When our girls were very little we started dreaming up a life where they would run through secret gardens chasing chickens and where our dinner would come from that garden. We would sit outside under a giant orchard and eat dinner at an old farm table …… This is our story where that dream is coming true one project at a time!
When our daughters were born we realized how important our food was in nourishing our bodies. It ignited a passion to learn to cook from scratch and to source the best ingredients. That led to dreaming of growing our own food and raising chickens.
We searched for years trying to find the right property that could do all the things we were dreaming up. Finally, in 2015 we found one …… it had an acre of land, a small house, a few trees …….. and it was a rocky desert! Somehow, despite the growing conditions, I just knew that it was the one and I could see all the potential.
The Garden Beds
Almost immediately we dug in and started all the raised bed gardens! My parents were here to help us dig through hard dirt and caliche. We picked up truck load after truck load of compost to give our garden the best start.
Luckily I’ve had great luck growing small gardens in all of our previous homes so our first garden here was a huge success! I come from a family of amazing gardeners and I even built my own tiny greenhouse when I was young! My sisters have amazing gardens too, so it definitely runs in the family!
I share all the information about gardening in the desert in the link below! From successes to failures and big lessons learned!
Desert Growing Guide
The next year we started on the chicken coop and getting our first chicks. Talk about feeling like a real homesteader, getting your first chicks is such a joy! We watched several Youtube videos and I had a board filled with ideas on Pinterest to build our perfect coop.
I will give all the details of our coop and post it here! I will also let you know what we love about it and what we would do differently.
The following year as our place started to take shape and really started looking like a farm, we realized we need to get this orchard we are dreaming of planted. Trees take a long time to grow and get to an age where they produce.
We studied the practice of Permaculture as an amazing way to grow food in a more compact, wild way that works with nature. Using this food forest idea we planted over 50 fruit and shade trees!!
Eventually as these trees grow they will create mini micro climates that you can then grow things that wouldn’t of done so well or it can help extend the season at least. There are many layers to Permaculture and I will share them here along with how our property is taking shape using these principles.
The best part is that all the trees we planted are adaptable to our desert climate and even better they are mainly watered by our large rain water cisterns. Check out the link below for a list of all the trees and berries we have planted!
Desert Fruit Tree Guide
The Goat Barn
Now we are really rolling, and in our third year we were able to start the goat barn! The goats don’t need much, more of a shack to get out of the rain and wind. Of course I couldn’t just build a shack…….
This is our goat barn (mansion) above and I love how it turned out! I found a photo on Pinterest and drew up a floor plan and my amazing husband, parents and I built this beautiful barn! I will post all the details of our goat barn, including the floor plan, here.
Then we added baby goats to the farm! There is nothing cuter than a baby goat, bouncing around (except for my girls, of course)!! Give me all the baby goats please!
Now in our forth year here, we just completed a sweet little greenhouse in the middle of our garden to grow seedlings in the winter. The girls have fairy gardens inside and its everything I imagined! I will post all the details here.
To dream all of this up and then to see it all come to life is the most rewarding feeling! Our families have worked so many weekends to build this little dream and I can’t thank everyone enough for all your help….
and sure enough our girls are running through the garden chasing all kinds of animals …. and I’m so happy!!!
We have so much more we are dreaming up for our little farm and I can’t wait to share it all with you!
xoxo, The Fest Family