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Aging in place on the homestead  RSS feed

 
master pollinator
Posts: 10457
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Suki Leith wrote:

I think it would be so awesome if some large land holders would owner finance some small parcels at their borders. Could bring them some monthly cash, and good like-minded independent quiet neighbor and help make somebody's dream possible!



I think it would be great too, but my concern would be the new quiet neighbors might decide to sell out to new obnoxious neighbors.
 
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
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seller could put a right of first refusal for themselves into the contract or something...
 
Posts: 6677
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I've had some thoughts on the original post for this thread to do with things my husband and I could have done differently that would have made "aging in place on the homestead" easier. This summer has been different for me because I injured both of my wrists last winter and have limited use of my hands until they heal. it's given me the opportunity of joining these forums...not something I would have ordinarily done....my computer use is usually limited to an hour at the library every few weeks. But, given a kindle with "experimental browser " capabilities, I am able to participate from home in a crash coarse in permaculture and good conversation.
In hindsight, I think both of us could have been kinder to our bodies...when you are in your twenties and thirties you just work hard and don't necessarily feel the damage you've done until years later. We both work as craftspeople in addition to growing food, and are respected for our skills, but both weaving and woodworking can cause physical wear on your body also and we didn't have a less physical way to make money in our "plan". Everything we do , from diggin sweet potatoes to mowing to emptying the "humanure" buckets to cutting and hauling firewood depends on a healthy body and I guess I am, at sixty two, wanting to make things a little easier for the next thirty years.
We eat really well, walk, do yoga , play with our grandkids......all part of our our own personel "health care" plan.

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6677
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Suki Leith wrote:

I think it would be so awesome if some large land holders would owner finance some small parcels at their borders. Could bring them some monthly cash, and good like-minded independent quiet neighbor and help make somebody's dream possible!



I think it would be great too, but my concern would be the new quiet neighbors might decide to sell out to new obnoxious neighbors.



This is exactly what we want to do but for the very reason Tyler gives are dragging our feet. The right of first refusal would only work if we didn't spend the money from the sale and had it to buy back the land if it ever came up. and then what if the owner decides to mortgage and a bank ends up owning the property? and if you give someone the good deal we would like to and then buying it back is not at a reasonable price?
 
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I've found one has to adapt to changes in mobility by taking harder chores in smaller bites but keep at it steady.

I also developed self feeding style setups for the sheep and cattle in the winter so that I'm not constantly slinging hay bales.

I've changed the gardening to permanent rows that have clover/grass paths in between that are just wide enough to mow...really changed gardening for us and keeps our garden's moisture where it belongs. Also cuts down on the spring turning of the soil...one time and I can put the tiller away. And, yes, I use a tiller...one of the tools I don't mind utilizing to help me stay independent of the grocery stores.

I also mulch so that I won't need to hoe or weed.

Stacking livestock and keeping everyone together keeps me from traipsing from one end of the place to the other for feeding or watering.

Using a deep litter system in the coop keeps the coop environment healthier, both winter and summer, and keeps me from the chore of cleaning out the coop every whip stitch.

I use sheep instead of a lawn mower..cuts down on mower repairs, fuel, carbon emissions and time. I use hair sheep so that I won't have to shear.

I use preventative health/husbandry practices so that I won't be tending ill or dying livestock.

Fencing solutions need to be done right the first time and easy to repair.

I find that cattle panels are the homesteaders friend and have so many uses as to put them on equal to most of the tools I own.

A good dog solves many problems with livestock protection and keeps me from having to lie in wait for marauders or from buying traps, baiting, etc.

Using heated buckets for dogs and other livestock really cuts down on water hauling and waste in the winter.

I could go on and on, but I won't. The benefits of developing easy to use systems now, when a person is younger, will pay off in spades later on.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Topeka, KS
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New to the thread.. I will get caught up.. I am 47 but disabled, a reply to a post I started suggested I drop by here.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Oklahoma Zone 7A
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My 'homestead' is very small, slightly under an acre. I am a 60 year old female who has been single (by choice) for 10 years. My 80 year old mom (widowed) lives in a separate house on the same property. We have always gardened, but have only been reading on this site and making changes in the past year.

I don't have ramps to my house, but I did have porches added and the steps made with shorter heights and wider treads to make it easier for whoever needs it now and may need it in the future.

It is baby steps to permaculture in the yard and garden, but I am taking them and I hope to stay here forever.
There are several old pecan trees here and I am going to plant hazelnuts this fall. I have two hugelbeets in the works. Lots to do, but I love doing it.

There are grown kids and lots of grandkids around the area, so I will be able to get help with any heavy lifting. But for now, I do it all, and in good health. And I am ever so grateful for that!
Hopefully one or more of the younger generation will get it and carry on with this place.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1122
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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I love this idea! It's been something i've been looking for for a while. I am a younger person but I'm on disability. I have a fixed income (not enough to live on most places), and earn a bit more tutoring.

I know many younger people with no land and not much money, the job market isn't working so well for them but they can do the labor if you just give them the land and they have a ton of permaculture knowledge. Even if they don't, they could spend like 5" on this site and know more than most people know about anything! So I think there's a HUGE win-win here.

The major drawback in most people's minds si probably privacy--and specifically other people hearing you when you're enjoying activities of the bedroom. Fear of communicating and relationships in general. Fear that the people you move in with will turn out to be alcoholics or somehow unbalanced. These kinds of fears are not insurmountable, and most of them are just unfounded. I think communicating can clear up a lot of them.

In general, thinking more collectively and less individualistically can benefit everyone.

And yes, the family is the original "intentional" or unintentional or semi-inentional community. Now as many move back in with their parents, history is turning back toward the larger family and away from nuclear family. And this trend will continue. It's good to have good communication in a family. It doesn't have to be a retyurn to dysfunction and rigid unbalanced family roles, it can be a further growth and maturation of what family means. And addding in non-family members, community, neighborhood, village--this can enrich so much of each individual's lives materially and emotinoally/socially!



Tyler Ludens wrote:I wish we were neighbors, darius.

I think we older folks are going to have to band together for mutual support. It would be great to have much younger people along too...

 
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Greetings, I am farming part time and 58. I Know in my heart that I have every ability to keep pitch forking wood chips, digging and the host of other things I enjoy.  I keep picking ways to support my body, spirit, and mind along the way. One of the most current is intermittent fasting. Once one gently adjusts to this " make it your own process " the benefits are wonderful !! I also work with diet and environment adjustments, along with nutrient cycling " Microbe and structure soil analysis "  If someone is truly ready and determined to improve their health as years go by there are lots of options and many do not need large expenditures ! At some point I will offer wisdom coaching " knowing that I am always a student as well " to people that are true to making changes for the betterment of themselves and the life around them.
Making the best as I can of the journey, Leanne
 
pollinator
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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1. Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

Fear of communicating and relationships in general.

This is an important fear for many people who should have some extra help near by, but there is an assumption that social skills are absorbed by osmosis and that family relationships will magically resolve with maturity (just look at the average popular movie!). Developing these skills is hard work for many people in society and I really wish there were more human resources to help. Yes, there are plenty of books, but people need a safe place to practice the skills - problems aren't fixed with magic.

2. I'd really like to point out that as we age, there's greater risk of needing medical care. Part of aging in place is to look for properties that are in areas close enough to good medical care, that care can be accessed. We thought we'd done this only to have 4 Family Doctors all retire within a year in the small city near us, including our own, and none of them managed to sell their practices to young doctors. I'm totally in favour of *real* preventative medicine such as the exercise we get living on a property and picking and eating fruit and veggies and collecting eggs. Similarly, I've got enough basic health knowledge to manage most minor issues for both the people in the house and the feathered friends we work with.

3. On a personal level, I've been experimenting with a variety of raised beds. By raised I'm looking at 18 to 30". I want to have a variety of beds that will be easy to access even if my mobility is reduced. Knee and hip arthritis runs in the family and yet gardening is something I find calming and enjoyable. A friend with knee issues that visited, immediately fell in love with my 30" high ARK-style bed. I'm not convinced it's truly working yet, but if I can get it working, I suspect I'll be building her one!

I guess what I'm trying to say is - build for your dream, but take a few minutes to pack your parachute!
 
Posts: 91
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
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Great thread. I'm 54 and we're only now designing our property. The concrete steps (wide hallways and door, ability to live on one floor) are easier to get right, money permitting. It's this fear of the future, fear of who will live with/near us, that can be the most worrisome. I think it's because it's out of our control. Try as we might, other humans are a variable that we can't control.

In our situation, I've been acquainted with our future nearest neighbor since we were both four, so for fifty years. I have very little in common with him, but once we move there, I expect my relationship with him will be important. I'm going to take care to be thoughtful and try to tamp down my judgmental side when he and I interact. On another side, a young couple who inherited the land just built a nice home, and will likely outlive our presence there. I have this fantasy where they'll have a kid who will come and feed our chickens and goats when we're away/ill. They have free-roaming dogs, so in the interest of avoiding the your-dog-ate-my-chicken conflict, we're budgeting for good fences.

If our money stretches far enough, the garage will have a one-bedroom apartment to one side. I see that as a rental and/or barter space initially, and then at some point I could imagine living there if a family (our son's?! unlikely!) wanted to take over the homestead. Again, it's all in my head, but I guess a vision is a good a place as any to start.
 
Erica Colmenares
Posts: 91
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
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chicken forest garden goat
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Jay Angler wrote:1. Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

Fear of communicating and relationships in general.

This is an important fear for many people who should have some extra help near by, but there is an assumption that social skills are absorbed by osmosis and that family relationships will magically resolve with maturity (just look at the average popular movie!). Developing these skills is hard work for many people in society and I really wish there were more human resources to help. Yes, there are plenty of books, but people need a safe place to practice the skills - problems aren't fixed with magic.



Such a good point, thanks Jay.

2. I'd really like to point out that as we age, there's greater risk of needing medical care.


Ugh, this is so hard! It's a balancing act, plus as you saw in your situation, even if you plan, it's not for sure things will stay as they were.


I guess what I'm trying to say is - build for your dream, but take a few minutes to pack your parachute!


Yes. This.
 
pollinator
Posts: 136
Location: Illinois USA - USDA Zone 5b
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Our last place was not well-designed to age in place. The large house had flights of stairs, very hard on old injuries which are developing arthritis. The semi-dwarf trees required ladders for harvest. Hay storage was not well-designed for aging, etc. It also had some “minor” flooding issues which required periodic labor to mitigate. The pasture area was smaller, meaning more stored hay (we had some forest there, which I miss). And, it was extremely remote - way out in the boonies - isolated.

When we moved we kept aging in place at the forefront in property selection.

We found a small 60’s era ranch house with outbuildings, a former commercial farmstead - it only came with some of its original acres, but enough for our purposes. We are not intending to farm for profit in our golden years, only to be fairly self-sufficient with some small sales. There were a few mature maples, a few decorative plants, but little else. The place was largely a blank slate otherwise.

We set to work fencing and cross fencing, and then beginning to plant along the fences, which are becoming the foundation of food and habitat hedgerows.

With no stairs I don’t struggle when my old knee injury flares up in bad weather. The house is actually quite accessible now, and with only minimal modifications could be made fully handicapped accessible if either of us ever needs it. The house is also smaller - less to maintain - less work and lower cost.

It is also not extremely remote, so if we must give up driving in the future we can still get services.

We planted dwarf fruit trees, apple and cherry. Pruning and harvest is so much easier. While I have planted some mulberries, those are mostly for chickens and wild birds, so I am not trying to harvest the entire mulberry crop anyway.

While we have health we have been working to plant, plant, plant.

Hay storage is now on pallets on the ground. But due to our bigger pasture on better land, we don’t need to store as much hay anyway. We leave a winter grazing pasture untouched until winter, and that carries through with little if any hay supplement.

At our old place I really don’t think we could have aged in place. Here, I think we can.
 
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