Homesteading

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by abbygibson1212, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. abbygibson1212

    abbygibson1212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I've been thinking lately about homesteading and farming, and I have a big decision to make. I have $18,000-$20,000 to spend, and two choices of land to live on and I'm trying to decide if I want to buy cattle or go off grid. My grandparents have 60 acres that they don't mind me putting cattle on, or living on, and my dad has 5 acres with a small shop on it that he could sell me. Initially I was going to buy as much cattle as I could get but now I'm rethinking that. I had thought before about going off grid but didn't have the means to do so, so I put it out of my mind, and now I'm thinking about it again. My plan for now was to get 10 or so heifers, and a camper and put it all at my grandparents (camper so I could stay out there for a few days at a time and not be a bother) and now I'm trying to decide if I want to do that, or buy a camper, yurt, or storage shed, etc. and put it at my grandparents to live in, and instead of buying a bunch of beef cows, just getting one jersey heifer, a milk goat, a big garden, possibly a couple of pigs and having honey bees, and of course taking my chickens, and being self sufficient and putting whatever money I have left in savings. Or, I could buy the 5 acres + metal shop from my dad for $17,000 and put a well in, I wouldn't have any money left but I would have my own place, which I could put all of the same stuff on. I just can't decide which is the best option. Grandparents is the best short term option, but the 5 acres is the best long term option. I do have a job right now, which I hope to quit once I'm self sufficient. I've been trying to figure out also what bills I could cut back on and what I would need to have. I can do without a phone, internet, and tv. I would also be okay with no electricity as long as I had water and a wood stove. So I'm thinking my bills will consist of property tax, health insurance, and gas (you don't have to have car insurance do you?) and surely I wouldn't use much gas if I'm homesteading. Anyways, I thought maybe if I put a few bottle calves on my jersey heifer each year I could cover the costs of insurance and taxes. And maybe I could sell eggs, goat milk soap, etc. so I have money for other things. But am I forgetting anything? I've also been trying to figure out how I could feed my dogs, cat, chickens, horse, and future cow and goat, without actually buying food, the dogs and cat are the hardest ones to figure out. And if I were to stay on my grandparents land, what would be the best options for living quarters? I know a camper or yurt would be cheapest but where could I find a yurt in missouri? (Or Arkansas or Oklahoma?)
    Anyways, any and all advice and ideas would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. countrygirl345

    countrygirl345 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I think either housing option is viable, but what got me was the part about quitting your job and going off the grid. While you can make money if you work hard, remember that throughout our country's history, the farmers have always been poor, slaving just so the rich can have something to eat. The lifestyle you are describing reminds me of little house on the prairie or something. Generally, only a handful of homesteaders made a decent living back then, and I seriously doubt it would be any better now, if not worse. While I admire your grit and motives for wanting to pursue this lifestyle, I think you still have a lot of considering to do.
    I wish you good luck!
    And yes, you do need auto insurance;)
     
  3. abbygibson1212

    abbygibson1212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But I won't really need that much money, just enough to pay for those very few things I said. I don't have any concern for making a bunch of money, that's the whole point of being self sufficient, not having to worry about all the every day society stuff. And I wouldn't be farming farming either, since I would just have the stuff I need to use for myself, so I wouldn't be slaving to feed anyone else but myself. And about the car insurance.. I wasn't sure, because I know people who have gotten in wrecks and the other person didn't have insurance, and I was just thinking there wouldn't be many places id be driving if I didn't have a job. I would like to go fully off grid but maybe I could just cut back to a part time job, at least for now.
     
  4. countrygirl345

    countrygirl345 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The part time job seems like a good idea until you can figure out exactly how much money you need and how much you can make. About the car insurance, if you almost never drive, then you may be able to get away without it. But I would go for a minimal plan to be safe, because if you happen to get pulled over or something, you'll have to pay the price, which isn't pretty.
     
  5. abbygibson1212

    abbygibson1212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, good point. Minimal plan it is then
     
  6. poorfarm

    poorfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm probably doing close to your minimal homesteading so I have a good idea what the "minimal" costs are. I own my house with 4.5 acres outright. No job, no income as in not collecting SS or anything like that, but I have savings. I raise chicken and duck eggs from pastured poultry, and specialty market garden. Only have 2 customers, fancy restaurants. 2015 was my second year, surprised to find that I took in $7000. I need one more customer, and that would be all I could handle, and I'm pretty sure I can reliably take in $10-12K a year. That would be very tight. I have found that I can live comfortably on $15K, meaning I have to take enough out of my savings per year to double what I earned from the farm most recently. I eat my own farm produce including poultry meat and eggs. I own a car and a pickup, both very old. Big ticket stuff that has to be budgeted for:

    Property tax, and it's going to increase over the years
    Electricity, ditto in spades
    Gas for heat
    Water
    Insurance on property
    Insurance on vehicles
    Maintenance on vehicles and property
    Eventually will have to replace vehicles
    Eventually will have to replace livestock dog
    Gasoline
    Feed
    Gardening supplies
    Possible major medical costs--I have no insurance at all, can't afford any of it. I found a doctor who will take cash and is very kind about his charges. I am over 60, have had MS for over 25 years and only take 2 prescriptions, both very old generic drugs and very cheap.

    Keep in mind that to most people, I lead a pretty austere lifestyle. Not many people are really content this way, which is why all the hippy back-to-the-land people from the 60s and 70s are hard to find these days. Not many of all those communes around either. On the other hand, I myself am currently happy as a clam in a mudbank!
     
  7. abbygibson1212

    abbygibson1212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well my parents are moving to a small farm, and there's a half acre lot sectioned off (but it's out in the country and very secluded) that they have said they'll give to me, which is very generous of them, and I've decided to build a tiny house (12x28) and try to get it done for less than $9,000. I know the shell is going to cost me 3,800 so I think it's doable if I'm frugal and keep my plans simple. So, I won't have any house payments, and no property tax because the lot will either be in my parents name or only 50% my name. There's a well, so no water bill. And I'm hoping to get solor panels so I have no electricity bill. Which reminds me, how much are solar panels? And how many would it take to power a little 12x28 house??
    I aslo don't plan on having cable, although my parents said if I wanted it they didn't mind running a line to my house since it will be close enough. And I'm starting to think I don't want a cell phone. Or maybe just a pre paid phone so I can still get ahold of people without having a big bill and having to worry about all the social media crap. I could always take my laptop to my parents or friends or wherever if I needed to use the internet for something. So basically, with these plans I'm at $0 a month until I add in my health and car insurance buuut I found a part time job that I really enjoy, and I'll make enough to cover those two things. And I'm hoping I can find a little shop/store/resteraunt to sell eggs to that way I have some money for chicken feed, or dog food if I can find a way to feed the chickens without buying food. And then I'll have my milk cow (which I think I'm buying a calf in the next couple of weeks- yay!) and I can put a couple beef calves on her every year for a small profit and maybe a bit of meat. That way I'll have a tiny bit of extra cash for whatever I may need. I'm going to try to put 8,000-10,000 in a savings account for emergency circumstances. But I think my plan is starting to come together nicely, the hardest part is dealing with my family, my dad supports me but everyone else makes fun of me and bashes me, and tells me to be "normal". But farming and animals is what I love more than anything so I know id be happy doing this, and I wouldn't have all the stresses of every day life that society puts on you and I won't have to deal with having a job that makes me miserable just so I can buy a bunch of stuff I don't need. I won't ever be rich doing this, but that's not what I care about. And I just want to live a simple happy life. And yes, all of my friends call me a hippy [​IMG]

    And if you were wondering how I'm gonna fit a house, a garden, chickens, dogs, a cow and potentially a goat on half an acre, my parents told me they don't mind if I keep some of my farm animals on their land, which again, is VERY generous of them. And if I have enough stuff I can provide food for myself as well as them, so it's a win! But anyways, if anyone can answer my solar panel questions, please do!
     
  8. poorfarm

    poorfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't even know where to start. All I can say is get yourself some agricultural textbooks and read them before you start. Good luck.
     
  9. abbygibson1212

    abbygibson1212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, still have lots to learn. Just getting a rough plan going and then I know I'll have lots of little kinks to work out.
     
  10. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Solar panel needs vary according to each persons needs. Just look
    around on the net and you should find some basic answers. Such as,
    will you have a freezer? There is an actual plan that shows your
    expected needs.

    One thing I wish I had done years ago was to build thicker walls and roof.
    Or go underground. So much heat loss. We had talked about building false
    walls around our house...but didn't get that far. I did enclose the porch with
    18 inch walls, stays pretty warm all by itself, no heat. My uncle added a
    three foot space over his roof, said it paid for the cost already in heat and ac
    savings. That and his new covered porch all around to keep the sun off the
    windows. You get thick enough walls, it takes very little to heat or cool.

    Pay attention to your land. How does the weather hit it? Where does the wind
    come from? Any windbreaks?

    Any number of things to consider before you jump.
     

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