Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Weekend Homesteader: Post 1

The book The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency by Anna Hess is broken down by months.  Each chapter or month then gives you 4-5 things to work on, plan for, or think about regarding your homestead.
For January the first task to do is a soil test.  Here in Michigan that's not possible right now as our fields are covered with at least a foot of snow.  This task was on my to-do list for last summer though and didn't get done, so it is a good reminder for me to get it done!  Actually, it MUST be done this spring!  Our hay field have never really had anything substantive put back into it in many years.  Long story... that I won't go into to!
Anyway, here in Michigan I had to go to our Michigan State Extension Service and pay for the test (done), get the box with mailing label (done), and go out to the field to get the sample to mail in.  This is where my plan fell apart.  But, I'm all ready as soon as the snow thaws, to finish this task, and mail it off to Michigan State University.  This process may be different for you.  Hess gives three suggestions about getting soil samples done...

  • Your local Extension Service
  • A & L Eastern Laboratories
  • UMass Amherst
Hess also tells you how determine the type of soil that you have.  It is very informative and I will definitely be doing this when the white stuff is gone.
I will also post the findings of my soil test when I receive them in the spring and share with you our plan of attack to revitalize our soil.
Meanwhile, we are planning on adding some bushes and fruit trees to our homestead.  I will be working on a budget with my dear hubby.  We are working really hard to get out of debt, thankfully, he sees the importance of improving our land so that we can be self sustaining.
So, what's going on with your homestead?

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