To Homestead or not to homestead

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am! A long held dream of mine became a reality almost a year ago. For years, my husband and I have dreamed of having property. Our own little slice of paradise to call our own. A pipe dream, really, or so we thought. I mean seriously: We live in California. We have 4 kids ranging from 10 to just under 2 years old. . We both work and I homeschool our children as well. Our plate was full! We lived in a nice neighborhood, had a wonderful gardner to take care of the small yard that we didnt have the time to maintain. You know, your typical suburban family. I had the desire to start a little garden, but had difficulty keeping my cactus alive. So what possessed us to take on a 5 acre property with the intention to create a homestead? Simple. We’re crazy! But if I’m to be totally honest with you, it was the best decision we could have made. Our lives have changed dramatically over the last year. We have a wonderful foundation to build on, but we have a lot of work ahead of us.

One of the biggest reasons we decided to jump in to this adventure was our kids. We wanted our children to have the chance to live the country life. To play outside until the sun goes down, to help care for the animals and tend the garden. A homeschooler’s paradise, truly. So many hands on experiences to be had!! Did we have any idea what we were getting ourselves into? Of course not! Have we had some bumps and bruises along the way? Yes. Would we go back and do it all over again if we had the chance? Without a doubt. I love our little home. I love our chickens. I love the peace that I find out here. I thought about writing peace AND quiet, but then I remembered my 4 children and just went for peace. Lets be honest, unless all 4 are sleeping there is no such thing as quiet around here.(in fact as I’m typing this I hear a loud crash from the kitchen where my son had asked to grab a snack, followed by a small voice saying “I’m ok!” Is it bad that I’m still sitting here typing? I’ve seen his little self and can reassure you that no blood is involved.)

I digress, back to the topic at hand. Is homesteading for everyone? No, of course not! I’m sure our version of a homestead will look different than others would expect. I fully expect our dreams and ideas to morph and change as we grow and learn. That’s part of the fun of it! Our first adventure: chickens! We inherited a rogue chicken that escaped when the previous owners moved. We named her Becky. She was a raggedy little thing, and not shy in the least. She’d come up to our slider off the back porch and peck at the door. We adopted her immediately and started feeding her within the week. We fixed up a small coop for her at night and let her free range during the day. Within a few weeks we had an offer to add a couple of pullets into the mix so Becky wouldn’t be alone. We brought them home and named them Fran and Rose. The three of them get along well and continue to stay in the smaller coop and free range during the day. Last month, however, we added 12 chicks to our family. In true Hoffmann fashion we named them all as well. Don’t ask me how we’ll be able to keep them all straight, I’m leaving that resposibility to my oldest daughter. For your information and entertainment their names are as follows: California (Cali for short), Oreo, Plum, Daisy, Rojo,Blossom, Toffee, Caramel, Luna, JuJuBee, Lacey and Lupita. Honestly, I’m impressed that I can remember them all. You’ll hear more about the girls, have no doubt. We’re currently working on the larger coop and run so that when the girls are ready to graduate from the brooder, they’ll have a place to go to. 3 weeks and counting!

Thanks for joining us on our adventure. Come back by the site and check out our adventures. Homesteading. homeschooling, parenting, how to get chicken poop off of your patio with a hose and a scrub brush, we’ll talk about it all!

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