I thought I should give some background on our life here first. Phil and I rent a very small place here in GA. It is just over an acre. We are going on our fourth year living here. I have three children. My oldest son is 17 and lives with his father in NC. My younger son is(13) and my daughter(11) live with me and Phil.
All my life I had wanted to live more self sufficiently because we had lived that way when I was a kid but had gotten away from the lifestyle. I started an MSN group and through it I learned tons!
I got chickens, ducks, guinea, quail and rabbits (we had three large pens out back and a barn/shed attached to them that were already here).
We borrowed a tiller and made a small garden, where I planted whatever I could fit in (irregardless of the recommendations on the seed packets).  Some things grew real good and some didn't.
I planted whatever fruit trees, I could get cheap or free from neighbors and I learned to make my own soap.
And like everyone else we learned some things just don't work. We learned we seriously didn't like killing rabbits and there wasn't enough meat and it didn't taste good enough for all the work, so now we are trying to sell them. We also don't enjoy killing the ducks, though the do lay well for the first year anyway. I would like to sell all but the khaki cambells and the Blue Swedish (the others are Cayuga and fawn and white runners).
We also learned heirlooms just don't seem to grow as well as hybrids, especially with the tomatoes. I am still trying heirloom tomatoes but will plant hybrids for the most part.
I learned soap making really wasn't worth my time and effort and didn't produce a soap with enough lather for my family to really like it. Yes I could have made a better soap but it would have cost more than it was worth to us. I am happy that I do know how to make it though and could do it if I needed to.
We found out that quail taste wonderful and are easy to process but that the watersnakes here where we live right near the lake, like them a lot too and we need a more secure place to raise them.
Anyway, we have made changes and built things and just grown as we have learned what will work for us. I have stories to tell about how we built our grape arbor and our greenhouse, the new garden on the hill, the strawberries out of control etc.  I hope to be able to share them all.
Thanks again, I think I will really enjoy this newsletter!
                                                          Rebecca Whitford
                                                          Thomson, GA