Life on the family farm will be Jerry Deal's primary focus for his blog, with other posts to cover DIY projects, poultry, gardening and becoming more self-sufficient on the Deal Farms near Wheelock, Texas.
"My current project consists of clearing and rebuilding our property’s perimeter fence," says Jerry. "The fence has become overgrown and was in bad shape in many spots when we purchased the place; now that we are at the point of expanding the cattle-raising facet of our adventure, we need good fences. After all, good fences make good neighbors."
His to-do list includes expanding the poultry pens; expanding the garden; establishing an orchard, a vineyard and a dewberry patch; and rebuilding his Ford 8N tractor.
Jerry defines a homesteader as "someone who makes a conscious effort to become as self-reliant as possible, someone who strives to free themselves from the chains of a shallow, consumeristic (I just made that word up) lifestyle, a person who is not afraid to take chances, and who enjoys doing things their own way."
The family moved to the country to provide a better environment for the children, and Jerry says they wanted to become more self-sufficient as well.
The garden was planted for much the same reason. "As a family, we wanted better food and we liked the larger variety a home garden could provide compared to the bland offerings in most grocery stores." The garden contains corn, peas, beans, okra, melons, squashes, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, greens, potatoes, various herbs, turnips, radishes, onions, garlic, flowers, leeks, weeds, and cucumbers.
The family shares Deal Farms with a dog, a cat, two cows, eight ducks, two guinea fowl, four peafowl, 30-plus (or minus) chickens, and 80,731 bees (give or take one or two).
When asked about his country skills, Jerry says, "As a family we can produce, make wine, keep bees, garden, make jelly, raise cows and poultry, build fence, cut firewood, drive a tractor, repair almost anything with baling wire, and sit on the porch watching the sun go down."
And his philosophy of country life?
"Living in the country is more than just wearing cowboy boots, a big hat and driving a big dirty truck; it’s about living, at least for me, a simpler, more family oriented lifestyle. A lifestyle that allows our family to enjoy the finer things in life: a field of wildflowers, a fresh-from-the-garden tomato, fishing on a beautiful spring day, or a voyage of discovery through the woods with your goofy dog by your side."
Visit Jerry on Facebook.