From the time my husband and I were in our early twenties, we knew we wanted to have a small farm. The idea of having some animals, growing a little vegetable garden, and having the privacy of some land appealed to us in a big way. In 2014 I became increasingly more ill with no explanation. The idea of living a more natural life and sourcing our own food became something we wanted to achieve even more as I searched for answers regarding my health. I ended up being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Chronic Mono, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). While this made our plans a little more complicated to execute, I wasn’t ready to give up on the homestead dream.
In June of 2016, we officially purchased and moved onto our homestead and High Bank was born. We immediately started building fencing, garden space and began planning what animals we should add. While larger livestock appealed to us, it ended up being small animals that were most practical for me to care for on a regular basis through good health days and bad.
The chickens came first, 5 Bantam Cochins. This year we’re up to 19 of various breeds. Next, we added our ducks. I was sold 4 female Muscovies, and wouldn’t you know it, one was a drake. This actually ended up working out wonderfully as I’ve learned how much I adore hatching and caring for ducklings. After that, I got two rabbits. I wasn’t planning on getting rabbits, but who could resist them when they’re just sitting at the local farm store? Thor and Valkyrie came home with the chicken feed I had intended to buy. In May of 2018 we branched out into breeding and showing Holland Lops. Late summer of 2018 brought goats to the homestead. Luna, Boots, and Harvey are often the most vocal at welcoming our guests.
Our garden space has grown exponentially this year and with the addition of an orchard coming soon, we hope to produce much of our own fruits and vegetables. We began sprouting fodder to help feed our animals and we source the rest of their food through local outlets. The joy of homesteading comes not only from building your own skills and producing your own food but also from supporting other local homesteaders and farmers along the way. We’re a community that relies on each other for success and prosperity and we’ve truly come to love that aspect of our life.
In the next few years, we hope to be off-grid and relying mainly on solar power and our well for utilities. Reducing our carbon footprint is important to us and we continuously look for ways to make our homestead more self-sufficient and less wasteful overall.