If you find yourself immersed in sustainable living, and can’t seem to learn enough to satisfy your desires to live life more freely in a way that creates harmony for all living things, then it’s time that you holistically transform your life around this ethos that you so desire. Don’t just get by; it’s possible to live more simply so that you can live the life that you’ve always dreamed of! Changing the way that your life comes into focus will allow you to do so.
After working several years in management in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and studying many different fields of education, I found myself unsatisfied with my exhaustive efforts of achievement. I enrolled in some continuing education courses at a local community college, one of which was an Urban Farming class in the summer of 2010. My love for sustainability grew from that moment forth but I couldn’t help but think that this passion stemmed from childhood memories that I shared with my great grandmother in her garden.
Once that class had come and gone I continued to dedicate my time to learn as much as I could about growing food in Central Texas. I began volunteering at various farms and gardens, attending free workshops at garden centers, and went to the Mother Earth News fair in different states. The more I learned the more I wanted to become sustainably self sufficient. Alas the journey began with the help of my husband and we became thoroughly engrossed in building a backyard oasis using as little financial resources as possible.
Since then we have built multiple chicken habitats, greenhouse variations, tool sheds, herb gardens, raised beds, edible landscapes, and a basic aquaponic system just to name a few of our projects. We also began a micro farming venture and LateBloomAmerica.org website on the side, while I completed a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems. I also now teach sustainability courses at the same college my passion began. Throughout our transitional homestead process we have learned to work with nature instead of against it as Wendell Berry eloquently suggested, allowing us to conquer countless challenges that the Central Texas bioregion has bestowed upon us.
Our journey of achieving sustainability has unfolded in ways that we could never have imagined as I reflect on childhood and sustainable lessons from my grandmother. We have only skimmed the surface of our potential in pursuit of more land and a bigger dream. Our mission in life is to help other Americans become more self sufficient in the 21st century, like our predecessors did when we were once known as a nation of farmers, and families had victory gardens. We strive to assist others in becoming more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable in an effort to preserve and protect future generations around the world. We provide guidance and support for existing small farmers or those beginning homestead endeavors of their own. We emphasize the importance of edible and native landscapes, biodiversity, holistic management, resource assistance, raising chickens, conservation, and sustainability. This blog will focus on ways that you can sustainably, affordably, tactfully, and realistically maximize efficiency, and potentially profit.
With my first blog, in a series devoted to helping you become successful doing what you love on the homestead I will leave you with this food for thought; do everything that you can to utilize all of the resources around you at home. Take every opportunity to engage in community activities that allow you to learn more about ways that you can be sustainably successful and build your dream. No idea should be off the table if you don’t know exactly what it is you want to specialize in on your homestead. Brainstorm a few ideas and research what your local community has to offer to get a head start in the right direction. Engaging activities will help you to build a supportive social network with likeminded individuals of which you will learn from in the future.
Know that believing in a miraculous achievement will pay off with great rewards and can be accomplished with steadfast dedication, but will take tumultuous experimentation so don’t forget to laugh along the way! It’s the little mantras like “less is more” and “keep it simple” that will really help you become more productive and efficient in the end. Also remember that how your business impacts the triple bottom line economically, environmentally, and socially is paramount to your quality of life and success, so make sure that you approach your endeavors through a sustainable lens, in each and every opportunity.
Why multi chick coops?
Wendy, Thank you for inquiring! There are a few reasons that we’ve had multiple chicken habitats. The main one is that many of our projects evolved and we wanted something better. Our first coop was very minimalist and was more functional when we added on to it; this one was next to our garage, and was attached to our greenhouse. For accessibility and more pasture, we relocated the chickens to the back portion of our property that was unused. We don’t have a lot of space, but just enough for a small homestead. We love the brooder that we built, and the chicken tractor is a must. It’s perfect to have during the chickens’ transitional development before they are integrated with the older hens. It also provides an additional location to place broody, sick, or injured hens. Our current coop is the most sustainable by far since we have solar powered led lighting, and an automatic door opener which we highly recommend because it improves the hens quality of life and ours!