By Althea Wilcox
On Green Prairie Farm near Keenesburg, Colorado, Althea Wilcox and her family raise animals for their own use and to sell to others.
The primary focus of Althea's blog will be focus on the family's homesteading experience. "Our secondary focus," she says, "is to gain knowledge about homesteading from other homesteaders."
Currently, they are setting up fencing to keep the new pigs in the pasture. "Our pigs rotate through the pasture continually so we have to set up portable fencing each year. The rotational grazing gives the pigs access to fresh pasture every few days. The fresh pasture provides a natural, healthy environment for the pigs to mature in," she says.
Althea says the to-do list includes building a new portable and mobile chicken tractor for laying hens; fixing an old portable pastured chicken pen for broody hens; shear some lambs for the warm weather; and finish up the cattle fencing so the herd has more pasture to rotate through.
When asked what prompted the family's move to the country, Althea says, "My husband and I have always dreamed of living in the country and buying some land."
The family shares Green Prairie Farm with Scottish Highland cattle, 30 Icelandic chickens, three Boar goats, Penelope the Llama, 40-plus laying hens, three roosters, two Friesian lambs and seasonal pigs.
"I would define the term 'homesteader' as a person who is self-sufficient. A homesteader is someone who is willing to make or create something out of nothing. A homesteader may or may not have a successful outcome involving a project but they don’t give up! They might need to readjust, or come at something with a different idea but they keep going."
Her fence-protected garden is filled with tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, squash, melon, rhubarb, strawberries, rosemary and oregano. "I grew up with a garden. I always remember my grandma and my mother gardening. One of our goals as a family, with our garden, is to provide most of our vegetables and fruit. Our garden is small this year because we focused on getting the fencing up. Next year we hope to grow enough for our family and to sell," she says.
Althea lists her country skills as canning, gardening, animal husbandry, traditional cooking methods and butchering.
And her philosophy on country life?
"My philosophy on country life is to be thankful and live life to the fullest!"