JHP Homestead’s Journal

JHP Homestead

Loving the herd life
Jun 4, 2019
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SW Michigan
I LOVE reading through everyone’s journals and I like the idea of having a convenient location to document things DH and I do on the homestead, so I thought I’d start a journal of my own. Here goes nothing...

1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?
SW Michigan. The climate is perfect in my opinion. 4 seasons, each one just long enough to enjoy and by the time I get tired of it, we’re moving onto the next one.

2. How many people are in your family? Marital status?
4 - Me, DH, our 3yo DS, and 2 month old DD.

3. How would you define your farm?
I dunno, a work in progress maybe

4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed?
Camp, fish, putter around the homestead

5. Have you ever built a house, barn , or other types of building? Do you want to?
DH and I built an extension onto our pole barn.

6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-
No, but DH can

7. Who or what inspired you to be a farmer/rancher, hobby farmer?
I grew up with horses so I knew I wanted animals when I grew up and DH is big into survivalism. Homesteading is the perfect combination :)

8 Is it a hobby or an occupation?
I am a SAHM, so kinda both. We’re hoping to get each aspect of the homestead to at least pay for itself, if not make a profit. We still have a ways to go on that though. For now my wonderful DH’s day job pays the bills.

9. In what areas are you knowledgeable and in what areas would you like to learn more?
I know just enough to be dangerous in many livestock and gardening areas. I want to learn more about all of it :)

10. In what types of farming will you never choose to do?
Not sure

11. Are you interested in providing more of your own food supply?
Yes! We currently provide almost 100% of our meat supply, we only buy some lunch meat and specialty stuff like pepperoni. We’re starting to dabble in smoking/curing our own meat though and made some delicious brats last fall, so I think we’ll have those areas covered soon.

We don’t grow a ton of our own veggies, I’d like to do better in the garden here in the next couple years. I don’t see us ever growing our own wheat for bread and pasta and what not, so I think we’ll always rely on the grocery store at least a little.

12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world?
Our homestead. I love to think about new projects, improvements to make, accomplishments we’ve made, etc

13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi?
Tractor yes, semi no

14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?
I crochet. I’d be willing to teach it but wouldn’t seek out students.

15. Can you legally have all forms of livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?
Yes and Yes. We have cows, a horse, a pig, chickens, rabbits, cats, and 2 dogs

16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood?

17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?
Yes. I am amazing at growing green beans. We usually can and give away tons of them. Other than that, I enjoy growing the usual veggies, I’m not much of a flower gardener.

18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?
Sometimes. Before we had the homestead DH and I went fishing quite often.

19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City farm? Country?
We (and the bank) own 40 acres in the country. About 30 of it is wooded and 10 semi cleared.

20. Are you a Novice, Technician, degreed?
I have a BS in Computer Science but quit my job as a Software Engineer working in Avionics to raise our kids.

23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet?

24. Are you interested in herbal animal medicine?
Sure. I’ve recently been learning about plant remedies for rabbits.

25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?
Right where I am. Maybe with 10 or 20 more acres of pasture so I could have more cows.

26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?
We have a wood stove that provides about 75% of our heat.

28. Are your family or friends also interested in animals?
My family is into horses. Not so much other animals though. Don’t really have any friends.

29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs?
I view cooking more as a chore then as fun. We do use our own farm fresh eggs and have a 2 year plan to have a milk cow, although I’ve never actually had raw milk. I love the idea of making our own butter and cheese though. Just one more step to self sufficiency

30. What was your best animal experience? Worst?
Not sure on the best, maybe our first calf born on the farm. There’s been a lot of good moments though.
Worst is probably the disease sweeping through my rabbitry right now.

31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?
We used to hunt deer. Haven’t the last couple years though. I hope to get back into it once the kids are a little older.
We forage for blackberries and red and black raspberries. Black raspberries especially are growing all over on our property.
We also tap our maple trees and make syrup, if that counts :)

32. What skills do you have that help you be more a self sufficient farm?
A willingness to work hard and frugality

33. Do you process your own meat? Can or preserve?
Yes. DH and I have butchered our own steer and a couple pigs (and of course rabbits and chickens) We freeze most of the meat but also can some of it.

34. Do you use alternative energy sources on your farm? Would you like to?
No. I’d like to try solar out one of these days. We have a couple places where it’d be handy.

35 What is on your to do list?
Tons. At the moment, fix the leanto roof and put up fencing for a new horse pasture.

36. Have you ever lived completely off what you produce? Would you like to?
No. On one hand I’d like to, then on the other hand, I don’t really want to grow my own sugar and flour (and other staples like seasonings, etc) and I do enjoy items made from those things. Although we did make maple sugar once, which was awesome. So I can maybe take sugar off that list, if we got enough maple syrup to make enough sugar to last.

37. In what do you trust?

38. Do you make and fix things yourself to save money?
Definitely Yes, whenever possible

39. Has the experience with animals changed your attitude or habits?
Maybe, but I can’t remember not having animals, so who knows who I’d be without them.

JHP Homestead

Loving the herd life
Jun 4, 2019
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SW Michigan
Here’s a few pictures of our animals:
The cows - matriarch Rosie is in the middle, her 2yo daughter Patti is in front, and our hopeful future milk cow Sadie is in back. Sadie is 5mo and is half Jersey.

(Please excuse the leanto in the background, the bull we had over the winter was determined to destroy it)



A cute picture of some of our baby rabbits, I don’t seem to have any pics of the adults on my phone:

And our 2 awesome Boston Terriers, Ace and Dos:

I don’t seem to have any pictures of the chickens so I guess that’ll do for now.

JHP Homestead

Loving the herd life
Jun 4, 2019
Reaction score
SW Michigan
The strawberries are in full swing here. We’ve picked two big bowls so far and have a bunch more out in the strawberry patch. I usually just make jam but we still have a bunch from last year, so I’m trying some new things.
I made strawberry sauce yesterday and am going to try drying a bunch today.