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Homesteading: Share your homesteading experiences and dreams.

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PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 11, 2006
1:46 AM

Post #1968103

I'm so glad to see this forum created. I want to be able to live a self sufficient lifestyle
in order to have an earlier retirement. While we are still young enough to enjoy it.
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

January 11, 2006
4:49 AM

Post #1968526

Ditto here Peggie. With today's companies, you can't be confident that you'll still have a job at the end of the week - or Social Security when you retire. I am trying to figure out how to be more self-sufficient JUST IN CASE - plus I like being out in my garden. At least having a fireplace and a lot of trees, I know we can have some heat in a power outage etc.
Juli
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 11, 2006
6:33 AM

Post #1968599

I don't consider myself a homesteader, but living in Alaska, it might seem so to others. My first husband & I moved to Alaska in 1974 hoping to sign up for some free homestead property in the interior, but we were too late. We settled in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, some 120 miles south of Anchorage, and I have lived here ever since.

I never lived in a big city, having been born in Gary, Indiana, but raised in a farming community some 30 miles east of there. However, even to a kid that lived on a small farm, the move to Alaska was a bit of a change for me! Back in those days, Seward was a lot wilder town. The bars closed at 5am and opened at 8am, every night! I can vouch for that because I worked in some of them. The Flamingo Lounge had nude dancers and gambling in the back room.

These days, Seward is a much tamer place, or maybe it's just me! No, the town is more civilized... the bars only stay open until 2am! I think we are beginning to have more churches than bars now, but it used to be the other way around in the old days. Some folks living outside the city limits of Seward carry water, burn wood and use generator power or lamps for light. They do this by choice, often purchasing unimproved property at a lesser cash outlay, then improving it over the years.

That is what my 2nd husband and I did. We bought four lots in a local subdivided area and began building a log house. He was a sawmill man, so we cut our own logs. He was a bush pilot, so I got to see lots of the country up here. He loved treetop flying to check out the hunting and fishing areas, as well as everybody's back yard... he was a real junk collector! In March of 1990, he had a fatal accident in his little plane, a not uncommon occurance with bush pilots up here.

At the time of his death, we were running a small circle saw mill. He was the sawyer and I was the offbearer. We lived in a little 16'x16' cabin on our property. It had electricity, but no running water. There was an outhouse out back. After he died, I spent another year or so alone in that cabin, hauling my own water, stoking my own stove. My eldest son who was about 23 at the time, cut firewood and split it for me.

When Dennis and I married in 1992, he worked on the log house until we could move into it. We've been here ever since. I live pretty crudely in comparison to many of you, but we have a good well with a submersible pump, Toyostove oil heaters for heat, cable TV and modem, phone service... we're stylin'!

We are self-employed. Dennis sells and repairs Toyostoves and I run a small nursery business for our local customers. I can see that we all share the same concerns about insurance, meeting expenses, etc. For many of you, you live in fear of losing those things. For us, we live without them and deal with each situation as it arises.

If it had been left up to me, I would probably still be living in Indiana. I've neve had the wanderlust my first husband had. However, after my first year or so up here, I became a die-hard Alaskan. I can't imagine living anywhere else.
Marcy_1
New Madison, OH
(Zone 5a)

January 11, 2006
5:46 PM

Post #1969514

Wheezy, it sounds like you have lived an interesting life so far!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 11, 2006
10:21 PM

Post #1970135

Thanks, Marcy. Pretty long winded story, wasn't it! LOL! In Alaska we call living off the land 'subsistance'. The term is generally used in reference to native Alaskans who have special rights concerning hunting and fishing because their lifestyle is dependent on what they can harvest from the sea and land. At least, that is the principle.

I'm sure my family worried about all of us when we moved up here. In those days, there was little accurate information about living in Alaska. People still clung to the idea that all Alaskans lived in igloos and it was always dark and cold. I cannot say we lived a subsistance lifestyle when we came up here. We certainly lived a very basic lifestye!

If my husband had been able to procure homestead land in interior Alaska, I'm not sure I would have been willing to make the move. Being hundreds of miles from schools, doctors, or even a grocery store, with two young children to consider... it would have been a big step.

Alaska has some old time residents that have wonderful stories of their homesteading experiences. Reading about them can give you courage to trust in your own good sense and nature's bounty.
Marcy_1
New Madison, OH
(Zone 5a)

January 11, 2006
11:24 PM

Post #1970291

Yes Weezy...I bet so! I love reading about that sort of thing! Maybe I was a homesteader in another life? LOL!!!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 11, 2006
11:32 PM

Post #1970318

Marcy, I think we can all be homesteaders at heart, even if we never live that lifestyle. It's sort of a state of mind, an attitude about your environment. Some folks have it, some don't. For some, living on the grid gives you a sense of security. Society will provide for your needs as long as you pay the bills. For others, providing for themselves makes them feel secure and safe. It's good we have both kinds of people.
berrygirl
Braselton, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2006
2:49 AM

Post #1970758

This is my dream:
To raise my own animals and vegetables for our food- and to sell.
To have a root cellar.
To have a smokehouse.
To have a wood cookstove.
To have a windmill or solar panels for electricity.
To have an additional back-up water well [bored not drilled] with an old-timey bucket.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 12, 2006
3:41 AM

Post #1970867

A wonderful dream berrygirl. I can tell I'm going to love this forum.
Weezy, I wish I had your courage.

We got our 2 children grown and out on their own and decided to
buy in the country and build a garage to live in, then build a house
as we could afford it. As it turned out, the "garage" we made
plans for just kept getting (the plans) bigger and bigger, to the
point that we ended up with a little house. We built it all ourselves
and have paid for it as we go...no more mortgage for us !

We still lack a lot to finish it, as I am making the stone for the
outside, using bagged concrete mix in molds, and then applying
it to the exterior with mortar like any other stone.

We are doing that part way up and then the half log siding the rest
of the way. It should look like a little log cabin when we eventually
get it finished. We are so proud of it.

Some of our work on it has been disrupted in order to apply our
efforts to getting a garden started so we can suppliment our self-
sufficiency for food. And a chicken coop also.

Chickens need a better looking coop, looks awful, but can't justify
building them a better house, when my own still needs to be finished.
LOL>


PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 12, 2006
4:03 AM

Post #1970896

That's so true Mayflwrhem, you just don't know what is going to
happen in the corporate world with jobs, the stock market, social
security. I remember in the 1980's when so many oil companies
and oil related businesses failed. Home mortgage interest rates
ballooned and doubled people's house payments. People were
losing their homes all over the place. It was awful. My DH was
one who lost his job in oil related field, and we couldn't make
that doubled house payment. We had just built our "dream home,"
we thought we were sitting pretty...til it all ker-plunked.

After that, we have determined that to be in debt for the basic
and absolute necessities like a place to live, and food to eat, was
a very vulnerable position.

Our little house is 24' x 36' with an upstairs loft. Very simple
and basic. Like you said, we have heat in case of power out,
and food canned so we can eat...and the rest will all work
itself out. I'd rather live in a garage sized house and know
I have a little security than live in a huge beautiful house and
have the banker breathing down my neck waiting for me to stub
my toe. Been there, done that, not for me.

Besides, I think we who live out in the country are a lot safer
than our metropolitan friends...who worry constantly if their
city is going to be attacked by terrorists, etc.

Guess you can tell I'm pretty comfy out here, huh ? LOL
I love it.










Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 12, 2006
4:52 AM

Post #1970964

Sounds good, Peggie. Our house is far from finished, but we don't have a mortgage either. It's not cheap to live up here, but a mortgage or rent would be beyond our means. I think the key word here is comfy. We're pretty comfy, and we're pretty decked out compared to some of our neighbors!

Berrygirl, I used to have a lot of the same dreams. I'm getting to lazy for a wood cookstove, but I still long for a root cellar. It's not practical here because our water table is so high that it wouldn't stay dry if dug underground, and the temps get too cold above ground. I've considered a hillside, but first I have to make one! LOL!

I would be so lost in the corporate world. They'd eat me alive. You can bump into a bear or a moose around here any old time, but I still feel safer than trying to stay afloat in corporate America.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 12, 2006
7:57 PM

Post #1972137

Wheezy, are you able to garden in your climate? Do you have
livestock ?

Berrygirl, we used to know some people when I was a kid that
had a water well with a bucket. That was their water source.
They were country folk and that was what they were used to.
When we would visit them, we would also drink the well water.
Theirs was awful, tasted bad because of the sulfur content.
Didn't seem to bother them at all though. Had an outhouse too.

I'd like to have a well for backup also. Would be nice to water
my garden as much as I want without worrying about the cost.

Our neighbors to our west have a water well with a pump house
that supplies it to their house. They use it for their only source
of water. We had to make sure our septic system was a
certain distance from it since they drink it.

Also, the smokehouse sounds good. I have a lot to learn about
that though. Is that where you hang meat to cure ?
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 13, 2006
2:30 AM

Post #1972985

No livestock, Peggie. Some neighbors have horses and some have chickens. Most livestock is just too expensive to keep up here. The winter feed is very costly, and wet, cold ground is hard on hooves. I do grow vegetables, but they are cool weather crops like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, leeks, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, potatoes, lettuce, oriental greens and summer squash. None of these veggies produce enough to subsist on. I just like the fresh flavor. Soil is also an issue. We have to have topsoil brought in.

However, if you go some 150-200 miles north of here, you will find good farm ground and hot summers. The Matanuska Valley became an agricultural area when many Dust Bowl refugees were relocated in the 30's. They raise livestock, grow hay, and lots of vegetables.

We are outside the Seward city limits, so we aren't on the city water line. Everyone out here has wells or carries water from town. We have a well with a submersible pump. They are preferable here because they don't freeze up in the winter. Our well water here is wonderful... better than town where they add chlorine. Our rivers and ground water are glacier fed, and the water comes out of the tap colder than it does out of the refrigerator.
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

January 13, 2006
10:48 AM

Post #1973311

My dream

6 years ago my husband and I bought 30 acres and a large almost finnished cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains North West of Boone NC.

This land was part of a family homestead but has not been farmed for more than 50 years.We still have the original barn logs in the meadow.

For a few years we spent 6 month there and 6 months at the beach in SC.During that time we made many improvements.Most important for me was making a garden space because the cabin was in the middle of big trees.Not enough light for flowers or vegetables.

My dream is that one day I can have a dairy goat farm and make goat cheese etc. I have fallen in love with Nigerian pygmy goats.I will also need a few donkeys to watch over the goats.

I had a conversation with a friend whose dream was to have a horse farm and a dog rescue.Now she has both and it is getting to be too much work for her.We talked about,what if you attain your dream and then realize you can't do it for ever.We both agreed that the important part is HAVING the dream in the first place.If need be you can always change dreams when you have too.

I loved reading about the dreams of others and hope that more people will post here.

Nancy

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 13, 2006
12:32 PM

Post #1973375

Ahhh, Nancy, you are so right about the importance of having dreams even if we never actualize them.

I did some solar (passive) design and building in the 1980's and have tons of books on solar and self-sufficiency, some of which are out of print.

I dream of a passive solar house built into a hillside, heated by the solar gain in massive concrete floors and heat augmented by a super-efficient wood stove with a cook top. Summer cooling would be by proper siting, tree shading and natural convection. For water, I dream of a gravity-fed spring and cistern up the hill.

Naturally, a veggie garden and maybe a few chickens. A spring house or a root cellar (or both!) is essential. I already can a lot of my own food.

I would only want to be off the grid IF I could make my own electricity. I've become too fond of the internet and other goodies. : )
skyeblu
Stockton, MO
(Zone 6b)

January 13, 2006
2:42 PM

Post #1973482

I dreamed of the homesteading lifestyle for several years. When the children were 10 and 12 we bought @4 acres. It was great! We had chickens. and goats, a big garden and some fruit trees. I was a stay at home Momfarmer. It was a good life, a good way for kids to grow up.

We have lived on three different places through the years. each a little bigger than the last. The lifestyle gets in to your blood.

The 10 year old is 28, now, with 3 kids, and a cow, and horses etc.

DH and I don't have goats anymore, but we have chickens and a small garden. I work full time, for now. We have no mortgage (that was really important to us). You might say we have downsized the dream...
but, I still want an earth sheltered home... and a bigger garden... and the solar panels hooked up to power the well. I want to have my own greenhouse business, and maybe sell some produce.

So, Nancy, you are right, the dream can change, does change. The important thing is to have a dream, and do all you can to help it happen.

I think I'm gonna love this site!

Skyeblu
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 13, 2006
3:41 PM

Post #1973595

When I was a young housewife in Indiana, my first husband & I lived for a year in northern Wisconsin. It was a very wholesome place to be... fresh air, fresh food, good water, and good people. There were little cheese factories dotted around the area, and lots of dairy cows. It wasn't particularly good farm ground, but everyone had a garden. There were lots of berries to pick and most folks hunted deer in the fall and butchered out cows or pigs. Most folks had chickens and fresh eggs. The summers were hot and the winters extremely cold, and there wasn't much of a way to make a living, so everybody 'put food by'. Next to Alaska, it is my favorite place.

We spent our summer there in a little lodge off one of the little fishing lakes, so fresh fish was often on the menu. There was electricity, but no running water...just a hand pump outside. We really loved it there, and when we moved back to Indiana, we began making plans to move there. We even bought property, but never made the move. Years later, after we moved to Alaska, then later divorced, my ex-husband sold the land to get out from under the payments. It was a dream that didn't happen.

Dreams change, and some dreams remain, but are unfulfilled. In some cases, the dreams are not really workable in the first place. We would have been hard-pressed to eek out a living in northern Wisconsin. Wages at that time were at best $3 hr. We didn't have a daddy with a dairy farm, and we didn't have an retirement income or trust fund to support us. We were thinking with our hearts, not our heads.
Magpye
NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a)

January 13, 2006
4:40 PM

Post #1973676

Quoting:We were thinking with our hearts, not our heads.

Weezin ... 'thinking' with our hearts is certainly a double-edge sword. But, oh my goodness, when you stab into the rock that was meant to be your foundation in life - welllll, life on this ol earth, just doesn't get any better. And it's after this, when most of us realize that our heads simply needed our hearts to guide us there ...

((huggs))

- Magpye
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 13, 2006
7:13 PM

Post #1973941

You have a point, Magpye. When we made the move to Seward, Alaska, we rented for the first 3 years, then bought a house. Unfortunately, my first husband moved me out and a new wife in shortly after! LOL! I rented a house in town and over the next six years I was in rental homes. My second husband (commonlaw) had two kids, so we needed enough room for four children, three dogs and ourselves. In the early 80's we began buying property outside of town, and by the mid eighties we had four lots and had begun building our log house. We still lived in town in rentals while we slowly constructed.

In 1986, all the kids were old enough to venture out on their own, so we decided to move into the little cabin that was already on our property. It was 16'x16' with electricity, but no water or sewer. We installed a woodstove, and had an outhouse. For the next 4 years, we lived in that cabin, working our little sawmill business during the day and returning to the cabin every night to haul water, build a fire, fix dinner, wash up, go to bed, and start all over again the next day.

When we moved into that cabin on our own property, I felt as if a great burden had been lifted from us. Paying rent is like throwing water down a well. From that point on, our land payments were going toward our hopes and dreams. In very short time, I became accustomed to the simpler life. Many of our belongings were stored in another shed, and I lived with less. For the first two years I cooked on a camp stove, the got a little apartment sized gas range... I thought I was really 'stylin'. I loved the cabin, I loved my life, but I did yearn for more room and a garden.

When my 2nd husband died in his small plane in the spring of 1990, I continued to live in the cabin for another two years until my present hubby got the big log house finished enough to move in. If Mike were still alive, I don't know how long we would have lived in that cabin. It was cozy, and it seemed all the money we saved to work on the house had to be used to buy more saw logs for our little sawmill business.

Sometimes, not only your dreams change, but the partners in your life change, as well. Sometimes, time passes and the lifestyle you longed for is no longer achievable. I love my little greenhouse business, but I didn't really get started at it until a few years ago, and I'll be 59 at the end of this month. Every spring, I'm huffing and puffing, hauling around potted plants and wheelbarrow loads of soil, wondering how long I can continue. Dreams have to change, to evolve, or life will always be disappointing. I know I'll move into another phase of gardening at some point, but that's just fine with me.
BuriedTreasures
Valrico, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 13, 2006
7:30 PM

Post #1973979

Quoting:Dreams have to change, to evolve, or life will always be disappointing.


No truer words have been spoken. This really jumped out at me, and I had to pause for a second. Thank you for including them in your post. I've really enjoyed reading about the Alaskan adventure.

Chris
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 13, 2006
8:27 PM

Post #1974110

Thanks, Chris. I've never been very good at setting up a long-term life plan. I'm more of a dreamer, and I let those dreams point me in a direction, but not make my decisions for me. It sure helps to have a partner in your life that has his or her dreams pointed in the same direction!
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

January 14, 2006
2:09 AM

Post #1974798

You are so right about getting rid of the mortgage. We have 12 acres here on saltmarsh - oysters and clams in our backyard but inedible because of pollution from upstream - ocean nearby for fish - deer and ducks in the backyard - dozens of wild blueberry bushes - too many trees right now to garden well but at least firewood. We've only been here for less than 3 years and I am moving along with my self-sufficiency dream slowly - fighting the deer who decimate my baby fruit trees - composting and trying to improve the absolutely terrible soil - fighting with tree roots - growing and hybridizing perennials. The beehives haven't been too successful - I seem to have developed an allergy to bee stings. Realistically, I think all I can really hope for is to supplement my income a little bit someday. I did grow up in a house where we lived very frugally and ate our own chicken, rabbits, and ducks, had horses, goats, and heifers, and had a good garden - so I do have a little of the knowledge but my dad has most of it. But with a hefty mortgage and high taxes, I am chained to a company which demands much too much of my time and energy.

One horoscope reading says I was probably a farmer or landowner in a previous life, accustomed to providing for my own needs. It says in this life I need to learn give and take with other people too (or something like that). Thank heavens for forums like this, maybe eventually I will read something that will click and help me survive without that awful job that takes my nights and weekends without pay and makes me worry about getting fired all the time. Unfortunately I have specialized too much and there aren't similar jobs (or similar paying jobs) without a very long commute. My significant other is about to retire and I would like to be able to do things with him, not just work all the time for the next 30 years. Probably should move somewhere where the cost of living is lower and the soil more fertile - but I just found out grandbaby #3 is on the way - want to be near my kids and my parents.

I hope someday I will come up with an idea that will help someone else too!
Magpye
NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2006
2:16 AM

Post #1974815

Ahh, mayflwrhem ..

Hang on to 'em & clutch 'em tite, kiddo !!
(your parents, those lil grandbaby 'blessings' .. and, the 'dreams'!)
.. all in 'due' time, and, all in 'do' time ..

((huggs))

- Magpye
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

January 14, 2006
2:30 AM

Post #1974841

Thanx for the encouragement Magpye!!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 14, 2006
6:52 AM

Post #1975204

Once the kids are grown, I think it is entirely a matter of choice. If you have a partner, you need to consider their wants, but downsizing can make life better for a relationship, as well. I think the greatest worry might be losing health coverage. Once you reach 50, it is very difficult to become self insured, and the cost is prohibitive, even if you do qualify.

We live without health insure or even home owners insurance. We've got several years before either one of us qualify for medicare. By that time, we'll be in pretty sad shape! LOL! I guess it's easy to tell someone else what to do, but I've worked jobs that I dreaded going to, and dreaded not going to. No wonder so many of us dream of homesteading!
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

January 14, 2006
11:11 AM

Post #1975290

Weezingreens
I couldn't agree with you more.The most scarry part of getting older is fear of not having health insurance.Even with Medicare there is guite a bit of out of pocket cost.My husband and I are both 63 and have been lucky enough to do most of what we wanted to do thru most of our 41 years together.That included living abroad and lots of traveling.Now he has some medical challenges and so needs to have insurance.We are not allowed to discuss politics on DG but I think it is obvious what my opinion of our health care policy is.

Getting back to homesteading;When we bought our place in 1999 it was advertised as perfect for Y2Kers.I sort of feel comforted by the fact that I think we could be self sufficient up there.(maybe I am kidding my self)

There is a large community of people in our area interested in sustainability issues and lots of work being done in that field.

Darius I love your dream house!
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

January 14, 2006
4:12 PM

Post #1975976

Downscale, do you have any tips from your experience of carving a garden out of an area with huge trees?

Health insurance sure is a huge problem. I guess if you're in critical condition they have to treat you - but you can still be stuck with huge bills. I hope things change in this country, soon! Neither of my kids has insurance coverage (both work).

Still, partial self-sufficiency is better than none at all - might give you the chance to work part time at a job you like rather than more than full-time at a job you hate; or make your retirement years a little better.

I've really enjoyed a book called "How to Survive Without a Salary". It and Eliot Coleman's gardening books are very inspirational. Trouble is, I'm much better at reading and dreaming than actually taking action. :(
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2006
8:19 PM

Post #1978960

It's a shame that we couldn't have known how to homestead
and learn about being self-sufficient at a younger age isn't it.
So much time and "money" has been wasted over my lifetime, just trying to keep up with the Jones'es in life. Only to find out finally, that isn't what's
important in life. We stayed in debt, trying to live above our means and
keep up a social level that now I don't think was at all worth what it cost us.
Life's too short to live like that.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2006
8:21 PM

Post #1978970

I once heard an old-timer say...

When you're young, you worry what everyone else thinks of you.

When you're middle-aged, you no longer care what everyone thinks of you.

When you're old, you reazile, it wasn't about YOU anyway.


Sooooooooooooo True ! ! ! !
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2006
8:26 PM

Post #1978988

Wish I had the energy and strength to put into homesteading now,
that I had back when I put so much energy to those things that are now
all rusted, worn out, thrown away and in the junk pile now. "Things" don't
last very long, but a good wholesome life, that's a keeper.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 16, 2006
4:25 AM

Post #1980111

Yeppers... I agree, Peggy.
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

January 16, 2006
10:13 AM

Post #1980240

Mayflwrhem

We created our gardening space in stages.We are fortunate that we have people in our area who were willing to take down the big trees near the cabin.All they wanted was the wood.They weren't insured but they have been doing this all of their lives and have a sawmill so we trusted them.

After that we cleared other smaller trees by ourselves and created terraces because the area is very steep.We had to truck in topsoil and compost to make beds.This is an ongoing operation.Every year I get some more area to plant.

We also have a meadow where the original homestead was.We have made terraces on one side and planted fruit trees.We mow the other side just once a year because there are so many wildflowers that I love.It's a shame that there is so much wild blackberry everywhere with all their briars.There are several white pine trees in the meadow that have gotten too big and are starting to take over.They will also have to go one of these days.It is a constant fight if you don't want the forest to "take over"
Magpye
NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a)

January 16, 2006
3:19 PM

Post #1980664

We had to build up & OUT from a very steep hillside for a similarly 'terraced' garden spot. Used a good many of the already 'downed' trees, as our horizontal supports for the 'extended' ends. Of course, the trees are going to rot enuff, soon .. that they'll have to be replaced; otherwise, the garden will be shifting itself into a portion of the driveway .. and taking out the larger of the Peony & Iris beds with it! .. lol ..

We've been collecting a few used tires to re-vamp the area of the 'end' of the garden. Seems the most logical thing to use and do; planning to stack and 'stagger' them as we go .. while driving a long metal stake into the ground to hold 'em in place. I know, I know .. I've thought it myself: 'uuggh' tires(?) .. But, the tires can be painted AND filled with soil .. and planted with most any type of perennial flowers, that cascade down and over the tires .. to cover the hideous things! Would certainly never need to be concerned about them 'rottening'. So far .. the tree trunks continue to hold very well. But, it's a 'due' project. Just hope we can get it done, before the trees rotten so much, and give completely away ...

There are pics already posted on a few of my threads, elsewhere ... so, I won't use PeggieK's thread to post any others, here .. Wouldn't be neighborly at all! ((huggs, Peggie))

- Magpye
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2006
2:17 AM

Post #1981898

Hey Madpye, I wouldn't mind, I'd love to see your pics.
Magpye
NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2006
2:31 AM

Post #1981988

This, is yours and others 'limelight' ...
But, again, a dandy 'thank you' .. Tis xtra kind and mitey sweet of you PeggieK ..
((huggs))

- Magpye
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 17, 2006
5:31 AM

Post #1982283

you can always stucco the frontside of those tire-walls, magpye...

peggy, i am somewhere between middle aged & old, according to that description. yes, wissh i'd gotten it figured out sooner. hope to teach my kids better!

tf
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 24, 2006
7:39 PM

Post #1997568

Yay-- I just found this thread/forum! My husband and I recently moved into a rural area and are LOVING it! We only have a little over an acre and a half, but it's set up wonderfully and we're still close to modern conveniences. So far we have a few perennial garden plants and chickens (we moved here in July, which was too late to plant a vegetable garden), but are planning a nice garden this year, adding to our chickens, and would love to plant a mini-orchard. A semi-subsistance lifestyle is what I dream of: actually, it would be my childhood re-created. If we get more animals, I've also thought of getting a goat or two for cheese. I'm excited about this forum! It's certainly added to my favorites.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2006
4:23 AM

Post #2001163

Danak, your ideas sound like mine. We only have just a little over an acre also, a few chickens, a veggie garden, and have put out peach trees and blueberries so far. We just moved to ours last Feb., so it's been almost a year now... and we LOVE it out here. We are about 10 miles from town, so that's just about right. I;ve started a couple of perennial flower beds, and the garden is "coming along". This past summer being the first for the veg. garden, it did kind of poorly, but they say that each year gets better as we work with the soil conditions. I was able to freeze a few green beans and a little okra, but that's about it.

I wondered about a couple of goats for milk and cheese also. Something that Horseshoe wisely pointed out to me was that if you have a goat that has to be milked, you have a hard time going on vacation or short trips.
He said it's pretty easy to get a neighbor to feed your dog, but milk your goat? I guess it could be pretty confining.
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
7:09 AM

Post #2001268

Yes, I've had the same thoughts about goats. Which is probably why we don't have any yet! At this point we don't have kids yet either, so we like going on lots of spontaneous trips. Maybe that will work out later. :)

We're lucky about our garden: we already have potatoes, rhubarb (with some frozen in our freezer), blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, currents, a couple of fruit trees, and wild blackberries. The soil is also good quality as I think the previous owners were into gardening. We have high expectations for our first garden, so I hope we don't disappoint ourselves! I think we'll be excited by whatever we get, though. Someday I'd love to can and freeze quite a bit of food to enjoy throughout the year (just like my mom used to). I'm anxious to plan our mini-orchard and start planting trees this spring.

And about our chickens: we got TWO green eggs today, confirming that both our Americaunas are laying now! That makes four of four. It's amazing how much joy having chickens brings into our lives. :) Also a nostalgic thing for me, besides the fact that we have lots of fresh eggs!

It's great to find people with similar visions here. Hopefully we can inspire one another to keep pursuing our dreams!
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
7:09 AM

Post #2001270

Yes, I've had the same thoughts about goats. Which is probably why we don't have any yet! At this point we don't have kids yet either, so we like going on lots of spontaneous trips. Maybe that will work out later. :)

We're lucky about our garden: we already have potatoes, rhubarb (with some frozen in our freezer), blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, currents, a couple of fruit trees, and wild blackberries. The soil is also good quality as I think the previous owners were into gardening. We have high expectations for our first garden, so I hope we don't disappoint ourselves! I think we'll be excited by whatever we get, though. Someday I'd love to can and freeze quite a bit of food to enjoy throughout the year (just like my mom used to). I'm anxious to plan our mini-orchard and start planting trees this spring.

And about our chickens: we got TWO green eggs today, confirming that both our Americaunas are laying now! That makes four of four. It's amazing how much joy having chickens brings into our lives. :) Also a nostalgic thing for me, besides the fact that we have lots of fresh eggs!

It's great to find people with similar visions here. Hopefully we can inspire one another to keep pursuing our dreams!
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
7:12 AM

Post #2001271

Yes, I've had the same thoughts about goats. Which is probably why we don't have any yet! At this point we don't have kids yet either, so we like going on lots of spontaneous trips. Maybe that will work out later. :)

We're lucky about our garden: we already have potatoes, rhubarb (with some frozen in our freezer), blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, currents, a couple of fruit trees, and wild blackberries. The soil is also good quality as I think the previous owners were into gardening. We have high expectations for our first garden, so I hope we don't disappoint ourselves! I think we'll be excited by whatever we get, though. Someday I'd love to can and freeze quite a bit of food to enjoy throughout the year (just like my mom used to). I'm anxious to plan our mini-orchard and start planting trees this spring.

And about our chickens: we got TWO green eggs today, confirming that both our Americaunas are laying now! That makes four of four. It's amazing how much joy having chickens brings into our lives. :) Also a nostalgic thing for me, besides the fact that we have lots of fresh eggs!

It's great to find people with similar visions here. Hopefully we can inspire one another to keep pursuing our dreams!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 26, 2006
8:38 PM

Post #2002234

Well, I'm surprised Horseshoe doesn't just pack up that nanny goat and take her along when he wants to travel. If he buys a few of those disposable paint buckets, he can milk her along the way and leave a bucket of milk as a tip at diners!
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 27, 2006
1:19 AM

Post #2002918

Hah! I hear ya Weezin!

One of my problems though was I was hankering to come up your way one day...and if I brought the goat (Freckles was her name!) I was so afraid it would be so cold there I'd be getting nothing but ice cream outta them pull-downs!

Course now, once again, I just realized I lost a moment of opportunity...shucks! If I had put some ding-a-ling bells on that goat we coulda been like the neighborhood ice cream truck that draws all the little children in the land to it! Oh my...another loss of income and happiness in the process of earning it! I declare!


Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 27, 2006
6:47 AM

Post #2003367

I pegged you for an entrepreneur right off, Shoe! Shoot, you could hook that goat up to a cart and save the gas on your ice cream runs! You could make a little extra selling organic Milk Duds, too!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2006
5:00 PM

Post #2004125

Weez...Shoe...you all are a hoot ! ! ! ! Keep me sitting here at my computer just grinning. Some of the stuff you guys come up with !!!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2006
5:04 PM

Post #2004133

See? That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for...a way to make a few bucks after my retirement to suppliment the old pocketbook. LOL
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 27, 2006
6:18 PM

Post #2004275

hah! (Now I gotta start raising goats again or I'll have these weird dreams about goats, ice cream, and "Milk Duds"!) (I can only assume Weezin is referring to Nanny Berries?) :>*

I can see it now...
"Step right up, folks! Get your fresh ice cream here! And don 't pass on these natural organic Milk Duds...something that'll last a long time, something that'll REALLY stick to your ribs (because they've DONE IT BEFORE!)!!!

veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 28, 2006
2:11 AM

Post #2005509

ok what is the story on goats? why does everyone, living off the land want goats? do they have to have kids to give milk?how much milk per goat? what is the goat story ?My dh believes there is a coming oil crisis so we are working at being self sufficient but live kinda in the city, we want to check out land prices in carolina, seems like a good area to survive in. love this thread. thankyou carol
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2006
2:20 AM

Post #2005532

Oh, you're leaving Washington?? I love it here. I'd like to hear the rundown on goats, too. I think if we had more animals, a goat would be it, but I don't know much about them...

I'm going to school for a Master's of Environmental Studies degree and the topic this week was oil. Quite an interesting debate! It's always good to be prepared. It's like an earthquake: it's going to come, but we just don't know when.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 28, 2006
11:08 PM

Post #2007190

Shoe, if them Nanny Nuggets stick to your ribs, you've probably been rolling around in the goat barn with your shirt off! Ohhhh, you mean from the inside!... yes, eating those organic milk duds is probably part of some big wide recycling program.

I'm certainly no expert on goats. Haven't had one since I was a youngster. My understanding is that you breed your nanny, then continue milking her after the kid is weaned so she doesn't dry up. I think that goat milk is an acquired taste, but it has to be more economical to raise a goat than a milk cow.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 30, 2006
1:39 AM

Post #2009684

Hi veejay, welcome to the forum. I'm just learning about goats too.
From what I understand, the milk is very good if milking and sanitation
proceedures are followed correctly. Some folks say that there is a little different flavor to it, and others say it gets an off taste if contaminated. I really don't know , since I've never had a goat or drank goat milk. But I too would like to have the chance to be self-sufficient enough to have a few of the necessary nutritional supplies we might need if crisis should occur
with our food supply system, or the price of groceries skyrockets to where milk is $ 10. a gallon, and eggs are $ 6. a dozen. Besides, I think it just gives me a good feeling to know I can survive with what I have if need be.
Some of these other folks know lots more than me, and they're so good to share their wisdom and experiences. Again, welcome, and feel free to ask questions. Someone will post an answer when they have a chance.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 30, 2006
1:54 AM

Post #2009703

Weez...thanks for the info on breeding the nanny and milking. I guess it's the same as a cow with a calf ? No doubt, it's gotta be more economical than a cow. Besides...those big animals intimidate me. LOL. I tried to milk a lady from our church's cow once to help her out while her DH was away. (she was a stroke victim and couldn't do it) but the cow seemed so BIG, and she wouldn't stand still, and when she finally kicked the pail over, that was it...I'd had enough. No one was there to show me how to do it, so I didn't have the best experience. But...you all know how I am by now...I'll try most anything...once. Hehe
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 30, 2006
2:40 AM

Post #2009772

Yep...tis true, the goat needs to kid to produce milk, and to keep her in milk production you'll need to milk her each day, preferably twice a day. She can produce milk for over a year if you prefer but it's a kindness to give her a break after 18-20 months of milking.

As for the off taste, that can happen according to the goats diet. Goats are browsers (like deer) and prefer to eat plants above ground but will also eat ground level plants which might include wild onions or the like. Contrary to popular belief though, goats do not eat just anything, and are actually fairly picky about what they eat. A diet rich in green stuff, a good hay supplement, and a small amount of sweetfeed will give you a healthy goat who offers you some of the best milk/cheese you'll ever have.

As for food intake/milk offering ratio...yep, a goat will give you much more milk per food quantity it eats than a cow will. (Plus they are much more entertaining!)

Shoe.
Janett_D
Gamleby
Sweden
(Zone 7a)

January 30, 2006
9:16 AM

Post #2010085

Jumping right in after been lurking for some time, :0))
Another big plus with goatmilk is for those who are Lactose intolerent (milkallergy) they can often drink and eat produkts from goats but get very, some times deadly sick from cowmilk.
Janett
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2006
3:23 AM

Post #2014535

So true. I know of several people who have put babies on goats milk after not being able to find an infant formula that was agreeable to their digestion.
Hmm. all this talk about goat milk makes me think I need to buy some and try it...I'm curious now. Yikes ! I priced it at the Wal-Mart grocery department here in Okla. and just a quart is $ 3.89. Must be something good about it. Still think I'll get around to trying it soon.
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

February 1, 2006
11:56 AM

Post #2014846

I haven't tried goat milk but goat cheese and yougart are the best.
The Nigerian Pygmy goat is half body half udder.Lots of milk.
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

February 1, 2006
5:24 PM

Post #2015390

Yum! Yes, goat cheese is what I was thinking too! Yogurt is a great idea too. :)
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 1, 2006
6:26 PM

Post #2015571

It's really difficult to keep a goat here in Seward, particularly the pymy type. The bears treat them like snacks!
Magpye
NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2006
2:23 AM

Post #2016560

Ya need to tell the bears that the goats are 'baaaaaaa-d' for them!! .. LOL

- Magpye
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2006
2:47 AM

Post #2016615

Oh gosh ! That's a little bit bigger problem than the racoons that got my chickens. Yep, that would make it a bit harder.
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

February 2, 2006
4:34 AM

Post #2016754

My DH started stocking extra supplies in case of an emergency, he bought lots of deodrant for 1.00 each now a few weeks later deodrant is selling for 2.50 to 5.50 each, so prices are going up, I will now be stocking up also I only live on 1/4 acre but have a postage stamp orchard and veggie garden, trying to do a greenhouse this year. maybe try a few chickens, gotta see if they are legal here. just growing and saving because I am getting near retitment will be good
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

February 2, 2006
11:41 AM

Post #2016953

When I was speaking to alot of people who have dairy goats I was told that i should get a donkey to protect them.A donkey is very protective and will start braying (or what ever it is that donkeys do) and scare off what ever preditor is after the goats.

We don't have quite as many bears in NC as in Alaska but they are there.Don't think this would work in Alaska.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 3, 2006
3:49 AM

Post #2018976

veeja, same here. I think a greenhouse and a flock of chickens is a very good idea. I also believe that it's wise to stock up on certain items in case of emergency. We never know what might happen to the supplies of things that we so take for granted. In our country we've become very spoiled by having everything we need at our convenience. If something should disrupt that, we'd see a lot of people who didn't know what to do and they would have much hardship. People who made it thru the depression years the best were the ones who had their own resources to draw from. They may not have had much, but they had food, while lots of others stood in soup lines for something to eat. We seem to think that we're immune to that happening again...wrong.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 3, 2006
6:11 PM

Post #2019934

I've always thought I might like to have a donkey, but this wet cool weather here is really hard on hoofed animals, not to mention the cost of feed. We have lots of months when grazing isn't possible.

Emergency deodorant! LOL! I'd have stocked up on toilet paper, but I wouldn't have thought of deodorant..until I didn't have any!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 5, 2006
4:26 AM

Post #2023706

Yikes, we might be eyeing the corn cobs in the compost heap. TP is good to stock up on but it takes up so much space.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 5, 2006
3:59 PM

Post #2024260

I'm sure there are viable options on TP, but we'd need to visit a third world country or two to determine what they are. In the old days, people would set their old catalogs in the outhouse as reading material, then TP. You need to crumple the pages up a few times to soften them up first.

Why not make hollow furniture that is filled with TP. That way, you could disassemble the coffee table or easy chair as needed! LOL!
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

February 6, 2006
3:25 AM

Post #2025677

Can anyone reccommend a good source for a greenhouse? I think it's time to get one, although I have a room in my house an add on that was a studio with a sky light only one small window, I am thinking maybe I can put in a large south facing picture window and use it as a greenhouse. how much light do I need for a greenhouse? thankyou carol
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 6, 2006
3:44 AM

Post #2025716

carol, we are in zone 6 and I have plants growing like crazy in an upstairs window that faces south. It's ok for starting seeds, but not enough room for very many.
You can go to the greenhouse forum here at DG and see lots of different pictures of other people's. They will be glad to share their ideas on what would be a good source for you. good luck
hippiehill
Bliss, NY

February 9, 2006
9:20 PM

Post #2033423

Started my own little homestead 1 1/2 years ago. Got a land contract on an extreme fixer upper. Have a mortgage, but it's under $200 a month. That will tell you the extent of fixer upper! Only on just shy of an acre. Moved from the heart of the city to the middle of nowhere! My BH is still driving around in circles, desperately looking for a Media Play or Barnes & Noble! Not a country boy!

Planted a mini orchard, complete with lots of berries around it, pasture 20 or so chickens for eggs and more in the spring for meat and put in a huge vegetable garden. Trying to find a couple dwarf nigerian dairy goats. Putting a simple solar collector on the back of the chicken coop. I'm as organic as I can get! Organic chicken feed is around, but very cost prohibitive. Nice part is the summer, then the girls get as much fresh produce as they can eat. Happy spoiled chickens!

We also heat with wood, and I am scouring Wyoming County NY for a wood cook stove. Gotta run a wood stove, might as well cook on it!

It's been rough at times, but very worth it!

Also have an electric water well that I'd love to have a hand pump on it too! Any ideas?

And- any ideas on building a rabbit house with some sort of "nugget collector" to raise worms in the rabbit poop? Some type of trough type thing?

What's a Toyo Oil Stove (I can't remember the actual spelling or name) previously mentioned above. Always looking for cost effective heat!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
2:06 AM

Post #2034017

wow hippiehill, sounds like you have got it all together. It's so rewarding to be able to supply so many of your own needs from the good things that so many take for granted.
Is your well the only source of water? And I'd love to hear more about your
solar collector on back of chicken coop. Is that something that's simple to make, or something you buy ? Sounds like a good idea, but I know nothing about how to make anything solar.
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2006
5:04 AM

Post #2034434

back room greenhouse is out, wall for window is load bearing so very costly to put in, so I need a good source for a 9x10 greenhouse
hippiehill
Bliss, NY

February 10, 2006
11:47 PM

Post #2036179

Thanks PeggieK! Sounds much more together than it is! Usually a running comedy of errors! Our well is our only source of water. Deep, very cold, and high in iron. It's in a tiny, nasty well house that I hope will be revamped. Right now, we kind of have to crawl into it to turn on the hose.

Solar collector is very simple. Runners from old pallets are attached to the south side of the coop. South side and runners are painted flat black, and double layers of plastic cover the frame. Simple doors are cut into the coop at the bottom and top of frame. Open the doors and the air should circulate. Check out mother earth news, they have a ton of info. I'll try to send you the actual prototype photos. Not mine yet! #1 I still need to insulate the coop to keep the heat in! #2 I have to wait till the 30" of snow and the 3' drifts go away. (Right now I'm thinking that coop is waaaayyyy too far from the house) Basically, when the sun is shining it will warm up the coop and the insulation will keep it in. Now the question is, will it work?

Yet another experiment to have the neighbors and farmers around here look at me and shake their heads! While they buy my eggs...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 11, 2006
12:00 AM

Post #2036203

Hippiehill, I'm interested in what you are doing (solar) also. Please post photos!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 11, 2006
4:12 PM

Post #2037595

We have a small nursery business in our town, so we need lots of greenhouse space in the spring. I have a small one covered in fiberglass that I use for seedlings, then a larger one covered in plastic sheeting that I use for my baskets, etc. Last year we ran out of space, so we purchased one of those big tents from Costco or Sam's Club.

Instead of using the tarp coverings included, we used plastic sheeting and added a Toyostove until the weather warmed. Once the weather heated, we cut the ends out of it, and cut out some windows, and we had a nice covered tent for the plants that melt in our rainy summers... mostly the petunias! Anyway, the tent cost around $200, and we took it apart and put it away in the fall. For those who only need the greenhouse in the spring, the regular tarp top could be put on it for a shady spot in the summer, or you could take it down for more room in the yard.

Thumbnail by Weezingreens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

hippiehill
Bliss, NY

February 12, 2006
2:48 AM

Post #2038924

Nice, weezingreens! I never thought of that. By the way, in contact with toyostove manufacturers. Thank you!

I had a little greenhouse I made out of scrap lumber and pvc electrical conduit. High winds blew the sucker down the hill with all my started seeds scattered to the wind! This time I'm making a half house attached to my house using what I salvaged from the bottom of the hill and more plastic. I'm hoping to sell hierloom tomato and herb starts.

We'll see, so many plans, so little time. I'm also planning a very simple graywater system to water my fruit trees this spring. Just happens that my plumbing for my tub and washing machine are no longer hooked into my septic. Guess I should've insulated THOSE pipes too!

Any project for me has to be simple and cheap! I'm also blessed with an 18 year old son with limitless strength and energy!

Now only if the snow would melt!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 12, 2006
4:49 AM

Post #2039321

Melting snow is our problem around here. The ground is frozen, but the snow has turned to rain and the standing water has nowhere to go. That's a combo that means flooded basement for us. We're sumping it out right now.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2006
7:30 PM

Post #2068408

I think this is just the most awesome thread! Some of you know me and some don't. We just up and bought a small 7 1/4 farm in September. We had a few goals in mind starting out but I can see lots will be changing! Our very most important reason for moving out to the country was to get our six daughters out of the city public school system. The second reason was so that I could open a small nursery. We moved from a 1/4 acre lot that was pretty well stuffed full of plants. So, we are here but things are tight because we haven't sold our other house yet.

Now that we are here and I see that huge back yard, I am aching to grow tons of veggies! I started into gardening after my elderly neighbor gave me a few tomato plants and I ate the abundance of them with joy, made salsa, put them in soups and chili and in or on anything else I could. LOL From there, I expanded and expanded and ended up canning plenty too. Sadly I got side tracked with flowers and on 1/4 acre you sort of have to pick one or the other. The flowers won. It is so absolutely cool that I have room for both now but it also sort of has me spinning in one place. I think I'm a bit overwhelmed!

I do know we will be growing a lot of veggies! I also want to have my wells checked out and start using some of that water too. The city water we have is really hard and leaves a white skin on everything!

I can't say for certain where our plans will go or how our life will change, but I do know it will be one heck of a ride!! I am so happy someone pointed me to the Poutry forum because it is great but I also accidentally found this one too! Thank you so much for this thread.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2006
5:48 AM

Post #2069793

Badseed, welcome to the thread. You have excellent reasons to move to the country. I wish we could have enjoyed this type lifestyle when our children were still home. It's truly a wholesome and rich life, that kids now days don't get a lot of chances to experience.
It's great to have a well. As many plants as you plan to grow, and a nursery, you're going to need a lot of water. We used to have a friend that had a well that he used specifically for his garden. He always had lush green plants while the rest of us wondered when the rain would come, and our gardens burned up. lol.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2006
10:33 AM

Post #2069948

Thank you very much for the welcome Peggie.

It's amazing to be out here and have such a huge yard. LOL We have lots of plans and it will be neat to see how things change. We've been here since November and I have already seen changes in the girls. They are much more relaxed but seem to have so much more energy. They are getting invited to friend's houses now and to birthday parties. I can't wait for it to warm up and dry up so I can pop them out the door! We really enjoy getting out and looking around and it will be neat to find all the natural treasures. We also need to clean up the metal treasures in the back corner. LOL
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 25, 2006
3:09 PM

Post #2070399

Badseed, I'm so happy for you! Having lived in rentals for so many years, then a small shaded cabin for six more, I can understand how you feel about all that potential growing space! And how wonderful to be able to make the move while your children are young enough to enjoy it! By the time we moved into the log house, my youngest had gone to college!

Did you move into a home with an established yard? That would make it so much easier! That way you can concentrate on you flower beds, greenhouse, etc. We had to establish beds and lawn here, pulling hundreds and hundreds of alder seedlings and young trees from the yard, sowing grass, sifting soil, composting, hauling rocks... I couldn't do all that today!

Check out my tradelist and see if there are any seeds you'd like. They can be a housewarming present!
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2006
5:31 PM

Post #2070704

Hi WG! Thanks for the welcome! We really are enjoying it here. We have so many thoughts and plans, just hope we can pay for them. LOL I hope to live a nice long life so we can enjoy it.

I hadn't started a thread about the property in a long time and several people have been asking. Yesterday when I was taking pics for the Poultry forum, I took some different pics of the property. There were no gardens at all. I even had to use the dirt (well, clay!) I dug up from putting in the pond to raise the ground at the foundation. Other than wild stuff, the list of existing plants is really slim! Here is the thread I started yesterday. http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/578785/

I did bring my little greenhouse with me and have plans to build a big one as soon as I can.

Thank you for the seed offer. I think I will work on my own box first though. LOL It's been yelling at me and I keep ssshhhhhhhing it!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 26, 2006
6:36 AM

Post #2072201

Just visited your thread. I was born in the midwest (Indiana), but after living between big mountains, I am always amazed at all the flat ground down your way! Of course, all that flat ground is more space to garden in!
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 26, 2006
12:24 PM

Post #2072354

It is funny around here. My other yard was a pain because it was lowest at the street with a slow hill to the house and flat around the house. In the back it started flat at the house then when up hill but steeper on the left. It is really bizarre to look around here and see nothing but flat, flat and flat! My other house was only about a five minute drive from the Kentucky border and you had to cross the river and as soon as you hit Kentucky, hundreds of feet had been cut from the hillsides to put the road in but a few minutes down the road you were back to flat. I am most amazed at what has been done to put in roads. I can't imagine!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 26, 2006
9:40 PM

Post #2073456

Driving from Seward to Anchorage, you see many rock walls where the road has been blasted through solid granite. About the flattest spot around here is the bay on a calm day! Indiana has some flat ground, too, but not like Ohio or Illinois, as I recall.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 26, 2006
9:43 PM

Post #2073462

Oh yes! Indiana is very flat, at least where I have been! My father lives there. ;)
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 27, 2006
5:41 AM

Post #2074476

I was raised on a small farm just south of Chesterton, Indiana. It's a few miles from the Indiana Dunes State Park. I haven't been back there in about 25 years.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2006
11:29 AM

Post #2074637

Maybe it's time you come for a visit. :)
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 27, 2006
3:55 PM

Post #2075100

I'm like a barn sour horse... just can't get me to go anywhere! All summer I am busy with my little nursery business, and all winter I am researching plants, trading seeds, and visiting on Dave's Garden. Sometimes I don't leave the property for two or three weeks and scarcely notice. It would cost quite a bit to make the long trip, and I'd be more likely to buy a yard tractor with the money! LOL!
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2006
4:22 PM

Post #2075177

Darn! You sound like me! LOL
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 28, 2006
4:59 AM

Post #2076666

Funny how barn-sour we get. If I didn't have to go anywhere, I'd be quite content to stay at home for weeks at a time. I never would get bored, there's more than enough to keep me busy from now on. If I live to be 100, I'll still never get it all done (or read) hehe. Having the internet is like having a library at your desk. I just keep finding more ideas for more stuff to do. Just wish I had enough energy to do it all. :-D
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 28, 2006
6:23 AM

Post #2076707

Yes, when the kids were young, I felt as if I was always stuck at home, and now that they are grown, you can't pry me away from home with a crow bar!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 2, 2006
7:59 PM

Post #2081929

So ironic, but so true.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 4, 2006
6:45 AM

Post #2085376

Maybe I was less interested in going somewhere than I was eager to find a quiet spot. The only quiet moments at home were at 2am or nap time!
greenaudi
Amsterdam, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 4, 2006
11:44 AM

Post #2085554

Barn sour, hmmmmm so thats what it's called. I though I was just a little anti-social...lol. Badseed I too live in Ohio and we just moved here to 7 acres after living in a tiny rental with no yard. Oh how I love it. Nothing but rolling hills and cornfields around here. We have about 5 and a half acres of cleared land and the rest is wooded. I wish the house was closer to the woods for a little shade. We have been busy planting trees as there were only 4 lonely ones around the house. We now have 10 various fruit trees and a lot of others although I will have to wait about 10 years before I get some real shade though. My dream is to be self-sustaining, but we have a long way to go. I am really excited to be able to really garden now. I have been reading all winter long since I am new to it all, Weezing Greens I have always been fascinated with the idea of just packing up and moving to Alaska, it seems like my kind of living. Most people think I am crazy I would rather spend my money on manure than clothes or a new hairdo, talk about buying crap...lol. I am so glad I found this forum, to actually find other people out there that would rather stay home and dig in the dirt. I don't know anything about goats but I had a wonderful experience with one at about 11:30 pm one evening I was on my way home from work and came upon 3 goats in the road so I stopped the car and 2 ran off somewhere and the other one was just looking at me so I said come here buddy and he DID just like a dog, so I was like well now what, I didn't want him to get hit so I threw him in my front seat and took him home. The best part was my husband's face when I got home...lol. I spent the next day looking for his owner which I did find. I fell in love with him though and have wanted one ever since then. Are they a lot of work? I am also curious about chickens, I would love to have some. My cousin said they are messy. I would apprieciate any and all advice from you since I am new to this whole homesteading thing. God Bless-Aundrea
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2006
12:12 PM

Post #2085592

Nice to meet you Aundrea! Prepare to get lost here at DG! LOL There are also forms for Farms, Poultry and Livestock and many many others! I *might* have posted on those too. ;O

You can get it, but you can't get out. LOL
Marcy_1
New Madison, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 4, 2006
4:03 PM

Post #2086032

Hi Aundrea! Ohio here also! I am nw of Dayton. Welcome to Dave's Garden!
We have 6 acres here..but only garden on one of them. The rest is in crops.
You will LOVE the country, I'm sure!
See you around the forums!
Marcy

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 4, 2006
7:52 PM

Post #2086463

Spoilsport here... doesn't anyone remember about paragraphs? Long posts with no spacing are SO hard for older eyes to read. Thanks.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2006
12:08 AM

Post #2086978

Dear Darius,

I am buying you younger eyes for your next birthday. :)
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2006
12:23 AM

Post #2087024

There is a book called the art of seeing by quackenbush. Darius put it on your birthday wish list.
Meahwhile here ya go.
Paragraphs
I only live on 1/4 acre but have a mini orchard and vegggie garden
looking into chickens. zoning here says I am allowed 3 animals under 27 in tall. will have to eat my dogs to make room. not gonna happen
I don't see any zoning police around so may sneak them in.
greenaudi
Amsterdam, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 5, 2006
10:28 AM

Post #2087776

So sorry Darius, I sort of write the way I talk...ha-ha. I used to live in Longwood, Florida. I sure miss that beautiful weather. Thanks for the welcome Badseed, Marcy. I am about one hour south of AkronCanton. Gonna have some decent weather here today. Boy do I have spring fever.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 5, 2006
11:39 AM

Post #2087815

Aundrea, I really wasnt trying to be ugly but in saying what I did, I forgopt to say Welcome to DG. :)

Chele, yep, I could use some new eyes! Even with making the font larger, long posts with no white space are hard to read, and I've heard that comment from several others over the years I've been on DG.
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2006
12:45 PM

Post #2087918

You know we love you Darius. :)

I have to laugh at the comment by Aundrea. LOL Barely come up for a breath do ya? Sounds like we would get along just fine, if we ever heard a thing the other said. LOL
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2006
5:49 PM

Post #2088651

Welcome Aundrea ! From your post, sounds like you're getting spoiled by the good life. That's a great way to be spoiled.
I have wondered about goats also. I need to learn more before getting any though. Having chickens is great. I started with just 6 and that was a good number to take care of and learn. If you start with just a few, they're easy. Check out the poultry and livestock forum on DG. There's lots of info there and lots of questions that we all asked when first getting chickens. Again, welcome...glad you could join us here.
greenaudi
Amsterdam, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2006
10:22 AM

Post #2090236

Thanks PeggieK for the welcome and for the info on the poultry/livestock forum, I was just over there reading about chickens. LOL badseed, I am just excited about finding other people out there that have a lot of the same views on things.
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2006
12:43 AM

Post #2094379

I just received chicken info. does everyone know that a cornish rock broiler male weighs 4.51 lbs at 5 weeks of age ? says they consume
12 lbs of food to get to eating weight. 8 wks 7.5 lbs anyone grow these? sounds like a good investment.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 8, 2006
3:12 PM

Post #2095736

I've looked at these pretty seriously too. I'd really like to raise meat chickens in addition to my pets that provide me with eggs.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 8, 2006
6:12 PM

Post #2096123

A friend of ours grows the cornishrocks. He says 6 weeks in the freezer, any longer your just wasting feed and it all turns to fat.
Heres where he orders from (free shipping)
http://www.welphatchery.com/

...Dennis / aka ol' tomcat
veeja3
Renton, WA
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2006
12:55 AM

Post #2097123

Thankyou that is where I got my info from. Welps. Thankyou carol
nivlac
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 7, 2006
7:58 AM

Post #2595128

sorry for dropping this little post, it really is not a story. But, I just wanted to say thank you to all who posted here. I dream of a place of my own. Land, Home, Food, Water, Off-the-Grid. Or at least as close as I can get. Cn't do it now but in the future. Got to get the DW used to the idea, she is just to modernized for it and I too have to condition a little. Not as much as she would but?

I wonder if anyone else is watching this? Hello, it has been a long time since a post.

calvin
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


August 7, 2006
6:28 PM

Post #2596548

Hi, Calvin! Yep, I'm still watching this thread. I seldom 'unwatch' threads, since someone always comes along and reads old threads, then posts. Most of the comments are just as relevent now as they were when posted.

I can relate to anyone who yearns to get away from an urban lifestyle, and for some, the move into the 'sticks' is also their first move into home ownership and even the simplest self-reliance. I have always lived a rural lifestyle, having only lived in town for a few years here in Seward (population was around 3,000). I have lived without running water, but have always had electricity. I've always been within a short drive of town, no matter how small the town.

However, we have a small generator for power outages, our own well and septic, and a basement larder that would keep us fed for quite a while. I'll be 60 next January, so I'm no longer looking for ways to make my life harder, but I'm not ready to move into town yet, either. I hope to be able to live in this log house and work in this yard for many, many years to come.

I wish you luck on your migration to self-reliance, and especially your quest for a spot of your own in which to carve a life.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

August 7, 2006
9:47 PM

Post #2597182

Weez, I too continue to "watch" this thread. While I am not actually "homesteading" I certainly an achieving a better self-reliant lifestyle in my new place. Lots remain to do but I'm eating that elephant one bite at a time!
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

August 8, 2006
6:02 AM

Post #2598664

Hi all, still watching too. Seems like our yearning for homesteading is even more appropriate now especially with using less fossil fuels!

Sure is hard to try to do my gardening etc. with a full-time job and a busy family. Got a couple of bantams mostly to help eat ticks in the backyard and because I miss having chickens. Hope the hen starts laying again soon so I can get more than 2; banty eggs are pretty small! :)
NEPA18702
Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 5b)

August 8, 2006
5:29 PM

Post #2599875

Hi All,
Just found this post today and enjoyed reading through it.

Weez, you're right, the old posts are just as good today as six months ago.

Darius, I was away from Dave's for a while and yesterday read your posts about getting a new place of your own. I almost cheered out loud when you closed on the property! Best of luck with it.

There's a great goat thread over on the poultry & livestock forum. My DW drinks only goat milk. She also cultures it to make kefir. She gets it from a local health food store, but even the local grocery stores now stock it.

Again, thanks for the thread, hope to read more...

Jim

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

August 8, 2006
7:33 PM

Post #2600250

Jim, I love kefir. I'd love to have a milk goat, mainly for goat cheese. Maybe in a year or two!

I was in Wilkes Barre just after the awful flood in the 70's. My friends had 18 feet of water in their house, and of course, lost everything.
NEPA18702
Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 5b)

August 8, 2006
7:40 PM

Post #2600289

Darius, I remember you telling me about your 70's Wilkes Barre connection.

If you ever decide you want to make your own kefir, my DW is always looking for someone to send her extra cultures to. You need to keep culturing to keep it going though.

Jim

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

August 8, 2006
7:55 PM

Post #2600347

Thanks, Jim. Maybe next year hopefully. Sorry about repeating the WB connection... CRS sets in rapidly!
nivlac
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 9, 2006
11:56 PM

Post #2605054

hello all,

good to see ya'll are still watching threads :) There is so much info old and new for the Homestead thread. and Farming info. and news too. It is almost overwhelming. I know, i know, iknow:) a little bit at a time. Trying to shovel to much info in the brain over a short time can cause gross memory loss all all the info. :(

I have recently discussed it with the DW and she has stated that she is interested in a site of our own for retirement income (that is when we reach a age we can no longer self rely on ourselves). She knows how much I really want to get away from the I...iots in the city. hehehe. Everyone is different and we should love them all for who they are but ...man... I am tired of the noise, traffic, no elbow room, loss of privacy, crime, and all. DW is too and we started discussing buying land and where to buy it. State is not all that important. She fell in love (so she says) with Tenn. and west Va when she took a trip to Washington DC when she was 17 or 18. I also brought up CO and northern NM. Guess we got some serious traveling to do in the years to come to go and see the different states and climates and land prices. Prices change freq. ly I know but window shopping now helps for late buying.

calvin
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


August 10, 2006
2:05 AM

Post #2605578

I'd be close to retirement age... if I could afford to retire! Next January, I'll be 60, and I can sure feel it after a long day in the gardens! Calvin, what do you mean by "a site of our own for retirement income". Do you mean buying land and working it, or building a house and renting it out?

When I lived in the midwest, it wasn't uncommon to see a farm house in the middle of a big flat field. There was a long driveway to the back road entrance, and a yard with some big trees. The house was usually two story with a big roofed in porch (cooler in the summer). Behind or beside the house was a smaller place. When the oldest son grew up and married, he and his bride moved into the small house and helped farm the land. When the parents grew older and the son's family grew, they traded houses. That always sounded like a good idea to me.
nivlac
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 10, 2006
3:04 AM

Post #2605779

Weezing, The idea,as I understand, it comes from my wife. She sees buying land as an investment that when the time is right can be sold for monetary gain. She stated that living on our own land is great but when we can no longer care for ourselves, being self reliant, and not giving our care troubles to our kids, we sell the property to care for ourselves till death. I understand where she is coming from, too. She believes that she is going to out live me, that would leave her alone and alot for her to take of just to live. I woldn't ask that of her. I want her to be as worry free as she can be.

Don't really know who will die first? Life will tell! I do know that all of my family to include great-grand parents have out lived her family, but that is a foolish trust and measure to go by. Life deals out a funny sense of humor.lol. I could or could not live longer than her. Shoot---- it would be nice for both of us to go at the same time, then the family has less to worry about.

My thoughts, are simple, buy the land, become as self sufficient as possible, work to improve the land and quality of self-reliant life style, die, and leave the property for family to enjoy. In my family, we have over 300 acres that has been passed down for about 3 generations now. We use it for tree farming, hunting, and outdoors activities. I grew up in the city and spent my vacations and family trips to the country tree farm. My grand parents, dad side of family, lived in a small town about 30minutes from the tree farm. My grandparents, mom side of family, were big on farming and the give-take life style with the land (take from it what you need but give back to replenish). My grandfather, mothers side, worked with the US Dept. of Agriculture. He used to take me to visit the farms and farmers when he made his rounds.
My dad, big outdoors man, used to take me for nature walks, hunting and fishing trips, ect.ect/ . He would always teach and find a lesson to be taught how if we take care of the land it will take care of us.
As a teenager, I would dream of my own land and living on it, as self reliant as possible. just enough livestock and animals to maintain mine and my families need and health and veggies and all. It would be a hard life, many sacrifices I know, but still I dream of having that .

Long winded I know I will hush now

calvin

This message was edited Aug 9, 2006 10:09 PM
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


August 10, 2006
3:39 AM

Post #2605997

Calvin, many people approaching retirement, then old age, consider the equity in their homes as their retirement fund. The house and land can be sold and the couple or surviving spouse can downsize to a smaller, easier home, or enter a facility, if necessary. Of course, the trick is purchasing your home and property early enough to build equity before you need the money!

Because my husband and I started our marriage in our 40's, we are getting a late start on retirement. Being self-employed, there will be no retirement funds coming in, and Social Security will not cover our expenses. I believe our property taxes on our primary residence are exempt when we reach 65. Since I owned this land when Dennis & I married, and we have never taken out a mortgage, we have a fair amount of equity. We work on the house as we can, but with each year, it becomes harder and harder. Personally, I'd like to die in this house, but at some point, we will probably have to find a one-story home. I wish I could just use an oil can on my joints so I could keep climbing these stairs forever. I don't want to move.

Anyway, as time passes, we will look into assisted home care. There are programs available here in Alaska to assist folks in staying home rather than entering a facility. Dennis is adopted, so he has no way of knowing whether longevity runs in the family. Since my mother died at 91 and paternal aunt died at 105, I will likely be the one coping with everything. Of course, as you say, you never know. Dennis could live to be 100 and have Anna Nicole Smith living in our house!
nivlac
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 10, 2006
3:44 AM

Post #2606019

LOL, who is Anna Nicole Smith, heheehee.

I would love to have my own and die there too. Just I love mt wife and her care comes first over my dreams. I have no doubt that we will get the land and lifestyle I want, it is just when and how much. Agian, Life will tell.

thank you for visiting with me.

calvin
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

August 10, 2006
5:04 AM

Post #2606240

Rather a sad discussion now, who will go first! Not that I don't think about that too since the SO is 16 years older, close to retirement, and yet I am the one who already needs that oil can for the joints. Anyway, don't forget about reverse mortgages. Not sure it's really a good deal for the family, since there may not be much to inherit, but you could probably stay put in your own house longer. And hiring someone to help might be less expensive and more comfortable than a nursing home. Although, having worked in a couple of nursing homes during college, they are good for some people - lots of other people to talk to. My house is kind of big for 2 of us so I may rent out rooms or something when I need more income. Or rent out space in the yard for people to store their boats, etc. I hope I remember my ideas when I really need them!
nivlac
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 11, 2006
1:30 AM

Post #2609056

I am new to the house ownership and do not know about reverse mortgages.

calvin
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 18, 2008
7:37 PM

Post #5687508

I'm new to DG. I'm still reading all these homesteading posts and enjoying the heck out of them, but I find I'm wondering what are folks up to these days? Are any of the original posters still active here at DG?

I'll be turning 51 in a couple of months, and I'm finally starting to make progress in my dream of some degree of self-sufficiency. Our garden was bigger this year, allowing us to can, dry, and freeze enough for this winter. We got a wood heating stove put in this last summer, as energy prices were skyrocketing, so we'll be able to take advantage of the ample supply of inexpensive wood in this area. And last spring we got harness for all 4 mammoth donkeys we have, in hopes of getting them to do a little work around this place. Didn't get far with that idea, the garden overwhelmed us, but now that that's done for the year, maybe we can get to the donkeys and their training.

Anyway, as all this 'wild excitement' in the financial markets has been going down, I've just been very grateful for the food we were able to produce and enjoy.

So... what has everyone else been up to? I'd like to revive this forum and find out!
=) Jay

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 18, 2008
8:33 PM

Post #5687636

Jay, if you place your cursor over a poster's name, you will see if they are still on DG... most of us are, I think. I don't post much to this Forum anymore, but to the Sustainable Alternatives Forum instead.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/gogreen/all/

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 18, 2008
10:43 PM

Post #5688011

Thanks for the heads up, Darius. I checked out a few of the postings there, but so far I like this thread better. Folks talking about their dreams and the little steps towards realizing them, rather than folks reading, viewing, opinionating.

(I am sick to death of well-informed opinions from folks who have no dirt under their nails, and no sweat stains on their ballcap. I have yet to see the NYT in a rancher's house.)

Clicking on each member profile and then thread postings is tedious to the max. And it doesn't tell me in a nutshell how the folks in this particular discussion fared with their dreams.

I'm homesteading in the latter half of a life, finally beginning to realize my own youthful dream in a body that is beginning to argue with me and my fine ideas. Sounds like many of these folks are in the same place as myself.

Of course I'll keep looking around the sustainable forum, lots of ideas there. Even some real life experience. =)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 18, 2008
10:59 PM

Post #5688079

Well said, although many of us on that forum have daily dirt under our nails and take baby steps towards our dreams.

You should try starting to fulfill your dreams in a 66 year old body... female to boot! (That was me, 2 years ago.) However, I have made great progress, mainly in learning the best way to garden for healthy food. Next comes chickens and maybe a milk goat...
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 19, 2008
12:47 AM

Post #5688510

Yes, these little grumblings my body is giving me now I tend to think of as just warning that by the time I'm 66, we'll be having knock-down, drag-out fights! LOL

I've had chickens in the past, before I moved up here. It's a whole new game now, and I'll have to build Fort Knox to keep 'em alive, what with the local dogs, skunks, raccoons, and coyotes. It's on my list... my favorites are Buff Orpingtons, Golden Sebrights, and New Hampshire Reds. What have you got? I'd like to get a mixed run initially, and raise a bit of meat, but I've never solved the 'gut-bucket' issue... what to do with all the guts from a dozen birds? I've considered hiking into the back country to dump it, but that's one of those ideas my body is starting to say things like... you can do that OR you can turn the compost in, not both. LOL

I've got 14 acres of decent loamy clay; or would that be clayey loam? Anyway, it grows stuff easily with just a little compost to keep it alive. Composted donkey manure is in abundance here. But learning about short-season gardening is definitely a process. I had 25' of tomato plants this year, and it was too cool to ripen many of even the short-season varieties I selected. Not to mention the continual threat of hail. Now I'm thinking of greenhouses and high tunnels. Yikes, that's a project and a half.

I've made a connection with some distant neighbors (they're on the way into town) and they're milking both goats and a cow, so we're set for fresh milk. Yum! We trade produce, fresh bread and seedlings for milk.

What's your set-up? Do you have land? And you're 5b too, so I'd like to hear about things you've learned, maybe they'll apply here where I am.

Tomorrow I tackle the corn patch!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 19, 2008
12:53 AM

Post #5688527

No chickens yet. First, a chicken tractor. Well, second. First is really $$ for materials. Years ago I had Rhode Island Reds, not sure what this time, but probably will include some Buff Orpingtons.

I've learned about soil... far to much to talk about here. If you click on my name, it will take you to my page where all the articles I've written are listed. They are all live links and address a lot of what I have learned.

Good Luck!
twiggybuds
Moss Point, MS
(Zone 8b)

October 19, 2008
1:10 AM

Post #5688604

re: gut bucket issue

Dig a series of shallow holes or a shallow trench and have handy a sheet of roofing metal or something large enough to more than cover your burial. Spread the offal including feathers and cover with the soil you dug out. The soil needs to be damp or you can water it. Cover and weight it down so marauding animals can't access it. In warm weather the soil microbes work quickly, no more than 6 weeks. I don't know about cold weather but several months should do it. It will be wonderful for whatever you wish to plant. I like to do the same with coffee grounds and peelings except they don't need protection from animals. Compost where you want it and no extra handling.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 19, 2008
1:39 AM

Post #5688717

Thanks for that info. I would find that preferable to feeding the scavengers. Not that they don't need to eat. I just hate to have them associate me with food. They will be shopping at my house next. I have always buried inedible fish parts and it makes an excellent fertilizer.

No chickens at the moment but many in years past. I always had white leghorns. Good layers and I think I liked them as it is what I grew up with. Here, the chickens were a magnet for hawks, skunks, possums and SNAKES! Thinking of snakes makes me resist temptation although I'd still love a few.

Although we all follow different drummers, I too hope everyone that has posted here in the past has managed to move closer to attaining their dreams and goals.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 19, 2008
1:29 PM

Post #5690180

Thanks for the idea about the metal roofing over the trench! I've buried before and indeed the scavengers were a problem. I ended up loading the gut bucket up and driving out to some remote BLM land and dumping it for the coyotes. But that doesn't work here, everything's ranchland and I'm pretty sure the rancher's wouldn't much like me feeding the coyotes, not to mention the drive. You're living in a much warmer area, so the 6 weeks probably wouldn't be long enough around here, but that's just a matter of timing.

Fortunately we don't have to worry much about snakes, most of ours are small or not very interested in chickens or eggs. But hawks are another matter all together. I've got a friend that built a chicken 'cathedral'... that's a head scratcher for me. It's a peaked PVC arch, probably 18' high, covered with bird netting. But chickens don't fly, so why all the head room?

I built a chicken tractor once... lots of scavenged materials. I think I wouldn't make it 8' x 4' again, but smaller. My new beds are going to be narrower too; the 4' wide is just too wide to be comfortable.

I tried white leghorns once, but as free range chickens, we just didn't get along. They kept jumping into the dog's yard... only took a week to kill themselves.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 19, 2008
2:41 PM

Post #5690373

Jay, look into EM/Bokashi... there are folks here who compost meat scraps, bones, etc. with it. I don't know about large volumes, but I don't see why not, either.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 20, 2008
4:11 AM

Post #5693296

What a great forum this is and just stumbled upon it this evening. Hope everyone is moving forward with their homesteads.

I am from Canada - married a wonderful Kansan man in April 2006. We are living in a rental in a tiny rural town while waiting out DH's retirement from the railroad - 4 yrs from now. At that time we plant to permanently return to Canada, sell my city house in southern Ontario and buy a country property as far north as we can reasonably move to. Self-sustenance will be the object and just like many of you...I wish we had met earlier in life while we had some youth on our sides to go at it with some gusto instead of with arthritis gel.

One blessing that we do have in our favour is Health Insurance. In Canada, all citizens are entitled to total Health Insur. and though the quality of it has gone downhill with time, it is still available and ongoing. My eldest sister had a quadruple bypass in 1995 and the only cost was the expensive meds that followed her surgery. Unable to afford the cost of the meds, she needed a second bypass 8 years later. The surgeon told her that he would NOT perform the operation unless she guaranteed him that she would find a way to get the required meds afterwards. The main arteries in both legs are now rerouted and used to do the bypasses with and she cannot stand for long periods of time or even sit for long. She is 69 yrs old and lives on Disability and Social Security, which doesnt provide a very large income but it does provide the necessary medications for her post-bypasses & her diabetes.

I cant even fathom what those surgeries would have cost her in America. It would have been beyond belief I am sure.

Dentistry is not a social benefit but most dentists charge smaller fees to anyone who doesnt have group insur. and that helps.

Sooo, we are in a better position at least with health insur. coverage in Canada. Land/house/tax prices are astronomical by comparison to many places in the U.S. so I guess it all irons out in the wash?

In Ontario, what used to be affordable property along the various lakes has been gobbled up by the mainstream yuppies who have bought and built million dollar cottages & summer homes along their shores. What used to be get-away cabins have been replaced by these expensive, state of the art homes that have driven up the price of the land, taxes and overall cost of living in "the wilderness"

Further north are many many towns that have all but dried up from the shut down of the mines, lumbermills, pulp & paper industry. Working age people have moved out and left behind the elderly who stick close to their small town living lifestyles & cost of living.

There are still affordable places to live but they grow further and further north. The good part is that the lakes and rivers of the north remain somewhat pollution free, the fish are edible, the rural land untouched. That is where we will be heading. No doubt a house that is already built, well water because that is the way of the rural properties. Hopefully we can add on solar panels to supplement power, collect rain water, garden for food, compost, and enjoy life working for ourselves. Unto each other.



Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 20, 2008
11:47 PM

Post #5696541

I guess it's a function of being a boomer? Still feeling the influence of the back-to-the-land movement. I'm continually surprised that there arent' more young adults doing this. They say that in the 90's for the first time more people lived in the city than the country; I wonder if that's why homesteading doesn't seem to show up on their radar screens much. I know there are some wonderful young market gardeners, and a few young homesteaders, but the bulk of us do seem to be a bit grey behind the ears.

As a matter of fact, one of my favorite blogs is by a young man who market gardens up your way...
http://tinyfarmblog.com/
He's a wonderful photographer, and I've learned quite a lot by just reading his blog. Unfortunately for me, my software is getting so old my computer tends to crash loading his site. That just means it's an especial treat to actually read it. =)

I'm so impressed that you're heading farther north and undertaking gardening.

One of the things I find so amazing is how much the weather is beginning to impact how I feel and what I manage to do. Today was a change from sunny and warm to a little cooler and mostly cloudy, and my mood just went blah on me. Snappish. =( Such a mild change didn't used to have this effect on me.

I did get into town and get some prices on some of the things I need to build my little greenhouse... a pvc and plastic affair for next spring early planting. I think I'll use that cheap corrugated fiberglass for the ends. We get some major spring winds here and it would just be a firmer structure.

Maybe once I get that up, I can run a couple of chickens next fall to clean it up? Hmmm, that's an idea...

We've spent the day cooking tomato sauce down for canning, and prepping the last of the green beans to can. The house smells marvelous!
Jay

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
12:07 AM

Post #5696625

Hi Jay

Sounds like you had a super busy day despite getting the blahs from the overcast weather. It certainly didnt hold you back...besides, we need days that slow us down and give us some respite from the go go go adrenalin rushes that motive us to work super hard ALL the time.

Thanks for the link to Stefans Farm market. I will give it a good read tonite after I settle down for the evening. I didnt see in the blog where he was in Ont. so Googled it and see that he is in Chatham Ontario? That is probably 3 hrs west of Toronto and my home is about an hour east of Toronto. Chatham is definately a farming/growing area. Kitchener/Waterloo, London, Chatham - that is a green belt with great farming land. Lots of Mennonites down that way and one of those towns is "The White Bean Capitol of the World"...cant remember which town.

There is also a very good Native plant nursery out that way. It is part of the Six Nations Reservation and the owner is native. He grows herbs, plants, ground covers, bushes, shrubs, trees etc. that are all "native" to southern Ontario. Funny story about that place. A few years ago before I moved to KS I picked up a friend in Toronto to drive to that nursery and as luck would have it the major hwy had all kinds of construction going on and we got a little lost and when we finally arrived there after being on the road all day...they had literally just closed...it was 5 pm on the nose and as we came up the road to the nursery driveway...the owner was pulling out of the driveway in his pickup truck and heading in the opposite direction. I was sooo disheartened. All that way. All those miles and frustration of being lost, etc. and we missed them by a minute.

I emailed the nursery the next day and explained my disappointment at having missed him by a minute and that we had spent the entire day trying to find his nursery etc. and he wrote me back and felt so badly that he had missed us. He said he normally would have been there regardless of the time of day and would have gladly let us shop and not keep to business hours without hesitation but that day in particular, he had committed to help a friend plant some trees and that was why he had left at 5 pm on the dot when his nursery had closed. What a drag eh ? I never did get back there again...waaaaa

We plan to move much further north than where Stefans market is...waaay north and probably east. I am sure I will learn a lot when I read about his market and farm. Thanks for the heads up on it.

Looking forward to giving it a good read tonite. Now off to tend my pot roast and Yorkshire Pudding !!!

Have a relaxing evening. All the best

Georgina
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
3:29 AM

Post #5697723

Georgina,
Tiny Farm may not seem close to you, but it's a lot closer than I... I'm way down here by Mexico! Well, a days drive from it anyway. LOL

One of the things I learned is how to start carrots and lettuce outside. We have very drying winds here, and the soil crusts. I've always had very poor success with those little seeds. But I tried the burlap method they use at Tiny Farm and was wildly successful. And if a technique will transplant alllllll the way down here, just think what it will do for you! LOL

I have a lot of slow days, but one of the things about homesteading is there are times when that's not an option. Winter is coming, and there are things that need to get done before the ground freezes, before the snow flies. Because one is much closer to nature in the raw, and because one is much more dependent on advance preparation, putting something off or letting it slide can have VERY uncomfortable results.

But however driven I get around here, I always know it is in my own best interest, not the best interest of corporate headquarters, and it makes all the difference. I can really haul butt and at the end of the day take pride and satisfaction in that work.

Have you read any Wendell Berry? Or seen a Small Farmer's Journal? It's all about craftsmanship, caring for what's held in the hand and known in the heart, whether it's tomato sauce (finally in the water bath!) or a straight fence or a well trained donkey (my next big project, after the greenhouse? Maybe) Even when things don't go as planned (there are days when I work hard all day at something to find that the whole idea was flawed from the get-go), I can still revel in the knowledge that my whole being was fully engaged in this life, this world. Full contact with this moment.

It's that full contact that makes this lifestyle rewarding, the immersion in goldfinches and hawks and throwing hay, coming into a warm kitchen redolent with the smells of tomatoes, eating a fresh baked cookie and knowing... well done, well done.

IMHO... LOL
Jay

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
4:18 AM

Post #5697879

Jay
I know what you mean about seeing something thru...knowing you can make it work and maybe it doesnt always pan out exactly the way you planned but it was , if nothing else, a learning experience. My DH became the man of the house when he was just 12 yrs old. They were very poor and there was no money for repairmen or replacement of most things about the house so he learned how to fix things on his own volition.

Some of our greatest accomplishments are achieved when there is little to work with and no true knowledge of how to do something and then figuring it out and making it work. Then, the greater the need ie putting food by for the winter, all the more resolve from within to get the job done.

I cant tell you how many times I have tried to make things work and not been successful because I didnt think it thru in the true presence that was required. Usually I feel defeated temporarily and then I say "I can do this" and I plow my way thru it until I get where I need to be. haha. Stubborn and determined. Somehow it works.

Maybe that is the difference between people who choose homesteading vs city-slickers (for the sake of a label). City slickers or mainstream people dont give a thought to where food comes from, how to fix, repair, create from scratch. If they cant go out and buy it...they dont want it.

What do you think ?


AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
4:34 AM

Post #5697917

Haha reading Stefans Farm blog on the subject of him getting chickens. One of the comments is from a guy named Kevin that says: "The best thing about chickens is that...they taste like chicken"
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
3:04 PM

Post #5699128

April,
Yeah, I agree that often it does seem that city slickers (labels work for me) really don't have a clue what it takes to support a life.

One story... visiting a city based spiritual center, and a woman says to me in a most scandalized voice... do you know that 75% of CA water goes to *gasp!* agriculture!!! So I gave her my best "you're an idiot" look, and said I was sure glad, because CA provided fruits and vegetables to the entire country, that it was my FOOD they were watering. Her weak rejoinder was that they could use the water more efficiently, to which I replied perhaps, but maybe it would be better to get rid of hot tubs, watered lawns, and daily showers first. I mean, why does someone with a desk job need to take a daily shower? Use a couple of wet wipes and deoderant, for Pete's sake. End of conversation. =)

I mean, really.

Somewhere on this site, someone was asking about what kind of chicken was grown by Tyson (I think) because they wanted a chicken that tasted just like what they got in the store. LOL That is soooo sad... have they looked at the label of that chicken recently? I'll bet it's got 'natural flavor' added. Whatever the hell that is... pumped up with up to 10% broth, no doubt. No wonder their homegrown chickens didn't taste like the store bought.

I'll tell you what, I've had so many 'learning experiences' I'm a walking egghead. LOL I've been amazed at the number of folks I've met that don't even know how to operate a shovel, let alone what to do with the dirt... boy, I hate having to track down the dirt after they've flung it about. My favorite thing is to ask what they're going to fill that post hole with and watch the look on their faces when they say 'the dirt' and I say 'what dirt?' and they look around and see they've scattered it all to hell and gone.

Teaching people to dig post holes is a hoot. There's the ones that start the hole just a little bit wider than the post and find that about a foot down you can't open the posthole digger anymore. Then there's the ones that make a hole big enough to roast a pig in...

and I'm only laughing because although I'm a veritable expert on post holes, I'm sure I cause a vast amount of amusement when I start messing with hitching my donkeys and trying to train them to work. I figure I'm a real side-splitter! LOL

Got get to it...
Jay
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
4:02 PM

Post #5699367

Jay I am cracking up at your description of people here. hahahahha

The emoticon with the big wide eyes and dumb facial expression comes to mind. haha

Let me tell you that in Ontario Canada we have access to every possible fruit & vegetable all year long in our grocery stores and guess what ? They mostly come from CA. I was shocked to find that in KS there is very little fruit available in our small towns...mostly just apples & oranges & they are often combined together in plastic bags. Extremely expensive by comparison to Ontario. Mind you, we are huge growers of apples & they are climatically stored all year for year round availability. People dont give a thought to the idea that we should be eating what is locally available seasonally and support local growers. If everyone grew their own food they would grasp the concept & either put food down for the winter or do withou and learn how to plan in a hurry.

One of the funniest dumb#$ things I heard while living in Toronto was at a fine dining restaurant one night. I barely noticed the other diners around us but when my DH went to the restroom I heard a well suited dapper looking business man - who was obviously on a date with the woman at his table, based on his polite, enquiring conversation with her...
The menu offered a 6 oz and a 10 oz filet mignon and the businessman called the waiter over to ask what the difference in the steaks were ? The waiter, after a moment of hesitation said "well, one is 6 ozs and the other is 10 ozs, depending on your appetite". I swear ! This is the truth ! The blue suit said "OK, now, 6 ozs...is that WITH or WITHOUT the bacon??" The waiter said "I'm sorry ...?" The suit said "does the 6 or 10 ozs INCLUDE the bacon or is the weight of the bacon extra?"...Need the dumbstruck emoticon here - All I could think was: "RUN LADY RUN!!! You DO NOT want to date this guy !!!"

Homegrown chickens are probably one of the paramount reasons to live in the country and grown your own. What they sell in the stores is just sad and pathetic - white, scrawny, tasteless, meatless blaaaaaaaaaaaaa. People are sheep and go along with whatever nasty excuse of a food product or anything else for that matter is being offered. It's amazing. Absolutely amazing !

Food here at our local diners is what I refer to as "Road Kill". It is all "product" that has been brought in and heated either in a deep fryer or maybe a microwave by large. Mashed potatoes are either canned, instant or frozen. French fries are always frozen. Veg accompaniaments with dinner always canned and soggy. Spread for bread or rolls comes in plastic tubs and is either margarine or sometimes, "dairy spread". Coffee comes with packets of powdered dairy creamer...not a drop of butter or cream to be had. Salads always come out of a bag and have been prewashed, prechopped and limp. I guess the fresh stuff goes to Canada? This is the heart of farm country and there isnt a sniff of real potatoes, real butter, real cream or real salad to be had? And the locals fill the diners every night at dinner time because nobody cooks or bakes from scratch anymore. If they do, it comes out of a box, a dairy case roll that you whack on the counter, or a frozen box or bag. Geez !!

The way of the world is "instant" - no muss, no fuss and no messing up those designer stainless steel kitchens. Heaven forbid !

I guess if you are a city slicker you are entertained by mainstream television shows, motivated by TV commercials & satisfied with fast food, frozen product & life in the plastic world? Full steam ahead ! Thus the credit crazy society we have today where everyone is sinking beneath the debt loads that are burying them? But, thats another chapter altogether.



darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
4:27 PM

Post #5699491

Georginia... you are not far from my maternal family homes, near Concordia and Clay Center. I haven't been back to KS since 1954.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
4:41 PM

Post #5699533

Hi Darius

I was born in 54 and this year I am 54. I havent made it to Concordia yet but have been to Clay Center on several occasions. Its a neat town. Love their Rays Apple Market. Great produce that isnt limp, more selection and their bakery dept is great. Unfortunately its about an hour south west of us and I dont get down there very often. We tend to go to Manhattan more often because they have more stores and a great Mexican restaurant. Its about 45 mins. straight south of us.

Speaking of food: I received this email this morning from a friend back home and just have to post it here to share. Think you will get a kick out of it. I know I did !
Oh to be this quick witted!

Yesterday I was at my local Wal-Mart buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal
pet, Sheriff, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked
if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse
I told her that no, I didn't have a dog I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices
and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.
The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have
to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's a@s and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Wal-Mart won't let me shop there anymore. Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.


darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
6:30 PM

Post #5699996

Thanks, I needed a good laugh!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
6:32 PM

Post #5700010

I could never be a waitress... that urbanite would have gotten my famous Look... too stupid to waste a bullet on, as my dad would say. I'da said something like, "4 ounces, what? did you forget your calculator?"

I think we ought to legalize stupidity and tax it into oblivion. It'd take care of this mah-velous new trillion dollar bail-out debt. The regulations would stifle any growth of it. Folks'd just have to get smarter to avoid paperwork. LOL

And now the world is rejoicing that credit is loosening up again? Does anybody here remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing again expecting different results?

I was in a bookstore last week that had post cards of the Dalai Lama sitting next to post cards of Obama. Two 50-something ladies walked in and one nearly swooned, "Oh look! They have Obama next to His Holiness. Isn't that just soooo true? I really feel Obama is such a spiritual man." WHAT!? Is she out of her tiny little mind?

I'll be straight here and say I'm voting for Obama, but to even think of putting him anywhere near the same level as the Dalai Lama is outrageous. Is that what sniffing city air does to brain cells? I mean, I've known chickens with more sense. OK, maybe not Leghorns... but New Hampshire Reds are way smarter than that lady. Obama is just another well-packaged politician who happens to say a few things I agree with and that's it. I don't even think I'd enjoy his company over dinner.

Which around here is basically 6 different Mexican restaurants. And one truck stop, with the same menu you mentioned. >=P

The produce here is about like what you describe where you're at, definitely not A quality, and still expensive. It's a shame too, because you can still find old timers who remember when this area grew a lot of its own food. There's the remnants of old orchards all over, gone to ruin. Old water driven flour mills. Now we don't even have a local butcher, and it's the middle of ranching country.

When I was in college in Iowa, I remember hearing that farm families were receiving food stamps... they had turned everything over to mono-cropping, and weren't raising their own food anymore, and when the corn market tanked, they were flat broke. That just blew my little college mind... in Iowa, with the best dirt in the world, the farmers didn't even have a vegetable garden! There is something deeply, deeply wrong with that picture...

I just really like homesteading, the little I do manage to pull off, because it reminds me that I am part of a fabric, or as I was reading last night "...a net of interlocking ripples [that] extends far beyond our capacity for understanding or absolute knowledge." It IS about connection and place and staying put and making do. Some of it is very hard, harsh, and tough to take. And it's blessed by moments so quiet and tender and ephemeral...

"It is in man's nature to want to understand--to know more-- to try to find where processes may be enhanced or improved. So with farming's simple contract we have always tried 'to do better'. Individually this has resulted in marvelous advances, not in nature, but in man's working relationship with nature. It has been a good partnership, that one between individual humans and the biological world, because a natural balance has tempered inquiry. It is, and has been, in individual man's nature to stand in awe and wonder of the majesty, mystery, complexity and power of the biological world, God's creation, our nest, this mind-boggling beautiful world."
Lynn Miller, from "Farmer Pirates and Dancing Cows"

For me, this really points to why I want to live this way, and why I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't. I LIKE being awestruck by beauty and wonder every day. =)
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2008
8:41 PM

Post #5700518

Actually Jay, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that there are many urbanites who really do have a clue as what it takes to support life. Urban homesteading has been around for some time and is becoming increasingly popular.

Here is a sample of some urban homesteading sites. It's not just limited to California.
http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/10/15/urban-homesteading/

http://www.urban-homesteading.com/

http://theurbanhomesteader.com/

http://yardstead.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Itemid=28

http://www.cityfarmer.org/
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 21, 2008
9:07 PM

Post #5700648

Well, I think that lady in the bookstore should go for dinner with the blue suit bacon weighing cheapskate and they could admire the postcards together in Toronto!

So sad to know that the farmers have been reduced to food stamps in Iowa. It is like that in Canada on the east coast, Newfoundland where the livliehood has always been fishing.

It says a lot when butchers, bakers and candlestick makers cannot exist any more. Todays bakeries are known in the business as "fakeries" because everyone serve the same "product" that comes frozen in the back door and is merely thawed, proofed and baked to look like the real thing. Its just not cost effective to try to make anything from scratch on a commercial scale.

Even funeral homes have become national corporations and takeovers are commonplace. The big fish eating up the little fish and obliterating individual businesses. McDonalds and of course Walmart are experts at it. It's titled "Progress" and even your leghorns can attest to that. Haha Foghorn Leghorn is probably my favourite cartoon !

Garden-maiden
Thanks for the links to the sites on urban homesteading. I have heard many stories of urbanites trying to convert to solar and being forced to remove their systems because they are viewed as an eyesore and not acceptable. I cant speak for other places but Ontario is fast becoming a hub for condo type living with townhouse complexes and condo bldgs that are anything but earth friendly. Occupants/owners are forbidden to alter the outside of their units with anything that is not part of the complexes "tasteful facade" No changes in paint colour, no clotheslines, no barbeques or real personalized decor. All must stay within the confines of mgmt control.

I would think it's a tough challenge that is ongoing to try to be self sustaining at all in an urban environment but look forward to checking out the links you have provided.

Back to my oxtail soup making.



Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2008
9:32 PM

Post #5700735

No, I'm not surprised, CA. It's a ray of hope and I wish you and yours all the best. Urban homesteading has its own challenges. And I expect you'd have given that lady the same 'you're an idiot' look when she was so horrified over the use of water.

But urban homesteading is a good bit different from living a mile away from your nearest neighbor. Having to mail order everything, because the nearest mall/greenhouse/bookstore is 2 hours away, and having to drive that same two hours to find a decent apple.

Whereever you grow a tomato and put by a chicken or two...
every mouthful of food raised is money stolen from the hands of corporate agriculture and I applaud your effort. But almost by definition that means you're NOT a city slicker.

If you can dig a post hole and find the dirt later, and your post doesn't lean over in a month, you're not a city slicker.

If you even WISH to be able to put in a good solid fence post, you're not a city slicker.

If you have no quibble with someone shooting a dog threatening their goats, you're not a city slicker.

If you're more impressed by your neighbor's efforts to honestly make do and get by than by whether their place detracts from your property value, you're not a city slicker.

And if you think the gov't had better keep their microchip out of your cow, pig, goat, sheep, chicken, you're not a city slicker. (If you know what I'm talking about, you HAVE been paying attention to what they're up to! xoxo)

So just don't consider yourself a city slicker and you won't have to take any of this personal. Unless you like running around gettin' your feelings hurt; that's between you and your therapist. (Seems to take the place of alcohol for a lot of folks these days, gettin' feelings hurt. Well, it's cheaper and about as annoying. But that's a whole 'nother topic.)

Irascibly,
Jay

Please don't tell me you have a picture of Obama on your altar...
or McCain for that matter.
LOL
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2008
9:51 PM

Post #5700798

LOL! Jay, I certainly was not taking any of your rants personally. I was trying to cheer you up by showing you that there is at least some hope for the urban environment.
The links I posted are from urban homesteading sites across the country, not just here.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 22, 2008
1:02 AM

Post #5701637

(Jay elbows chickens and says "Can you believe this? You better behave yerself or yer off to an "Urban" yard Missy!)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2008
1:06 AM

Post #5701652

Hey CA,
Glad you weren't taking it personal. I think urban homesteaders are just 'hicks in transition', on their way out of over-civilization.
You've given us a new pasttime down at the feedstore...
You're not a city slicker if...

someone dressed up looks a little odd to you.
none of your shoes have tassles on them.
you have to remind yourself that camo and plaid really doesn't go together.
your 'dress' shoes have more dust on them than your daily shoes (and that's saying something around here!)
that used to be your 'good' ball cap until you pulled over to help a neighbor pull a calf, foal, lamb...
you know what I mean by a 'good' ball cap.

And you ARE a city slicker if...

you try and buck hay in shorts and birkenstocks.
your shoes have tassles on 'em.
you wouldn't think of wearing a ball cap because it would give you hat head.

LOL, we'll be playing this one for weeks! What's everyone else think?

Grinnin' from ear to ear...
Jay
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 22, 2008
1:18 AM

Post #5701700

HAHAHA

You are NOT a city slicker if you know:

* That it is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs (get off my foot ya big lug)

* Turtles can breathe thru their butts ( I know some people like that too )

* You consider your least stained plaid flannel shirt as your "Dinner Jacket"


You ARE a city slicker if:

You get out of your SUV after gently navigating a speed bump and dust your tires off with your hanky

Your idea of "roughing it" is a Holiday Inn with no swimming pool




garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 22, 2008
5:34 AM

Post #5702632

So...are you telling me you don't own any "dress clothes" for special occaisions?
What do where to a wedding?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2008
6:20 PM

Post #5704362

I take my Carharts to the cleaners! LOL

dave719
Humansville, MO
(Zone 6a)

October 22, 2008
7:36 PM

Post #5704678

My good black jeans and a denim shirt
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2008
8:03 PM

Post #5704801

OK, I gotta hear about leading cows up and down stairs. AND why ANYONE would know that turtles can breathe through their butt.

I'm very worried I might be a city slicker... LOL

Oh, holy cow, it's snowing outside! Not much, but there's something falling out of the sky and it sure ain't rain. Crud. I am so not ready for this.

You are a city slicker if...
you call deer meat 'venison'.

You are not a city slicker if...
you've ever made your breakfast using the horse's rolled oats (It's a looong way into town sometimes).

you grew up throwing horse apples at your little sister with your BARE HANDS!!! (Mothers grab ears over that one)

Got 14 pints and 2 quarts of tomato sauce put up Monday, started blanching and peeling 12 gallons (feed buckets) more for crushed tomatoes today, will finish tomorrow.

First winter storm may wreak havoc with my plans...
Jay
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 22, 2008
9:20 PM

Post #5705092

Picking up horse apples with your bare hands? What about making dung cakes from the horse, ox and cow manure with your bare hands. There is a technique to that you know. If you don't make them right the dung cakes won't burn properly.

Way to go with the tomato canning!
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 23, 2008
1:28 AM

Post #5705999

Wedding atire? mmmm something gauzy ...cheesemaking butter cloth perhaps...oh and beaded leg hair and armpits...that way, when you waive bon voyage to the departing bride and groom...they not only get a visual but an audio as well...click click click click

Men, why of course.they tie their unruly homesteading hair back with a conduit clamp and hope that if it rains at the wedding...there is at least no lightning ! ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzap
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 23, 2008
1:32 AM

Post #5706017

Breakfast with the cows oats? HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHA

And I am liking the dung cakes & horse apple tossing thing...I MUST be a hick. yippeeeeee

You are NOT a city slicker if you put an ad in the newspaper that reads:

WANTED; One good man with a horse
Please send picture of the horse

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2008
6:11 PM

Post #5708603

You are NOT a city slicker if...

you keep your brand new chain saw in the living room.

You're also not much of a housekeeper, but all your friends are much more interested in the chain saw, so who cares!

I just got a new Stihl, and -- oh gosh-- it's dreamy!

Not that I've had a chance to use it yet; we've been too busy canning! I'm working on the crushed tomatoes today (I hope, there's also a truck in town I have to go get and stew to fix for dinner... not sure I can fit it all in today) and there's still salsa and crock pickles to go... we've run out of jars, again! We've run out of places to put everything. Things are a little out of control right now. %-)

But I longingly cast my eye over in the direction of the chain saw as I wash the jars...
Jay

This message was edited Oct 23, 2008 12:22 PM
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 24, 2008
12:14 AM

Post #5709776

hahahahha YER KILLIN ME HERE !!!
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

November 4, 2008
7:17 AM

Post #5750187

"...every mouthful stolen from the hands of corporate agriculture ... " love it!! More motivation! I think it's Joel Salatin that comments that supermarket chicken is 10% fecal soup (ugh). Course the coyotes/raccoons/osprey/hawks got my Rhode Island Reds here...need to work on the chicken's quarters.

Jay I grew up on deer meat and we did also call it venison, but I certainly don't consider myself a city slicker - haven't dug any post holes though (let SO do it). I certainly worry about those microchips - keep on fighting against those and against big agri-biz!! For the first year ever the tomatoes did poorly - let SO grow them from last year's heirlooms instead of starting them myself. Froze a mess of pears tho - delish! Will have to remember to put them up in honey next time but keep harvesting from the hive too late. I can't believe more people don't have kitchen gardens in America's heartland - just incredible. It is definitely Victory Garden time now. Quite a few people at least have a few tomato plants here in Mass., and the farmers markets have lots of customers.

You are not a city slicker if you - brought your pony into the house when your folks weren't looking.

You are not a city slicker if you can't eat supermarket cukes!! (mine are SO much better)

lindalouflower
Arcadia, FL

November 8, 2008
12:49 AM

Post #5764628

WOWthis forum is great you all are just so funny. Andso encouraging to people to follow there dreams. Had almost gave up hope that people like you still exisited.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 8, 2008
1:00 AM

Post #5764691

lindalou, are you near the Peace river?
lindalouflower
Arcadia, FL

November 8, 2008
1:46 AM

Post #5764849

yes peace river runs through the city limits of my town its called arcadia, fla
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

November 18, 2008
10:03 PM

Post #5806290

Mayflwr,

I never got a pony... I started with a horse I had to climb up on the fence to get on. My first lesson in outsmarting someone bigger than me, but not my last. =) However, there was no way, no how that I was going to spend enough time in the house to bother trying to get the horse in there, so I napped in the barn with my horse. My dad was very old school cowboy and I got spanked for 'spoilin' the horse... next lesson in outsmarting something bigger... I just waited til he wasn't around.

Now I know the idea was to prevent the horse from laying down while tied... she was kind of a lazy horse, I do recall.

But at the time (8 yrs old) I figured my dad was just another unreasonable, crazy adult.

Anybody else here remember ducking into the nearest hidey-hole and going deaf when Mom started hollerin' for help cleaning the house?

Around here, we dust once a year whether the house needs it or not! LOL

I'm going out to work on the winter prep some more...
Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 19, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #5806743

The Health Dept. would condem my house but my barn is as neat as a pin! I have my priorities straight. LOL Friends say my barn doesn't even smell like a horse.
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
5:19 AM

Post #7657086

I have a dream...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz That one day the world will be off my case and out of my face!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2010
5:30 AM

Post #7657129

Wow, this was one of the first threads I read when I first joined Dave's. Wonder how PeggyK is doing? I"ll have to go back and read this whole thread to see how far some of you have come!

I know in my case, it's quite inspiring to follow these and discuss projects and ideas.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2010
6:48 AM

Post #7657315

Lot of water under the bridge since then. We moved and set up shop an hour and a half away from the old place. The animals are not in nearly so nice of conditions. Need to build new pens when the weather gets nice. Need to sell 4 or 5 horses. But life does go on. Got 3 planting beds made and plans for more. Got seedlings in the cellar. Yes, got a cellar in the deal. That's a plus. Chickens are laying very well. Got chicks in the brooder and eggs in the bator. Learning new things everyday. God is still on the throne and life is good!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 26, 2010
11:38 AM

Post #7657956

EastOfMidnite wrote:I have a dream...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz That one day the world will be off my case and out of my face!


Hey, is that a chainsaw you're running there... that oughta help! LOL
IDK, sounds kinda like either male menopause or short-times disease to me.
goldendomer1
Northern, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 20, 2010
2:52 PM

Post #7811492

“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly…” ~ Langston Hughes
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 20, 2010
9:13 PM

Post #7812514

I'm holding on so tight I'm afraid I may squeeze the life right out of them but I won't give up.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


October 8, 2010
3:05 PM

Post #8145394

I just looked back at my posts back in 2006 (#1968599) and it seemed like a good idea to post an update, some four years later. While there have been some big changes in my life, my lifestyle hasn't changed all that much. The question of longevity was settled for my husband when he dropped dead in our bathroom at 59, over 17 months ago. I guess that was his retirement plan. Though I miss him every day, I find that my life is much the same. I am learning to live alone and have settled into my own daily routine that is comfortable for me.

I'm now 63, so it takes me longer to get things done, but I have kept my little nursery business open the last two summers since his death, and I plan to continue until my old body just can't take the punishment anymore. Keeping up my yard and all the plants I sell keeps me outdoors most of the spring and summer. I've come to prefer it, though a rainy day indoors to clean house, edit my music or play on the computer is welcome from time to time.

Since I am not a handy person when it comes to automobiles, Toyostoves, plumbing or electricity, and I no longer have the physical attributes that inspire young men to offer me assistance, I have begun enlisting the aid of my son. When he is too busy or hasn't the expertise I need, I call upon the husbands of my friends.

This requires tact. One never wants to ask the hubby directly, as this can cause trouble with the wives. Not because they will be jealous, but rather, any time spent on my honey-do list may shave time from theirs. So, instead, I mention to my friend that I need to have a widget mounted on my wall, but lack the skills to do so. I mention how lovely their widgets look and ask who mounted them. Usually it is the hubby, and usually, the wife will volunteer his assistance. I leave it to her to nag him into it.

For most things, however, I do the work myself. If it just requires a strong back and strong will, I try to figure out a way to use leverage or some tool to make it happen. I've been contemplating splurging on a new hand truck. Mine is at least 40 years old and squeaks so badly when I haul something that the border collie anxiously runs circles around me. I suppose he thinks I'm in pain... or the hand truck is.

When my husband died, I went on Social Security survivor benefits, so I guess I am technically retired, but when I am lugging around big wheelbarrow loads of soil, I don't feel so retired. But, in the long run, I guess I am living out my dream, and for the first time in my life, I'm doing it alone. Whatever happens here or doesn't is up to me. If I can't do it, I must make it happen another way or pay the consequences later. I no longer worry about who will go first, as Dennis beat me to the punch already.

As for what I will do when I truly 'retire', I'll keep my nursery business going as long as I can make it work. I figure, as the greenhouse crumbles, the table tops and sawhorses fall apart, the the wheels fall of the wheelbarrows, I'll be downsizing and downsizing until it will be just me and a few pretty hanging baskets I put together to sell. When I cannot manage that, I'll just hobble over to my compost pile with a bag of leaves, fall in, and dump the leaves over the top of me!

One Web definition of homesteading:
"As of 2010[update] the term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. According to author John Seymour, 'urban homesteading' incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking."

I live in Alaska on around two acres of land. I grow what I can in my gardens. I depend on my son's chickens for eggs, and his chickens enjoy the scraps I give them. They, in turn, make lovely compost. I live on my social security and a meager income from my business, but it is enough. I have no mortgage and drive a 1986 Suburban. I'd rather go to a garage sale than a retail store. My freezer is full, my pantry stocked.

It's been a long journey from my girlhood in Indiana farm country to a coastal town in Southcentral Alaska. It took me three men to get here, but I chose every one of them myself, and I picked well. I've watched one reject me and two die suddenly, and while it was sad in all three cases, I'd do it all again, because here I stand on my own land in a log house we built and the gardens and yard we worked so hard to create. I hope to be here a long time, and I will never forget where I came from and who helped me get where I've come.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

October 8, 2010
4:08 PM

Post #8145489

Weez... Lol, you haven't changed one bit since I first 'met' you almost 10 years ago! Glad to see you are hanging in there, doing what you love.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

October 8, 2010
4:23 PM

Post #8145512

Wheezingreens, Thank you! Loved the update.

I've often wondered what happeded to Peggy and how she's doing. This was the first thread I read on DG.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


October 20, 2010
9:06 AM

Post #8166031

Serendipity: "Serendipity is a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated." I often wonder what has become of many of my old DG friends, but I hope, like myself, that if original dreams and plans are not realized, that we all can give ourselves up to the serendipity of life. The world is full of fortunate discoveries just hanging around to be 'discovered'. You've just got to lift your head up and see past the linoleum.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

October 20, 2010
11:29 AM

Post #8166225

That was beautiful. Thank you.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 22, 2010
6:40 AM

Post #8169185

Happy accidents. They are God's rewards for not whining when things don't go our way. :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2010
7:19 AM

Post #8169250

Putting oneself in the way of a fortunate accident. =0)
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

December 13, 2010
8:44 PM

Post #8258932

Hi all ! It's so good to know I'm still thought of here by my friends on DG.
I am still around, just not so good at getting around any more.
We are still in our little house, unfinished, but comfortable and at least livable. We had to get rid of our chickens. All my gardens and perennial flower beds have since grown over, and died away.
I lost my contracting business that was the means for us accomplishing our dream of the lifestyle we so wanted.
This all happened as a result of life being disrupted by a burst compression fracture of the L-2 vertebrae in my back. I spent 3 mos. flat on my back, then 4 mos. in a brace, and finally surgery. It has been a long and painful recovery, but I am still trying to learn how to deal with a new way of life now with a handicap.
It all happened on Friday 13th, 2009 when we went to a Moose Lodge to watch a family member play music. We don't go to these type places... I don't even drink beer or alcohol. But that fateful night, there we were. An intoxicated customer had sloshed her drink on the floor, and of all the things in the world that could happen, I slipped on it and hit so hard it broke my back.
The event has changed mine and husbands lives and the way we live. I'm glad we got as much as we did, done before this all happened. It's good to have our little house even though it isn't finished to the home we planned. It is security, even though it's lonely and isolated now that I can't enjoy the lifestyle. I really miss my chickens, and gardens... and oh, the fresh eggs and vegs. It made me feel so good to pull up Dave's Garden and see that my friends haven't forgotten me, or the passion I had for a better, cleaner lifestyle. Love you all, May God bless you richly, PeggieK
porkpal
Richmond, TX

December 13, 2010
9:04 PM

Post #8258958

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear of your injury. Will you ever be back to what you were? I'm sure I am not alone in wishing you all the best.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

December 14, 2010
5:48 AM

Post #8259267

WhooHoo! Peggy is back!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

December 14, 2010
7:18 AM

Post #8259470

Peggie, I am so sorry to hear about this. I had no idea. I thought you were just busy with life and your business. I wish I lived close by and could help you. Is there a possibility you can get some of your lifestyle back? Maybe bale gardening. You could grow a few plants for fresh veggies without much bending. There is a whole forum on it here on DG. Can DH help you at all? Maybe a chicken tractor would allow you to have 3 or 4 hens for fresh eggs. I will certainly be praying for you. Life is so hard sometimes.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

December 14, 2010
4:14 PM

Post #8260324

Hi peggy...
Just some encouragement... I had a friend who had suffered a broken back from a drunken driver, put her in a wheel chair, & she found a way to garden. I know that you will too.

Life is so uncertain, one never knows what's going to arrive in the next minute. You've kept your love of the land, & your gratitude. Keep your passion for the land & you'll find a way in time.

Now, come on up to December on the 'Stead & pile in... =0)
Blessings,
Jay
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

December 16, 2010
1:19 PM

Post #8263826

Peggie, ditto...please come join us for some chit-chat.

Just follow the cookie crumbs -< * -< * -< * http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1143680/

This message was edited Dec 16, 2010 3:27 PM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

December 16, 2010
5:51 PM

Post #8264138

You will love it over there Peggy. We are doing what we can as we can and sharing the good and the bad with each other.
mayflwrhem
Wareham, MA

January 7, 2011
10:21 PM

Post #8298381

Nice to see you all postingespecially Peggy! I hope further mending allows you to regain more mobility. I am working 3 jobs now, feel tired but blessed to have them It's hard to keep up with all I want to do here with the chickens and angora rabbits and gardens. But lets keep dreaming and working towards self-sufficiency!
Juli in Mass.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 8, 2011
9:27 AM

Post #8298966

3 jobs! Wow! You must be worn out. Come on over to the January thread and lets commiserate. I woke up to 5" of snow this morning. Hope I can get to the mares on top of the mountain.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 15, 2011
10:28 AM

Post #8428457

I wanted a farm all my life. I bought my steading-8.735 acres-a year before I retired from the World's Finest Navy. I raise hogs, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks for eggs, and sometimes a goat or sheep for meat. My neighbors graze cattle on the back part of my place and I get milk, and butter from them for it, and whenever they have a steer butchered, I get a 1/4 for my freezer. I have 1/4 acre 3-sisters garden, and another garden a bit smaller for other veggies. I have planted or transplanted Black berries, gojiberries, serviceberries (Juneberries), asparagus, horseradish, mulberries, grapes, cherries, apples, pears, hickories raspberries (red and Gold), and walking onions. This summer I am building a wood-fired oven for bread and pizza, and setting up a small green house.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2011
10:39 AM

Post #8428480

Cool set-up, NikB... glad to have you join us!

What kind of a wood-fired oven are you planning? I have Kiko Denzer's books and have wanted to build one for ages...
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 15, 2011
2:06 PM

Post #8428746

Kiko wants for me to take and send pics as it gets constructed. I am going to build a block base about 3-4 courses high, filled with glass and rubble and sand. Pack it down and then build an adobe oven on top of that. Vermiculite and a second adobe dome for insulation. Then cover the whole thing in lime plaster. I am going to do a fascia of cobblestones around the base. I'm building the whole thing on a 10 by 10 concrete slab that I poured this past summer. That's the plan at any rate.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2011
3:56 PM

Post #8428940

Wonderful plan. I'm sure we'll all be interested in your progress.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2011
7:09 AM

Post #8430062

Nik, you have got it goin' on! I am impressed. Looking forward to pics of your place. Hope you will come over to the monthly chat threads and talk with us.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 16, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8430419

Well, I'm working on getting it going on. I just ain't there yet. This year I am expanding the gojiberries and aronia, and maybe adding some sea buckthorn. I wanted a greenhouse business, and bought a 28 by 72 hanger type of greenhouse but the township and the neighbors all pitched a fit about it. I am building a smaller one (12x16) just for me to start my tomatoes and peppers in, and cabbages. I think I will probably use it for propagating trees and bushes, too. Then I can sell nursery stock. One thing I've learned is that no matter how much you get done, you'll find something else to do. A case in point is the apples. I have a wild apple in my fencerow that has great apples, and plenty enough of them for me. But, I buried a couple apples in some loose sharp soil. I plan to let them grow for this season, then about a year from now I'll cut them off and graft yellow delicious or something on them. I started a second flock of chickens this year, too. to sell hatching eggs. I been selling buff orpington eggs, and in a couple months I'll start selling barred rock eggs, too. It's a good life because there is something new everyday.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2011
10:41 AM

Post #8430455

The sexlinks are great egg layers. They lay a lot, good sized brown eggs and hardly ever go broody. They are a hybrid and don't breed true so you can't hatch out your own but for eggs to sell they are a good option.
I suppose you could breed them by crossing the same hens and roos as the hatcheries use. I have 9 Red Sexlinks, 3 Black Sexlinks and 1 Golden Comet laying. I have 6 Golden Comet chicks. I really like the Golden Comets. They lay as early as 4 months and their eggs are huge. If I remember right they are a cross of White Plymoth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. I think the Red Sex Links are a cross of RIR roos and White Leghorn hens. The Black Sex Links are a cross of RIR roos and Barred Rock hens.

I'd like to hear more about the apple tree project. We have a very old apple tree on our place. No idea what kind.
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 16, 2011
1:51 PM

Post #8430876

Yeah, I've bred the sexlink crosses a couple times. But I want to get to breeds that are selfsustaining, and hybrids aren't. As far as having eggs goes, I sell mostly eggs for hatching, not eating. I have a couple ducks who's eggs I eat. I don't eat a whole lot of chicken eggs in the summer. They just don't compare to duck eggs.

I made bread and scones today. The bread is barley bread and the scones are made with raisined blueberries, cranberries, and cherries. Then I made an orange flavoured simple frosting for them. I bottled a bunch of the concord peppermint wine, too. Pretty good day. Going to town this evening-got a date.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2011
7:42 AM

Post #8432192

We have 1 duck hen. She is an Ancona. Black and white. She was laying everyday but quit just before winter and has only layed twice since then. I call her Miss Quackers. She is in the pen with the chickens. What are the best ducks for eggs? I like duck eggs. They are the best for baking.

I would dearly love to have a flock of blue or lavender EEs. I have one hen that I traded for that may be an EE. I have her in with my EE roo but she has not layed yet. She looks to be an older hen so if she ever starts laying in Spring I will incubate the blue eggs ( if they are blue ).

Are raisined blueberries dried?
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

March 17, 2011
2:07 PM

Post #8432832

, Yes, dried whole like grapes are to make raisins. Pekin, runners, magpies, and a couple strains of khaki Campbells are the best laying ducks. Pekins lay a huge egg, while magpie eggs might be greenish in colour. Runners won't usually set, so they lay all season long.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2011
8:20 PM

Post #8433555

I don't care for the Pekins. Runner ducks look a bit odd standing up so straight and tall. I have never heard of magpies. Those khaki campbells are real lookers. I have heard muscovies are good layers and I like that they hiss rather than quack.

OutlawHeart81

OutlawHeart81
Syracuse, NY
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
3:55 PM

Post #8649778

Let me start by saying...
I'M A CITY SLICKER!!!!!
and I have found this thread ridiculously Entertaining!! I lagged so hard I think I peed a little reading about the dog food diet and the horse apples.
I'll tell you my story and dreams now.
I grew up on the south side of syracuse where the first hot day of the year isn't marked by planting or germinating, but stabbings and shootings. The vacant lots that have been turned into community gardens are a wasteland because it was recently discovered that the soil contained such harmful contaminants the vegetables were as inedlake as the fish from Onondaga lake.
It's always been my dream to have a farm with dairy cows and a nice veggie garden somewhere outside the city. Quite by accident I met my fiance who has been a dairy farmer and diesel mechanic almost all his life. When his grandmother passed we bought her house ( big mess, long story) which has been in his family since 1937. It had no indoor plumbing and was just a 24x24 tar paper shack until the 60's. It was built around 1800 and has just 4 rooms the kitchen and livingroom are the bulk of the downstairs tiny bathroom upstairs is two rooms where at one time 13 people lived! There have been many babies born right here in this home. :)
We have a small veggie garden and I'd like to be able to pay off the house and be debt free within the next 5 years.
Following that I'd like to purchase land for corn an beef cows. Just enough to
Support ourselves and bring in extra money. I currently work at Burger king a few miles from home sincethe town of perryvile where we live has no stores or stoplights. ;) I'm a long way from the city. But I love it. Needless to say I will not have retirement, or much left over for savings so the sooner we are debt free the sooner I can start working on getting more land for crops. We helped my brother in law plant 2 acres of pumpkins and that is something I'd like to work towards doing myself one day. It's not clear yet exactly what I'll do with the land I guess. But first things first.
I recently finished the book letters of a woman homesteader and I'm hooked on the idea that we can make it.
I also plan to get a hunting license and hunt with my future hubby so we can freeze and can "venison" ;) we already liveon what he bagged last year.truth be told we had beef the other day and I thought it seemed bland. LOL.
So here I am. Straight out the Hood and living happily in a one horse town where there are more churches than bars, by that I mean there is the perryville united Methodist church, and no bars! Nothing but country...it's heaven. Did I mention he's relation to almost everyone on our road? LOL
Going to go throw "horse apples" with my bear hands so I can be initiated into your "country club"
porkpal
Richmond, TX

June 23, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8649972

Welcome to the club! - And to the forum. I hope we get to hear more from you.

OutlawHeart81

OutlawHeart81
Syracuse, NY
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
6:42 PM

Post #8650133

Thanks!!! Sorry for all the type o's.. smartphone ain't so smart afterall
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 23, 2011
8:19 PM

Post #8650422

Welcome to the nut house! Sounds like you will feel right at home with the rest of us. Looking forward to your escapades. My gaots are due to kid next month. Excited about that!

OutlawHeart81

OutlawHeart81
Syracuse, NY
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
8:23 PM

Post #8650449

I want goats!!!! :)
NikB
Belle Center, OH
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2011
7:57 AM

Post #8651255

If you have corn in your garden you can plant pumpkins between the rows. It will help keep the weeds down. If you plant pole beans with your corn, then you have what the Indians called the 3-sisters. An almost complete diet, and a planting combination that will leave the soil capable of supporting it for years without amendments.

Welcome to the club

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

June 24, 2011
9:20 AM

Post #8651435

Welcome, Outlaw!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2011
11:51 AM

Post #8651788

I thought 3 sisters was corn, beans and squash?

You should get some goats. They are very economical and super entertaining.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

June 24, 2011
2:30 PM

Post #8652134

Pumpkin is a squash.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

June 24, 2011
8:58 PM

Post #8652946

Welcome to the club Outlaw, sounds like you'll fit right in here! Congratulations on your new beau as well :) All of us around here have dreams, some are much further along than others. I grasped at mine but may have to give it up...of course, I'm hoping that's not gonna turn into reality. If it does, I will still come here and drool over all everyone else is doing, LOL!

Good luck and have fun!!

OutlawHeart81

OutlawHeart81
Syracuse, NY
(Zone 5a)

June 25, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8653482

Thanks everyone! I think it will be rough going to start but I figure trial and error. And at least we have family and friends whocan help us along! All our equipment was borrowed on the promise of haying this year. So I think I'm in for a real treat...and workout!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 26, 2011
8:07 PM

Post #8656726

I cannot believe I have not realized that a pumpkin was a squash. But I was thinking some other kind of squash.

Hi, say it ain't so! You have worked so hard and are finally making a bit of your dream come true!
TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 26, 2011
5:47 AM

Post #8824420

This has got to be one of my favorite threads on DG! I love learning from like minded people.

I wanted to share my dream of homesteading too. My husband and I just bought a small homestead on our anniversary, June 1st, of this year. It's has always been our dream to be self sufficient. We are retirement age (though hubby is still working in the city, for now) and loving living in the country. The only two things we miss are high speed internet, and paved roads. lol I don't even mind the dirt roads, but ours gets almost undriveable when it rains. (When it's dry is has crater sized holes. When it rains there are several inches of mud and great craters filled with water. Scary.) I tend to stay home a lot. lol

Wildlife is so plentiful here, I don't think we will have to raise any animals for food. (wild hogs, deer, rabbits, etc.) Although I would like to have a few chickens for eggs - but hubby doesn't. lol I'm sure we'll get that worked out eventually. We have about an acre we have dedicated for a vegetable garden. Our first garden in many years. We got very lucky, the soil seems to be good sandy river-bottom. I'm sure things won't grow that well - until we can enrich it. But since neither of us want to wait till spring to plant, we will be working with what we have for now. So far everything is still green. lol I think that's a good sign.

The place has two septic systems. One for the toilets and another for gray water from everything else. I've become very diligent about what I use for laundry and washing dishes. The gray water drains towards the back side of the property very close to the end of the vegetable garden area. I think we would like to utilize it for watering plants, eventually.

We really want to build a wind generator - when we can pull together the resources for it . (Our life saving went to pay for the homestead.) We'd also like to try setting up something solar for our water well, as well as the hot water tank. Other projects we would like to do include building a potting shed for me, a shop/garage for hubby, possibly build a smokehouse, and put in a small orchard. It all will take a lot of elbow grease and money. lol As we age they both seem to be in short supply.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 26, 2011
6:25 AM

Post #8824513

Glad you joined us, TXbb!

I'm just now diverting our washing machine drain to a greywater collection/dispersement area above my garden-to-be. I can't find a suitable detergent locally, so I have to order it online, or drive 75 miles to a decent natural foods store. I also plan to clean the water by running the greywater through a couple of small bogs-ponds planted with filtering plants before it reaches the garden.

I'm not a bb since I was born before the war, but you are right about elbow grease and money being in short supply as we age. Be thankful you have a partner to work along with you!
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

September 26, 2011
10:14 AM

Post #8824873

TXbabybloomer, this was the thread that drew me in too. And of course Darius, who processes a goldmind of information. Welcome to Dave's Garden. You might come visit us on this thread http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1217661/
It's an ongoing chat thread. A few people have started threads where they share all of the projects they are working on at their homesteads.
TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 27, 2011
2:16 AM

Post #8826107

Thanks for the welcome Darius and msrobin.

Darius, I like the idea of using small ponds to filter the grey water! May have to give that one some thought for here.
Believe me, I am very thankful every day that I have a partner to work along side me. The Mr and I have been together since 66. We weren't exactly a match made in Heaven, but I think we came pretty close. lol

msrobin thanks for the invite to the chat thread. Looking forward to it.
cmread
Ocilla, GA

November 14, 2011
7:05 AM

Post #8889629

Hi, I live in south Ga, Ocilla way out in the middle of no where! But I love it, not very many people around and it is quiet. I can hear the birds singing, see deer, squirrels and other critters. This month makes a year since I have been here and my hope is to be self sufficient. Next spring I am going to try to grow a garden, I have never attempted it before, although I do pretty well with houseplants and other plants outside. I just planted a fig tree, two grape vines and a bush, I want lots of fruit and nut trees along with blue berry bushes, and other flowering bushes. I like flowers, but just really not that interested in having a flower bed, I would however, love to have a small pond and a fountain. I have big dreams, hopefully, I will be able to accomplish everything I dream about. Being single and not having a male companion makes it kind of hard to do some things. Since I have been here I have had to put a control box and some other gadget that I cannot remember the name of on my well and wire it myself. Last week I had to fix my kitchen sinks, the seals were completely gone and put new strainer baskets in them, but thank the good Lord, he gave me the wisdom and courage to fix it, and thankfully they aren't leaking anymore. One day I even want to be totally off the grid, but I am sure that will be quite a ways down the road. Little by little, day by day...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

November 14, 2011
8:05 AM

Post #8889705

Welcome, MS Ocilla! We share a lot of ups, downs and know-how here, so stick around...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 15, 2011
9:55 PM

Post #8892206

Welcome. MS O. So good to have you. Look forward to hearing of your adventures.
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2012
12:03 PM

Post #8984323

Hello to all,
I am new to DG and just found this forum.

This is what i have wanted for as long as I can remember. I lived on farms on and off as a child and was never a city girl like my mom. For a while, I think she thought there was something wronge with me (lol).

My first husband was not the person he presented to me in the first few years of our marriage and wanted nothing to do with a lifestyle that involved so much work. By the time he showed his true colors, we had four children and I was forced to choose to stay in a bad mariage or loose my children to his wealthy family so I stayed for 25 plus years .

I raised my children and after 3 years and $50,000. I won my freedom and that was with me willfully giving up everything from the very begining. Duriing the first year of the divorce, by pure chance I met my soul mate and shortly after the divorce was finalized we gave away and even threw away 90 % of what we owned. We did our home work had our property and employment lined up and had plans in place so we packed our few remaining belonging and made the jump. That was August 13 of 2010.

We moved to 82 acres of sand and sage brush just over a year ago and are starting with absolutly nothing but what we brought with us and can provide or build on our own. We are 38 miles from the edge of town and we are 100 percent off grid.

We have no address, so no fire , police, or medical services of any kind out here.
When we moved here our plans were to gradually build up to a self sustaining life style over a period of a few years. We had a savings and job options all lined up. Instaed, the economy tanked and I lost any hope of working due to my health.
We were kind of forced to decide on the spot if we realy wanted to do this or if we were going to go back to the city. We decide this realy is what we want to do and have been sticking to it.

We haul water, we are building solar panels, have a geni for night time power and heat with scavenged wood and use straw for insulation for both us and the animals. It took a full year for Tim to find any kind of work at all we lived off of saving and my tiny disability income until then and now most of his pay goes for fuel to get to work (79 miles round trip every day) .

I was not able to get a pair of goats until Aug 25th of last year. We still need two more does so that we can keep a clean heard of 3-5 goats going at all times for both meat and milk. We have chickens ( the first thing we put out here, Reds, Amercanas,Siklies, and Bantoms) as well as Ducks and Pheasant.
We plan on Turkeys and Geese this year. We also plan on rabbits in the future ( the new zelands ) but have a large wild population to hunt for now. We will be saving for American Guinea Hogs and Irish Dexter Cattle. If we must, we will do a Dexter / Jersy cross for the cattle.

We only want the smaller heiratige breads of the larger livestock since they are much nicer to the land ( I can comfortably range 3-5 dexters on the same amount of land as 1 of the standard breads of cattle and that 3-5 animals is all we will need ) and they can comfortably handle our major temp swings with out health issues.

I only managed a small experimental bed last year. It was to see if I could grow all of the things that the folks here has major dificulty with since they are some of the mainstays in most home gardens (tomatoes , peppers, beans, greens, and mushrooms ). With a lot of creative gardening , it worked. So this year will be my first real garden attempt.

This is not an all inclusive list but we also plan things Quinoa , flax , sorgums, sunchokes, sunflowwers, barley, oats, rye, buck wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, millet, wheat and clover ( because all of these they are good for both human and animal consumption). Most of these things can be grow together because they devolpe and mature at different times, many are symbiotic relationship plants
( think 3 sisters planting,like corn, beans and squash in the same bed), and they also build and maintaining the soil. We have not yet aquired most of these but hope to soon.

They provide food crops and fodder crops at different stages so the production is double duty. With carefull and selective harvesting and seed saving we can set aside next years crop of some of the anuals like the buck wheat.

We have plans on a small orchard and I received a gift of a few nut trees for birthday ( 2 hazel nuts 2 pecan and an almond) and they should arive in june. We will also try to take advantage of the native plants to incourage the continued diversity of wild life we have out here.

If the Fox, Cyotes ,hawks,eagles, mountain lions , badgers and other bigger preditor types have an ample food sources, our animals are less attractive to them. We also get better polination , and bug controls.

I am an experianced gardener but not in this zone 5 and with these kind of temp swings ( We are alpine high desert with -5 to -15 in the winter , 100 plus regularly in the summer and a last frost date of june 10 ).
I can tell you it challenges everything you think you know.

All of this may sound incredibly difficult for some and cray to others but as difficult and crazy as it may be, we love it and I am so very glad we made this choice.

It is so nice to find others who are not afraid to live the life they want to live. I am lookin forward to learning and sharing ideas with every one here.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2012
12:56 PM

Post #8984378

Hey demonshollow, and a big welcome! Sounds like you are making steady progress towards your goals.

We LOVE pictures here, btw...
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2012
6:06 PM

Post #8984760

Wow! I am really impressed. Sounds like you have done your homework. Can I ask why you want cows and goats both?
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2012
6:09 PM

Post #8984765

Thank you for the welcome. I would love to share pick as soon as i can figure out where the camera is and then how to get them posted here.

There is not much to share yet though, well, except the sand a sages and open range cattle that belong to other realy big ranchers in the area.

Liz
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #8984778

I will be looking forward to hearing of your adventures. I have lost the wire to unload my camera so I have not posted pics in a while either. :(
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2012
6:19 PM

Post #8984781

The goats for meat, milk and cheese. The cows for meat , , butter, heavy cream and more milk and larger hides . We are big milk drinkers 3 to 4 gals a week between the two of us.

Butter and cream can be obtained from goats but it is very difficult unless you can afford to spend $400.00 or more for a cream seperator or like the tase of hard butter.

I also have a very heavy cream addiction that I have had since I was a child and I love to cook and never use any thing but real ingrediants, cream not 1% butter not margerine etc.


If I were not so lucky to have a very fast metabalisim I would probably weight 300 lbs.Lol.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #8984794

That is a lot of milk for 2 people to drink. :) My DH hardly drinks milk at all because it causes him to have sinus problems. I milk my 2 African Pygmy does but am not milking them at the moment. I have borrowed my friends buck and he is here working his magic so we will be looking forward to summer kids. I have milk in the freezer I put up to fill in the gap.

I would love to have one of those mini jerseys or a dexter but I have no room for one.
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2012
6:34 PM

Post #8984802

The dexters are about perfect, they should provide about a gal to 1 1/2 of milk per day. The jersey on the other han can produce a whole lot more.Some as much as 6 gals per day. I know it is supply and demand but I also remember how miserable I was when weaning my children from the breast. I don't realy was our cows to have to go through that. Plus thier is a greater risk of mastitis going that route.
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 28, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #8985551

Hope you see great results from the buck. Since we purchased our to goats as kids last fall, we may not see any kids or milk till fall or maybe even next spring if the first session does not take. We are hoping for fall of course.

In the mean time we are forced to deal with the watered down stuff you get at the grocery store. I can hardly wait for the dexters to get here but because they cost so much (About $4500. total for a pregnant heffer and a young unproven bull plus transportation costs, much more than a standard breed would ) it may be a few years ( hope not!) before we get them. Plus we still need fence and build the shelters and milk parlor for them.

Between now and then , we have the goats.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 29, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #8987244

If I remember correctly, which is not often, the mini jerseys give a couple gallons a day. That would be plenty for us and some to trade with. But we don't have much flat ground here. The goats do well on the hillside but a cow would have a hard time of it. Where will you get your dexters? It's best to have your shelter and fences ready before your animals arrive.

There are quite afew reasons I like the African pygmies over the larger dairy breeds for our situation. One of the reasons is that they will come in season any time they are around a buck so I can breed for kids when it's best for me and not have to worry about missing breeding season. What breed of goats do you have?
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

January 30, 2012
10:07 AM

Post #8988098

We have looked at a few different places for the dexters but since we are not yet ready for them, we are unsure of exactly where they will come from yet. We have all flat to slightly rolling terain so they would all be fine here. This is open range and we have huge cows out here right now that belong to one of the local ranchers.

We also want the pigmy goats for the same , any time ,convienant breading, but the Nubians became available first. We wanted and planed to get both breeds out here. I would also prefer the first breeding of the nubian doe to be with a pigmy . It's a bit easier for a first timer to deliver a smaller kid and makes it easier for us should there be any complications with the birth.

Even though we are comfortable with the person we purchased from , any thing is possible .
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #8990402

Another reason I like the pygmies is that they are small and easier for me to handle. I have MD. Only drawback with them is that the fencing needs to be lower and tighter. Wouldn't be a problem on flat ground but it makes it very hard here on the rough and rocky hillside.
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2012
5:20 PM

Post #9088098

Ok, found the cord for the camera, this is what we are working with. I know a lot of people would not want to live on land like this but we love it. We have no clay like a lot people around hee have because we chose out side of the dry lake areas, dry lake bed are only dry in the summer. Last winter one of the dry lakes about 8 miles from us had 4 to 5 foot of standing water in it until late spring and mud and muck till early summer. No planting in that stuff!

Thumbnail by demonshollow   Thumbnail by demonshollow
Click an image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

April 18, 2012
8:13 PM

Post #9088314

It's beautiful!
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2012
9:27 AM

Post #9088862

We think so. Weather this year has been rough though. No snow to speak of , Much more wind then last year and yo yo temps that have been driving me crazy. One day we are 26/15 the next we are 63/25 and so on.

This was a Jan. pic, we should have had at least 10 inches of snow or more. It has been very dry.
LaysEggs
Blue Ridge, VA

April 20, 2012
2:15 AM

Post #9089777

As a group I have to say you are all quite inspirational. Thank you for posting all these stories.

My wife and I live in a rural spot in SW Virginia on one acre. We have two beautiful children who live at home, two who are married, two dogs, two early garden plots and forty-two baby chickens. We also put in two apple trees, one cherry and two blue berry bushes. Last week one of my older boys cleared a spot for fig trees. We eat a lot of raw, local, organic. By the grace of God we are all healthy and are cultivating some big dreams that include ducks, goats, a root cellar and a jersey to share milk with our neighbors.

Earlier this month we started our sixth flock of chickens with those forty-two chicks. My youngest, six, told me he wanted to sell eggs so he's starting his first business early. *grin* One of the forty-two "girls" has a suspicious comb and may be a roo... but after loosing our last flock to predators (and building fort chicken) I have lost the desire/ability to make any boys into meat birds. And besides that my amazingly kind daughter has already started naming them.

There's so much more but I lost myself reading your stories (and loved it) so my time is gone. Thanks everyone.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 20, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9089949

Glad you stopped by, LaysEggs. Don't be a stranger! I'm in SW Virginia, too, but about 2 hours south of you. I get up to your area every other month to do some food shopping since there are no natural foods stores near me.
o_angi2001
Bentonville, AR

April 22, 2012
11:26 PM

Post #9093744

Darius, awhile back you mentioned that you are using certain plants to filter your grey water. Which plants are best for that?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2012
5:12 AM

Post #9093886

I haven't built the bogs to filter the laundry water yet, so I only have notes/links.

Greywater Wetlands
fiesta.bren.ucsb.edu/~chiapas2/...files/Greywater%20Wetlands-1.pdf

The Edible Pond and Bog Garden
http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=79

Plants for use in a Rain Garden
http://www.stonesiloprairie.com/id82.html

Here is a list I found for a bog, have to see which are good filters:
Common name____________Botanical name
Arrowhead ______________ Sagittaria
Bat-faced Flower _________ Cuphea llava
Canna _________________ Canna
Cardinal Flower ___________ Lobelia cardinalis
Cattail, dwarf ____________ Typha minima
Corkscrew rush ___________ Juncus spiralis effusus
Hair grass _______________ Eleocharis acicularis
Horsetail ________________ Equisetum hymenale
Iris/Yellow Flag ____________ Iris pseudacorus; and other water/bog iris
Marsh Marigold ____________ Caltha palustris
Monkey flower ____________ Mimulus cardinalis
Papyrus/Nile grass _________ Cyperus papyrus
Miniature Papyrus __________ Cyperus haspan
Pickerel Weed _____________ Pontederia cordata
Common Sweet Flag _________ Acorus calamus
Variegated Sweet Flag _______ Acorus gramineus ‘Variegatus’
Taro ____________________ Colocasia
Umbrella Palm/grass, dwarf ___ Cyperus alternifolius
Water Thalia/Water Canna ____ Thalia dealbata
Water Nasturtium/Watercress __ Nasturtium officinale
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 23, 2012
7:53 PM

Post #9095272

DH, is that called sage brush? We didn't have much of a winter either and though we will fight more pests this year I was very glad of a rest from the cold. The prior 2 winters were horrible.

Layseggs, I am in extreme eastern KY. We have to watch for coyote, fox, bear and snakes but they are not too big of a problem. We did lose our cat a few months ago but we are not sure what exactly happened to her. We have not lost any chickens or goats to predators. Your plans sound great. Hope you keep us updated on your progress.

My garden is coming along. We are eating lettuce, spinach and onions right now. The peas are looking good as is the broccoli and the strawberries. Just got 40 taters planted. Hoping they do well. I will be planting my melons in tires this year as it's the only option I have at this point. I will fill the centers with composted hay, sawdust, horse and goat manure and plant the melons in it. The seedlings are about 5 or 6 inches long right now but I will keep them in the house a couple more weeks. I need to get my squash and eggplant seeds planted. My seedlings are slow this year and I am blaming the Jiffy seed starting mix. It is nearly impossible to get and keep it wet so my seedlings have suffered from lack of moisture. I will not use the stuff again.
demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9095988


LaysEggs, welcome, that's a lot of chickens! We can hardly wait to get the gardens going. Our fresh food sources are very limited here and very expensive. I was so dissappointed with my trip to the farmers market last year. They had minimal selection and the prices of what they did have were unreasonably high. Even if we go to Reno or Elko, the choices are not a lot better and we must also factor in the fuel costs for the 300 plus mile round trip. It is just to much for our very tiny budget! Sounds like you are off to a great start.

Darius, thank you for the links, you always seem to have so many great links to share. I was surprised that I actually had several of the same links on my other computer before it died. It is nice to have access to them again. Now I need to get my but busy building more solar panels so I can spend more time going through them. We want to do some thing similar to some of those systems in the future. Right now, we are using a percolation method for our grey water. It just made sense to use with all of the sand we have at our place. Only real draw back is we loose a lot to evaporation from the wind and heat.

Cajuninky, yes, that is what we have for sage. It is actually a few varieties of sage and other plants I have not ID yet as well as desert grasses , mostly needle grass is what I have seen. We have no Creosote bushes though. Some areas around here a full of it and don't have much else. We also have a large variety of desert flowers but most have such a short bloom cycle you have to be realy looking to find them. I snapped this just a few days ago and as the season progresses, the colors and varieties will change. We also have had our first scorpion of the season and the chickens all fought for it as if it was going to be their last meal. It is always so funny to watch.

Liz

Thumbnail by demonshollow   Thumbnail by demonshollow
Click an image for an enlarged view.

demonshollow
Winnemucca, NV
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9095992

Sorry that one pic is so blurry. It did not show up like that on my pc before I posted it. Not sure what happened .

Liz

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 29, 2012
4:29 AM

Post #9102161

I found this in my file collection yesterday. Looks like an interesting greywater plant collection...

Thumbnail by darius
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sweetie77
Kankakee, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2012
8:20 PM

Post #9181144

hello everyone! I have been reading about, learning from, laughing at, and loving you all for about a week now. I feel like I know you all, and yet you've never even known I was here. So on this night (the night before I load everything up and head home to my gardens, as I know time will be limited due to the weeds that are no doubt choking my veg) I have decided to introduce myself properly.

My name is Angie. I am 35, married to a city slicker, and I have 3 children. Nic is 12 going on 2 and my twin girls Kaytie and Lily are nearly 5. I lived on the family farm with my little sister and parents in NE Missouri until I was 10. We were flat broke, but I never noticed! My father worked on the railroad and in 1986 he packed us all up in the pickup truck, taking only what would fit in the back, and drove us to the Big Apple in search of work. I had a hard time fitting in and we moved several times over the next many many years!

I attended High School in New Jersey and still had a hard time fitting in, but still followed all the city trends and often wondered how my family back in Missouri could stand living in the middle of nowhere. When I was a Junior (1993, during the big flood) my parents moved us back to Missouri. Talk about culture shock. I hated it, I was miserable, and all I could think about was graduating and going back to the city, which I did! I met my hubby there!

DH went to work for my dad, who was still traveling for work and so the moving around continued, I liked pretty flowers, but never really tried to much since we moved a lot. 1999 brought the birth of my son while I was in nursing school. I was determined to buy a house and settle down before he started school. As luck would have there was a big rail job south of Chicago and seemed as good a place as any, and we bought a house.

This is when I really started gardening! I have THE best soil. Full of earthworms and black as night! Mostly it was hobby and I as I went I realized I knew more about this stuff and remembered more, and was better at it than I could have hoped. I canned some tomatoes and pickled some jalopenos my very first year! I guess you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl LOL! It's in my blood.

After years of nagging my hubby for another baby, he decided to "oops, surprise" me when I had given up, put Nic in school and was in Nursing school again. I think he does it on purpose, and frankly I am only a little bitter. 4 months in, ultrasoun, TWINS! I had always know I would have twins, strong family gene. I decided I couldn't do this alone, rented out my house and moved to Virginia with him. I forgot to mention that he still travels for work and I tend the house and raise the children basically by myself. After Va. was Miami. I loathe Miami! HATE LOATH TERRIBLE TERRIBLE AWFUL place!!!!!! My soil was like chipped concrete and everything is concrete. Everyone goes to the gym, has fake boobs, and pays people to mow there 8x8 patch of grass. I swear the neighbors thought "poor girl, they are so poor they have to mow their own lawn!" So after 3 years in hell, he got transferred to Louisiana and I said I'm done, I'm going home! So I kicked out my tenants and moved back!

That was in Nov. and what a long winter it was waiting until I could get to work in my gardens and undo the mess those people made of my house and flower beds. I basically had to start from scratch! 6 months again my daughters didn't know where food came from, now they are eating fresh peas off the vine and watching in awe as their flowers bloom. It warms my heart to see dirty, sweaty kids with mud under their fingernails! They planted Lilys and Kayties (mums, she needed a flower too).
sweetie77
Kankakee, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2012
8:48 PM

Post #9181183

The last many years I have been quite concerned about the shape of our food industry. Documentaries about the poultry farms, GM seeds and industry absolutly makes me sick. It is no accident the health conditions our children face from allergies and obesity to cancer and diabetes. Sugars fats pesticides fertilizers contaminated drinking water... Where are live it is all mono crops and they spray and spray and spray and it goes into the ground and I won't drink my well water. While I was away I heard (and I can't believe I didn't hear this) there was an oil spill in the early 90's and there was a 30 million dollar settlement from Shell and all the homeowners got 30, 40 and 50,000 dollar settlements and everyones well got capped. You can look it up. Kankakeesettlement.org... or something like that! I tried, but as all the paper work had to be filed by Feb. 2008, I am out! I think there is some kind of full disclosure law that was broken when we bought the property.

I so much want a little chunk of my own land (I have almost a half an acre with very close neighbors). I have very little grass left as this year I am going all out growing and canning. I long for chickens. I feel a certain urgency to return to my roots and provide healthy living to my children and pass on what I think is the lost art of growing and preserving. It is hard though because the past several years have been hard on us financially.

Sometimes I think it is a pipe dream, but then I read your stories and find inspiration and hope. I thought I was getting a little old for just now realizing my dream, but I know I have many good, healthy years left and young enough children to teach and put to work. I used to thiunk I wanted to be a nurse (still growing medicinal herbs as I am also a healer at heart), move to the city, make lots of money, travel and have nice cars, but now all I want is to be providing, actually PROVIDING, not buying for my family. I want them to have great knowledge and love of nature, not brand name clothes and video games. Most of this I have always known, but now I want to DO!!!! Most of my family friends and neighbors think I am obsessed, but I must admit, I have seen more edible plants going in from my circle of people than flowers this year :) And how crazy will I look when I am sharing a bountiful harvest? Maybe I will start a trend!

I'm tired of just dreaming... I guess maybe someday I'll get there for now I have my gardens and my books and I will just keep plugging away until I can do more. I search properties on landandfarm.com, I found a great little 3 bedroom on 6 acres in TN. for only 89,000. wonder what their soil is like. Wonder how much I could get out of my house that we purchased for 130? I wonder I wonder I wonder...

Thanks for listening, a very big thanks for the inspiration!

ANG
sweetie77
Kankakee, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2012
8:50 PM

Post #9181190

I hope Weez and Peggy are still here. I most enjoyed your stories!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

June 26, 2012
4:48 AM

Post #9181429

Ang, thanks for taking time to write a story of your journey thus far. I'm seeing more younger people making the transition than even 5-10 years ago, and it's encouraging. It's never easy, but the better health and satisfaction is worth it.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

July 4, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9193390

You would have enjoyed gardening in La. You can garden nearly all year long there and the food can not be beat!! Enjoyed your story.

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