When we moved out here about a year ago, we had one idea about what homesteading would be like. Life has shown us that idea is not going to work so great. We hope to have more kids over the next few years, God willing, so that means for us, specializing and simplifying our plans. What we can navigate while dealing with very young children is basically animals and nothing else. Managing pasture and woods will have to be gardening enough for us.
I spent a lot of my childhood in rural settings, dealing with livestock and animal care, so I can bring the ability to plod outside in crappy weather and take care of animals when tired to the table. I can also bring the ability to be calm and patient for the animals’ sake when there’s an issue that makes the animals frantic (like being tangled in electronet, but there’s plenty of other examples, like a labor needing assistance). My husband has been finding that he can bring that calmness as well. It’s very useful no matter if you have two or two hundred animals.
So the long and short is that we’re just going to buy vegetables from local farmers and focus on producing our own meat and eggs and (in a couple years if all is ticking along nicely) dairy products for the time being. Toddlers can’t dig up animals and just might be able to help gather eggs. We’re also going to start small and rely on natural increase for the most part, only buying a very few starter animals.