A Farm for the Summer
Organized by: Patricia Kim
My family moved to the Northwest (Idaho) to start a new life. We left the crowded City of LA and bought some land in the Northwest. We started building everything from the ground up. Our property had a shack, so a building had to be made. We grossly miscalculated the costs of set up. To date, we have exhausted all of our finances. The 401K is gone. The savings are gone. We are not on welfare, so we have been living this last year on all our few savings, cans and our chickens eggs. My husband works as a part time IT for $10/hr. Jobs are very scarce in this part of the country. I give therapeutic massages for free to Church, friends and family. I have applied to many jobs and found none. We are seriously struggling. I would like to ask for help, since we have done and are still doing the best that we can. To be self-reliant and face this new year, I would like to buy an egg incubator, some hatching eggs and be able to raise my food (broiler chickens) during the spring and summer, so we can guarantee food for the rest of the year. With an incubator, we can hatch eggs every year and save on the costs of shipping chicks and/or paying higher prices at the feed store. We have hens, but they are older now. Not good for eating. We plan to build their coop with recycled pallets. We have been shopping at Habitat for Humanity and visiting scrap places to get whatever construction material we need. We don't splurge. In addition, our four breeding sheep need to be replaced. They are 7 years old. That is one of the main reasons we need funding. We would like to buy younger breeding stock, again, so we can raise our own food and if, when there is a remnant, donate the first ewe to our community and then, sell the rest. I am learning to knit, and use whatever wool creatively. There is no waste. We have food for the animals, but there is still the sheep dogs to buy. We have wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions roaming around the area. It is most necessary to have those dogs. Unfortunately, I've learned you need purebred dogs since you are counting on their character to scare away predators without getting killed themselves and preferably not killing the predators. The sheep dogs themselves are $3,000 each. I chose Komondor as a breed to have because I am not an alpha person. Those dogs won't kill/bite people, only sit on them. They are very cold resistant, and if a predator bites them, the dogs won't suffer harm. Dogs will protect our sheep. If we get fundraised, we would also buy 3 cows and a bull. That is all we need to have our little farm set up. We have found that there are places that might sell a calf for $1,000 to $2,000. Getting animals and replacing them is the most expensive part. I see the farm as the only way to self-sustain and then complement our income with what little we can bring from outside. Having food in the table, like if we can get our broiler chickens and get some meat this year, it would be great. We will continue to recycle stuff, go to Habitat, and use our resources wisely.