Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Self Sufficient Cottage - The Plan Pt 2

Build an enclosed outdoor kitchen, good roof, well framed, half walls, half screened with shutters. To be used for cooking year round (as weather permits), food and herb drying, canning, soap making and curing, lard rendering, poultry processing and more.

Solar heated water. Currently the water in the barrels gets quite warm on hotter days so that will certainly be a part of the system but I would like much hotter water available when needed too, without having to heat it. the first step to that will be black hose on the house attached to a barrel or two for on demand hot water. the hoses will have to be gotten as i can but I would eventually like to have at least 4. This will run to a 3 way which can be switched from kitchen to bathroom to outdoor shower. Eventually a larger solar warmed tank will be set up.

The outdoor shower, already up and running but needing to be finished and completely enclosed. It will be enclosed completely on two side and 3/4 of the way up on the other two. the 1/4 area will be left open to air in the warm months but we'll make windows that can be attached for cooler days. I'll plant herbs and edibles that will be able to use the extra water all around the shower.

Indoor bath for winter and bad weather. We're going to remove the current shower, which is very new and can hopefully be sold or traded, and the propane water heater. That will leave more than enough room for a free standing tub (hopefully a big claw foot tub) which will be hooked to cold running water and a drain system. We'll also install a shower in the tub which can be fed with

The current plumbing and drain system here is a terrible mess, everything leaks and the drains are usually clogged. I believe the drain pipes have caved in somewhere because good old regular dirt backs up in the shower on occasion. Nothing we can't figure out tho and in getting to them to repair we will be moving and rerouting most. The sinks and bath will be rerouted to the area the electric washer drain is routed to now. An area we call The Queens Bridge. We're going to be moving it further from the house but it will be very similar. The plan is to dig out a small gray water pond and use it as a planting area for more water loving plants.

I hope to have at least 2 beehives and probably need 4, I plan on using wild honeybees or feral bees if possible. I would love to have bees wax for balms and candles but it's unlikely I would get enough for one small jar of balm each year. But the honey, even a small amount, will be worth the time and effort. And of course will have our own pollinators.

For tick control we're going to try guineas. My plan is to have some of the Buff hens raise them in hopes they'll come into the henhouse at night. If it goes well enough and we can keep a good bunch some of them may go to be turned into meat for the dogs.

Speaking of animal food. I intend to raise extra goats which will have an excellent life but will be raised to become meat for the dogs. I think food animals should have the very best lives possible! We may also find we like goat meat as well and we are definitely going to try it. But even if we don;t I'll raise extra goats to feed the dogs. My hopes for the goats is to have a few for milk and a few to sell each year to fund the cottage project and a few to go toward dog food.

Another thing on my list is to have one or two fiber animals. I taught myself to knit last year (the very basics) and can now make wash cloths and blankets. I would like to learn to card and spin enough to be able to use the fiber enough to benefit us. the fiber would also go to insulation around the homestead. When we had Kusco the llama, I used his fur to insulate the whole henhouse for winter and it worked marvelously. the hens also used it in their nest in winter. It had great possibilities.

Raise earthworms to use as feed (poultry and fish), waste management, for the garden and maybe sell some to help out. I've tried raising them twice. First with regular Ozark earthworms and second with fancy Red Wigglers (a wonderful gift from a friend). The first time was more successful than the second but both time I believe they got to cold in winter. Now that we have the wonderful I think they'll have a much better chance. I'll still use straw or hay bales to insulate them but with the added protection of the barn they'll have more warmth. Other than the barn I will raise them the same way, in a ben with air holes drilled, filled with earth and placed under Juniper rabbits potty area. Eventually I plan to make over our septic area as well turning it into a large earthworm area.


cherie said...

Juli, french angora rabbits are wonderful fiber animals. They can also be a duel source animal, as in meat rabbit if you so choose. You don't have to card the fiber or shear it. They shed 2 to 3 times a year and you can really spin the fiber right off of the bunny sitting in your lap :D.


Pond Leak said...

I am planning to make a huge pond at my house to keep Koi fish in that. that's why i was searching to collect some useful information on web, during this i got your blog that is also good.

Pond Leak

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Juli ~ Sounds like you have some wonderful plans in the making for the cottage , hope it all comes together for you.

~ Be Blessed ~