Big changes are in the works for this homestead! · Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
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Big changes are in the works for this homestead!

Big changes are in the works for this homestead!

Over the weekend we got a TON of outside work done here on the half-acre homestead because we just put our house on the market! That’s right, we can’t put it off any longer. Our house is in less that perfect showing condition and is VERY lived in with the five of us crammed in here but we have to at least give selling a try.

Before Grayson was born we had talked to some mortgage companies about lending and we’d strategized our options for buying a larger homestead, it’s no surprise that all the options required the selling of our existing house but who in their right mind sells a house when they are about to have a new baby? We opted out of selling at that time and agreed to revisit the idea once Grayson was born.

Now that we’ve got some very exciting stuff in the works we are back to needing to sell this darn house… so we feverishly cleaned and decluttered and began packing stuff (to keep the house decluttered) and we had our agent out to list the house. It’s now officially on the market!

Once the inside of the house was finished we headed outside to tackle the yard. Remember, every year it becomes this giant mud bog as the snow/ ice melts and the grass hasn’t come in yet. We pruned blackberries and grapes like mad. You see, four years ago we had one scraggly, abandoned blackberry that we rescued and brought with us to our new house. That one bush, with a little pruning and compost has become over 14+ different blackberry plants around the property! We had about 22 pounds of harvested blackberries last year alone that became homemade pancake syrup and yummy wine.

Our four grape vines needed a good hacking back since we were lax on pruning last spring and we let them get quite carried away. So I was cutting and dividing plants while Nathan was tending a burn pile, scooping dog poop and moving the compost bin. Then we both disassembled a raised garden bed, disassembled a destroyed rabbit hutch and we moved the very heavy recycled pallet chicken coop with some tow straps and some muscle.

I’ve divided off the abundance of berry plants and some flag iris rhizomes for us to take with us when this house sells and we are positively giddy for the ground to warm and the grass to come in so prospective buyers can see all the amazing garden features of this little homestead.

Oh and did I mention we got more chicks? We got 12 new baby chicks several weeks back to add to our homestead. We’ll soon have more space for more chicken keeping (we really want to share the info but can’t divulge the details just yet so don’t ask ;P We will shout it from the rooftops just as soon as we can!). Plus, we got a screaming deal on the chicks, 10 chicks for free!

The girls are caring for the baby chicks pretty much by themselves. How is that for responsibility and hands on education?

In prep for our larger homestead, we also did some much needed maple sugaring hands on research by attending the a local event.

Exciting things are just beyond the horizon!

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