Dare to Live the Dream

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by mrbstephens, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lately my DH and I are feeling we are at a dead end. We live on Long Island with our two children in a 3 bdrm/2 bath house on .43 acres. We pay over $7,000 in taxes for this puny parcel. My DH is a talented woodworker and runs the fabrication department of a cabinet shop. I stay home with the two children, homeschool my DS (6), play with my DD (3), and care for the house and animals and everything else that comes with being a SAHM. My DH works his butt off so we can live here. Why? Well, the area and the beaches are beautiful, BUT that's about it! We feel we could do better with our lives. We bought the house in 2001 when prices were still pretty low and if we sold now we could easily walk away with $150,000 in our pockets. We've been researching Maryland and may want to move there. We could buy a 10 + acre parcel of land with a house and barn with $100,000 down and be paying half the mortgage and less than half the property taxes.

    My dream;

    To live and work on an organic farm growing and selling organic fruits and vegetables and raising farm animals for eggs, dairy and fiber. To hold festivals on the property and workshops teaching self sustainability and living green while still being home with our children. I have a back round in horticulture, but would like to move toward agriculture.

    My DH's dream;

    To work at home. Currently he has a workshop in our basement where he makes wooden bowls and other things with his lathe. He knows he'll need to continue his career as a cabinet maker, but eventually he'd like remain at home working for himself, doing what he really loves to do. He loves the idea of living on a farm where I'd be able to help with the income and help sustain our family. He'd need to have a garage or barn where he could use as a workshop on the property.

    So, I'm wondering if others on the forum have done anything like this? I would like some advice as to where to start. Should I take any courses in agriculture, or would reading a researching be enough to get started? What do I look for in a good fertile land? Any suggestions would be great! [​IMG]
     
  2. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    No other dreamers on here? [​IMG]
     
  3. Hoosiermomma

    Hoosiermomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    S.E Ind
    Just give it some time.....all the dreamers might still be sleeping. [​IMG]
     
  4. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    YES! Sorry, been filling the coffee cup, lol. I, too, dream of one day selling my fruits and veggies, fresh eggs and poultry, crafts, and perennials. We do own our own business (repair and fabrication shop), which we pray will allow us to retire pretty soon. Right now we are on a debt reduction plan, so one day soon we'll be debt free and this will be a reality! Well, that's the sugar coated version, anyway, lol.

    One of the best things I did before we moved onto the farm was to become a Master Gardener which not only taught me a lot, but it gave me so many connections to so many knowledgeable people as well as lots of great resources. I DO read a LOT, too, though, and I subscribe to Mother Earth News, Countryside, Grit, Farm Show, Mary Jane's Farm and lots of other periodicals that I think will answer some of my questions in subjects I am interested in, or give me great ideas.

    I would talk to lots of people who have done what you want to accomplish, so that you don't make any big beginner's mistakes. There are some good homesteaders forums out there.

    As far as fertile land, well, I can tell you we own a little over 15 acres, but most of that is woods. I looked here:

    http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx

    before we moved onto the property to learn that we basically have the crappiest soil in my county, lol. I always look forward to a challenge, though, and I actually feel blessed that I live on top of a giant sandbox. At least I have great drainage! Actually, sandy soil is great for peach trees and many fruit trees who hate 'wet feet'. Thus, we planted a small orchard of carefully selected fruit varieties which do well in our area. Anyway, I did a LOT of research before digging the first hole. Also, I chose to use raised beds for my garden for harvesting ease. You would be surprised the amount of veggies you can grow in a small area. I also chose to use the French Intensive method, which basically means the plants are planted closely together, and when a crop is done, another veggie/herb goes in its place. I am also reading Four Season Harvest right now, too (by Elliot ????, it's on Amazon)

    Lots to learn! I always have my nose in about 3-5 books at any given time. Anyway, it's a lot of fun, and I hope that you will one day find your special place!
     
  5. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    16,153
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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    You should check out our sister site, Sufficient Self. You'll find lots of like-minded folks over there.
     
  6. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Thank you for your encouragement and help!
     
  7. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:You're right! I'll post there too!
     
  8. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This Master Gardener thing you're talking about.......I think I did that about, oh, 14 years ago. LOL! I took courses at a local civic garden center when I lived in Pittsburgh. I liked it so much I enrolled in the community college and majored in horticulture. I then made it my career and my last job, before kids, was head grower and supervisor of a wholesale perennial nursery.
     
  9. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Ah, I see! I really, really love horticulture. Always something to learn! We have a lot of commercial nurseries here and while in the MG program I got to tour the biggest one. Wow. Absolutely amazing. I wouldn't want to do it on a commercial level, but it is still fascinating! I wish I would have taken horticulture in college. I may have actually graduated, lol. Oh well!

    I'm gonna check out that sister site, too.
     
  10. mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Anyone else? Surely, there must be more of us dreamers on here. [​IMG]
     

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