While other little girls were playing with Barbies and dollhouses, I was drawing up my dream farm on construction paper and catching polliwogs in my grandparent’s pond. I have always been an outdoors girl, and dreamed of having my own farm someday where my animals would run free as nature intended. My dream became a reality in 2016 when my husband and I purchased a 1700’s colonial nestled on 10.5 acres in New England where I implement modern homesteading practices.
I believe you are what you eat, so I raise and grow as much of my own food as naturally as possible. As far as livestock goes, I have twin Nigerian Dwarf goats that are clearing the neglected land and restoring it to its former glory. Berkshire pigs are a seasonal addition to the farm as well. I practice rotational grazing which allows them to till and rejuvenate the land as they go, increasing nutritional value and flavor of the meat. In addition to the livestock, I also keep a variety of poultry types for eggs and meat. Various laying hen breeds ranging in shape, color, and size enjoy a life of free ranging under the protection of my roosters. The Red Ranger meat chickens live a happy, albeit short life on pasture, where they forage for most of their food, resulting in more nourishing and delicious meat for us to consume. I am also trying my hand at raising geese and look forward to the benefits they will bring in terms of protection and weed control.
As much as I love raising and caring for my animals, I equally enjoy digging in the dirt and gardening. The farm had established Concord grape vines and high bush blueberries when I moved in. I look forward to adding new fruit plants and trees over the years as we continue to clear the land. Extensive vegetable gardening is also a big part of my life. I enjoy canning and preserving the garden’s bounty to get me through the cold winter months. I am always looking to try my hand at new varieties of vegetables and herbs, but the one constant will always be the two types of heirloom tomatoes passed down to me that I am the 4th generation to grow.
I started my own blog The Modern Day Settler about a year ago as a way of sharing my experiences and knowledge on homesteading and subsistence living. Blogging has allowed me to share my love of photography while rekindling my flare for writing, and I look forward to sharing more of my journey!