Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I said earlier that I believe that I live and work on my HOMESTEAD. I Googled the word Farm and Homestead, and this is what the Free Dictionary had to say:

A tract of land, usually with house, barn, silo, etc, on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.

The home place, A home and the enclosure or ground immediately connected with it. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave an individual, 21 years of age the right to claim a section of land (160 acres), live on it for 5 years, make improvements and file for title to that land. Until the law was repealed in 1936, 10 percent of the land within the lower 48 state's was claimed by Homesteaders. Better then half never filed a claim, could not make a go of it.

So that is the legal definition. But I still refer to my 3 small acres as my Homestead! I do not expect to make a living off this land. But I do plain on trying to be as self-surfactant as I can. Growing my own food is a big part of that. To say that the soil here is POOR, is the biggest understatement of the century!
The corn field that my 3 acres use to be part of was used so badly by the farmers that only the weeds do well. After decades of heavy tractors, plows and harvesters, the sub-soil is like concrete. Its mostly sand (no humus material or real soil to speak of, and WORMS - forgetaboutit!!!). And the use of chemicals to control weeds and fertilize, I believe that there is some of that stuff still out there. We have lost most of the trees, flowers and produce that we have tried to grow over the last three years. I planted two pear trees the first year here and they are sickly and their leaves turn black every early into the growing season. One tree, (the bigger of the two) had two small pears on it this past year. They turned black right along with the leaves. And to try to grow produce is a constant battle with the poor soil, deer, rabbits and the WEEDS! We have volunteer corn everywhere! And a hybrid seed was used, so the volunteer plants come back as the parent plant. They are stunted and very deep rooted. We can not just pull them out, they have to be dug out. And I'm talking about 100's of plants here!
So this year we will be building raised beds and making our own growing medium. 1/3 composted horse manure, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 worm castings. The beds will be in wooden box's, (from recycled wood!) 8" X 8". We will start out small and build on that system over the next few years.
And my project for next spring will be Chickens! For both eggs and meat.
So it will be a work - in - progress. And a HOMESTEAD, not a farm!


  1. Wow! I am sure the land condition is from over use. Isn't that sad? Or mis-use with all the chemicals and what not.

    Don't you wish you could have staked a claim after 5 years??? I bet that wasn't easy though. Times were tough.

    Glad to hear you haven't given up and are putting in raised beds. And also very excited that you will be doing chickens for the first time too! We are as well! So we should have some good stories to share, huh??

  2. YEP, I realy want Easter Eggers! I think that the eggs will sell better being green and blue. I'm trying to get enough wood to get the coop up as soon as it warms up some and dries out. I get the wood for free and can get all I can load on to my truck.
    Thanks for the comment, nice to know that somebody out there is reading this thing!