The Full Story
Our Homestead & Methods We Use
We use a variety of methods to make the most of our smaller property not only for us but for the livestock we raise here as well!
We grow more than enough food for our family so we may gift and offer our products for sale to others.
Market Gardening Style
With our small property, we wanted to be able to make the most of our small garden space. When we first purchased our property in August 2019, we cut sod out of our yard. Our first spring season we added compost and wood chips to form beds and have expanded the garden size almost every season since.
This 2023 spring growing season, we have roughly 4,000sqft dedicated to fruits and vegetables with another 400sqft designated as an herb and flower garden near our barn.
Our garden beds are 30" wide and 35ft long with 18" walkways in-between. We try our bed to refrain from tilling and use cardboard and wood chips to help suppress weeds.
For the purpose of saving and reviving our soil, the very first step we took after purchasing our homestead was start rotational grazing using our livestock. We started with our chickens, then as we added more animals we continued to see the benefit. Over the past almost 4 years we have used our chickens (both egg-layers and meat birds), KuneKune pigs, rabbits, dairy goats, ducks, turkeys and sheep to help add organic matter and disrupt the seed bank to help offer a wider variety of forage.
We have used several methods of housing for the rotational grazing of our chickens. From our experience, using tractors, like Joel Salatin's design, and electric net fencing works best for our small property.
As much as we thought we wouldn't enjoy it, rabbit has been an extremely easy meat for us to raise on our property. We use wire dog kennels reinforced on the bottom to prevent digging out and added metal panels to the top and sides to protect from weather.
We added KuneKunes to our homestead because we wanted a breed of pig that could both thrive on pasture and help add organic matter to our depleted soil. While they still require some grain, these pigs have helped more than we could imagine.
Permaculture design refers to whole-system thinking when planning out aspects of your home, homestead or farm.
There are 5 primary zones that describe the level of care each zone requires and home close that zone needs to be near your home in order to be more efficient.
Zone 0 is your home or dwelling structure
Zone 1 is anything that requires daily monitoring
Zone 2 is areas that require less monitoring
Zone 3 is occasionally visited areas
Zone 4 is minimal care areas
Zone 5 is unmanaged
Zone 1: Kitchen Garden or Microclimate
Zone 2: Food production, market crops or greenhouse
Zone 3: Large fruit & nut trees, pasture & cash crops
Zone 4: Wild food gathering, pasture & wood cutting
Zone 5: Wilderness, foraging, inspiration & meditation
Although our property is small, we have placed a majority of aspects on our property with the zones in mind.
Herding & The Dogs of Working Aussies Homestead
We have been raising Australian Shepherds since 2018, a herding and versatile dog up to help or accomplish any task you ask. While beautiful, these dogs are also extremely smart and great problem solvers. We use their incredible talents on our homestead to help ensure our animals stay in their designated areas as well as help us move livestock to rotational graze.
Our dogs have successfully helped us with all of our livestock, including loose rabbits and pigs. They truly shine when working our chickens, turkeys, sheep and goats.