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Royally Failed Again: Now What

 
Posts: 78
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
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I wish I could read through all the replies to make sure I'm not repeating something someone else said there's no time for that this morning.
I'm not going to get all God-y on you, but "something" is telling you to slow down. For now you can't have the life you've had up until your illness. We so desperately want to keep our lives the same, but change is always happening. And we always want to know what the future holds.
We don't always get to know.
You have so many skills and so much knowledge to be grateful for, and you're on the right track by combing through all of the variations of possibilities. And then the solution will be completely unrelated and pop up out of the blue.
If I haven't gone through this a hundred times I'd keep my mouth shut. But I have, and when I thought my life was over and the worst it's ever been something magnificent was right around the corner.
 
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elle sagenev wrote:How is the micro brewing market in your area? It's cropping up here and is really active across the border in CO. If you could farm specialty barleys and other brew ingredients I bet you could make a decent income selling it to people around your area. I'd go to the small breweries and see what they are interested in getting. You'd still have the combine issue though. I think I could probably squeeze around that on my acreage by hiring the guy that combines the fields across from us for a decent price. I'm not sure if you could do that.



The micro-brew industry is full bore here, but what they are looking for is HOPS! Apparently the micro-brews get their flavor for adding more hops to their concoctions. So that seemed promising because this farm used to grow hops.

It is a long story, but my Great Grandfather Cyrus had a fight with his father Boardman because he did not think it was very Christian-Like to grow Hops to make drink. Well back then that was the lifeblood of our farm, but my Grandfather Cyrus won out, and they plowed up all the hops, and started growing potatoes, the first in the county. That was in 1838 and we grew potatoes until 1988, so it was a pretty good run.

But converting to hops today costs some serious money...$6000 per acre, and there is no small hops harvester made. So that is out! :-(

In more positive news, I have been checking out old patents on combines and found a promising design for a homemade unit. That might open up the possibility of gettingto small grains. I can do everything for that except harvest them. So if I can make a harvester, it may be something I can do.
 
Travis Johnson
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elle sagenev wrote:You could always offer Glamping too. The "farm experience" in a fancy yurt or some such thing. Not sure the start up on that but the east coast seems the place it would work.



This has always appealed to me, only because one of the top Environmental Colleges in the country is located less than 10 miles away from me (Unity College). My thoughts were more in line with a WOFATI or a Tiny House, but I do have a few campers every year. I had some last year, and more this year, but they were festival goers for our annual Rock the Flock concert. Not really the same thing, but people are camping here! :-) At some point I want to make a road, and then camping sites down to a stream that is here so they have a better place to camp out.

The WOFATI or Tiny Home would allow for week-stayers in the summer, and then be a unique environmentally friendly rent for kids going to that college.

But all that takes significant money! Now if only someone would buy my house that is for sale! (Shameless plug: my sheep are included for anyone interested!) :-)
 
pollinator
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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You have a barn? Thought about putting yourself out there as a wedding venue? We have a ranch near us that charges photographers to take pictures there. It's amazing what people are willing to pay for a great backdrop for pics.

Very interesting info about your farms hops history. It's something I'm dying to grow myself. I want to grow some varieties that aren't even for brewing, just medicinal use. I'm an insomniac. Hops bines are supposed to help with that. I've seen the commercial fields of hops though. I can see how setting that up would be exceedingly expensive. We got a bunch of free telephone poles through a connection of ours and my plan was always to put up a telephone pole pavilion and have the hops growing up as the walls. I think if you could grow just enough hops to make a limited batch "artisan" brew it'd sell itself.  Maybe a grown to order thing where you have a list of varieties you could grow and they have to order it to be grown. Maybe even a down payment to help you get the plants going. Just ideas. No idea if any of them would ever work.


Agreed that pretty much all the ideas take money up front to start. Huge downside.
 
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Travis, I deeply empathize with your situation.  As someone whose motto is "busy hands are happy hands," it was challenging (ok, it was life-sucking and excruciating) to figure out how to do life in a whole new way.  I've dealt with a host of autoimmune issues for the last 20+ years.....it's really hard, and I'm still trying to figure it out.  I burned the candle at both ends, and found ways to light it in the middle when necessary.  Now, when I overspend energy, I'm in debt for days.  It used to be weeks, but I'm getting a little wiser, now.  Finally.  

Have you heard of the "spoon theory?"  webpage  Every now and then, I need to re-read it, grieve my losses, count my blessings, then move forward.  

I think it is very important to be honest with people about your situation.  It's hard.  I confess, I was much less inwardly gracious than I could have been to people who I felt were whiners about their physical limitations.  That judgment on my part made me unwilling to tell people what was going on with my life.  I put on my "I'm healthy" mask, and when exhaustion hit like a bomb, and I couldn't get out of bed, I'd have to cancel.  I realized I looked like a flake, and was very unreliable.  When I took the time to explain a bit about what life was like, it took a lot of pressure off me, and off relationships.  People realized I wasn't avoiding, or flaking, I was physically unable to cash that check I tried to write.  My closest friends are my wise counselors, because I allow them to see my real life, and they speak truths that I need to hear.  

I'd encourage you to see if there are things you can pursue diet-wise that might take some of the stress and strain off your system.  It's challenging to figure out what your body needs, but if you can eliminate things that may be adding to the chaos your body is fighting through, you may find you have more resources you can spend in ways you'd prefer.  Personally, I do best on a full-out carnivore diet.  As someone who was happiest with grain, cheese and fruit, it was a long, hard transition, but the change was pretty miraculous.  I'm doing things now that I thought I would never do again, though on a much smaller scale.  (I thought I hit the jackpot, went on an energy-spending spree, had a bankruptcy, but I'm making my way through.)  When I stray from my diet, I'm back to square one....exhausted, in excruciating pain, can't think my way out of a paper bag, and a bit emotionally unhinged.  I have no idea what your body needs, but it's definitely worth investigating.  Some people do great on an AIP diet, others on vegetarian, keto works for some, grain-free for others.  15 years ago, I eliminated nightshade vegetables because of joint pain.  8 years ago, I went gluten-free.   4 years ago, I cut out grains.  3 years ago, I switched to all organic.  Each of those eliminations helped a little.   But I kept finding more foods that caused me troubles.  When my daughter rightly encouraged me to follow a diet for IBS, I had a bit of a break-down.  WHAT WILL I BE ABLE TO EAT???  Then I stumbled onto the carnivore diet, and I actually have a LIFE instead of a slow slide to nothingness.  It's been almost a year, now.  I'm still low-income, as far as energy/stamina go, but it's a whole lot better than being sub-poverty/bankrupt continually.  

What you're experiencing, other people will experience.  What you learn can be passed on to others.  I don't have financial wealth to leave as an inheritance for my children.  I don't have a lot of worldly goods.  But I can pass on the the things I've learned as I've fought through the decades with autoimmune issues.  Unfortunately, my daughters inherited my screwed up genes, and they're dealing with similar issues.  I was not the best "good example" but sometimes being the "horrible warning" is more effective.  They're quite a ways ahead, and it won't take them 20 years to figure things out on their personal health journey.  I guess what I'm trying to say is this.  Your life is a gift.  It's given to you, and you give it to those in your circle.  You might rather give ANYTHING ELSE, but your experiences, your learnings, your example, all that may be a light for someone else who's in the darkness you're currently walking through.  As you beat yourself a new path, you're making it easier for others looking for a way out of a similar maze.

All the empathy in the world isn't really helpful as far as money, so on a more practical level....how can you earn a living to support your family?

We've never had a lot of money, so we've had to be careful in our spending.  I try to apply that thriftiness to consumption of energy....it obviously doesn't work amazingly, because it takes a lot of energy to save money, but when I keep the idea of saving in mind, it helps me live a bit more wisely.  When you're low on money AND energy, it's a double blow.  It does help me to remember that I'm at poverty-level in the energy department.  I can't live like the "rich" person I once was.  I've learned to "work smart, not hard," and tools are my friend.  We just bought a t post puller.  It galled me to pay $45 bucks, but it's a lot more fiscally responsible for us than paying an hourly wage to have someone pull dozens of posts around our property.  Something that was impossible for me is now totally doable with the right leverage, metal, ingenuity, and all that.  Because you know what it means to have more desire than energy and strength, you may come up with some amazing tools that help people who are in similar circumstances, as far as wanting to do things their body can't.  If you haven't yet, search for "gardening tools for disabled."  It's pretty amazing.  I'd pay a pretty penny for a wooden gardening bench/stool that was sturdy, but I can't find one anywhere for any price, and I've been searching for weeks.  If you're internet savvy, you might  be able to build an etailing site specializing in tools for people with limitations of any kind.   As people have suggested, you tube could be a good avenue....you could do reviews on tools meant for disabilities, with the fee-applied link thingies.  You might even be able to get free equipment to review, so the expenditure could eventually potentially be not huge.

I've learned to be content in doing quieter things.  I've become a very talented crocheter out of self-defense, really.  It might be worth taking up knitting, knotting, beading, crocheting, weaving, or some other art/hand craft you have the dexterity, creativity, strength and desire to pursue....something you wouldn't have considered before because there were other things to consume you.  When you feel you've acquired some skill, you can teach it to others. Again...you tube....  But you could also combine your artistry with glamping/wofati-ing/tiny-house, etc.  Art retreats are really expensive, so marketed well, it could be a decent income stream.  You've been given the opportunity for a kind of fresh start, or do-over.  It's an adventure, even if you didn't go looking for it.

My one piece of advice as far as making money....in your situation, I'd really encourage you to pursue something that you LOVE.   Something that energizes your soul.  You really have to make a new life....your old one is gone.  As you build your new life, make sure it's one you want to live for a good, long while.

All the best to you!


 
Travis Johnson
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I have not replied to everyone, both from the forum reply's, and the private messages (called mooseages), but I have really been listening.

It is getting on towards fall, so I have been getting this house ready for winter. What I have been doing is making a list of things to do by priority, and then getting them done. But unlike a few years ago, I kind of go slow.

Permies has really helped. What I do is go out and work for awhile, and depending on the amount of energy expended, I come in after a bit, and just take a break. I get on here, make a reply or two, and then head out again. A lot of breaks is what I am saying. If it is tractor work, then I can go for a few hours, but if it is more physical work, then it might be a ten minute break every hour.

I just don't plan to get a whole lot done, but at least do something. Like yesterday; I made the driveway wider because it was a little narrow. It took a few hours to haul 7 yards of gravel out of my gravel pit, and then widen the driveway by a few feet, but it got done. Success, so other than pulling some staging together

Today I replaced a window. Normally I could put two in a day, but the second one I have to do can wait. Mostly because it was super hot out and I did not get the first window done. It bugs me, but if I wait until tomorrow, I won't be rushed and tired, and it will just plain come out better, so I will wait.

So I am coping.


 
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Zelda said

>  I'd really encourage you to pursue something that you LOVE.   Something that energizes your soul.


Yeah!  Travis, you do EVERYTHING, even now ongoing, and any fool can tell you love it, so maybe this is a little hard for you to see. But Zelda's advice is something to keep in front of you when making hard choices, now and later. It's the difference between living in truth and struggle and just surviving in struggle. And everybody close to you will benefit because you'll be happier and that's catching.

I keep trying figure out how to get this across some bean counter kids I know...


Cheers,
Rufus
 
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Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
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Hey Travis, you have some great ideas, you just need to know who is interested in paying you to carry some of them out. I think that turning this thread into Biological Reverse KickStarter would help you figure that out. Because there are people here who want to buy from you, you just need to figure out which projects can actually pay for themselves. So just start adding the dollar amount that people are willing to spend on your various projects. I, for example, am willing to pay $15 for either of the books that you have completed already. Once you publish one of them, either to here or to Amazon or wherever, I will buy it. I bet a bunch of other people would too. Other people might be willing to pay for videos of your farm. And other people have indicated interest in your farm implements. Give people the chance to commit their dollars, and I think you will find something worth pursuing.
 
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