But there are other ways that sustainable living is becoming part of my everyday life. I make all my toiletries and soaps, with the exception of laundry soap and dishwasher soap. Bath soap, hand soap and shampoo are made here at the farm with Canadian ingredients, locally sourced, mostly hemp and lard. I have attempted to make a lard cream, but without preservatives it only lasts a week. Lard salve with hemp oil is great though and will last a long time, so I use that, but I have many ingredients, such as shea butter and argan oil, which are from other countries and are not local. Ideally, to be self sustainable, everything would be from the farm or traded locally with other farmers. I even make my own toothpaste and deodorant, so do not shop the toiletries aisle at all.
Eggs come from the farm, and so does lots of meat: duck, goose, chicken, lamb, pork and alpaca, but I do not grow the grain for the birds or the hay for the ruminants and it must be purchased. My new Jersey cow arrived the day before yesterday and in July she will have a calf and the farm will have lots of fresh cheese, butter and cream and the animals can drink the milk. We will share it with the calf. She is a sweet friendly cow and leads easily with gentle pressure on her halter. I love her and can't wait to milk her, but will share her with her calf too. I will milk her in the morning and she will have her calf the rest of the day, then the calf will be separated at night again to return after milking in the morning. If it is a boy, it will be made a steer and used for beef and if it is a girl, she will be sold as a milk cow herself. Then the cow will be artificially inseminated for next year so she will have another Jersey calf.
I planted a small garden this year and 8 fruit trees: apples, pears, plums, cherries, and gogi, sea buckthorn, and haskup berries, plus currents, red and black. The apple trees appear to have a blight of some sort, so I will take some pictures and contact the grower, Bylands, and get help for treating them. The other fruits are doing well. It did freeze last night with a short dip below zero, but the tomato plants appear unharmed, thank goodness. The weather has been unseasonably cold and wet with many nights in the near zero mark and tons of rain and thunder storms.This is to continue into July.
The sheep have multiplied themselves with twins and triplets, as have the goats and will need to be tagged and taken to the market after weaning in July. That should make winter feeding more manageable and less expensive, with fewer large animals to feed. The bed and breakfast is the quietest it has been since opening and that is being rethought as well. The plan is to rent two rooms and keep one for the bed and breakfast starting in the fall. At least the revenue will cover the expenses of the house then. Winter is always very quiet at the B & B.
So, in some areas I have learned to take care of myself and can do so, but must still purchase electricity and gas power, and ingredients and groceries to be sustainable in most areas. Compared to a city dweller though, I am not dependent on shopping and consumerism anymore and that is a great learning curve. Now, let's hope that the garden is productive and some food can be dried and preserved for winter. I have purchased seeds for sprouting greens all winter as well and will be fermenting foods too. Life is not easy, but full of every day rewards and I do feel progress is slow, but happening. Thankful I am to the creator for giving me a somewhat indomitable spirit and for my angels and guardians as they see me through this venture. Bless you all too, my good friends and thank you for your kind support. Namaste.