We, Keith and Betsy, moved to rural Illinois in 2014. The goal, at the time, wasn’t homesteading but instead to raise our family in the country. The first year we setup a garden, planted a small orchard, and bought six chickens. Growing up we both were exposed to very productive gardens with lots of tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers …… But our exposure to orchards and chickens was not as endearing. The orchards didn’t produce very well and the chicken may as well have been feed for the predators in the area. Even so, we felt a calling to it.
Since then we have installed solar panels, increased our chicken operation to over 300 birds annually, retrofitted an existing barn to house our layers in the winter, automated irrigation for the gardens and countless other projects. Some of the designs and innovation are our own and some learned from other like-minded people, but everything was built by us, with the help of family and friends.
In the immediate future we’re planning to get a couple hogs and goats. We’re also planning to migrate our gardens to raised beds, build an egg mobile (to raise our layers on pasture), and install a couple hoop houses (one for the layers this winter, and one for growing through the winter).
Our goal here at Feather’s Farm is to continue moving everything in the direction of natural farming and sustainability. We are constantly learning and experimenting with better ways of growing and raising things the way that God intended.
P.S. Feather is a nickname given to Keith, it has nothing to do with chickens, just a coincidence that seemed to fit….