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15 year old Homestead needs repopulated  RSS feed

 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Greetings All!

I am Kate, 55, living the past 15 years on a beautiful Homestead of 32 acres; 2 acres open with house, guest cabin, barn, & outbuildings; 6 acres pasture, and 26 acres of forest with native edibles, gullies, ponds and a creek. There is no mortgage or debt of any kind, and is located in Central Ontario, so yes there is snow.

"We" did all the bull work, but over the years; Mom passed last Xmas, and Dad is now 88 and in care, my daughter is off to College next Fall, and that leaves me. We have been 2 working this place for the last 8 years, and I could continue on my own, but let's face it "Many hands make light work".

I have an MA, enjoy history/anthropology, and own a black powder musket. I love to innovate/create, and enjoy a glass of home made wine at the end of the day.

Next Summer's projects include; a combo rocket oven outdoor kitchen, acorn harvest, maple sap harvest, and extending my permaculture garden.
The free range goats and chickens are already here, 2 Aussies, barn cats, as 1 horse, and 1 pony.
Equipment consists of; 1 small diesel tractor, 1 brush hog, 1 chipper, and a utility trailer.

I am not concerned so much about age, but with integrity, I like people who walk their talk. I am not looking for romance, but companionship, easy going person(s) who like the outdoors, permaculture, with skills sets. If you are active, take pride in a job well done, want to live well by simple means, then we should talk.

If you should have any questions about anything I may have forgotten to mention, by all means, leave me a message.

Thanks. K

PS: I'd post a pic of the place, but haven't figured that out yet.
 
Melvin Hendrix
Posts: 13
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Hi, Kate. Central Ontario sounds like a regional candidate for testing the limits of permaculture, much like sepp holzer when he first started. Fortunately, you have these experiences to draw from. I am impressed by the amount of precipitation in the area, almost 4 inches a month on average. Obviously, this presents challenges, too, along with the occasional storm, but makes the possibility of pond creation in a permaculture system a lot easier to implement. I'd be interested in knowing more about the types of market garden, field, tree fruit, brambles, and cover crops grown in your part of the province and the ones you are currently growing or would like to grow naturally or under protected cover. How much hay and/or silage are you growing for your animals? With the woodland, your goats must believe they are living in heaven or do you permit free range.

All the best,
MH
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Greetings Melvin.

Would be interested to know where you hail from, it would make the description of this property a little easier as regions differ.

This part of Ontario is said to be the most divers in tree species in North America, yet the growing Season would be shorter than that of Southern Ontario. Moisture is a bit of a concern, yet the possibilities of permaculture ponds, and swales to slow water flow/erosion are many, and high on my list to take advantage of. Because of heavy snows, tin roofs are more practical but make gutters impossible to maintain, and I have had to be rather creative about collecting rain water, but my little system works. I will be using a gley process to finish up the task in the Spring.

The property terrain is rough with it's particular "creative" challenges dealing with rock, gullies and for the most part sandy loam soil. The horses, goats and chickens have contributed much to soil amendments.
The goats and chickens are all free range, but tend to stay close to the barn area as we do have wild critters out in the bush with appetites and have lost some in the past.
On this property I have seen; bear, coyote, wolf, fox, deer, fisher, porcupine, raccoon, ground hog, hare, grouse, wild turkey, heron, hawk, owl, wood duck, Canada geese, 3 variety of snakes, several species of turtle, etc.

A cougar has been sighted to the South, (making a come back after depopulation several decades ago) but I haven't spotted it yet.

So far we have found a variety of edible berries/berry bushes, currants, wild ginger, Sumac, acorns, maple sap, nettle, burdock, and crab apple. We have planted grape, apple, pear and Saskatoon. Have in the past grown pumpkins, watermelon, squash, rhubarb, and assorted beans/veggies, etc.. There is the possibility for fish, growing wild rice, cranberries, all that moisture loving stuff.

As for my 6 acre field, the equipment these days can't get down the narrow lane that leads to it, and the terrain doesn't lend itself to widening, so hay is brought in for the animals. I would like to see a fish pond there as it seems to me everything is in place to feed it from above, and more fruit trees.

I once had a goat herd of 24, but found more is not necessarily better, and in effect "less is more". I have managed to have milk goats remain in milk for 8 years now without a buck, I have also been able to dispense of fencing for them as they prefer to stay home. I make cheese, butter, yogurt, ice milk, soap, and keep milk for the house.

Fencing here is a bit of a problem because of the moisture, posts rote faster, etc., so I've fenced in the garden on high ground, and will have to ensure that expansions are fenced in first. All other areas will have to be shared with the wildlife.

I'm sure I haven't answered all your questions, so please, do inquire more if need be.
 
Jeff Marchand
Posts: 45
Location: Eastern Ontario
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Hi Kate, I am a 45 year old man in Eastern Ontario, living on a 53 acre acre homestead. I work outside the home and so I am gone 12 hours a day. From November to March its dark when I leave and dark when I get home and I am doing it all myself so its definately a work in progress! So I totally get the many hands make light work adage.

The property was vacant so I had a new house built in 2010. Its a small well insulated house with big south-facing windows. On cold sunny -30C days the house warms up to16 just by the heat of the sun without turning the fire on. When the sun goes down or behind clouds I heat with wood I cut from my own 10 acre maple bush. My stove is an old inefficient 1980's vintage 'airtight', I want to get rid of it and build a RMH or a Dragonheater (http://www.dragonheaters.com) soon. What I really like about RMHs is that they tie in beautifully with another long term project of mine: laid hedges. I have started to convert all my fencerows to hedgerows. This will take me years to accomplish but hedgrows are wonderfull. They keep my livestock where I want them to be, provide a home to birds , wild life clean the air and every 7 years or so they provide a massive harvest of twigs and sticks when they are re-laid. These branches and twigs can then keep the house with RMH. Time will come in 30 years when I will be so old that wont feel like lugging my chainsaw shifting big blocks of firewood onto the splitter but so long as I have an RMH and hedges to maintain and can swing a 1lb bilhook I'll be able to keep the house warm and me fit.

As for livestock I have a small fold of Scottish Highland cattle along with a few mix breeds. I had pigs for a few years but found them to be more trouble then they were worth. Cattle is better, they dont need to be feed when there is grass and improve the pasture by grazing. Last year I strted a chicken coop which I will finish this spring and get a small flock of layers and broilers for my freezer.

I am sorry your Mom passed by the way I wonder how I will take it when my parent die. As for family I am divorced father of beautiful twin girls who still in grade school, they live with their mom most of the time. My Mom and Dad are getting up there in years, Dad is in his eighties and Mom will be soon. Both very active and busy. They live 10 minutes away from me I see them regularly.

I know you are not supposed to talk about religion and politics in polite conversation. But I am going to put it out there that I am an atheist, but not dogmatically so. If you are of faith thats fine with me but I wont be joining yours. As for politics I am small 'c' conservative /libertarian but not necessarily always a Harper Conservative.

In a different life I earned and MA in Economics and love history as well. In addition to this finishing my coop and an builing an RMH or a dragonheater, I 'd like to build a earth bag root cellar.
Everyyear I put a veggie garden in, whats a homestead without a vegetable patch right? Well not this year. I have learnt that I have time to build something or weed a garden. Not both. Maybe next year.
But I sure would like to build a wood working shop....

Anyways if you want to drop me a line. I dont like posting my email address in a public formum where it can be added to a database by webbots. But its my lastname.firstname@gmail.com

Best Regards
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Up-cycled rustic housing = $35.00 (tin screws)



Mud oven burn plate riser bolts = $7.00



Mud oven up-cycled stone base and rocket stove pipe installation = $0.00

The materials for the Clay and daub, as well as all the materials for the housing were found on the property. Total cost so far $42.00

Please Note; The above is now drying, next stage is the actual mud oven, so stay tuned for further pics


Many thanks to Max, for his skilled labor and inventiveness in the execution of this project.

Cheers! K
 
isaac wilson
Posts: 1
Location: Louisville Ky
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Hey, Kate! I'm a 30 year old engaged father of 3 that's been having a huge struggle with city life these past few years. My fiance and i have been interested in homesteading but are having issues finding serious people to partner with. We are very interested in your idea and if it is still an active thing we would love to discuss more.
 
Jared Ruhlin
Posts: 2
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25 year old male, married with a child on the way. We are very much interested in the homesteading lifestyle but with very limited income, finding it harder and harder to even get out of the city/suburb. If we're not too "high risk" I'd be interested in talking more about it. She is good with children and like to explore cooking (and is also a good cook) and is very handy with up cycle and ideas. I have school and experience in auto mechanics and dabbled in most things an ideal homesteader would. toughntactical@gmail.com if interested or any ideas for us to go on to maybe assist in getting out of this crazy place.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Jared.

Thanks for your reply. A first, and very important question is; are you a Canadian or US citizen? This has to do with border policies.

K
 
Jared Ruhlin
Posts: 2
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We are both US citizens
 
chantelle poisson
Posts: 2
Location: muskoka, ontario
food preservation forest garden fungi
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hi kate chantelle here i would be interested to visit you . from what i can read of your post it sounds like your close to me . i am in muskoka close to huntsville. its hard to connect with like minded people in ontario
 
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