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When do you become ready?

 
Posts: 3
Location: Norway
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To start my own homestead/farm and become my own master, how much does it take? What are the pitfalls and things everyone need to consider, maybe things that aren't mentioned enough? How much do you really need to know before you can start? I know I am probably very disadvantaged because I live in the equivalent of a satellite state with heavy restrictions on everything. But I know for example you are recommended to study the local area for 1 year before starting to cultivate and you need to be very patient for a lot of things, so even if you learn everything quickly somehow there's a lot of time you need to know what to do with. I feel like if some newbie goes into this and doesn't plan and research a ton they will likely fail, but maybe I am wrong? Some people make it look very easy...
 
pollinator
Posts: 615
Location: Denmark 57N
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Hello and welcome!

The quick answer? Never. You'll never feel ready and the more you learn the less ready you will feel.  For most of this you don't need to know anything. (animals being an exception here, there you should know what you are doing)

What do you want too do? Have a small farm? Grow vegetables, reduce your impact while living in town?

There's no need to wait a year before putting in a garden, I would say you should wait a year before planting trees, just to be sure you have them in the right places, but annual vegetables can go anywhere after all if you change your mind it's only a few months and they are out anyway.

I had always wanted to have a smallholding and I had done plenty of gardening before but not on any scale. So we looked around and I bought what I would call a "throwaway" house we spent 90k DKK on a old bondegÄrd 1 hectare of swamp and an old house basically. and played there. to make sure this is what we (he) actually wanted to do before spending a lot of money on a decent place.
My advice would be to go for it, jump in, but only do one new thing or big project a year, so year one might be an annual vegetable garden, year two perhaps start the perennial plantings and maybe chickens, year 3 a new barn... and so on. If you start with a garden, orchard, chickens pigs and cows all at once then it probably will go downhill fast, I know it would for me.
 
pollinator
Posts: 199
Location: Gulf Islands, Canada
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Hi Gard, I would recommend you start right now, today! Not in the sense of making any crazy life-altering decisions, but to look at what you can do where you are now to start practicing. There are a lot of permaculture and homesteading skills you can build on a suburban lot or even in an apartment. You're right that if you jump straight into buying a big property by yourself when you have no practical experience and a short financial runway, you'll probably fail. So don't do that. Start practicing now while you save money. I'm on a largeish suburban lot and while I love the idea of having more land, I still have a ways to go until I've hit the limits of what I can do where I am, so I can keep saving and building my skills at the same time.

Here are some ideas for things you might be able to practice on a smaller property or an apartment:
- Urban foraging
- Vermicomposting (can be done in a closet or on a balcony) or composting (if you have a yard)
- Gardening (can be done on a balcony/patio/backyard, or in a community garden)
- Food preservation (dehydrating, canning, fermentation, pickling, etc)
- Fiber crafts (spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, etc)
- Larger crafts such as woodworking, metalworking (easier in the suburbs than an apartment, but many cities these days have shared workshop spaces, sometimes called "maker spaces")
- Community building (get to know your neighbors, volunteer, make your neighborhood better, etc)
- Backyard chickens/ducks/rabbits, if you have a backyard
- Probably other things I'm forgetting
 
Gard Jord
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Location: Norway
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Skandi Rogers wrote: Rogers


Meg Mitchell wrote:Mitchell


I want to end up with my own farm, no debt, with enough plants and animals to support me and the environment around for generations.. I already have a tiny bit of debt due to idiotic issues outside of my control. If I am to practice first I need money for property still, and regular apartments are much more expensive than random old abandoned farm areas etc. So I would need to take up a house loan, which is commonly expected that you do here. But I don't want more debt. If I wait here where I currently live (at the mercy of a family member) and try to practice at someone's place or something, maybe... I need to wait a long time likely to save up enough money to buy a piece of land.
 
Meg Mitchell
pollinator
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Location: Gulf Islands, Canada
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Gard Jord wrote:I want to end up with my own farm, no debt, with enough plants and animals to support me and the environment around for generations.. I already have a tiny bit of debt due to idiotic issues outside of my control. If I am to practice first I need money for property still, and regular apartments are much more expensive than random old abandoned farm areas etc. So I would need to take up a house loan, which is commonly expected that you do here. But I don't want more debt. If I wait here where I currently live (at the mercy of a family member) and try to practice at someone's place or something, maybe... I need to wait a long time likely to save up enough money to buy a piece of land.



Yeah I'm definitely not suggesting you buy an apartment as a starter homestead! That list was in case you were already staying in one (renting possibly), as a lot of young people are. If you are not in a stable home situation right now and are looking to go elsewhere as soon as possible, another option is to look into spending some time WWOOFing or in intentional communities, which will let you get some practice for cheap. That doesn't really solve the question of where to get money as both are unpaid; I think a lot of people use their savings from a non-permaculture career to do that.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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People all over the world have land they would like to share with others:  https://permies.com/f/27/land-share

Some of these folks might be older and looking for someone to pass their land to.
 
Gard Jord
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Location: Norway
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Meg Mitchell wrote:

Gard Jord wrote:I want to end up with my own farm, no debt, with enough plants and animals to support me and the environment around for generations.. I already have a tiny bit of debt due to idiotic issues outside of my control. If I am to practice first I need money for property still, and regular apartments are much more expensive than random old abandoned farm areas etc. So I would need to take up a house loan, which is commonly expected that you do here. But I don't want more debt. If I wait here where I currently live (at the mercy of a family member) and try to practice at someone's place or something, maybe... I need to wait a long time likely to save up enough money to buy a piece of land.



Yeah I'm definitely not suggesting you buy an apartment as a starter homestead! That list was in case you were already staying in one (renting possibly), as a lot of young people are. If you are not in a stable home situation right now and are looking to go elsewhere as soon as possible, another option is to look into spending some time WWOOFing or in intentional communities, which will let you get some practice for cheap. That doesn't really solve the question of where to get money as both are unpaid; I think a lot of people use their savings from a non-permaculture career to do that.



The list is fine if I get the opportunity to practice any of it. My current home is fine, its just that I'm not expected to live here forever. I don't know how long, so I want to try and learn in the meantime all that I can. I have worked before, some jobs seemed more bearable than others but in the end I do not want to live as a wage slave for some money-grubbing goblin. I have a modest income anyways that I can save up reasonably now, I get it from some weird welfare arrangement I am not sure how I got it but I am taking advantage of it anyways in my situation. I might be able to join some permaculture meets or something if it isn't too expensive, I don't quite know about joining a community thing or working for a farmer though..
 
Skandi Rogers
pollinator
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A lot is going to depend on where you are, if it's a large city there might be some form of community garden or rent-able land you can grow things on. More rural and just asking people with what appears to be unused land really can work, you can't do much with either in terms of earthworks or trees but you can certainly do composting and vegetable growing. You can use the "Obligation to farm"(driveplikt) rules to your advantage, since although it states land must be farmed the owner can hire someone else (in this case you) if they are incapable or simply don't want to use it. We rent most of our land out to someone else to fulfill this obligation.


 
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