Millions of Americans have joined the band wagon in getting back to the land, growing their own food, (or at least knowing where it came from) exercising, and just "doing the right thing". I am no exception, except the exercising. For the last five years, or so, John and I have made strides in creating and building our homestead here in Central Missouri. In the past, we've had sheep and goats. We have moved on from those two species due to them not being a good fit for us. Now we have beef and dairy cows. We also have chickens for meat and eggs.
In addition to our livestock, we have been working on building an orchard. So far, our orchard sports a peach tree, two apple, one pear, two cherry and three plum. The late frost got all of my apple tree blooms, so it was bare. My peach tree found the same fate. Our cherry tree gave us a handful of fruit, and our pear tree will give us about 10 pears. But that's ok! Our orchard is only about 3 years young. We also planted four blueberry bushes last fall, and they don't seem to be growing at all. This fall, I will heavily mulch them with seasoned manure and a layer of mowed leaves.
The garden gave us corn, green beans, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers. We canned that bounty. Hopefully, next year will be bigger and better. But, I'm satisfied and thankful for what we did get. I also processed two bushels of peaches from the local farmers market.
The milk cow gives us more than we ever imagined. Fresh milk, heavy cream. With that, we make our own butter, cheese, whey.....and I can my excess milk. That canned milk can be used for gravy, pancakes, and other recipes calling for milk...even pumpkin pie!
Fall is coming soon. We will soon be working on the wood pile. We bought our hay for the winter and have it under cover. We might even put a few of the older hens in the freezer. I feel good. We feel good. I'm thankful.