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The aging homesteader

 
master gardener
Posts: 4112
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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Hi Rick,

I considered moving to Wyoming in the late 80s.  I had lived in Northern MN for a while. The greenhouse is a great idea.  I would also suggest a high tunnel.  Even without being heated, it should extend your growing season by around 2 months.  If you do also go the high tunnel route, be sure to anchor it well. Otherwise it will blow away in the the Wyoming winds.
 
Posts: 15
Location: So. Central WY, Zone 4b
1
urban earthworks homestead
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I grew up in Minnesota also, Lake Minnetonka. Worked at the Tonka Toy factory. Loved going canoeing on the boundary waters and skiing at a place north of Duluth, Lutsen, Sugar Hills comes to mind. Thanks for bringing back memories.
 
pollinator
Posts: 446
Location: NE Ohio / USDA Zone 5b
65
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Living with my aging parents (they are in their early 70's - I am in my early 40's) - this resonates with me.

Thanks for opening up a thread on this topic.
 
pollinator
Posts: 98
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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Anne Pratt wrote:Cheli, Margaret, welcome!  So happy to have you here.

This thread has had some discussion of modifications we can make to our practices to make gardening accessible as we get less strong and mobile, and I would like to encourage more of this talk!

What else, folks, can we do to make our homesteading lives last longer?

We talked about higher raised beds. What about specialized tools?  Modifications to pathways?  Perennial vegetables and flowers?  Congregate living?



Hi there. I am in my 50s. Where did the time go?? lol. Anyway, we live in a small town with a very small yard. I love to grow things and most of the tiny yard is garden. Last spring I did a bad thing and fell down my stupid stairs to the basement. I hurt my foot pretty bad so had to use crutches and a cane for awhile.
This is what I learned:
#1 Simple is better; rectangular beds with wider places to walk in-between. I forget to make places to walk comfortably, I took it for granted before. No more fancy beds with convoluted paths.
#2 I really don't need 3 kinds of tomatoes; just 2 kinds is enough.
#3 Take my time, think before doing.  If I hurry, I will hurt myself again!
If I had more land, or if we ever get any I want to make sure I make the simple garden beds again with nice wide walkways. Also, room to put a bench to sit on to rest.
 
pollinator
Posts: 809
Location: Utah
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Mari Henry wrote:

Also, room to put a bench to sit on to rest.



This has become one of my big needs. I spent so many years putting seeds in the ground, putting plants in the ground, growing STUFF STUFF STUFF! and now I find I want to sit and enjoy it...but with no place to do that. Nothing is built in to the plan for just sitting.
 
Mari Henry
pollinator
Posts: 98
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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roberta mccanse wrote:As I have noted in previous discussions, I live in an earth sheltered home, basically a cave with large south facing windows.  It's is easy to heat in winter with about 2 1/2 cords of wood per Montana winter. And I stay cool in summer, the house is seventy degrees inside, the garage sixty, while daytime temps outside have been one hundred plus lately.

Aging in place is important to me, I retired ten years ago at sixty eight having built this house with aging in mind. The rule was no stairs, which worked until I added a retaining wall with additional access that required shallow steps. "You don't want to slide downhill on your butt." said the concrete guy. I can still avoid steps down the driveway and through the garage. I raised electrical plugs to eighteen inches above the floor, toilets are raised, and my favorite feature is the dishwasher that is raised eleven inches. Halls and doorways are 36 inches wide, bathrooms and one shower are wheelchair accessible.

I garden on the roof, leg muscles stay sturdy. Hauling wood chips etc. up hill requires a sled with smaller loads. My gardens are all raised, initially to foil the evil ground squirrels but now theymake life a lot easier. We wrapped my wooden boxes, on top of pallets, in sheet metal, I plant tomatoes in stacks of tires (with more metal cuffs) and I have a series of bathtubs, mostly from Restore, on concrete blocks. The game camera caught a snowshoe hare in one of the boxes but otherwise I think that we have outsmarted most would be thrives.

I understand the back thing. Shingles a few years ago left me with some kind of neurological damage that triggers episodes of a charlie horse cramps if I overdo, and sometimes just for no good reason at all. So I have to pay attention to early signals, medicate before heavier jobs, and try to remember my limitations without getting really pissed off.

Thank you for the ideas. Your place sounds amazing to me

In the meantime I continue to garden (my beans didn't do a darn thing this year either), I do Zumba in the park, volunteer at an animal shelter two days a week (pre medicated), and do an occasional hospice visit. Covid-19 has meant that I get less exercise than usual but my property is surrounded by Forest Service land and I can walk the dog as far as I want to go. I also believe that community involvement is important and I serve on City/county planning and zoning committees where I encourage increased green space.

In the meantime I have a couple of kids planning to build here, I have a good mountain view and about ten buildable acres. They listen politely to my architectural suggestions, they are also getting older, but so far mine is the only cave we will have. I am urging them to drill a well first, mine is adequate but two would mean better water security. My daughter is anxious to leave Florida. We have the virus here too but it's a little easier to breathe in the woods.

It will be good to have family within reach. My oldest son was a sawyer and he enjoys visiting here. He faught forest fires back in the nineties and is knowledgeable about such things. Of course a cave isn't going to burn down but we did evacuate in 2017.

I will try to attach a couple of pictures. We hauled bathtubs up to the garden on a sled. Note that I am not visible in that picture.




Thanks for the ideas and photos of your place. It sounds really amazing to me.
 
Mari Henry
pollinator
Posts: 98
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
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Purity Lopez wrote:75, single woman farmer in the high desert of Cali.  Actually not much has changed for me - for the most part still doing all the things I've always done. But because there is just me here I no longer opt to pick up more than 50#'s and walk it somewhere. I now have a hay bale dolly and some wagons.  I try to be a little more conservative simply because I can't afford to take chances on getting hurt - who would take care of all this?  So, not quite as reckless as I was decades ago.  For instance, I got this little contraption that anchors my ladder that I use to get on the roof - it keeps the ladder from falling, either while I am on it, or while I am on the roof. Because I have so much here, over 50 fruit and nut trees alone......I took the time and dug them all up (they are dwarf) and put them in 5 gallon home made air pruned pots - they are all in one area now, instead of all spread out over hill and dale, and I pruned them into bushes which makes taking care of them and harvesting....a snap.

I spent some time over the last two years organizing things better - like things in like areas.  I was surprised how much it cut my time. I was working outside 10 hours a day, now its half that. I built a little house, put in a home made solar evaporative cooler - bought Hidden Harvest LED grow lights and now grow a lot of summer veggies inside - concentrating on micro dwarfs. Much more fun to grow, nice to work inside when its 110 outside.....they aren't as stressed and we are all happy as clams with this arrangement. They are happier, they are easier to take care of....and like wise provide me with more than enough summer produce.  Because the plants are smaller, I have more variety.

I also bought more tools.  Instead of a hand sheet-metal nibbler I bought a Makita that will cut any gauge I would be using.  Got me so inspired at the ease of use I am going to tackle re-roofing my cabin.  For me I have been looking at things to make life easier so that I don't have to work outside 10-12 hours a day. I now water by hand instead of using irrigation. I do it before sunrise, or just before sunset and its a nice time - just lazy time doing a chore - I've never had that before and quite frankly it seemed like I was fixing the irrigation lines somewhere or nother.....continuously. And my water bill shows it. No more broke lines that go unnoticed.

If something doesn't grow here in 2-3 years, I take it out. I use to fuss and fuss with something, sort of refusing to admit that for some reason the plant or tree wasn't happy. I took it as a personal slight - LOL.  I remember transplanting this one tree to different places about 5 times. Now that's silly! Now I just say okay and move on. I was spending a lot of time trying to save things that in the end did not prosper. Now, farming has become fun again.



Your place sounds awesome and I love your ideas!
 
Mari Henry
pollinator
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Lauren Ritz wrote:

Mari Henry wrote:

Also, room to put a bench to sit on to rest.



This has become one of my big needs. I spent so many years putting seeds in the ground, putting plants in the ground, growing STUFF STUFF STUFF! and now I find I want to sit and enjoy it...but with no place to do that. Nothing is built in to the plan for just sitting.



I know what you mean. All the stuff I took for granted before needs to be addressed. We need to "forgive" ourselves for stopping, resting, and enjoying lol.
 
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Robin, I love your garden! I really like the idea of sitting on top of the logs, my son bought me one of those seats but the thing wiggles and it makes me feel very unstable!
 
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I am 56, ( no, I can't be that old yet!)  and disabled. I require a mobile chair, tho  I am  working on making that as little of a necessity as possible. I have issues that will not be cured by exercise , etc; and part of it is physical aging and as far as I know, there is only 1 out to get away from it; and I ain't ready for that as yet.  

Because of my limits, we are already trying to do things adapted for me. container garden, ramps, etc. and making sure that what is being done, will be still more than serviceable in 20 to 30 years. Which is why we are looking into moving in about 5 years, for now, ramps and container gardening are the best we can do.

When we do move, we will have things planned and in place to make certain our lives are a lot easier.
 
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Location: Western WA (PNW)
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Hello. Thank you for starting this discussion. Myself & my husband are in our early 50's, and this very subject has been discussed. We have been in discussion and have started gathering resources to build a multi-generational community. We believe this is a great solution to this very discussion. Go back to the way our ancestors lived... the young take care of the old, the old teach the young, etc.... We have a lot of life left in us, and would love to share our knowledge & resources with like-minded folks. We live in western WA, and currently looking for land.
 
John F Dean
master gardener
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The older I get, the more concerned I am with clutter.   It seems to be a never ending problem.  It makes sense though. The longer I live, the more stuff I have.
 
pollinator
Posts: 204
Location: southern oregon
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"oldies but goodies"
IMG_2861.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2861.JPG]
 
Kim Huse
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John F Dean wrote:The older I get, the more concerned I am with clutter.   It seems to be a never ending problem.  It makes sense though. The longer I live, the more stuff I have.



Nut its such good STUFF; paper for burning, cardboard for recycling, jars for storage.....food waste to compost or for  critters....
 
Posts: 46
Location: S.W. France
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Thanks for this very interesting post. Many ideas I hadn't thought of despite having some professional knowledge of accessibility and experience with our 4 parents, 3 of whom are now deceased.

We bought our forever house 14 years ago. Moving from a flat in the town centre to a suburban property with 500 square metres of garden seemed like heaven. The house was single storey and the services are excellent, so we knew it would be ok for old age.
Now we want to move. The town has grown, more concrete, more traffic, more noise, and we never go into the main town any more, just stay on the outskirts. I'm having trouble with summer heat too, and that will only get worse as the climate continues to heat up. We've decided to move to have a small or medium town as our reference, instead of a large town, and to find the only thing that was missing when we moved here -  a view. That's really hard to find once you've got the perfect view in your mind's eye. We want single storey, which is also difficult to find in the region we're going to, and more land, which is easy. 5single storey is definately a benefit for roof maintenance). It won't be any cooler in summer where we're going but having more land will make it easier to use shade planting to keep cooler.
One of our dilemnas is finding the right balance between services-transport-community versus rurality-prices/size of house.
I have been worrying about starting a permaculture project at 63+ all over again (we haven't moved yet so it might be + or ++), but some of the posts have been very encouraging on that front, even though we're not fit.
If the place has too much land, we're thinking some kind of project with a voluntary organisation would be a good way of having people around while returning something to the community. Also, after our death, how can our land and buildings be useful to the community ?
We don't feel we'll feel up to chopping and cutting wood so will probably go for a woodchip stove of boiler with solar for the rest. And as much energy autonomy as possible, without a lot of maintenance.
I'm into finding a max of low-tech solutions but note that people are going for mechanical solutions when necessary, so that's a good input.
People have spoken about doorhandles but taps are equally important - 1/4 turn taps with a good grip. Grip on anything, as arthritic hads are a definate possibility.
Anyway thank you all for your ideas and carry on preparing !
 
pollinator
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The older I get, the more concerned I am with clutter.   It seems to be a never ending problem.  It makes sense though. The longer I live, the more stuff I have.



I am with you on that one John.  When my mother passed away a few years ago, my sister and I spent days and days sorting out a life time of accumulated clutter.  Things that only had value to her, things that she could not bother to do anything with, things that she forgot about and things that she did not notice were there any more.  It was a long, boring, arduous task and I remember thinking at the time, that I did not want my children to go through all this, so I am slowly but surely de-cluttering before I go.
 
Posts: 52
Location: 4b
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I love reading these replies!  You all just helped me feel better about my decision to age-in-place on my tiny half-acre just south of town.  I know I know - it is not a lot of land but I am making it my haven.  This was supposed to be my second-start home, after my divorce in 2013.  I would fix it up and then buy the land I always wanted, assuming I still had my good-paying job and no other debt than the house.  Alas, a geologist in the oil and gas business in northeast Wyoming has no chance at security in a job for very long - especially a female over 55.  Anyway, after chasing all over Williston and looking for better paying work, I am back in my same house and back at my old geo job in Sheridan, Wyoming, at half the pay, so the debt load is atrocious but my homestead-ette is coming along.  It is a one-story house with gardens and chickens and I plan to make every inch accessible by walker or wheel chair, just in case.  I have deer, turkeys, geese, pheasants, rabbits and doves at the place most of the day.   There is a lot to do but it is a hoot to come home to my paradise-in-the-making and know that if I need to sell all my furniture and record albums and music CDs, etc, to make the mortgage payment, it will all be worth it.  I, too, use raised beds, hugelkultur, a million large pots, 4wheeler, 2 wheeled wheel barrow, and my neighbor's wood splitter.  They love fresh eggs, so there you go. My bulk buying is in 5 gallon buckets which I scoop into half-gallon canning jars for storage.  I "hoard" lentils and durum and spring wheat.  I plan to can those things that will last for 5 years at a time and hope to find a friend to split the ownership of a freeze-dryer with me.  I love having freeze dried foods for hiking and storage, since I can't pack the weight that I used to.  I plan to put gutter covers on the house to keep out leaves and keep me off the ladder too much, and add some solar panels to the extra well on my place.... I do have power backups in place.  Another plan is a metal roof, metal siding and ramps instead of stairs.  I use free wood pallets and old lumber to make my raised decks.  This year the green house will get put together from a kit, the medicinal garden will have it's own yard and hopefully I will draw an elk tag again, as my 2015 bull is just about eaten up.  Thank you for this group!!!  I am happy that I found you.  
 
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Remelle Burton wrote:I love reading these replies!  You all just helped me feel better about my decision to age-in-place on my tiny half-acre just south of town.  I know I know - it is not a lot of land but I am making it my haven.  This was supposed to be my second-start home, after my divorce in 2013.  I would fix it up and then buy the land I always wanted, assuming I still had my good-paying job and no other debt than the house.  Alas, a geologist in the oil and gas business in northeast Wyoming has no chance at security in a job for very long - especially a female over 55.  Anyway, after chasing all over Williston and looking for better paying work, I am back in my same house and back at my old geo job in Sheridan, Wyoming, at half the pay, so the debt load is atrocious but my homestead-ette is coming along.  It is a one-story house with gardens and chickens and I plan to make every inch accessible by walker or wheel chair, just in case.  I have deer, turkeys, geese, pheasants, rabbits and doves at the place most of the day.   There is a lot to do but it is a hoot to come home to my paradise-in-the-making and know that if I need to sell all my furniture and record albums and music CDs, etc, to make the mortgage payment, it will all be worth it.  I, too, use raised beds, hugelkultur, a million large pots, 4wheeler, 2 wheeled wheel barrow, and my neighbor's wood splitter.  They love fresh eggs, so there you go. My bulk buying is in 5 gallon buckets which I scoop into half-gallon canning jars for storage.  I "hoard" lentils and durum and spring wheat.  I plan to can those things that will last for 5 years at a time and hope to find a friend to split the ownership of a freeze-dryer with me.  I love having freeze dried foods for hiking and storage, since I can't pack the weight that I used to.  I plan to put gutter covers on the house to keep out leaves and keep me off the ladder too much, and add some solar panels to the extra well on my place.... I do have power backups in place.  Another plan is a metal roof, metal siding and ramps instead of stairs.  I use free wood pallets and old lumber to make my raised decks.  This year the green house will get put together from a kit, the medicinal garden will have it's own yard and hopefully I will draw an elk tag again, as my 2015 bull is just about eaten up.  Thank you for this group!!!  I am happy that I found you.  



None of what I just read sounds as though it was written by someone "aging in place". You sound able, capable, active and determined. The world needs more people with these qualities and I hope your example inspires more people to keep at it.
 
Remelle Burton
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Thank you, Michael! Out storm tonight is already a doozie. . My younger neighbors are wondering why/how I have lights on while the power is out all around.  Lol. I live for these tests! Just rechargeable light bulbs that charge during normal use and click on when the power goes out.  So far no need to break out the backups but they're ready to go.  Winter storm in April.  Lol i love Wyoming. I just got the new hugels covered in compost and soil about 20 minutes before the wind started. I hope we get the snow or rain so it doesn't end up in South Dakota!.  Enjoy your evening!!
 
pollinator
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Remelle what greenhouse kit did you decide on?  Wyoming is known for their winds.  We live on the coast of Maine and the winds can really blow for days on end and kind of gave up on a greenhouse, opting for a couple of cold frames.  In our previous lives we built 3 greenhouses and would like to have one again
 
Remelle Burton
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Hi Ed, I bought a Palram Mythos  model and only the 6x8 size. I got the anchor kit and follow a blog about them. One guy gives dimensions for using 4x6 tibers to bolt the floor frame to first,  I will be using some pit liner and gravel for the floor, inside the frame. Then another, larger 4x6 timber frame outside of that, lined and filled with gravel after the cable anchors are set in that space. They go up and over the roof and lay inside the rain gutters front and back. I also plan to put 6 foot cedar fence pickets on the post and wire fence directly north of the greenhouse to slow wind there and maybe provide some type of heat absorption by day. I may have to stain that black.   I will have the north end along the north end of the fenced property line, and the south end will have the door on it. This model allows me to put the roof vent on either side of the roof, so I will choose the east side. I have room for a few of this size if it works, and small ones seem to be easier to heat and maintain, according to my reading.  One last thing is I tentatively plan to build a u-shaped planter box around the inside perimeter that is 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. I got a deal on hangers that allow for hanging pots from the roof framing too.  We shall see. Our day-night temperature swing is usually 40 to 50 degrees so this may allow for moderating that for tender crops.
 
Posts: 95
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John F Dean wrote:That looks like and old hot tub or "garden tub" being used as a raised bed. What a great idea!!!



Re-appropriating - my speciality!  When I had interns here, well, they had to have a bed.  So I had 3 twin wooden bed frames when they left. I made a stand out of 3/4"EMT (using corner ends and foot pads).  I put the bed frame "upside down" on the EMT, laying it on 2x4's fastened to the EMT on each end.  I put 1/4" hardware cloth across the slats.  I use it for growing melons.  I put Tanglefoot on the legs, spread on some duct tape.  No ground crawlies can get to the melons.  I put cross pieces on the legs of the bed (looks like a box then) and put $11 canopy bed nets over the top, cut to size on the height, fastened down with clamps.  No fly-in crawlies.  I have 4 altogether now.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Eugene, OR
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Hello out there,

It seems that some people with mobility issues and myself are a compatible mix. I want to live, grow plants, build earth buildings but I don't have the resources to buy land. It's so frustrating to have this vision with such a high barrier to entry! I am interested in living in a community, maybe a large one or maybe a very small one. I'm interested in perhaps creating a small community. That seems like a lot of work. But what isn't? When I've tried contacting people from FIC I never get any response.

You might need an able body to live on your property to do the chores that your body doesn't like anymore. I live in Eugene, Oregon and am seeking a live/work/community life placement. This is my dream life: wake up, tend the plants and animals, make delicious vegetarian food, build natural buildings, make art, make creative outdoor spaces, live in a yurt or dome. Have great conversations about spirituality, bugs, plants, stars and human life.

So if any of your know of a farm or homestead near Eugene, OR that could use live in help,....... let me know.
 
master gardener
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Ginger Spaulding wrote:

You might need an able body to live on your property to do the chores that your body doesn't like anymore.

Welcome to permies, Ginger! May I suggest that you wander on over to the SKiP forum - https://permies.com/c/skip - and look at some badge bits you can work on. A big part of that program is doing hands-on skill mastery to demonstrate to an aging homesteader that you have the skills they need/want. One section is specifically for people without land access.
 
Purity Lopez
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Ed Waters wrote:Remelle what greenhouse kit did you decide on?  Wyoming is known for their winds.  We live on the coast of Maine and the winds can really blow for days on end and kind of gave up on a greenhouse, opting for a couple of cold frames.  In our previous lives we built 3 greenhouses and would like to have one again



Hi There!  I live on a mesa in the High Desert of California.  High winds here are a constant.  This is what I did.  I have one greenhouse that as its foundation corners 4x4's, sunk in concrete. The rest is normal 2x4 framing. Roof is 2x8 poly panels attached to 2x4's. rectangular (26" x 8').  I put regular 6mil greenhouse film on and used the white strapping they sell for that purpose, (the walls), to anchor it to the framing.  The purpose of the strapping is so that the roofing staples don't pull out in high winds.  I found making them small, they are 8x8 structures but abut to each other, with one door, that there isn't a destructive wind problem. These were also easy for me to put up by myself, and easier to heat.  Low ceiling (7') really helped with heating it.  Although you are a lot colder there, still, when the sun shines, these little greenhouses heat up fast.

The other thing I have is the Wayfair 7x12 hoop greenhouse. It is inexpensive, under $150.  They are flimsy compared to the big steel hoop houses so I have two work arounds.  It is also only 7' tall. I put a cedar fence around it, about 10' out so that you don't get shadows, only 4' tall.  Then I used those 3-way anchors they use for those little airplanes, coupled with ratchet straps.  It has worked for me and we had 65mph winds this winter.

I tried regular height hoop houses and they didn't work here, they are just too tall.  One ended up like a pretzel and it wasn't a cheap one.  I get around the height problem by digging holes down about 6" and putting the 5 gallon air pruning Oxy pots (Amazon) in the hole.  In the winter I put soil cables in the pots also. I use C9 Christmas lights, hung on the plant or around a PCV frame over each pot.  I use the cheap $11 canopy bed nets (Amazon) over the plants that are plagued by crawler bugs.  I bought a Nicamaka (online) no see um net (its about queen size) and I haven't had any pests - no whiteflies, no spider mites.
 
pollinator
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As I get older?   Let's see, this year I will be turning 60 and I am just learning how to milk our Jersey cow who just had a calf.   For the basement, I figure I will just walk out the front door and walk down the slope (or up the slope) to and from the basement and avoid the stairs altogether.  I just plan to keep working, keep learning to keep my brain functioning, try to get to the point where we are eating 99% from what we grow (avoiding all those chemicals, corn and petroleum they are putting in food.)  I just plan to get even healthier. . .Life is so good.
 
Ed Waters
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Purity I realize I never got around to thanking you for the very informative reply.  No excuse except I'm getting old.  Thanks!!
 
gardener
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I just bookmarked this topic and added it to my watch list as I think I'll be needing to refer to it often in the future. Although I am only 58, I feel at times much older physically. Bursitis afflicts my upper arms and shoulders, severe arthritis, bone spurs, calcified deposits in right ankle (including tiny broken bones) and the left ankle isn't much better. Getting an Arizona ankle brace for the right one. Knees go snap, crackle and pop (the beginnings of degenerative osteoarthritis.) Respiratory issues, too (not from smoking.) So, endurance is problematic.

Despite all this, I am trying to learn to adapt so that I can garden as much as I'd like to. Pace myself, be patient, know my limits, and learn how to maximize my productive times when I can so as to minimize the work later (an example of this is preparing next year's garden bed in the Autumn. While suggested for everyone regardless of age and ability, it does cut down on the physical work needed each Spring.)  'No dig gardening' and 'chop and drop' have been blessings.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Paul,

I find raised beds to be a great help. Mine are 2 ft tall. They reduce my bending.  I haven’t counted lately, but I think I have around 25 4x8 raised beds.  I plan on increasing the number to about 30.

While I am in pretty good shape for my age, my wifeis less so.   I am beginning to plan paths for an electric scooter, walk in tub, and a chair lift to the basement.  I hope to have all completed in the next year
 
John F Dean
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Excuse me. I see in an earlier post that I already have 30 raised beds.  So, let’s say that number will increase to 35.
 
Paul Sofranko
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I have been thinking about raised beds. I wasn't thinking about beds that high, yet. This is only the second year for my garden where it is now; I wanted to see how it does there. Last year I was quite pleased. If this years goes as well or better than last years, then I might consider such permanent structures.
 
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A new concern for us, or a new focus anyway re the aging in place: removing the items which require getting on a ladder, stepladder, precarious perches etc.

My herb drying rack WAS near the ceiling of my kitchen. I bought last year a folding, huge laundry rack that sits on the floor to use instead. The idea is that when I don't need it it's tucked away, somewhere.

Shutters instead of curtains. My dad redecorated the house when I was in junior high school. He got remarried when I was almost out of college. The fancy curtains which had been custom made were in shreds. He hadn't used them hardly ever, they sat in front of a plate glass window, and I doubt the liner was UV resistant. He and my new step mom went around about them. She wanted new ones, I mean they literally had shredded. He didn't want to spend the $... i learned to NOT buy curtains of fancy fabric. Do not leave them alone for about a decade. So, I've always put them up and taken them down and put them up.... Blinds etc. have the same problem. So do shower curtains.

I want to get rid of all of them and replace them with plantation shutters. Mucho expensive. So DH is looking into doing some of them, or maybe all. But we'll never have to do any curtain replacement again, or at least if we do, I can make it a piece of fabric that I drape around artistically. If it dies? Well, it does.

And just to show what a hypocrite I am? I have 7 yards of new fabric sitting in my kitchen, waiting for me to turn it into curtains for 2 windows.

People are funny, aren't we?

 
pollinator
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I collected a bunch of colored bathtubs (yellow, pink, mauve, blue...) that would have gone to the dump as their colors are no longer popular; they are now my raised beds for strawberries.  Bonus, on one side it is plenty wide enough to sit on!!
 
John F Dean
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I broke down and hired someone for 4 hours at $25 an hour.  Yes, I made a point of hiring the right person. He bore an incredible resemblance to Hulk Hogan. For that matter, he used to be a professional wrestler. In four hours he demolished a rotting wood shed, tore out an old wood floor in a room in my barn, and helped me run fencing ( I was going to get the tractor when he picked up a roll of fence under each arm and asked me where he needed to take them). For $100.00 he eliminated 3 pain in the backside jobs that I had long been getting around to do.

Yes, once I get better organized, I plan to use him for another 4 hours.
 
Jay Angler
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John F Dean wrote:Yes, once I get better organized, I plan to use him for another 4 hours.

And I hope you thanked him profusely! Someone like that sounds worth making a "friend" off, or at least a "friendly acquaintance" of and if you end up with extra produce at some point, offering some to him!
 
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Early 80s here & you’ll be very glad you bought the log splitter. Independence means not having to buy wood or hire someone to cut it for you.  We try to get our kids to help,out at times, we have 8 now. The neighbor kids (in their 30s) help us. My husband has a Kubota & a vast knowledge of how to fix things & the odd tools often required. Trading work with the machine got us a much-needed new floor in our downstairs. Some of the new neighbor have a flooring company. Now to just find someone to clean my house. Another kid I helped raise & he works at a mill & brings us dry alder trim pieces. Community is everything after going it alone for 60 years.
 
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am i out of my mind for thinking about starting a permaculture homestead as my retirement i have five years left on the job, and will be leaving my rental home in a tightly packed suburb of NYC about three with an eye to purchase some acreage well north of where i am currently. that will make me 60. yeah -out of my mind. gonna do it anyway.
 
Jay Angler
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emme Reilly wrote:am i out of my mind for thinking about starting a permaculture homestead as my retirement??? i have five years left on the job, and will be leaving my rental home in a tightly packed suburb of NYC about three with an eye to purchase some acreage well north of where i am currently. that will make me 60. yeah -out of my mind. gonna do it anyway.

Welcome to Permies, Emme! You've come to the right place to learn lots of ways to make this a good decision!

That said, I suggest you choose your location extremely carefully. We lucked out when we bought and got acreage which is large enough to have plenty of trees, but still close enough to amenities to have access to medical care and to know that the local volunteer fire department can get to us.

A friend's husband brought his mom to live with them when his dad died, and watched her "get younger" for 8 years before plateauing then gradually declining, because all of a sudden she was surrounded by activity, fresh air, nature, and new experiences that she just wasn't getting in the city she was living in.

So, no, you're not out of your mind, but I do encourage you to do a lot of research and develop a variety of potential plans (I believe this saying, "no plan survives contact with the enemy", although you're not facing an "enemy", you are facing a force of nature!) I'd even consider trying to vacation by volunteering places that will teach you skills and give you experience you might need, and possibly discover muscles you forgot you had.
 
Yeah. What he said. Totally. Wait. What? Sorry, I was looking at this tiny ad:
"Permaculture Now! - Desert or Paradise?" movie by Sepp Holzer
https://permies.com/wiki/137395/Permaculture-Desert-Paradise-movie-Sepp
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