Hi permies! I thought I should introduce myself to the community so here it goes. My wife and I are raising our son on our new 10 acre homestead in the Inland Northwest. We moved onto the homestead in July so we've been at it just over 4 months. I've been studying permaculture since I took Geoff Lawton's online PDC in 2013. We've been waiting a long time to get to this point. We don't have a lot of systems in place yet but I am using permaculture ethics and principles to guide my decision making and the direction we are heading. We also practice a primal lifestyle and source the food we don't grow (yet) from farmers using organic/grass-fed/pastured/sustainable methods.
We have a flock of chickens and we just harvested 4 ram lambs we raised over the summer. We have since gotten 3 more ewe lambs (not for the freezer) and we are about to get some mini rex rabbits for my son (and me). I am using a paddock shift model for the chickens and a rotational grazing system with a laneway for the sheep. We've built a chicken tractor, a sheep shelter, a chicken crib, a corral, a cattle panel greenhouse (where we are keeping a flock of pullets right now), and a small garden on a drip irrigation system (which was just completely consumed by a deer).
Right before we moved onto our homestead, Justin Rhodes from Abundant Permaculture challenged me to start a YouTube Channel and post 1 video per day for 30 days. I accepted the challenge and started filming on moving day... and never stopped. So I have filmed and published a video every day we've lived here on the homestead, documenting all we've done to get established this year! It's been quite a ride!
I've learned so much from all the feedback I've gotten from folks watching our videos. It's been an awesome experience. I'd love for the permies community to check out what we've been doing and provide feedback. A few of the discussions we've had in our community include introducing children to livestock slaughter (permies thread), methods for slaughter, noxious/toxic weed management, etc.
This is the trailer/introduction video I made for our channel right before we moved onto the homestead. I suppose I need to update it now but it still represents our story well.
I wanted to learn how to make butter. I did what anyone would do who wants to learn something...YouTube. I saw multiple videos of people using a carton of store-bought cream to make butter. I thought, "why would someone go through all the effort to make butter from store-bought cream?" They might as well just buy butter. This wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to the source. I needed a cow.
I continued my internet searching and found Realmilk.com where there was a directory of raw milk dairies. I had never heard of raw milk, so that opened a whole other can of worms. Anyway, I found this grass-fed organic dairy in metro-Atlanta. They had Jersey cows, reportedly the best cream on Earth. I had to go check it out. My family and I went to visit the farm one Saturday morning. I got out of the car and I was awe-struck. This was an amazing farm raising pastured-broilers, pork, produce, organic eggs, and lots of value-added products in addition to their yellow, creamy milk. It was a 5 acre family farm that was the sole-livelihood for the family.
Seeing this beautiful farm with a wonderful, multi-generational family all living and working together...it truly inspired me. We bought some cream and made the best butter I had ever had. But more importantly, a spiritual awakening occurred in me. I wanted to farm. I just loved being on the farm. I kept going back and buying milk and other products weekly. Visiting the farm was always a wonderful treat. I talked to the farmer every chance I could, picking his brain on different topics until I finally realized, this is the life I wanted for our family. This was the beginning of our journey into homesteading.
I recently went back to Atlanta for a visit after moving away 2.5 years ago. I went back to the farm for a visit and sat down with the farmer again. We had a real serious, deep talk on the business of farming. I filmed part of our conversation. It was so full of rich wisdom that would be so helpful for anyone who is thinking about getting into farming. Here is the video I made... it is our origin story and a business class wrapped into one Enjoy!
We have an exciting upcoming event! We are hosting a dinner/presentation with the Duke himself, Paul Wheaton. Paul will be presenting on "Replacing Irrigation with Permaculture". For details about the event, click here
Cool news guys! Justin Rhodes launched his Kickstarter campaign for The Great American Farm Tour. Justin and his family will be stopping at The Grass-fed Homestead on the tour! We are really excited to have them here. They will also be featuring us in their documentary film about the tour. We were featured on on the kickstarted page along side the bigs such as Paul Wheaton, Joel Salatin, Curtis Stone, Diego Footer, and more. What an honor!
Hi Miles! Thanks for checking out our channel and subscribing! I'm glad you got a laugh out of the video. Perhaps the "Justin" character will come back sometime like the real Justin's mullet man character.
Last night The Grass-fed Homestead hosted an evening with Paul Wheaton. Paul presented "Replacing Irrigation with Permaculture" to 80 people over dinner at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho. The attendees were highly entertained as Paul performed colorfully as only Paul can. There were a lot of questions from the audience throughout the evening so the presentation went longer than expected. No one seemed to mind though... the room was nearly full with folks networking well after the presentation officially concluded.
Despite having just donated a pint of blood in Spokane approximately 30 minutes earlier, Paul generously agreed to a short interview with me before the dinner presentation. We talked about the origin of the intentional community at Wheaton Labs, toxicity in commonly used sheet-mulching products (newspaper and cardboard), having neighbors that make large-scale herbicide applications, and shippable core rocket mass heaters.
In my below VLOG are highlights (and some "behind the scenes") from the evening including a portion of the interview:
I will be publishing more of the presentation and the interview soon. Please subscribe to my channel to get notified of the additional footage of Paul that will be published.
A special thanks to Jocelyn who was a joy to work with while organizing this event. She also donated her laptop for the event when the Macbook failed to pair with the projector. Thank you Jocelyn!