We had to decide what we wanted to eat and how much time we were willing to put into all of our ideas.
I want a garden because I'd loved my last one and like keeping our produce close to free and pesticide free. Starting a compost pile has been a mandatory ingredient for this land, as forest soil is almost sterile. Yes, pines, juniper and cedar grow in it, but that's about all.
Then, I want chickens. I want to know they are hormone free and and I want the steady supply of eggs. After researching all types of chickens, I believe I'll be happiest with Golden Comets. They produce jumbo brown eggs. They are also a sex-linked chicken, so I can buy only females and no males. Neighbors have males and they crow at ALL hours. Not something I want in retired life. They will also produce droppings, along with their egg shells, to enrich the compost piles, thus enriching the garden soil. Thought about the chickens being our meat supply, but they are hard to clean and defeather. I might change my mind, as a local here raises them and has found that just skinning them saves on the feather problem. Doesn't everyone buy chicken with no skin, now-a-days?
Then, (and here is the contention I have with hubby), I want rabbits. Only one producing pair, so we're not over-run with babies. But I want meat that is not filled with hormones and antibiotics. If they are eating produce from the garden and getting no stress, I believe they will be a good meat supply. I think I've settled on New Zealand Whites, which have a high meat to bone ratio. I can also compost their droppings, though it needs a little more treatment to safely be put into the garden. I must fight the hubby here, though, as he (although a hunter in his previous life) doesn't want to dress any more animals. I may be doing the honors if I proceed with this plan.
But, nothing can be started on all these plans without the garden getting up, and running. Have many plans for how that'll be achieved, so we will start there on the next installment.