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!!! I have an 10acre farm. If I get animals, I am making a commitmemt. Help please ❤

 
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Last year I bought an 10 acre farm 100 km from the capital -  had been searching for the perfect place for five years!! Finally found 10 acreas on riverfront, 3 miles from town, good soil, 3 acres of forest, lots of planting areas. A well and municipal water. The river flowing along my farm has lots if fish.

This year, I built a house,  planted 100 fruit trees, 300 berry bushes, established a mushroon farm, started cultivating escargots, have bees and fish on the river adjoining my farm.

My dilemma with electricity. Electricity monopoly quoted wires to the edge of the property (where neighbor's electrified house is 10 meters away) 8000 $. Bringing electricity all the way to my house another 6000$.

Solar is not a solution with dark Northern winters: when you need it most you have 4 months too little sun to charge anything. Around christmas 5 hours of weak, low-lying sun.

I went the other way. I asked myself what can be done without electricity?

Result was surprising. Almost everything!
- Built a tiny-tiny 200 sqy house. It is small but perfectly enough
- Cooking on wood stove
- Heating with wood
- Hot water from wood stove
- Water carried from a well next to the house
- Washing in a wood heated sauna with a 15 gallon water heater
- chilly food storage in root cellar. Also, for 8 months a year, the outside temperature is fridge level or lower. So I keep the entrance foyer cold and keep my perishables there
- Lights: oil lamps, the fire, candles
- Clothes washed in the sauna, dry super fast after sauna has been heated
- tv, internet, banking, messaging is all in my humble mobile
- use bike for transporting myself and purchases: closest town 3 miles on a nice asphalted road
- entertainment: a library bus comes to the edge of my farm every second week. I can order any book in their enormous countywide selection and it can be picked up from the bus.
- an outhouse so no need for sewage piping.

There ARE SOME THINGS I NEED ELECRTICITY FOR:
- pumping water from the river for 100 fruit trees, 300 berry bushes and the vegetable garden. I cannot do those amounts manually. I tried last summer and almost had a nervous breakdown:  extreme drought, two buckets and me did not work...
- charging my mobile
- light for the chicken coop in the dark winter months when we have 5 hours of sunlight a day

So now I have an aggregate. And no electricity.
I bike to the town once a week to shop, sit in the library charging my mobile + powerbank, reading the papers, browsing the internet on their computers.

There is a partner in the capital, my kids live with their father there. I adore my farm and would like to make it a sef-sufficient. But I will become a hermit.   I have been a hermit all summer and it felt great

But I am still wondering: without a partner, all alone. Am I taking on too much?
20221018_120620.jpg
The house
The house
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The house when it was not fully paintwd ye
The house when it was not fully paintwd ye
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Riverside 300 meters
Riverside 300 meters
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Berry garden
Berry garden
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Fruit orchard
Fruit orchard
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Mushroom farm
Mushroom farm
20220607_185928.jpg
Bees
Bees
20221003_230233.jpg
The small house is just perfect
The small house is just perfect
 
master gardener
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I really love your set up there Kaarina. Just a few thoughts: I guess you won't know whether it is too much till you try. What are the neighbours like? Community will be your replacement for family there. You don't have to have livestock to live there so can continue the life without that full commitment for longer.
I found a few threads which give some views of homesteading alone, which you may find worth looking at. The problems in the US are a little different to Europe of course.
homesteading alone
how others transitioned to a homesteading lifestyle
women homesteading alone
Off gird women alone
I wonder if living there through the winter before getting the animals may clarify things for you. It sounds like it is the relationship issues that worry you most. In my location that is one of the things that does lead people to leave again having moved here - distance from friends and family. 100km doesn't sound too far to me for visits, which should help.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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The relationship with the partner is already falläing apart from the seam. I know, if I iänvested a lot into making it work, it would work. But rather tired of  me being the one pampering him, tmaling it work. We have been together 3 years and he has had other women and called off thr relationsip sevetal time..
So there is no trust. He would never undestand. go wtong. Of course I like the ides of having an intelligent hanhsome guy. But he sees my farm as a "summmer cottage. For me  ints  s a piece of sel-suficient life. In full harmony.
 
pollinator
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Its a tough call, because everybody is different.
I live 8km from civilisation generally by myself, and dont have any issues I am aware of.
I do have these benefits though;
- landline telephone and internet connection
- electricity from sun and back up generator
- I can drive to a hotel for dinner and talk with real people
- I have a dog that loves me
- I have many interests, I build lots of things and read a lot.
- I use the internet about 2 hours everyday, looking for things or speaking with people via messages.
- I can entertain myself.
Can I ask if the closest beehive is correctly stacked? It seems the boxes are not aligned correctly.
And is the floor of the house insulated from under?
 
pollinator
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How is the windspeed in average throughout the year.

These Wind Turbines for single households made in China are much better than I thought.
I have been on a fair here in Taiwan where they introduced these Turbines.

Lucky I met a farmer who was running 3 of them for his farm and he also gave superb reviews..
 
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I have been a hermit all summer and it felt great



Do what makes you feel good.

If you are worried about it being too much, take things slow. Add additional tasks and responsibilities one at a time when you know you have your current tasks well managed.
 
master pollinator
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You have done amazing work on your property. Well done!

However, I think you are in a time of transition, which may affect your relationship and your children. With an uncertain future, it is best to keep your options open.

Personally, I don't think it is wise to tie yourself to farm animals which require constant care in a cold climate.

It may be better to choose a companion animal, dog or cat, that can provide company and travel with you wherever you need to go. My 2c.
 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:However, I think you are in a time of transition, which may affect your relationship and your children. With an uncertain future, it is best to keep your options open.

Personally, I don't think it is wise to tie yourself to farm animals which require constant care in a cold climate.

It may be better to choose a companion animal, dog or cat, that can provide company and travel with you wherever you need to go. My 2c.



Taking on the responsibility of domesticated animals is a huge commitment to their well-being and care.

Waiting and observing not just land but the changing landscape of life and relationships for a year, is a very sound principle rooted in permaculture I think?

Just rescuing a companion dog from a shelter next summer if taking on that commitment still feels manageable, who can travel with you when needed, seems like a wise course?
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Thank you all.

Yes, I may be in too much of a hurry to get everything done. I can wait, actually. I have the city apartment (I ownnit so I can keep it).

I guess the relationship unravelling made me think now I have to move. You are right, I should not rush..

By the way, many people ask about the beehives. It was 33'C and I opened up some ventilation. When temps were down I straightened the hive.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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This is not a windy spot, it's a river meandering along forests and fields far away from the sea. Apart from autumn storms I would be hatd pressed to generate much electricity from winf.
Solarbpanels would generate power only in the summer.
Plus I am pretty lousy with technology, and do not want to be reliant on it. Calling somebody to fix something would be expensive.
 
master gardener
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Except for the chickens, I suspect a small generator and a couple of deep cell batteries would meet your stated electrical needs.   I suspect you might only need to run it for a few hours a week. If you go that route, consider a dual fuel.   A couple of 100 pound lp tanks could get you through the winter with minimal maintenance issues.  
 
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John F Dean wrote:Except for the chickens, I suspect a small generator and a couple of deep cell batteries would meet your stated electrical needs.   I suspect you might only need to run it for a few hours a week. If you go that route, consider a dual fuel.   A couple of 100 pound lp tanks could get you through the winter with minimal maintenance issues.  



Kaarina, since you say that both wind and solar are out you might consider John's suggestion of a generator.

To me, a generator can be a lot of work especially if you are the one keeping it fueled.  They will only run for a certain amount of time before they need to be refueled.  Plus they have to run outside so when you are away from home the generator needs to be in a secure location which requires a lot of moving the unit around.

If I were in this situation I would seriously consider a home-generating system. Their use and popularity are becoming to be a very popular system here in the US.  While I have not gotten any quotes, The ads on TV say that the prices start as low as $1999.00 USD.  I am sure that is a small system though that is better than no electricity at all.

I would guess that someone sells them in your country.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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But I already have the aggregator. It slurps petrol, the kind you put into cars. Has 4 outlets for charging or running. Surely that is enough... For a chicken coop light and a humble mobile.

I am worried about commitment to animals. If I get a flock of chicken, I am grounded. Talk about the old ball and chain ...

I can live on the farm - off the farm. But if I commit to living animals, I close all other options.

Like, having a partner, for example.

That is what I am worried about.

 
John F Dean
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Hi Kaarina,

As I commented, I am suggesting on using the generator only a few hours a week. During that time you could charge batteries and run the pump for the trees and garden.  As I type this, I can’t remember the size of your flock. it might be possible to get enough light out of led lights running off of batteries.
 
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It sounds like the aggregator is a generator.

As for chickens, they can be very low maintenance.
You could keep them keep them them in a covered run with deep bedding and automatic waterets and feeders.
With that kind of set up, they could easily go without your intervention for days at a time.
 
master pollinator
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Well,  I think of it this way.   Animals make every single day of my life BETTER.   I enjoy their company,  I enjoy caring for them, they provide me with things that I need and use daily, both tangible and not.    Am I going to go without that for however long it takes me to find a compatible partner?   I want to spend every day doing things I REALLY truly enjoy and find valuable in my life.   I wouldn't give up or postpone for long any of that, just for the *chance* to maybe meet someone.    That said,  I'm on the other side of child rearing and college and all that stuff.   Those things aren't a pressing future need for me,  maybe that gives me the luxury of embracing being single and living my daily life in a self-indulgent way.  

Livestock;   I have no problem selling livestock if a life change is needed.   I care about what sort of situation they go to, but I'm not stuck on keeping them "forever."  They do tie you down to the day to day,  but I didn't mind that at all.  But in the event of a big change, they can be sold.  My dogs are another story, they aren't negotiable.  They are a permanent life style for me,  we are a package deal lol.    
 
Jeff Bosch
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Kaarina Kreus wrote:I am worried about commitment to animals. If I get a flock of chicken, I am grounded. Talk about the old ball and chain ...

I can live on the farm - off the farm. But if I commit to living animals, I close all other options.

Like, having a partner, for example.

That is what I am worried about.


Do what makes you happy, the correct partner for you will want to do those things with you.

If having and caring for animals will make you happy, you aren't closing options for a partner, you are filtering out the partners that aren't right for you.
 
John C Daley
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Kaarina, tell us about the river please.
Could a small hydro system be installed?
They are reliable and work 24/7 as they say.
You could have more power than you need!!
 
John C Daley
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Kaarina, on this site there is a lot of information about Hydro power
https://permies.com/f/110/hydro
It has lots of articles . I also found this article from Portugal
https://www.redawn.eu/case-study/using-hydropower-supply-family-home-portugal
A new modified Pelton turbine coupled to a generator from Italian Pamor company, where instead of a 180 mm of diameter and new impeller with 220 mm and a 2-jet turbine, one adjustable and one fixed, was designed to support the flow jet of 5 l/s. As for the generator, a three - phasic motor was used, with a nominal power of 1,5 kW and 1400 rpm. The estimated net head is about 55 m, with a total hydraulic circuit length of 350m. Herein, a PEAD pipe with 3” of diameter using a reservoir created by a tungsten mine near a family home with 4 persons (a couple and 2 children) (Figures 1 to 3).


Here is a breakdown of the costs;
Considering the expenses associated with this micro hydro installation, Table 1 shows a description of all procedures/materials used.

Table 1 – Micro hydro installation
Hence in an average year we could assume a micro hydropower production of 12000 kWh per annum resulting in an annual benefit of 2400 €.
Description un                                     price (€)
turbo+generator 1                                   2500
inverter 1                                                   1500
controller/rectifier 1                                  500
resistance dump load 1                              40
peripheric of account device 1            100
cable LSVAV +- 3€/m 350                          1050
pipe PVC +- 2€/m 4kg 3€  8kg 350          950
powerhouse 1                                            500
installation/ensemble/tests 1               1500
Total                                                8640
Presenting a payback period of 3.6 years, this project reveals a promising solution to supply domestic homes or small stand-alone industries in remote places, using a component of the water sector to produce clean and renewable energy.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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I live on a small tributary to a very big river. In the spring, water flows from the big river upstream to my tributary. In the summer, the flow reverts.
My farm is the wooded triangle in the center. I had some forest cleared to make space for the orchard and veggie fields
191896766-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for 191896766-1.jpg]
 
Kaarina Kreus
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I really appreciate your help about electricity or energy. I really do ❤
But I have planned everything so that I do not need much, and the little I do can be managed.

My question was: if I get a flock of chicken and maybe a tiny-tiny flock of lambs, I will be GROUNDED taking care of them.  My question was: should I take the leap?
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Heather Staas wrote:Well,  I think of it this way.   Animals make every single day of my life BETTER.   I enjoy their company,  I enjoy caring for them, they provide me with things that I need and use daily, both tangible and not.     But in the event of a big change, they can be sold.  My dogs are another story, they aren't negotiable.  They are a permanent life style for me,  we are a package deal lol.    


Heather, thanks a million ❤ I suppose having nobody to talk with, I have tied myself into knots about this!  Can you believe, I did not think selling or culling would be an option?
When you just think alone your view gets narrower.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Jeff:
"The correct partner for you will want to do those things with you.If having and caring for animals will make you happy, you aren't closing options for a partner, you are filtering out the partners that aren't right for you."

Thank you ❤. I needed to hear that. I don't think there will ever be anyone who would do that. But it is valuable to know. Do I love animals and gardening and fishing and beekeeping enough? I do!! Because all that is sustainable.

I do not like my city life. I see that our way of life is coming to an ugly end. Practically no-one around sees that.

I am totally disappointed in what we do to make the planet unlivable. I am guilty: I worked 20+ years as a management consultant chasing eternal growth. I have a doctorate in economics.

I think I am qualified to say that we can not continue to live like this.
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[Thumbnail for 20221024_211118.jpg]
 
Jeff Bosch
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Kaarina Kreus wrote:My question was: if I get a flock of chicken and maybe a tiny-tiny flock of lambs, I will be GROUNDED taking care of them.  My question was: should I take the leap?



Unfortunately only you can answer that.

I sense some hesitation on your part. I would suggest you look at why that is, maybe it is your sub-conscience trying to tell you something.
 
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My friend sells bantam house chickens. Three of them will fit in a small dog crate. I remember reading about a guy who travelled around in a trailer and he had a couple of full-sized hens with him. I watched a Youtube of a lady who lived in her van and travelled and had a goat as a companion. There's a market in those miniature goats that are house trained also.

So maybe if you feel you're not quite at the point of exiting the city full time, you could still get what I refer to as "pets with benefits". That may meet your need for companionship in the short term, but it will also to give you the opportunity to decide if you like a particular type of animal and get over some of the learning curve of farm animal management - I won't say "ownership" as I consider my farm animals to be my "employees"!
 
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So....when can I move in? You need a helper
 
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From what I understand, you’re wanting to see which options will be closed by getting livestock and if you want to close those doors just yet.
Don’t worry about animals taking away your ability to find a partner- they will help the wrong people remove themselves, but folks who also want your life style will not be turned away by livestock. They’ll want it as much as you do. At most, the animals will limit your free time for dates and meeting new people. But it won’t scare off the right person.
You mentioned having an apartment in the city that you still may want or need to use from time to time. Depending on the animals and how you set them up, they won’t be a hindrance to that. I’ve seen some folks manage their chicken flock so they can leave for a week at a time. At most they’ll have a trusted neighbor come over to double check for predators and tipped-over waterers in exchange for the daily eggs (and an ongoing relationship of mutual give and take).
You can still move to another plot of land with any animals you like. Animals are mobile, though it can be an exercise in patience and a logistical challenge, and their structures are usually lost in the move. And if moving them is too difficult, they can be sold or harvested before moving. Use the money from their sale to invest in a new flock or herd or what have you in the new property.
But for all that, in my opinion, now is not the time. Wait for after this winter. Tend the orchard. Watch the land. You need to have a good feel for the best places for coops and pens- for the animals’ safety and your own convenience (especially since hauling water has already been a challenge for trees. You’ll want a convenient watering system well in place before bringing any large livestock in)
You got this. Just take your time.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Melody Goretti wrote:From what I understand, you’re wanting to see which options will be closed by getting livestock and if you want to close those doors just yet.

But for all that, in my opinion, now is not the time. Wait for after this winter. Tend the orchard. Watch the land.
You got this. Just take your time.



Melody ❤❤❤

Thank you. You understood me perfectly.
Yes, I will wait. Broke up the relationship last weekend. I do have great neighbors with a bunch of teenagers who could watch the flock if I am away.

My main concern was that I could rent my city pied-a-terre on Airbnb to earn money but it has to be cleaned between guests. Otherwise I do not need to be in the city.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Doug Fairburn wrote:So....when can I move in? You need a helper



I do.
20221106_095411.jpg
My work in progress
My work in progress
 
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Well your post doesn't ask the question the title does.

But I'm going to answer the title question.

Will animals make a commitment, YES.

If you want to leave for any time, you need to find a farm sitter.
You need to collect eggs, milk, etc...
You need to provide water for the animals.
You need to provide food for the animals. Whether it is bringing it in or growing it, you need to feed them.
You need to protect the animals. I highly suggest Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD), but remember they are not pets and usually are unhappy to even go inside.
You need to provide shelter, often times you just need a way to block wind and keep the moisture from coming down on them.

So yes animals are a commitment.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Devin - thanks. I guess I digressed from the main question 😄.
Everybody says the same: if you get animals you are bound. You cannot leave evern for a day or two. But Paul Wheaton had this idea about pasturing chicken so that you do not need to visit them twice a day. So I was wondering, if I get even just chicken, can I be absent every once in a while.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Thing to remember, even with just chickens, is you have to care for them. Their lives are your responsibility.

So you have to make sure they have the basics at least.
That's food, water, shelter. I would also suggest protection.
Especially pasture birds. They are very vulnerable both by air and land attacks.

If you what to go away for a day either find a farmer sitter or don't get the birds yet. A lot of people will say they can farm sit, make sure they can. Last thing you want is a bunch of dead birds because your farm sitter sucks and said they could do things they can't.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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OK. Thank you.
So I am back to square one. Am I ready to commit to being at the farm always and all the time? My neighbour gave up his cows because he said he could never go anywhere.

I would want to, but I have taken loans for the farm and could earn decently if I could make some dashes to the city 100 km away every once in a while. I have no car, so it is 3 hours there and 3 hours back.
 
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Kaarina Kreus wrote:But I already have the aggregator. It slurps petrol, the kind you put into cars. Has 4 outlets for charging or running. Surely that is enough... For a chicken coop light and a humble mobile.

I am worried about commitment to animals. If I get a flock of chicken, I am grounded. Talk about the old ball and chain ...

I can live on the farm - off the farm. But if I commit to living animals, I close all other options.

Like, having a partner, for example.

That is what I am worried about.



Looks like aggregator=generator, so I suspect there's a miscommunication there.
Chickens are a responsibility, but a remarkably self-sufficient one that don't absolutely require their human caretaker to be there every day to manage their lives. There are automated door systems for opening and closing their house. There are large watering systems, even ones that will automatically fill themselves (some electricity may be required). Chickens are very good about putting themselves to bed. You could have chickens at your country home and still spend an overnight or a weekend in town.
Also, if you have a river flowing that you can pull water from for irrigation, look into a ram pump. They use zero electricity. Instead, the force of the flowing water in the river drives the pump and will lift water up significant distances. You should be able to irrigate your orchard and gardens with no electrical demand.
 
pioneer
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You have a lot of energy to manage what you have already.  

For your electricity needs, have you considered a hand-crank generator? I have no idea what your needs are but one of these might work:
https://www.google.com/search?q=Hand+cranked+electric+generator&rlz

As for the animals, I have to agree with others on this thread that have suggested to hold off on that thought. But, a companion animal sounds just right! Have you considered a pig?  I know that they are being used as companion animals for people who need some help.  Here's a good article on them from Best Friends:  https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/potbellied-pig-behavior-and-relationships  It might be a nice "bridge animal" between the classic cats and dogs and a farm animal.
 
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Kaarina Kreus wrote:
- Cooking on wood stove
- Heating with wood
- Hot water from wood stove
- Water carried from a well next to the house
- Washing in a wood heated sauna with a 15 gallon water heater

There ARE SOME THINGS I NEED ELECRTICITY FOR:
- pumping water from the river for 100 fruit trees, 300 berry bushes and the vegetable garden. I cannot do those amounts manually. I tried last summer and almost had a nervous breakdown:  extreme drought, two buckets and me did not work...



Some thoughts...
We're off-grid for most things in the far North of Scotland (58.5°N) and get our water off our small 80m² roof and filter / treat it for our consumption, can you do similar?  
Could you pump up to a higher water store and use gravity to keep things flowing?
Can you do similar for your chickens and plants?
Can you install a manual pump from the well to the house to save carrying, you'll get the arm exercise still 😊
 
pioneer
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You need to collect eggs, milk, etc...
You need to provide water for the animals.
You need to provide food for the animals. Whether it is bringing it in or growing it, you need to feed them.
You need to protect the animals. I highly suggest Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD), but remember they are not pets and usually are unhappy to even go inside.
You need to provide shelter, often times you just need a way to block wind and keep the moisture from coming down on them.

So yes animals are a commitment.  From Devin

cage for chickens, cage for animals.

I like the idea of getting a solar cell, pump water? to your home (piping), then pump up to a water tank?

Gen 32:14-15
 
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I love caring for animals. I live with six other people, so if I am sick or away, they can help. They help already, daily. We have ponies, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and barn cats. Milking the goats is the big thing that ties me down and is hard for other people to do. It is a labor of love.  And even the best farmsitter is not entirely reliable because we are all human.

If I were living alone I would get a friendly dog for company.

Students from a local university are building a treadmill for my miniature horse to walk on, so that she can generate electricity. It will be helpful for our long dark winters when our solar panels are slow. We are also on grid, so this is more of a "for fun and resilience" project. If I didn't already have and love the ponies, it would not make sense from an energy standpoint. The pony weighs 110 kilos, which is enough weight to generate quite a bit of juice on a slanted treadmill. One of the students is modifying a human treadmill for himself to generate electricity to be a backup power source for charging mobile etc. I would rather use my legs than turn a hand crank. And I guess I would rather use the pony's legs than my legs!

Feeding her through the winter is a challenge but here is the twist: the pony actually belongs to a friend of mine who pays for her food. So all I have to do is put in the time to train the pony, which is one of the most fun things to do for me anyways.

I'm not suggesting all these as viable options for you right now, Kaarina, just pointing out the ways we have answered similar questions. I like our answers, but we got here after 19 years of living at Hawthorn Farm!  Your place looks amazing and I also recommend taking it slow and accepting the various phases of your transition to country life.
 
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If solar is not a solution in your darker clime, Kaarina, could wind power help? This might be a possibility, even if you do not get all your power from wind?.
I noticed that you seem to be pretty close to a stream. Here, I would need to apply for a permit to remove water from the local creek or do it on the sly. [I don't have a creek running nearby or I might ;-) ]
Could a transfer pump help? If your watering needs are modest, that might work. Is your city water chlorinated? fluoridated? here, it is often the case, and chlorinated water is really no good for plants!
https://www.google.com/search?q=Does+a+transfer+pump+use+as+much+electricity+as+a+standard+water+pump%3F&oq=Does+a+transfer+pump+use+as+much+electricity+as+a+standard+water+pump%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57.25168j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_4TF1Y8W3ONajptQP3umo4Aw_30
Nancy's advice sounds spot on to me: If things are going pretty well without animals, why would you want to have the additional burden of feeding and watering them? Certainly, for one winter, you might want to try and see if that is what you want to do? Companionship? need to get additional protein? Are you contemplating selling your animals or their products [or are they only for yourself/ your family]? since you did not mention specific animals, I can only conclude that you are mostly thinking/ daydreaming about a possibility.
Although I am married and we live together, my hubby is not at all interested in homesteading. He does enjoy the meat from my chickens and their eggs and tomatoes from the garden, but he does not help, either financially or by working alongside me. I think that like you, I enjoy my own company, so this arrangement suits me just fine as I do what I want when I want. If I were not married, I might be a hermit.
I was curious so I looked at your growing zones and it  appears that in Finland your growing zones compare to American growing zones 3-8, so you have a large variation.
Your pictures are impressive: you must be a regular dynamo!
 
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your original question i believe was about commitment to live stock.  that is a personal choice.  be aware that while chickens can be left for a couple days livestock may not.  i have family  that are dairy farmers and only left the farm in 37 years and that was for a funeral.  Winters require even more work if livestock cant graze.  a compromise that i have used is to buy spring lambs graze them through the summer and fall and butcher/sell in november.  love your setup.  good luck in all you do
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