ATTN homesteaders!

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
Hey y'all! New to Backyard Chickens and new to the whole raising chickens thing!

I've become very interested in homesteading and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Recently I moved back in with my parents so my boyfriend and I can save money to buy some land and start a homestead of our own. During my time here I've been experimenting as much as possible and taking advantage of all of my parents land and resources to get the ball rolling and gain experience. So far my plans include expanding the garden (with hopes of having a booth at the local farmers market this summer, also crossing my fingers that shortly I won't have to rely on store bought produce), raising a small flock of chickens along with coop building, experimenting with fermentation (I have kombucha up to my ears right now), and experimenting with harvesting and making my own herbal remedies. I have so much to look forward to this summer with everything i've been investing my time in.

I started this thread just to possibly gain some knowledge on any of the above subjects, have conversations, hear stories, make some friends with similar thoughts etc, etc. with other homesteaders or self-sufficient experts out there! So if any of you are interested in sharing anything with me I'd be more than happy to converse! Thanks for reading! Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Justine
 

cnicho05

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
145
9
73
Owosso, MI
Hello,

I would love to work towards the homestead lifestyle one day soon...

As of right now I have expanded upon my current chicken layout and brought some new birds into my flock. Everything seems to be going very well this year...besides for the weather...and I'm also looking forward to the summer.

One aspect which I am going to work on this summer is the addition of solar panels. I would like to migrate my chicken coop, run and external lighting to an off-grid system. My neighbor lost most of his chickens, 80 out of 120, when we experienced a major power outage following an ice storm. Without power for ten days he was unable to keep water thawed and heat available. After his experience I would hate to go through the same thing...

Anyways, welcome and good luck...
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
Ahhh solar panels, a dream of mine! Unfortunately we don't get tons of sunlight here in PA, but we do get enough. My boyfriends dad heats his water from solar panels. Something I don't know much about but would love to find out more and venture down that path. Good luck! Sounds like a great idea!
 

newfoundland

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2010
976
74
151
I have heard that solar panels require not so much sunlight as daylight. The only trouble is I think they are quite an investment and I don't know what the annual return on the investment is? having said that there is little in them to break down.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
I've heard that too, definitely an investment. But it seems that the people around here who do have them think they're worth it. Like I said, definitely need to gather more info about it.
 

Hippie Chicks Mom

Songster
9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
159
4
101
Near Old Forge NY
Sounds like you have an awesome start. Doesn't the spring weather ignite new energy and ideas? I live in upstate NY and share your lack of weather/sunshine. Our summers are so short! I would die to have the south's warm weather and extended growing season. I have been homesteading for a few years now and love the life style. I still work outside of my home, but can't wait to be able to stay home full time someday. My best advice is to expand your gardening for food preservation. It does not take acres of land, just a porch full of pots can add produce for your freezer or pantry. I keep chickens and make many of my own products such as laundry detergent, very cheap and easy to do. I garden and we burn wood for heat. It's a fun life. Best of luck!

[email protected]
 

kocho

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
86
3
43
I'm a newby and a Pennsylvania girl too. I currently live on the pa/oh border. But I grew up about an hour from the NY border. My folks still live there on a small farm. My Dad has a solar panel to run his electric fence. It works well since his pasture is far from the house and electric lines.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
@Hippie Chicks Mom Even the thought of spring had me excited! I started so many seedlings indoors a while ago and now my house is overgrown but I love it! Food preservation is definitely one of the first things I'm experimenting with! So stoked to learn more about canning, fermentation, etc. Got some great books on the subjects and have been reading since winter- makes me so anxious for my garden to grow!! For now I'm living at home with my parents and they have the perfect place to get some practice. We too have a wood burning furnace and they also have a pretty large garden that I plan on expanding a bit. I can check chickens off my list! I'm slowly teaching them the new things I learn as well. When I move out I hope to have them too well on the path to a similar lifestyle, they seem very receptive. The next step will be finding land and a place to call my own to get my own operation going. All good things to come I feel! Thanks for the well wishes!

@kocho Sounds like a great place, where you grew up! We have a cabin near the NY state line- in Potter County. If you're parents place is anywhere near a place like that I'm jealous! So beautiful up there. I guess that's how it got the name "God's Country".
 

nayeli

Songster
6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
1,988
105
196
We just bought a house 2 months ago on only 1/3 of an acre. We are "urban homesteading". In the last 4 months I have got quail, chicks, ducks, rabbits, and worms. All of these have multiple purposes!
Rabbits- meat, compost, pelt (if we want), $$ (if we sell)
Quail- eggs, meat, compost $$ (if we sell the eggs or birds)
Ducks- Eggs, meat, $$
Worms- Composting, feed for ducks quail or chickens, bait for fishing, $$
Chickens- Eggs, Meat, pest control, $$

I don't plan on really making money from homesteading but I want more organic foods and I really enjoy the animals. One of my rabbits just had kits so its a first time for both of us! My quail aren't laying so I'm again trying to perfect their environment to get them too... not sure whats wrong, I'm guessing it is a light issue and I will provide artificial light. My duck lays consistantly and we are really enjoying the eggs (and the ducks =) they are fun!). Our chicks are 5 days old so all they are producing at the moment is poo, and its not beneficial since its in the brooder =)

The worms are also really new so no telling how they are doing.
 

Ole and Lena

Songster
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
389
42
123
Wright Co Minnesota
Too late this year, but start thinking about next year's maple syrup. Scout out, get permission to tap some local trees and scavenge some stuff to make a boiler. It makes a very good trade item for people who have other produce you want.

Build your local contacts. Search out others who are into swapping, gardening etc. and form a local network to share ideas and barter goods. Keep and eye on craigslist for free stuff that will be useful. Some of my best homestead partners were met trading/swapping/picking up free stuff from CL.

Solar can be a good investment long term, but unless you are heating your house and water it's probably more cost effective to concentrate your expenditures on increasing the efficiency of your conventional energy usage. In a cold climate, consider wood heating before solar, it's a more productive use of your time and money if you are able to obtain and process your own wood. Low-tech solar, on the other hand, is definitely worth pursuing. A few black painted pails full of water make a heat sink that can heat a greenhouse overnight or add warmth to a room. Just the proper use of curtains and shades combined with the paint/stain colors in your rooms and floors will reduce your heating and cooling bills. Here in MN, I have a dark brown rug and a light grey rug in my South facing room. In the winter, the dark rug catches the sun, in summer the grey rug is moved to the sunny spot. Amazing what a difference that makes.
 
Top Bottom