Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Thanksgiving Plans for the Mini Homestead

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 18, 2008


I would like to say that fresh turkey will be served at my Thanksgiving meal, but we do not have turkeys. I did purchase two frozen turkeys at about .59 a pound, paying just under $10.00 each. We will use one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. That was a great deal, less than we spent last year.

I will be looking into raising turkeys for when I have my land, which will give me room to keep them. Any tips would be helpful.

(I have a notebook where I am recording what I want/need to know about everything homestead related that will apply to me.)

I would also like to say that all of our vegetables are home canned, but I can’t. While I did grow peas, which is a food that we will enjoy on Thanksgiving, we ate them all fresh from the garden. And, I have not yet learned to can. I am looking for an affordably priced canner and water bath unit to begin my trials with. Maybe even free. Tips for canning are also welcome.

We will, however, be doing some of our own baking from scratch, in that we will be making pumkin pie, a couple of different types of bread, cheesecake, and probably apple pie. We are part way to making a totally homemade Thanksgiving tradition.

My sister and her two sons will join us for our meal. There will be only 5 of us this year, as my daughter Skye lives too far away. We will see her just before Christmas.

I always begin decorating for Christmas after the Thanksgiving meal cleanup. We listen to Christmas music while doing this. And Zowie, even at the age of 16, loves to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show.

Shannon

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5 Responses to “Thanksgiving Plans for the Mini Homestead”

  1. Terri said

    Have you considered raising rabbits? It is a start on your way to self-reliant farming along with a garden. Rabbits are silent, do not smell, and can be kept in cages (hutches) anywhere. A pair of does and buck can provide 50 rabbits a year which is about one 5lb protein a week. You can also put a chicken in a hutch, but they do smell and make noise. And keeping chickens in small cages would mean one cage per chicken.

    In the poorest nations of the world, the UN first tries to teach the people to garden, raise rabbits, then fowl. It is the easiest progression to teach affordable animal husbandry.

    To raise rabbits, you don’t have to buy expensive food. You can feed them veggie scraps from the garden along with a bit of alfalfa (or even grass clippings) each day. In the winter, you might have to add pellets or grain, but in the growing season, rabbits are easily fed from your garden scraps. Rabbit meat is a white, lean meat that tastes like chicken. The droppings from the rabbits are the best fertilizer available. It does not burn crops like some stronger scat can, and you can put it directly onto growing plants. Rabbits are the most productive, high quality protein that people can raise. Think about starting with them, then moving to poultry.

    Hens are fairly easy to raise too as are turkeys, geese, and even ducks. Poultry is harder to process for consumption though. Although hens will eat anything (leftovers), and are very easy to feed, even more so than rabbits. During the depression, a backyard flock of hens and a pair of rabbits kept many families from starving.

    Having your own small group of animals is self-sustaining. If you start with a pair of rabbits, you will never have to buy another rabbit. They do multiply and provide a sustainable source of protein. If you buy a 5lb roast at the store, when it is gone, it is gone. You have to buy it over and over and over…..

  2. Thank you for the tips. I will certainly consider rabbits. I wonder how they do with extremely cold weather, though, if kept outside. How would you affordably and easily keep them warm out their? I live in Maine, and it can get to considerably below zero at times.

  3. mom to 6 said

    You can just put a small nest box in their rabbit cage. They love to burrow into straw in a nest box. Or you can keep them in a shed.
    I have mine colonized in a small barn with several crates for them to crawl into to stay warm. I also keep a supply of straw for them to line their dens. You could use shredded paper for them to line their boxes with too. They don’t need extra heat if you provide straw and a dry environment out of the wind. I have several does and two bucks with about a dozen nest boxes in a small building with straw covering the floor. I also keep a tree limb in there for them to chew on as they please. They love to gnaw bark.

    Many people prefer to use individual hutches, but I like the colony. You have higher production, happier rabbits, and end up with more babies over time. If you do colonize rabbits, you have to be willing to “thin” them out at least three or four times a year. They reproduce exponentially. I give away as many rabbits as we keep to eat. Colonized rabbits are very prolific. A single pair of rabbits can easily produce fifty babies a year. Then when those little baby does grow up they can produce too at about four months old. A single Mom with her babies could give you a hundred babies within a year or so if you don’t thin them out.

    I also keep hens, but I can let them roam instead of having to keep them cooped up where I live. I just have a chicken house where all the fowl go into at night. I close it up after they go to be to protect them from coyotes. I will warn you that both geese and turkeys are a bit more “protective” than other fowl. A group of geese will chase off any stranger that dares to enter their property, so they can’t free-roam if you have neighbors really close.

  4. mom to 6 said

    I meant “go to bed” not go to be. Sorry- typo. Chickens go to bed at dark all by themselves. You don’t have to put them into their coop at night.

  5. Thank you for all of the tips. I will be adding the information to my homestead notebook. If anyone else has any tips, feel free to add them.

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