Since our move, we have been facing several challenges learning how best to set ourselves up on our mini homestead. In addition to the obstacles of caring for a disabled husband and elderly parent, my son has had to now deal with his mama being out of commission with shoulder surgery. Although surgery went well, it means several months of not being able to do all of the chores needing to be done. I am disgustingly right handed and of course surgery was on the right shoulder meaning I am like a fish out of water! In spite of that I am continuing to adjust – something we should all learn to do in the event SHTF becomes real! Most of us are not spring chickens as the expression goes — and it goes almost without saying that health issues will cause many preppers to reevaluate their plans and goals over time. Consider how you will face getting gardening done and chores such as stocking firewood or canning or even the basics of feeding animals and cleaning livestock quarters.
I have adapted by having a small wagon that I can pull with left hand to carry feed out to the animals. Family have all taken on extra chores as we need such as cleaning animal pens and chicken coops. Collecting eggs is still one of my fun chores giving me a chance to visit with the “girls” and even visits with our new rooster!
Not being able to use my arm has meant not being able to roto-till a large garden this season as I normally have. Instead we have taken to mostly container gardening — fortunately we have a screened enclosure that was used by previous owners as a greenhouse. We have adapted to the greenhouse and also use a part for a feed room to store the galvanized cans of animal feeds safe from the many predators. So far we have seen feral hogs, deer, raccoons, squirrels, possums, vultures, chicken hawks, and snakes. All would like a free tasty meal!
Our grandchildren are also enjoying the freedom of running about and visiting all the newest additions to our mini farm. We have added ducks and goats to the rabbits and chickens. We were blessed with the birth of twin goats – a boy and a girl in March – absolutely a joy to watch cavorting everywhere.
We have realized that some aspects of this move are more difficult than we anticipated as a result of unforeseen circumstances but this is an adventure too — and more exciting than what we expected. Our journey to being self sufficient might take a bit longer due to the detours but it is still one we want to take! Be prepared to face those unforeseen things – keep mentally and spiritually prepared to deal with stress. Especially the unexpected occurrences such as power outages, mini floods, health issues, accidents. No matter how well you think you have prepared, there will always be something that happens when least expected. And many of those things will impact finances and goals. Have the ability to accept delays to those deadlines you set for yourselves. Be prepared to adjust to them too. Our little goats weren’t expected to arrive until April according to the person we bought the parents from. Our babies arrived more than a month earlier – and in a cold snap we had to help protect them from! For those of you who plan to “go it alone”, be aware it may not be so easy a road. And for those who think you have family to help, be sure everyone is willing to face all sorts of frustrations and challenges to those “best laid plans!” We have had many obstacles, lots of unexpected surprises, and lots of laughs, tears, and joy! Would we do it again? In a heartbeat!