The Gallants Homestead

Homesteading

        The Gallants HomesteadWatch my introduction video to my homesteading Vlog channel. Glad you made it here, please enjoy the videos and  ‘how to’s and the stories and happenings on our Island, through the seasons and with our family!

 

The below are excerpts from my original post on homesteading which can be seen here: http://www.micahgallant.com/2014/01/25/the-homestead-idea

Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world — and in different historical eras — homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead

Our homesteading experiment currently includes the following which I consider some of the goals towards homesteading (and the list will never end probably):

  • heating with wood – locally purchase from the next town over actually. Grown on island, supporting a local business – as opposed to support oil sands development or middle eastern countries etc by burning oil (wood is also cheaper!)
  • powering what we can with solar power – chicken shed lighting. This is an ongoing and costly project if we want to expand it to powering the house. For now it will be a learning experience, test bed and emergency backup for critical  things should the power go out
  • Owning chickens -the chicks are for eggs right now. This year we’ll raise more meat birds, and then the dual purpose Chanteclers going forward
    • Part of this is incubating our own birds – instead of relying on others to provide ‘seed’ birds, chicks for growing to keep our flock up in numbers, we will be incubating all our own. With this we will expand our own flocks and won’t have to rely on others. See my posts about our Brinsea incubator which is currently cooking round #2 of eggs, this batch a Star Cross red variety for egg laying
  • Raising a pig or two each year – this will be our first year trying to raise pigs. Should be a lot of fun, a lot of learning and a LOT of meat at the end!
  • Growing a larger garden – the attempt will be this year, for me at least, to greatly expand our garden and produce a lot more vegetables for food or feed or for sale. Our lawn is good at growing grass that I spend gasoline cutting, why not have it grow vegetables and not waste gasoline and in turn have it add resources to our family instead of subtracting resources (money / gas)
  • Planting more fruit trees – back in the day, your fruit isle would be the orchard out back, not the grocery store. God grows this stuff for you if you just plant a tree so why would you pay for it? We are a crazy crazy bunch these days for purchasing stuff that literally does grow on trees :S . This year we will be planting two pear trees. We already have 4 or 5 apple trees on the go. The neighbour this year too will be planting an orchard. the only downside is that these trees are really more for the next generation, i.e. our kids. Because they take 10 or 15 years to really start producing lots of fruit. So this is for a future generation.
  • Being able to pump or collect our own fresh water – check and check. We have a fresh water spring that i use for watering our chickens/ Since our river is tidal, it doesn’t really freeze much so access there is rarely out of the question. Plus we have an old hand pump well ready for action and does work.

7 thoughts on “Homesteading”

  1. Hi, Micah! Hope you’re having a wonderful week.

    We decided to try incubating and selling chicks and posted an ad for such on Kijiji. We just got a call from someone asking us about the ad, as he was looking for chicks for himself. He’s about 400km from our location and he was asking to buy the bunch of chicks we’ve got in the incubator right now (once they hatch). He says that where he is, it’s difficult getting chicks, which really sounds odd to me. With a couple of hatcheries in the province (Saskatchewan), I thought chickens would be easy to get – at least they were for us, last year.

    The caller also said that he bought some heritage eggs from a breeder (35 of them) to try and hatch on his own, but only three hatch, or where at least fertile, I can’t recall now. Not a very good success rate for sure. But, the odd thing is, we tried to get a few more heritage birds from the breeder we originally bought our flock last year and she said she was having fertility problems this year. And to top things off, we heard from a local supplier that the hatcheries were also having fertility problems this year, which is why chicken orders are being shorted for many people. This was the original reason why we decided to hatch our own eggs this year, because this local guy couldn’t fulfil our order.

    Thankfully, our chickens seem to be doing fine. The majority of our eggs seem to be fertile. So, my question is, what’s going on with chicken fertility rates in this country this year? Is it just Saskatchewan hatcheries having problems, or is it the same for other hatcheries and breeders across the country? Have you heard anything about this?

    Blessings to you and yours.
    David.

  2. Hey David! Thats interesting, sounds like an end times sort of thing 😉 I haven’t heard of hatching issues – though coincidently our meat bird pickup day at the coop was postponed for some unknown reason by 2 days which isn’t normal. No idea why really though. My last two hatches I’ve gotten the complete 7 I put in the incubator! So my little brinsea is doing great 🙂 No fertility problems. Thats one good thing about everyone owning a few, if you have problems with one flock, it doesn’t often cause issues with other peoples flocks where if we depend on one giant company, one problem could wipe out their whole lot!

  3. It certainly does sound like an “end of days” sort of situation (chicken infertility that is). That’s one reason why we wanted to have a couple different heritage breeds on hand, to help keep our flock a healthy and vibrant one. And, I suppose that is why the Lord kept us from getting our last order from the hatchery, to push us in the direction of hatching our own birds. Been working out wonderfully, thanks to Him. Too bad our homesteads are not closer together, so we could trade eggs, from time to time. 😉 Your white chanteclers and our partridge chanteclers would make a great combination, I’m sure.

    Looks like folks like us, maintaining small flocks, may be the only way people will be able to get chickens (at least healthy chickens) in the near future. As I keep saying, the Lord has put us where we are for a reason.

    Blessings,
    David.

  4. Been discussing the fertility issue with another YouTube viewer, Howie, and he’s theorized that this fertility issue is a result of GMO corn and soy, which winds up in the layer/grower mash. I think he’s right.

    Apparently, the issue with shorted chick orders from a hatchery in Manitoba was a result of poor fertility of eggs from their supplier in the US. I bet that this supplier provides eggs to many Canadian hatcheries and is responsible for much of the short supply of chicks this year from hatcheries.

    Just another indicator telling us to stop relying on manufacturers, for both our livestock and their feed. Time to grow as much as we can on our own. Which it what we’re trying to do this year. We’d like to get to a point where we don’t have to buy commercial chicken feed or grain for winter feeding, and just rely on what we can collect and preserve off of our own land.

  5. could very well be. A lot of infertility in humans is due to stuff we eat, radiation from cell phones, all sorts of things add up to things not working properly, so I wouldn’t have much doubt about it. It is smart though – to be self sufficient as much as you’re able or at least be ready to self sufficient when the time comes!

  6. Hey there! I’m a researcher looking into why people become self-sufficient and take up DIY. I’d love to have a chat with you in person or over skype. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more/follow up!

    Take care,
    Katie

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