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The first Four Commandments of starting a homestead or farm.

 
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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I guess I have been thinking about what kind of advice I wish I had when I started on our farming adventure. I know many of you probably told me these things - but I was not as good a listener then as I am now!

So my advice is sort of simple for the folks just starting out or planning on starting a homestead or farm lifestyle. Four simple points:

1. Start small
2. Start slow
3. Go low tech
4. Know your limitations - you are a newbie (so act like one ) :p

Easy to remember?

I have expanded these ideas here : http://www.almostafarmer.com/homestead-primer-starting/

What have I missed?

These are just my ideas...I know others will have different advice, but i think these work as the first Four Commandments of homesteading

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com



 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Thanks for posting that. Good info for newbies.

I have seen too many newbies start of with chickens, turkeys, goats and pigs. Then get overwhelmed when there is a problem with any one of the species. Each animal species has its own learning curve. If you spread yourself too thin, you will miss the little nuances of each species, thus making your overall operation much harder, and more prone to problems.

One suggestion I have along these lines, is to start with chickens - overall, I believe that they are the simplest, and have the quickest return on investment. (If you lose a chicken or two along the way, it is not a big deal. If you lose a goat or cow along the way, it is far more catastrophic.) Then, find a local beekeeper (ask your county agent), and (if your homestead is lush with wildflowers) ask him if he would be interested in leaving a few hives on your land. Each time that he comes to service the hive, tag along and watch/learn. Let him know that in a few years you may be interested in owning your own hives (or not). You will get a share of the honey, better pollination, and have zero time/dollars tied up in the project.
 
Posts: 3370
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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OBSERVE!!!

Joel Salatin says "anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first." My boss always says "fail fast."

You put those together and I get "try quick and cheap, LEARN, then invest in the right system/approach." Don't throw good money after bad.
 
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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To these, I would add my father in law's rule of thumb:

Whatever you think it will cost, in time, money, or anything else when embarking on a brand-new project - multiply by pi. Then you might have an idea of what it will actually cost/take in time/energy/resources.

We haven't found this to always be exactly true, but it's nice to set yourself up for the occasional nice surprise, too.
 
Gary Lewis
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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C. Kelley wrote:To these, I would add my father in law's rule of thumb:

Whatever you think it will cost, in time, money, or anything else when embarking on a brand-new project - multiply by pi. Then you might have an idea of what it will actually cost/take in time/energy/resources.

We haven't found this to always be exactly true, but it's nice to set yourself up for the occasional nice surprise, too.



I love that ! I hope I can use it in the future when I work out costs for building anything

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com


 
steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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Don't be afraid to stop and ask for directions. We all take a wrong turn now and then.

When you fail, do it spectacularly and let the whole world know about it. Own it!

 
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