How to Manage 80 Acres to its Best Potential.

Hi, my name is Tim and I recently (2yrs ago) bought 80 acres near Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am 67 yrs old and it's just me. I presently have 5 ewe sheep and 1 ram which I will probably get butchered in January. I also have a llama and hope she will protect the sheep from predators. They are known to do that.

Currently building a future garage, but it will serve as living quarters when finished, until I can build my house. Straw bale construction. The property was planted in wheat grass, which only has about 6* protein in its nutritional value.

This is also a low rain fall area, so good grass for flocks or herds can sometimes be at a premium. I do lease my ground for about 3 months a year to a young man from church that got me started with the sheep.

Well, enough rambling about what's going on here. My reason for writing to you is to learn more about being self reliant and being a bit more frugal in the way I live. One statement that I must make is that I have raised chickens many years back and really don't care to do that again, unless you have some very convincing reasons as to why I should have them. I love the eggs but HATE butchering and cleaning them.

Since I am by myself I think having someone to talk over the potentials of this property will really help me get on track in putting it to good use.
PGF = Put God First

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Getting Started
by: Sue Merriam

Since you live by yourself (and will have to do all the work yourself), leasing a good portion of your land for grazing is a wise move. For one person, about an acre or so is really all the land you need to raise your own food.

A good book for someone wanting to get started in self-reliant living is The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour. In it, he has plans for both the one-acre and five-acre farms.

With one acre, you can keep a couple of weanling pigs each spring for meat, along with a cow for milk, butter and cheese, chickens for eggs if you want, and a bee hive for both honey and pollination. In addition to these, you should also put in a good-sized garden. This in, and of itself, should be plenty of work for you.

By the way, you don't have to butcher your chickens for the meat. My husband prefers a vegetarian diet and is tender-hearted besides, so we seldom butcher our hens. Instead, we keep them for the eggs.

As far as the frugal living goes, the best thing you can do is cook your own meals from scratch and buy your food in bulk for the best savings.

The self-sufficient life is one that is learned gradually. In a way, it is very much like a career with skills many of us did not grow up learning, so don't be discouraged if your garden isn't as productive as you hoped the first year or so. with time and practice, you will have a much more productive, and secure lifestyle.

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