Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Far Reaching Mentors

It is no secret that Mr. and I are working towards a more self-sustaining life and that we are well on our way to making a real change.  It seems that every time I start to get a little lazy about my efforts or start thinking that my ideas about homesteading are unattainable, I stumble across an article or video that points me back to the right direction.  Today I accidentally stumbled across a short documentary about the Dervaes family in Pasadena.  They have turned their urban home into an incredible oasis of self reliance.  On just one tenth of an acre they produce 6000 lbs of food by way of vegetable beds, bee hives, milking goats and laying hens, it would seem that the only thing they out source is grains which they buy through profits made by selling their surplus of vegetables and eggs etc.  They have solar panels and manually operated appliances, a clay oven and make and use their own bio diesel.  I am in awe of this family and what they have accomplished, they are mentors to me, through the world wide web, all the way from California to the East Coast of Canada.  I  urge you to watch their documentary even if you are not working on becoming a homesteader yourself.

Big thanks to the Dervaes family for sharing with us, what they have done.  Although my homestead produced the tiniest fraction of what theirs did this year, I am pleased to share what I did accomplish:

12 lbs of apples (this year we would have had approx 100 lbs but we have an ant problem)
2 pints strawberries (I need to pull up and replant the baby plants)
2 cups red current (the amount doubles every year)
6 lbs grapes
1 pint raspberries
5 lbs tomatoes (would have had 40 lbs they caught blight, I did not thin them as I should have)
Peas, I have no idea how many as most were eaten by us before we could do anything with them, but I did freeze about 4 cups worth
Kale, again I have no idea but we ate pounds and pounds of it
6 lbs broccoli
a few pounds of swiss chard
many zuchini
and I'm probably forgetting a bunch of stuff.

In the years to come, we will learn more about what we are doing right and the things we are doing wrong and need to adjust.  The fruit orchard, the berry bushes  are still very young so we know there is all kinds of goodness still to come there.  The nuts trees are mere infants, I hope we do get to enjoy their meats before we are very old, and we still have plans for laying hens and maybe even a hive.  For what we can't grow, don't grow or are still waiting for mature plants, we have some wonderful local farmers, fruit growers, honey, and maple producers to fill the gap.

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