I am in the final stages of buying a small ranch(1100 sf) built in 1950. There are either 2 acres or 3.2 acres of land that is locally used for agriculture all around the town and has quite a bit of quality top soil. I am a newbie and the reason why the house is not already bought is because during the buying process we found out that acreage is not exactly what was stated or the number of bedrooms. I thought the land looked on the small side, but knew about the # of bedrooms was off, but still love the house overall. If we don't buy this one we have found a similar house with a similar "2 acres for sure" bigger house (1400sf) near by. This house would be in the Litchfield County area of CT. I am trying to get started on as many things as possible that are on the cheap side to get my homestead up and going. Planning on hens and a substantial garden to start. Zoning is a bit tight so no larger animals I believe, maybe goats and rabbits? I work in a lab as a go-for, but have a firm understanding of science and how things affect one an other. Just looking for some advice on how to get started with things and get some of the most important and long term things started ASAP. Like I said my things I see myself getting involved with are a garden, small animals(chicks and such), bees, solarenergy, trees that are fruit or nut bearing, trying to make some income off of any of that to suplement a short work schedule to be with my family and work around the house with my young son. Those would be the main things that I have researched and have a fair bit of time looking into doing. I would be very happy with any help people could provide and guidance. I actually think that newbies like myself would find this post very helpful. I have some money to invest in projects that would pay back in a short time period, but solar is the only major investment I can forsee other than a wood stove to go in the existing fire place. I know there are a lot of options available, but please keep limited experience and funds in mind for the initial suggestions.
S Bengi wrote:Welcome to permies.
With 2 acres you will be able to do alot.
I would start off with ground cover, Just buy some seeds and broadcast it, then sit down and come up with a plan of action. DOnt try to bite off too much all at once.
You are totally correct. And actually with that short of a reply you actually summed up possibly the best reply, lol really!
But seeing that I am never happy with what is a reasonable start to things, I want to do more. I am just thinking if I should plant some local nut and fruit trees as soon as possible(apple and nut>?). Maybe start some grape vines. I would like to see myself profiting from this lot by year 3 if not sooner.I don't aniticipate a huge windfall or anything, but would like to find myself profiting about 5k by year 3 of using this property. I work in a poor paying lab job that will help me in assessing my soil and water condition. My wife works as a manager for a opthamalgical office and makes enough to cover all of our financial necessities, especially if we are on top of things by being frugal. I love to be frugal and livig well within our means. I love the idea of doing for myself and relying on my family and friends. Unfortunately, this is a new idea for my family and friends so it will take a while to kick in. So here are a few more things that I think will be a good place to start and I plan to go.... also my dad and mother are both very great small scale home gardeners, my mom was amazing with our home gardens and my dad was a grounds manager with a local farm that garners world acclaim.
Trees, fruit and nut.
I don't know what would be the best nut tree to start with. Would there be a nut tree I could profit from in a short period of time or that would support my nutritional need in a short time frame? There is a large plot of land so I could do more than one and am able to wait a considerable period of time for this. This
would also include some sort of fruit tree. I would also be able to keep some type of dwarf fruit tree in the house during the winter months to protect them, such as meyer lemon or an avacado?
Brambles of fruit bearing type? Or possibly a blueberry bush/es. These would be great for production or home use/ground cover or just asthetics.
Any and all vegetable growth. I would like to figure these things out in the first several years. I would like to cover most of my needs(feeding my family) by what I grow, but considering my land size I would like to profit from my efforts also.
I would also like to see myself provide my family with eggs and or possibly meat from a small number of poultry on the property.
Can I keep a small number of hives on the property to help with polination, but also supply my family with honey or make enough to profit.
I know these things are not unique ideas, but they are a reasonable place to start. With these things and more I would love to live a more "off the grid" type life. It would truly fit that definition, but would be a more sustainable form of living and provide me with alot of enjoyment. Not to mention the endless amount of time my family would get to work together and enjoy the outdoors. We are a fairly young family that would include an ambitious father of 34, a 30 year old wife that loves anythig her nutty husband does, and a 1 year old son that LOVES the outdoors. I grew up in family that loved the outdoors and want to take it another step further. I want to live off my land as much as possible and if it is possible to profit off it also.
Thank you everyone for any and all help!
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
If you want to make money the very 1st year, I would plant some high value crops.
Maybe oyster mushroom in a dark barn. Or "expensive" tomatoes, roasted garlic, etc.
Filbert is the best nut to grow but you did mention lemon so it might not grow/fruit in your area.
Cool ideas. I would like to do a meyer lemon that would be potted on wheels and come in for about 5 months a year. I understand they can be harvested year round without a single harvest. It may not be possible, but I would like to give it a try. I don't even dare hope to be profitable for at least 3 years. This year is almost too late to get anything really started, but I am sure there is quite a bit that would be possible for this year.
Hi Robert -yep - starting off is daunting but I agree with other folks. Start off with some small things and be successful with those before your next steps. It is more or a moral booster to have some early wins!
I am trying to help folks learn from our mistakes as newbies in our farm blog - www.almostafarmer.com where we cover things like chickens, soil, vege gardens etc if you are interested in the hearing what we are doing.