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A Homesteading Dream

Only 4 years ago we were living on a main road in suburbia, dreaming of living in the country. We desperately wanted space for our children to run around outside, to build cubby houses and climb trees. It had been many many years in the making but in September 2016 we finally made the move! It has been a very slow process 'growing into' our new home in more ways than one.

We were keen to build a veggie garden and I remember the excitement as we finished our first bed, made from upcycled doors found on the kerbside and a scarecrow that the kids had fun making. We continued to add to it with more beds, old tyres and other upcycled items. Sadly we didn't have much luck growing anything. It was a frustrating time, planting and not harvesting! Eventually we decided to start from scratch and make over the garden beds with decent soil and proper drainage. We set our sights on building a chicken coop, but didn't want the chickens pecking around in the already struggling veggie gardens (the only thing we were managing to grow were lots of snow peas) so my husband fenced it off, which looking back was a brilliant decision (now knowing the pesky escapades of our feathery friends!). Since netting the veggie gardens to keep the possums and cockatoos out, adding drip feed water pipes and starting over with the soil we have finally started to see success in the garden.

It was then time to start on our first chicken coop which we ummed and ahhed about A LOT before it was built. We had no experience building anything (other than the veggie garden) and so it seemed a daunting task to build a coop. We got a few quotes but then decided to use an existing carport attached to our shed as the roof and built around it. Before long we were welcoming in our first chickens, Hattie and Billie (gifted by a friend). It was an exciting time especially collecting our first eggs. Before long we were hooked and were planning our second coop, then third, fourth, fifth and dare I say it, sixth (in progress as I type!).

Becoming more self-sustainable to us means learning how to use our land (in a rural-residential area in Brisbane) in a way that eliminates our reliance on supermarkets and in a way that will one day support us financially in providing an income for us. Before covid I was an avid kerbside collector, finding treasure in other people's trash. Nothing beats finding a decent piece of furniture that simply needs a lick of paint to make it new again.

In the past few years I've loved learning old-fashioned homesteading skills like baking sourdough, jam-making, brewing kombuchi, making things around the home using upcycled items and even learning how to crochet a coffee-cosy and cup holder! It all comes down to a love for simplicity and a quieter life. I thank the Lord for all the blessings he's given us on our homesteading journey so far and can't wait to see where he takes us with our next 4 years on the land.

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