but since I was way behind on doing research from where I wanted to be, and because we were expecting it to take longer than it realistically should, we decided to hold off for a year. Until we changed our minds. I had read two differing views on raising pigs, mainly being “they’re trouble” and “they’re easy.” Honestly, I expect a bit of both.

After doing more research, I found that most people who have issues are raising pigs for breeding. They find that the boars can be frisky. They also find that the sows can be very protective of their babies. Pigs separated from other pigs will try escaping to stay close to their friends and family. Knowing this is a bit of a game-changer. If we aren’t raising pigs for breeding, then we are less likely to run into some of those issues.

Pigs raised for meat will still try to escape from time to time. They can still be kind of pushy. But by reading about people’s positive experiences, we can better understand why people have had issues and what helps prevent that.

I’m still expecting problems. I know it won’t be perfect. I still have prep work to do before we get pigs, and I still have research to do about certain aspects of raising pigs. But we feel like we will maybe be up for the challenge. Please pray it isn’t a mistake!

Next month, we’ll also be getting a new flock of chicks that will be raised as egg layers. Then we’ll be getting a flock of turkeys for butchering a couple of weeks later. After that, we’ll be getting a flock of chicks for meat production in late June.

We have prep work to do for all of the animals, so I pray we have good weather and good success!

The gardens will be changing shape a bit this year as well. Once the tractor arrives, we’ll hopefully be able to speed up that process a bit, but in the meantime, I’ll be doing what I can by hand.

We still hope to be able to get the wood stove installed this fall, and if things go well, perhaps we’ll work on putting a door out of the mudroom of the house. The granary needs to finish getting painted, and we have a bunch of scrap metal from the old, burned coop to haul away.

I felt like we completed the introductory level of homesteading last year. We had spent years learning and conquering all kinds of obstacles, and the changes to our homestead were becoming very visible. Now that we’re just beginning to dig in, I feel very excited and nervous. We’ve been through enough to know that we’ll face problems this year. Things will break, animals may die, the weather can be unpredictable, and nothing will be perfect. We have new things to learn, and that always presents the opportunity for problems to arise.

I’ll say it again though, please pray for us! Pray for success in our endeavors, that we are able to adjust to the changes, and prepare properly for the things and animals we are investing in.

Who’s ready to join us on the next level of this adventure?

Love and Blessings~ Danielle


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