Sunflower Rogers wrote:Do you have a yard? You don't need acreage to have a homestead. There are a lot of urban homesteaders out there. I am also PRE - land. I'm even not in my home at the moment, renters are, but I don't let that stop me. At this point I am learning everything I can. I read, watch videos, and practice skills. Check out the SKIP/PEP forum for ideas.
If you do have a yard, you can do a lot. You can (if your county allows it) even have small amounts of livestock. But you can definitely start growing your own food, preserving food, and other things.
I wish you the best! Keep living the life you want and you will be living it before you know it!
Bill Haynes wrote:Dunno how much "Plenty of money" is but.......
The further you are from a civic center the cheaper small acreage will be. After 100 acres its no longer "small".
For best bang for your buck,
Look for developed water, water well drilling is a crapshoot and you can spend $60,000 in a heartbeat and still wind up with dry holes, lousy water or inadequate flow.
Look for flat usable land, hillsides are cheaper for a reason. a flat terrace on a mountainside is good.....a mountainside will make you sweat for every day you own it. the steeper the cheaper, and less useful with every degree off horizontal.
If possible look for a structure / plan to the development of the buildings, lots of farms "grew organically" and they are a pain to move around on ....usually things are too close together to afford good access with trucks / tractors-trailers.
Buildings built close together are a fires dream, 50' plus between buildings give you a beggars hope of containing a fire. Worst combination a tight cluster of buildings on a rough hillside is almost completely indefensible, in the face of a windblown fire.
Look for large sturdy structurally sound buildings, homesteading takes a lot of space and if you jam everything into small quarters you'll spend more time finding things than working with them. Old and dirty is fine, avoid mold like the plague. Not that every mold is toxic...its just a sign of long term neglect.
Neighbors are a mixed blessing, neighbors that lend their tractor, watch your animals, and fetch needed supplies from town are a delight....neighbors whose goats eat your truck garden, shriek so loud they keep you awake at night, and shoot random things at random times...not so much.
On a practical note...make county tax structure an exclamation point in your search. all government is parasitic, and the counties only method of revenue is taxation, every improvement guarantees a heavier toll on your wallet and no improvement will be overlooked. Ten years of steady development can extract a brutal, never ending, ever increasing, burden that will ensure you struggle to keep it when your on a fixed income......
And a final edit to add, The more you can do with less tools / equipment the better. It's unreasonable to build the Taj Mahal with a Leatherman but the more equipment, / tool, / stuff you have the more time spent in upkeep, / maintenance, / to the point of no return,
Many start with a plan for a peaceful simple life and generate so much minutia in the process of "keeping it simple" they run back to the city overwhelmed and disheartened.
Ash Jackson wrote:Hey Jenny,
Thanks for sharing your experiences here on Permies. As a fellow rookie-homesteader, I think it's important for us to post our own experiences, as well.
I can relate to much of what you describe.
One thing that is working for me is to find a place where I can go do some of the homesteading stuff. You said y'all already went wwoof'ing; which steals my first piece of advice. Maybe there's more places y'all can go so you can start working on it? The place I've gone is Wheaton Labs (present tense, because I've twice returned, and plan to go again).
Another thing that is working for me is the SkIP program. For me, working on the badge bits has given me a way to start building experiences. Even while living at a rental house. And for me, experiences displace doubt.
On re-reading this, I realize this is just two flavors of the same advice (find a way to do it). I hope you're able to find something that works for you.
S Bengi wrote:Can you describe the dream. I assume a part of the dream is to grow your own herbs and green leafy vegetables (around 1/4 acres). That same 1/4 acre can also have your bee hive and chicken coop. Maybe you want to have some bulk calorie tubers and such another 1/4 acres and you should be golden. A 1/4 acre fish pond would supply you with alot of fish, but you could also try a sub-optimal aquaponic system if you like. You can also plant alot of berries on say another 1/4acres that will provide you with an harvest in a year or less.
You can probably lease the above acre of land for a few hundred dollars a year. Or you can buy it with a 5yr payment plan. I think that you can probably find a owner-financing 2 acre plot of land for sale, for a nice price and payment plan. You just have to be on the lookout for a year or so.
The next part of the dream probably involves zone 1, that is food preservation, less fast food, food-grade cleaning supplies, organic clothing, reduced waste stream, etc. Those you can actually start doing now.
Then there is the house support system: Water source, Water purification, septic system, greywater system, HVAC, and electrical system/solar/etc
I am not too sure if your dream also include also being a house, from say more natural materials with less glues and plastics.
Alot of folks who want to get started quickly they might get some land and an RV and just jump right in, but it does come with some challenges ,esp if you are doing it alone
Rebecca Blake wrote:I also have that same dream and no land of my own!
One thing I did to get myself prepped and ready for full time homesteading was sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
A CSA is where you pay the farmer in advance for a eason's worth of produce. They'll give you on a weekly or biweekly basis what they harvested that week. This has allowed me to get used to the seasons in my area (i.e. see what vegetables are harvested when). I'm also expanding my expertise in the cooking now that I have to cook with what I have, what's in season, rather than any and everything from the grocery store! Okra has become a new staple in this home... I even found a way to get the guys to love it! I'm also enjoying finding new recipes through my particular CSA's website.
Speaking of my particular CSA, I see that you are in the Fortworth area. While I live in New Braunfels, the CSA I purchase from is based out of Austin and even delivers all the way up there! It was also inspiring for me to read their story of how they grew from a backyard farm to having 100s of acres.
You can check them out here: https://jbgorganic.com/
I'd highly recommend you sign up! I'm thoroughly enjoying it. If you do sign up with this particular farm, do send me a message because you can get a week's worth of produce for free if you use my referral code!
And I'll be honest, I originally signed up for this after the grocery stores got wiped from the initial covid scare. Now I know that if something like that happened again, at the least I can count on getting my vegetables from my CSA!
Best of luck on your dream!
Ash Jackson wrote:I hear ya, SkIP can be a lot to take in at first.
Getting started can be as simple as sweeping the floor... or "watering" some plants. Here's a poll of the Badge Bits (BB's) people think are easiest: https://permies.com/t/146515/Badge-Bits-BB-easiest-Apple
I hope you're able to make it up to Wheaton Labs on your next foray. I always have good luck with kayak for finding my flights.
Jenny Pear wrote:Hey Jenny - I am a Jenny too and we are awesome, so never ever forget that!!!
I am also starting out on the homesteading dream. Currently living with family on their parcel of 7 acres of wooded, northern exposure cliffs in the Pacific NW. Very pretty, but the post above saying that "a mountainside will make you sweat for every day you own it"... WOW it is so very true! It has been very discouraging. I can find information on how wonderful forests are and how to make our gardens more forest-like. However, when I try to find how to grow food in a forest that already exists with 8 months of exactly 0 direct sunlight anywhere on the property... yeah, there is not much out there... I dream of acres of flat, sunny land with maybe a gentle southern exposure slope where I can feel the sun all throughout the year... **deep sigh**