Ben (and anyone else with good experience in the matter), could you attempt to give a simple list, ordered by priority, of the things needed to establish your homestead, maybe even showing different goals the items in the list work towards (ability to live on the land, ability to grow enough for the family, enough for trade/sale, etc.). I'm hoping to see key points that I might have overlooked when planning the transition to my own homestead.
For me, a real general list would look like this, but I haven't experienced the actual transition, just mental planning:
Land - can't work what you don't have
Water - basis for life systems we understand
Human Shelter - now we can live on the land, making it easier to observe, plan and work on the land
Next Priority (these seem interchangeable, as one tends to lead to the other):
Soil Building - increase ability to grow various plants
Increasing plant diversity - ability to harvest enough to supplement your food needs and help feed livestock; Foundation of organic matter creators minimizes need for outside organic matter input.
Increase animal diversity (bring in livestock) - more food self sufficiency and increased beneficial actions (mob grazing, manure creation, nutrient cyclers, etc.)
Continue to increase plant diversity -ability to harvest majority of own food and have excess for trade; increased diversity maximizes resiliency.
What have I missed? What obstacles did you have to overcome to realize any of these goals?
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
Mine would be roughly:
-general location and culture
-general location and climate
-general location and hazards (nuke plants, coasts, toxic sites in general or thoroughfares like interstates)
-general location and ways to make a living
-specific location: solar access - slope - access - soil and water - infrastructure, etc. etc.
Including non-land/building stuff, would have to put SKILLS at the top of the list.
Wish enough skills you don't even need land, really.
These cannot always be ordered like this - person and skill set and resources should make them vary...
Much more in the book on this in the site selection areas.
You need to think both in terms of self-subsistence and as cash-production. You have to pay taxes and buy a few supplies.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus