Our homesteading journey:
Last year, our landlord of 9 years decided to up and sell all of his dozens of properties, leaving the tenants to buy or move. We’d lived there for 9 years and while we weren’t necessarily prepared to move, we had no plans to buy that house and live there forever either. We decided it was time to take the plunge and find the type of home we’d always wanted – in the mountains, surrounded by woods.
We searched high and low for a home with a lower price range that would meet our credit requirements. In the summer, we found it! We found a small homestead on a few acres, in the mountains like we wanted, that was still on-grid for our kids, yet self-sustainable enough to fall in line with what Clay and I both wanted – and needed. So we loaded up the truck and we moved… to the mountains!
We have electricity through the grid but we’d like to have a system in place so that if the power goes out for an extended period of time, we’ll still have electricity. We’re looking into solar or solar/wind hybrid solutions and used this solar panel cost calculator to see how much it would cost us. Neighboring homesteads say the power can go out for several days or weeks so we want to be prepared in case that happens.
We have a cistern. There isn’t city water here so all the residents in the area use cisterns with rain catchment systems, haul city water to the cistern and buy drinking water for cooking and drinking. Cisterns are used for bathing, washing dishes and laundry. With the filtration systems we have we could drink it, but we prefer bottled water just in case anything doesn’t get filtered out. We’d rather err on the side of caution when it comes to the water. But, it’s filtered if we ever need it.
Clay is a country boy so farming isn’t entirely new to him and we have raised small garden in the past. Me? I grew up here and there, always moving around, so I never got to really learn much about homesteading, farming or living a simpler lifestyle. But I’m ready! We have 6 chickens that my father-in-law bought our oldest daughter. So, we’ll have fresh eggs daily and are learning as we go. I’d like to have a dairy cow and maybe a sheep at some point too.
Since we’re in the mountains and the ground is rocky, we plan on having a raised bed and container garden this year. Our middle daughter wants to have a small greenhouse and she wants to be the one to plan the garden. So this is something we can work on together, like the chicken raising wit hour oldest daughter. I’m really excited to learn together with our children.
Our son isn’t really into any of it. He prefers to be indoors, on a gaming device, chatting with his friends, but he’s going along for the ride and he’s willing to learn and help out where he’s needed. He does love the area and peace and quiet that we have here. And our youngest daughter is happy to help out and learn about it all! She’s young so she’ll be able to grow up learning so much! We want the kids to learn along with us so that when they are adults, they will be prepared for anything and will have an amazing skill-set for living anywhere.
My good friend, Celene, over at My Happy Place has recently changed her lifestyle up quite a bit to be a “Crispy Mama”. She says it’s like a “Crunchy Mama” but not quite as crunchy, so she calls herself crispy instead. I love that! I don’t think I’m either crunchy or crispy but I do want to start creating a healthier lifestyle for my family. Like Celene, we now have the chickens (I”m learning a ton from her) and I plan on using more natural products in and around our home.
I’ve been making cold process lye soap and sugar scrubs for years. I’ve also made our laundry soap and household cleaner for several years. I’m going follow Celene’s path and start introducing more homemade and healthy products into our family as we lean more into homesteading and farther away from the city life. I’d like to start making natural deodorant. That’s something on my to-do list right now.
I’ll be sharing our journey with you here at Cinnamon Hollow. OOH that’s a great name for our homestead too! ;D
Welcome to the Cinnamon Hollow Homestead. I love the sound of that!
I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I learn and share new things. If you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share with me on how to have a more sustainable, homesteading lifestyle please leave a comment below! I want to learn as much as I can!
Until next time…
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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