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Question?

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Re: Question?

Postby Jinnig1 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:23 am

Don't feel bad Victoria... I taught myself to bake bread. The first time I tried it was just a lump in the bottom of my pan. It didn't do anything. I thought I'd followed the instructions carefully but it didn't work out right. The yeast was bubbling away happily at first but once I added flour that was it. I was embarassed to call a friend (who is one of those Martha-Stewart type women). I told her exactly what I'd done and she laughed at me so hard she couldn't speak. It took her a minute then she summarized my mistake by saying "well, it sounds to me like you "over fed it" ...then beat it to death!" It took a couple batches but it finally came together.
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Re: Question?

Postby Pedro wyoming » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:15 pm

I just jumped in with both feet this last year. I can say "ditto" to most of the posts I have read here. I saved and scrimped for a few years until I could pay cash for the land. The winds of fortune blew my way and I was able to buy a double wide a few months later. So the big debts never troubled me. The water well was the next big expenditure. The "farm" is now self sufficient to late 19th century "LHOTP" standards. If SHTF today, I could live in very modest comfort. This spring will see the construction of the barn, shop, solar array, green house, pasture and delivery of livestock. I have been collecting building materials and equipment since last fall. Construction will start as soon as the ground thaws in march.

I bought a tractor a few days ago, so gardening full scale will be added to the agenda.

The forward plan is to be 21st century self sufficient by fall.
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Re: Question?

Postby Anna » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:40 pm

We've been homesteading on two lots in town for 30+ years. We grow a large % of veggies and some fruits. I pressure can, water bath, store and dehydrate. We are debt free since 3/09. There is no way we could be self-sufficient as dh is disabled and takes a boat load of meds each month. We cannot have animals and at this point really don't want any other than chickens. I'd try to sneak a few hens into my backyard except I got on the wrong side of the city council a couple years back and imagine they'd be all over me if I tried.

Unless a person is going to go WAY back in living standards, self-sufficient isn't likely. MORE self-sufficient is a doable goal. Being debt free is a major step in the goal for self-sufficiency. As long as you have debt you are a prisoner of your creditors.
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Re: Question?

Postby birdgirl+1 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:48 pm

Anna, curious about the size of your lots? We are in a development. Our concern is theft of our produce should times get bad. We have a road behind us and easy access to our lot. Where abouts are you that you can grow all your food? Zone wise?
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Re: Question?

Postby thebastidge » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:55 am

If you're worried about theft and home invasion, the best security system is still a big dog. One of the territorial breeds, like german shepherds.

Don't get me wrong- having a dog is almost necessary, but not sufficient. You have to train the dog, and you have to have backups. Dogs are loyal, but cowardly. They are easy to bluff and cow. On the other hand, people are naturally very wary of a big dog, and not only the dog itself, but the reaction to its bark.

There's a line between having a pet and having a guard dog. It gets blurry at times, but there are some necessary differences. A dog that sleeps inside is not much of a guard dog. A dog that is overly socialized to be friendly with everyone is not a guard dog. Little dogs are better than nothing (for the alerting factor), but big dogs are scary. A dog that barks constantly is no better than no dog at all (and may get you fined in some locales, not to mention making your neighbours hate you.)

Dogs are usually healthier and more sane when you have more than one- dogs aren't meant to be alone for hours at a time. A buddy keeps them occupied and healthy.
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Re: Question?

Postby whitebear54 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:13 pm

Where I'm located (near Kingman, AZ) there are lots of homesteaders. The movement here has been growing steadily for years. I consider this an excellent trend and hope it keeps spreading. Land prices are reasonable and there are tracts available with proven wells, plus if you have more than an acre you can put in a well so long as your well meets setback requirements from your neighbor's septic systems--and most would easily do so.
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Re: Question?

Postby LeeLynn » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:53 pm

We are not technically homesteaders yet but each year we add a new aspect to self reliance, so we can concentrate on one thing at a time. We always gardened but three years ago we brought in chickens, last year was bees, this year was 6 fruit trees, and next year is a goat. Once we feel comfortable we plan on adding sheep and turkeys but we need to do more research on keeping turkeys and chickens on the same property as this can be an issue.

We also try each year to add to our skills like water filters, different juices, soap, candle making and the such. I'm certain in two more years or three we could have a hobby farm that could sustain us indefinitely. The biggest thing is being creative in the kitchen so you can eat chicken four times a week but not the same way.

I see more people adding to their capabilities of providing a little extra from their own two hands or maybe it's just because we aren't spring chickens anymore and that's just what the older age groups do.
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Re: Question?

Postby IceFire » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:29 pm

We finally got moved OUT of town and onto 19 acres with our own well. Still finishing getting things from the back yard moved over (like the greenhouses and the rest of my aquaponics system) After everything is done and I finish getting things unpacked, I'll be clearing mesquite, tumbleweeds, and weeds and then start rebuilding my garden.
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Re: Question?

Postby whitebear54 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:50 pm

IceFire wrote:We finally got moved OUT of town and onto 19 acres with our own well. Still finishing getting things from the back yard moved over (like the greenhouses and the rest of my aquaponics system) After everything is done and I finish getting things unpacked, I'll be clearing mesquite, tumbleweeds, and weeds and then start rebuilding my garden.


Ice,

Good for you--getting moved out of town. But clearing 19 acres? If you plan to heat or cook with wood you might want to keep some of the mesquite trees around--sort of a woodlot. Otherwise you'll be way ahead renting a front end loader, a bulldozer or at least a backhoe (which you could also use to bust up any caliche when you put in your gardens). If you do this be sure you wear a hard hat, eye protection, jeans, gloves and long sleeves (an enclosed cab with AC is even better). Those branches can snap and jump at you from any direction. One advantage to a backhoe is you can use the bucket to de-limb the trees before you knock them over or dig them out.

I envy you your 19 acres and your well and do NOT envy you all the weeding ahead.
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Re: Question?

Postby IceFire » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:40 am

Whitebear,

I don't envy me all the weeding, either! At least I'll have the horses to help with the grasses (they can "mow" down about 2 acres a week, between the 2 of them.) As for keeping some of the mesquite for heating/cooking wood, I plan on taking the wood from the trees I remove and cutting them into wood for burning, and the smaller pieces for kindling. Once the mesquite is cleared, I'll have OTHER trees that will be planted in their place (fruit and nut trees, olive trees for fruit and oil, etc. I already started the vineyard area...have an areas that was cleared for the leach lines, so have put grape vines BETWEEN where the leach lines are.
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Re: Question?

Postby whitebear54 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:14 pm

IceFire wrote:Whitebear,

I don't envy me all the weeding, either! At least I'll have the horses to help with the grasses (they can "mow" down about 2 acres a week, between the 2 of them.) As for keeping some of the mesquite for heating/cooking wood, I plan on taking the wood from the trees I remove and cutting them into wood for burning, and the smaller pieces for kindling. Once the mesquite is cleared, I'll have OTHER trees that will be planted in their place (fruit and nut trees, olive trees for fruit and oil, etc. I already started the vineyard area...have an areas that was cleared for the leach lines, so have put grape vines BETWEEN where the leach lines are.


Ice,

After seven long years our grape vines finally produced large quantities of delicious seedless Thompson and Red Flame grapes this year. Our Anna Apple bore fruit that the incessant spring winds did not knock off the limbs. Our dwarf Bonanza peach (a variety I do not recommend as they are productive but not very tasty) once again gave us loads of peaches I canned as pie filling. Our Santa Rosa plums were both productive and delicious this year. I think all this was due to a combination of me feeding them last fall and again in spring, last summer (2014) being much wetter than average and last winter being colder than average giving us a decent chill hour period.

Last Fall I planted two Brown Turkey fig trees and a Belle of Georgia peach (then didn't let it produce fruit this year so it could get established). This fall I'm putting in a Gala Apple, a Golden Dorsett apple, a fruiting Persian Mulberry tree and a Goji berry shrub. All the trees are semi-dwarf except the mulberry and figs which are full-sized.

Next month I'll feed all the trees and shrubs then do it again in February.

I'll keep putting in fruit trees and other edible plants and will continue expanding my raised beds. It's a lot of work but I think it's worth it. Next year if I get a good crop of grapes I might let some of them go to raisins. I used a lot of bird netting and chicken wire fencing to keep the birds and rabbits from getting them this year. Used bird netting over and around the fruit trees too. It's a PITA to install AND to remove but it kept the birds from the fruit.

On your acreage you might want to put in a few Persian Mulberries around your perimeter. Birds will go for them (so would I) before any of your other fruit trees. Might just save you from having to wrap your trees in netting like we had to do. But then on your acreage you might just plant full-size trees and do your harvest before the birds get them all.

Can you use your horses as a team to pull the larger logs or smaller trees?

Oh, when I say "feed" I use a combination of blood meal, bone meal, sulfur, and compost tea. Seems to work.

Good luck.
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Re: Question?

Postby IceFire » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:39 pm

I hear you on the fruit trees! I had planted a Persian mulberry at the old house earlier this year. Plan on putting some in here at the new place. I've already planted both Thompson Seedless and Flame Seedless grapes. When they comeback in (probably in spring) I'll also be putting in Concord, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay grapes, as well.

I've done the netting thing, too. Had to rescue a couple of lizards from the netting, as well as a few birds.

Right now I can't use the horses for pulling. The younger one is only green broke, and needs a LOT of work. Neither one has ever done any pulling, and have barely been ridden...something I DEFINITELY plan on correcting once I get them over here (hopefully next week.) Eventually, I may be able to use them for pulling, but it's going to take a LOT of training.
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Re: Question?

Postby whitebear54 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:05 pm

IceFire wrote:I hear you on the fruit trees! I had planted a Persian mulberry at the old house earlier this year. Plan on putting some in here at the new place. I've already planted both Thompson Seedless and Flame Seedless grapes. When they comeback in (probably in spring) I'll also be putting in Concord, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay grapes, as well.

I've done the netting thing, too. Had to rescue a couple of lizards from the netting, as well as a few birds.

Right now I can't use the horses for pulling. The younger one is only green broke, and needs a LOT of work. Neither one has ever done any pulling, and have barely been ridden...something I DEFINITELY plan on correcting once I get them over here (hopefully next week.) Eventually, I may be able to use them for pulling, but it's going to take a LOT of training.


My bird netting killed several lizards and one king snake. It got entangled between a raised bed garden and a chain link fence and I didn't know about it until I pulled the netting. I absolute hate losing a king snake. We have Mohave Greens around here as well as too many pack rats and ground squirrels so I want as many king snakes as possible.

Very cool plans for the grapes. I may get a black seedless next spring.

Good luck with your horses. Many moons ago I adopted a wild mare from the BLM and it took me almost a year to gentle her and get her rideable. She was smart and had a mind of her own. I could grab her mane, mount and ride her bareback with just a halter but she'd fight a bit and would swell up like a blasted balloon whenever I tried to slap a saddle on her. Ah, the memories...
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Re: Question?

Postby IceFire » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:08 am

That's why the horses I'm getting need so much work...both mustangs from BLM. They'd been broken to ride, but just barely, so need a LOT of training.
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Re: Question?

Postby whitebear54 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:03 pm

IceFire wrote:That's why the horses I'm getting need so much work...both mustangs from BLM. They'd been broken to ride, but just barely, so need a LOT of training.


It may actually be easier since you have two. They will keep each other company. My mare, Whiskey, was used to running with a herd and I think being alone bothered her.
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