Homesteaders

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by MountainMamaHST, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh believe me we've talked about it. My Dd and hers live in TX. We are coming down in April into May. I love the South and wish we'd moved there years ago.
     
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I would really like the warmer temps of the Arizona winters, but I sure wouldn't like the hot summers! I melt in the heat a whole lot more than I freeze; my motto is you can always put on another layer but you can only get so naked.
    My biggest problem in summer is the sun burn, I am pretty fair skinned. I have a big floppy gardening hat and I am looking for some nice, plain silk long-sleeved shirts. I may have to buy a bolt of fabric and a pattern and make what I want.
     
  3. isabella2014

    isabella2014 Out Of The Brooder

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    Have for a long time tried to become self sufficient. Some area worked ok for me but not too sucessful.
    Large acres mean paying taxes. How does one pay taxes on acreage with living off the land even with agricultural exemptions?
    Learned over the years im not a farmer. The only success ive ever have grown without much effort are Collard Greens. My Heritage Tomatoes didnt produce but wilted before my eyes.Im not a quitter .
    Love the thread.
     
  4. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah...I have a problem with sunburn too. In fact, I had a small spot of skin cancer removed this past year. But, intense heat only accounts for 2-3 months out of the year here, and June is the only month that's typically scorching and humid with no rain. Once the monsoons move in we get relief from the heat more frequently....and I do love my air conditioning. [​IMG] Plus, the longer you're here, the thinner your blood gets and the easier it is to tolerate heat over cold. The community I live in is largely age restricted and you can always distinguish the natives from the snow birds by how much clothing they wear in the winter. Natives are bundled up in light jackets and long pants while the snow birds are wearing shorts and driving around in convertibles with the tops down. [​IMG]
     
  5. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    You sound a lot like me. My mother's green thumb skipped right over me and honed in on my son. Learning to GROW plants rather than KILL them has been challenging to say the least. I've literally spent the past few years learning techniques that work with me and for me. To make things harder, I insist on doing everything 100% organic...no chemical fertilizers or pesticides...so while some of my friends grow massive produce using Miracle Grow, I struggle to get a good harvest the "old fashioned" way. I've learned that especially here in the desert, compost is a must over standard soil, and this past year had great success with straw bale gardening. My tomatoes LOVED the straw bales, as did my lettuce, melons, peppers, eggplants, and squash, but my cucumbers, beans and peas didn't fair so well. They did better in the troughs filled with compost. Don't give up! There are a lot of great techniques you can try that don't require huge plots of land. You just need to find the one that's a good fit for you.
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well now you have to figure what you can sell. Too most folks aren't 100% living off the land unless they have a big commercial farm. You do need to either have a part time job, work seasonal work such as Christmas time or market what you grow or produce. Diversification is key.

    Now as for the tomatoes? I plant different varieties. Some heritage are heritage because they are prone to certain problems. Like other things some tomatoes don't like the dry heat or can only deal with certain cold temps. Others are prone to, wilt or splitting. (in order to fight this varieties have been developed with tough skin)

    Here at the Farmers market I've seen Collards sell right out. In fact DD made them this past Christmas for our dinner with friends. I personally don't like greens.

    So what to do? Diversify. Sell some of this and some of that. We have lady at the market who sells, wool yarn, organic chickens, eggs and blankets she weaves. She also sells socks and other stuff she knits. If you want a chicken from her you have to get there early. She sells out. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Find a market in your area and go with that.

    If you can work part time and grow most of what you need for the year you're doing good. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. [​IMG]
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    When I was young I didn't mind the cold so much. Now that I have arthritis I suffer. Winters are hard. I go out, make sure the chickens have water and feed and I'm back inside. I read and crochet and knit and make jam/jelly. Winter is a good time to do the indoor stuff. Freeze the berries and do the jamming in winter. [​IMG]

    Anyhow, I just can't take this cold. Snow isn't so bad cuz it has to be above freezing to snow.

    You could of course go in between the deep south and high north. The Carolinas or like that. 80's and 90's don't bother me. A little sun is good for you. Vitamin D and all that.
     
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I've been preaching this for a long time. Nothing works for everyone. You have to find your groove.

    I do raised beds. They work for me. Others not so much. Some can use both raised beds and not. I've replanted things in different areas because they may not like where they were before.

    Folks say, "Oh it's so easy to grow" . Well if that ain't a bunch of you know what! Chives easy? Not in my garden. Rhubarb died in one spot, so I planted it in raised beds, but we shall see if it survives the winter.

    One year my tomatoes did real good. The next [​IMG]. If I can start my own plants they seem to do better than if I buy them. Last year that blasted mice killed my cukes. Squirrels were chewing on my squashes.

    You just have to have faith and plant. 1 part water, 1 part Sun and 2 parts prayer. [​IMG]
     
  9. alldembirds

    alldembirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    taxes on my 15 acres are less than $60 a year, you dont need much room to grow enough for a family of four. I found this and thought it was neat , maybe not 100% accurate but it does give you a better idea instead of just randomly grasping for numbers out of the blue.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Adkins Texas
    Oh how I know those feelings. A few years ago I lost every tomato plant we had to some kind of blight. Then instead of weeding the garden like I was supposed to I used a broad leaf grass killer..... I quickly found out that corn is considered a broad leaf grass as it died within days. Then all the green chile plants I had put on little peppers and then turned brown and died. That was the worst garden in history. This year I am doing everything completely different than I did with that other garden.
     

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