how long did it take you, and am i crazy? any input?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by fitzy, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. fitzy

    fitzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    manhattan, ks
    here's a ramble for those who live on farms/homesteads or are attempting to learn more about becoming self sufficient.....or have a degree in psychology

    My wife and i purchased our house with 9.4 acres about 2 years ago....the first year, i didn't really do many projects or improvements....i was just kinda being mellow and raising chickens and a couple goats. this year i've been freaking myself out about the economy (even though the town i live in was voted "least affected in the country by the recession") i still fear that eventually the poop is gonna hit the fan and i want to try to be as prepared as possible...

    i run a small business and most of my days currently (slow season) are spent reading this forum and looking for stuff on craigs list that "might be useful" around the house...i've bought more chickens, a side of beef, a hog and every cattle panel and dog run panel i've came across so i'll have them around just in case.....as well as a tractor and various implements to do stuff around the house and a couple trailers and whatever else seemed useful at the time.

    i don't believe we're gonna have any drastic "end of civilization" any time soon, but with the decline in the value of the u.s. dollar, it seems (at least to me) that a dollar spent wisely is something like $2-3 dollars saved down the road....i guess i'm trying do everything at once and its driving me insane! it just seems like if i don't do it NOW it's gonna cost even more when i get around to it!

    what i'd like to know from others is how long did it take you to make your house into your home? i know i'll always have projects, but i feel like i'm trying to do everything at once so i can finally relax...is this gonna last forever???

    do others feel the same way i do? shoot me a pm if you dont wanna talk about it publicly...



    as a side note, the reason we choose the house we did (after looking at around 200 others) was that i kinda reminds me of where i grew up in NE tennessee....i miss the farm life...at least the parts i was exposed to.....


    i'll probably edit this, but for now i'm just gonna post it and see if anyone has any input....
     
  2. Hoosiermomma

    Hoosiermomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    S.E Ind
    Take a deep breath. Breathe in and out and in and out.... I think you are off to a good start but don't stress about it. You can and will make yourself crazy if you do.
    First of all, in my opinion, yes I don't believe we have seen the worst yet but on the other side I do believe that this is all happening because we are supposed to adopt a more self sufficient life style. You sound like you are well on your way to doing that.
    Making a house a home.....well to me that's a lifelong project. Cosmetically you can do things to make your house more comfortable but only you and your wife (and clan) make truly make it a home. I would make a list of what I want to do around the house and farm in the order of importance to you. Then just cross each item off as you complete it. If you don't do that you can easily drive yourself insane because 'everything' seems far more insurmountable than just one or two things. I've been there and done that. I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about all the things that have to be done but when I put it on paper and tackle one task at a time, it's alot less stressful and alot easier to accomplish.
    Just take a step back and remember to breathe. You don't have to get everything done now. You are way ahead of most when it comes to being self sufficient. [​IMG]
     
  3. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Breathe my friend, here have a halloween cupcake.

    I also think it's going to get worse, and i'll say 5 years untill things are really stable again. Right now, it's time to hunker down and focus on the set up. The house will not explode if you don't get it done tomorrow. Make a list of say the next 10 projects, plan to work on them 2 afternoons a week untill it's done. Don't worry the depression won't end without you [​IMG]. Now write the list, tack it to the fridge and 2 afternoons a week is enough.
     
  4. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Quote:You aren't kidding.

    Time till fruit trees grow in and produce a decent crop: 7 years.

    I am about three years into my House Project. Just pick a couple things you want to do this year. Next year, other things will present themselves. Or you'll change your mind. Or something else will be on sale for cheap. Or you'll find something for free on Craigslist, and that'll change everything. Or you'll meet a guy who has a friend who will trade some building stuff for eggs. Some things need to be done in a certain order, e.g. structural work before tile installation.

    Word of advice: Buy only what you really really need, usually as/when you need it, rather than stockpiling. Things like tractors, cost a lot to maintain even if you get them used, and if you find one cheap it's because there's something horribly wrong with it. Some things it is better to rent, some things to buy and then sell on Craigslist when you're done--in that sense, you're better off buying a high-quality tool, because then you can sell it for close to the "new" price, whereas if you buy a crummy tool new, you can't get nearly as much for it used. Be sure, 100% sure, that you know exactly how to use said tool. Not that I would ever wish to remove a source of humor for rural residents, but it's always sorta amusing, in a schadenfreude sort of way, to watch a city slicker attempt to plow a field for the first time using a pricey tractor that somehow doesn't take corners nearly as well as their BMW...

    It will go way, way better if you plan a lot. Assume that everything will take about three times longer than it would take if things actually went right the first time. Assume that it will cost at least twice as much as you estimated.

    Think about your house and farm as an investment: Depending on your mortgage rate, you may get much better returns on your money simply by paying off your mortgage early with the money you would have spent on equipment/tools. But it depends on what you're doing. Think creatively about what you can do with the stuff you have already, without having to buy new stuff. Think about how much time you can reasonably invest when your business is in the middle of the busy season--does the busy season coincide with some aspect of farming you'd like to do? Would you quit or sell your business to farm, or is that impossible for economic reasons? If it's impossible, then look into other aspects of farming that you might like to do. Think in terms of $$$/acre: Hey, a beautiful golden wheat field is certainly inspiring, but for the same soil type and sunlight, cut flowers make more money. You don't want to spend a fortune on soil amendments so you can grow fabulous corn (which everyone grows, and often sells below cost) if the soil will produce $5/pint raspberries just fine with fewer amendments.

    Last bit of advice: Joel Salatin's books on farming are very very good. I highly recommend them.
     
  5. fitzy

    fitzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    manhattan, ks
    Quote:i actually have a list....what i don't have is two afternoons a week....although, the wife just reminded me that we're in our slow season and i should think about taking more time off work since i usually just sit here and chain smoke!


    i just re-read what you typed while i was thinking and realized you were saying to ONLY work on stuff for two afternoons a week...i'm breathing, i swear!

    i think if i can get the rest of my broilers cut up and into the freezer and cull the bejesus outta my quail it'll make it a little easier to slow down and smell the snow [​IMG]
     
  6. Royd

    Royd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Middleburg, Fl.
    May I say, that in the history of man, this whole concept of relaxing, is a very recent thing, and I don't think we have done ourselves any huge favors, by making it one of our life's ambitions.... Oh the irony, of that statement.[​IMG]

    Taking a respite, from your labor, so that you can restore the body and spirit, and get back at it, the next day, or the next week, is where we all should be, as individuals, and as a nation.

    Personally, I believe that if you can't see the coming economic and political storm, you either have your head in the clouds or the sand.

    As I tell people, here, in Florida,"If you own a piece of ground with sunshine on it, for more than 8 hours a day, and you aren't growing something to eat, shame on you."
     
  7. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Quote:i actually have a list....what i don't have is two afternoons a week....although, the wife just reminded me that we're in our slow season and i should think about taking more time off work since i usually just sit here and chain smoke!


    i just re-read what you typed while i was thinking and realized you were saying to ONLY work on stuff for two afternoons a week...i'm breathing, i swear!

    i think if i can get the rest of my broilers cut up and into the freezer and cull the bejesus outta my quail it'll make it a little easier to slow down and smell the snow [​IMG]

    Yep, the projects 2 days a week, and then the day to day stuff. Going at full speed you'll burn out, and that's not going to help you. Pick a day to make room in the freezer for 30 mins, sit back crack a beer, check your tools, set them up, next afternoon process and chill. there 2 days.
     
  8. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    good move getting a tractor and implements. I scored a 3 point tiller for free the other day. I am stoked about that. My garden is going to be SO big this spring. Yep, its wise to be concerned and do what you are doing but relax, we're Americans, we are going to get through this despite the current political theater. I want to see pictures of your tractor and implements. I have a small Case tractor.
     
  9. fitzy

    fitzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    111
    Aug 25, 2009
    manhattan, ks
    Quote:You aren't kidding.

    Time till fruit trees grow in and produce a decent crop: 7 years.

    I am about three years into my House Project. Just pick a couple things you want to do this year. Next year, other things will present themselves. Or you'll change your mind. Or something else will be on sale for cheap. Or you'll find something for free on Craigslist, and that'll change everything. Or you'll meet a guy who has a friend who will trade some building stuff for eggs. Some things need to be done in a certain order, e.g. structural work before tile installation.

    Word of advice: Buy only what you really really need, usually as/when you need it, rather than stockpiling. Things like tractors, cost a lot to maintain even if you get them used, and if you find one cheap it's because there's something horribly wrong with it. Some things it is better to rent, some things to buy and then sell on Craigslist when you're done--in that sense, you're better off buying a high-quality tool, because then you can sell it for close to the "new" price, whereas if you buy a crummy tool new, you can't get nearly as much for it used. Be sure, 100% sure, that you know exactly how to use said tool. Not that I would ever wish to remove a source of humor for rural residents, but it's always sorta amusing, in a schadenfreude sort of way, to watch a city slicker attempt to plow a field for the first time using a pricey tractor that somehow doesn't take corners nearly as well as their BMW...

    It will go way, way better if you plan a lot. Assume that everything will take about three times longer than it would take if things actually went right the first time. Assume that it will cost at least twice as much as you estimated.

    Think about your house and farm as an investment: Depending on your mortgage rate, you may get much better returns on your money simply by paying off your mortgage early with the money you would have spent on equipment/tools. But it depends on what you're doing. Think creatively about what you can do with the stuff you have already, without having to buy new stuff. Think about how much time you can reasonably invest when your business is in the middle of the busy season--does the busy season coincide with some aspect of farming you'd like to do? Would you quit or sell your business to farm, or is that impossible for economic reasons? If it's impossible, then look into other aspects of farming that you might like to do. Think in terms of $$$/acre: Hey, a beautiful golden wheat field is certainly inspiring, but for the same soil type and sunlight, cut flowers make more money. You don't want to spend a fortune on soil amendments so you can grow fabulous corn (which everyone grows, and often sells below cost) if the soil will produce $5/pint raspberries just fine with fewer amendments.

    Last bit of advice: Joel Salatin's books on farming are very very good. I highly recommend them.

    Okay, i still can't figure out how to type in between quotes so .....

    still wanna plant fruit trees eventually
    i'm all about the barter system whenever possible
    yup...old tractor is still not running, BUT i did get a new holland with 0%apr...cuts my mowing time down SIGNIFICANTLY and has been a HUGE HELP with other projects!!
    just figured out that things always take longe and cost more than i estimate they will
    no i'm not gonna roll my "fancy" tractor...but i did get the old one stuck in the creek
    yeah, i've thought about the other stuff mentioned, but it's nice to hear it from a sane individual...i can't quit work and farm full time, but i do need to find a happy medium between the two. i still need to figure out what i'm gonna attempt to grow...that's one thing that has fallen toward the bottom of the list. one of the reason i like chickens and quail...as long as they have food, water and shelter they're happy!
    definately gotta check out the books by salatin!


    gonna re-read all of these posts later when i'm at home....i'm starting to feel better now.
     
  10. fitzy

    fitzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    111
    Aug 25, 2009
    manhattan, ks
    Quote:i'll try to take a few pic tomorrow....how the heck did you score a tiller for free??? wanna trade it for eggs? i need to plant a garden next year and a 3 pt tiller is something i wanna find.
     

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