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Looking for recommendations for our first homestead

 
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We are about to close on our first homestead, a beautiful piece of raw land full of hardwoods and a few springs out in the country. We have chickens, gardens, put up several cans a year and have a handfull of skills readying us for the move. Coming from suburbia, we have always been connected to public water and electricity. Having friends on wells I quickly learned that when their power went out that their well pump wouldn't work. That was an eye opener, something I would never have thought of because if we lost power our water still worked. I am sure there will be a lot of learning through trial and error, but any bits of information about rural life would be greatly appreciated!
 
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My experience was similar. We’ve been living in the country for 3 years now. My big shock came from our septic system, which backed up all through our house before we realized there was any problem. If you also have one of those, my advice is, make sure the covers are accessible and not too grown over, and lift off and check levels every few months. If it gets backed up, it’s far better to know that sooner than later. Good luck!
 
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Brenna, welcome to Permies and congratulations on your new homestead! Your property sounds wonderful.

You are so right about eye openers. We had the same one when we were first on well water. Also learning that I couldn't simple plug the hose into the kids' Slip-N-Slide because the holding tank ran out of water!

You've done well to make a start before you move to your place. If you plan to spend some time simply observing, it will serve you well. It helps to become familiar with weather patterns, wind and rain directions, water drainage locations, shade and sun patterns, etc. And by not starting out gangbusters, you have fewer "oh no" moments. :)
 
Brenna Preston
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Andrea Hicks wrote:My experience was similar. We’ve been living in the country for 3 years now. My big shock came from our septic system, which backed up all through our house before we realized there was any problem. If you also have one of those, my advice is, make sure the covers are accessible and not too grown over, and lift off and check levels every few months. If it gets backed up, it’s far better to know that sooner than later. Good luck!



Thanks for the heads up! We are looking at certain systems now, so I will definitely try to remember that!
 
Brenna Preston
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Leigh Tate wrote:Brenna, welcome to Permies and congratulations on your new homestead! Your property sounds wonderful.

You are so right about eye openers. We had the same one when we were first on well water. Also learning that I couldn't simple plug the hose into the kids' Slip-N-Slide because the holding tank ran out of water!

You've done well to make a start before you move to your place. If you plan to spend some time simply observing, it will serve you well. It helps to become familiar with weather patterns, wind and rain directions, water drainage locations, shade and sun patterns, etc. And by not starting out gangbusters, you have fewer "oh no" moments. :)



Hahaha, I can see us doing the same thing for a slip-n-slide! We were hoping to take at least a year before building so we can make see how the land lays. We've owned our current home for 20 years and I know there are a few things that drive me crazy, like it faces North and is dark all day. I also know I want a pantry and/or cold storage. So looking for ways to position the house and where we can build to best suit our needs.
 
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Candles AND matches/torch. Designate a specific spot for them and make sure they are always there. It also needs to be somewhere easy to get to in the dark, if you leave a torch there check the batteries at least once a year and no one may use it for anything else or soon enough like scissors it will have vanished when you need it.
Septic systems have always given a hint for me as they fill up, if you start to get bubbles up the toilet when it flushes it's time to check the level/for blockages.
Keep spares. spares of all sorts of things that are important to you and not just homesteading things. For example we have spare computer mice and keyboards they are cheap €5 ones but they work if one of the main ones dies. Out in the country there is nowhere to buy anything in a hurry and often not even when you have time.

Spend winter making some lists and maps, it's a fun activity and in spring you can go outside see how they won't work and tear them up. No seriously lists of things to do and the relative order they should be done, lists of plants you want to acquire and maps of where you think they might go. You'll almost certainly change your mind but it really helps (me) to get it down on paper so I can see what won't (and will of course) work.
 
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