I'm Nick and I'm 22 going to be 23 this Saturday. I currently live and work in the huge city I grew up in and I am sick of it. I never had a yard growing up and I currently live in a condo where I spent my Monday evening raking trash from in front of my building into the gutter while I wait for street cleaning. I am getting sick of it. I have a lovely girlfriend and her and I have been kicking around the idea lately of buying some land and building our own place. We do our best right now growing what we can on our patio and in the parking space at our condo. We plan to put some hydroponics in our pantry this fall to give that a try too.
I've been reading up lately on everything Homestead related. I currently work and go to school for Engineering. MY hope is I can work from home(stead) for 7 to 8 months a year and then go back to the city for the other 4 to 5 months. This is the kind of schedule that a curretn employee I work with has. He goes back home to europe for 7 months out of the year and just stays in the city for the other 5 when he is needed. I hope to switch to that kind of schedule in about 2 to 3 years with my current academic pace finishing my degree.
What I have come here to ask you fine people is what I should be planning for in the mean time. Money will hopefully not be an issue I don't make much now but I hope to double it in 2 years when I get that oh so coveted piece of paper. I also plan to rent out my condo while I am away (6 month lease every year finding a new tenant). I own out right now so in 5 or 6 years when it comes time to actually start seriously looking at land I will be in a good place to hopefully buy immediately when the right location comes along.
What can me and my girlfriend do now to start getting ready for this huge change? What resources are good and what should I be reading? Is there a best place to start or does it not mater as long as I cover everything.
Finally I think the hardest choice will be picking a location. I've never really left the place a grew up I don't know anything about other places. What's a good way to start learning about different places where homesteading is possible? We are going on two road trips this year and we are attempting to see as much of the country as possible.
Any other tips or pointers or just words of encouragement all welcome.
Right now you are already doing work, saving up money, school, and dating. Don't try to do too much all at once.
In theory you could easily find 1 acre of land 30miles away to farm, and grow berries and veggies on. Like school it would be a costly lesson.
Next question is how are you going to fund your homestead, with a bank loan, save and build yearly (Yr1=buy land, yr2=plant trees, yr3=well,PV system, sewer, etc, Yr4=build house, Yr5= buy appliance/fixtures/bathtub/windows)
I would try and stay near your family aka within 60miles or so.
See if you volunteer or take classes to learn a bunch of skills before you buy a place. Try and learn as many skills as you can while you are still in the condo.
Learning how to do things now will save time and money when you get your own place.
Some places to look into:
Habitat for Humanity to learn contracting skills.
Community gardens, food bank gardens, park maintenance and renovation are good places to learn gardening and landscaping.
Get to know your local farms and look for learning opportunities and mentors.
Learn to preserve foods before you have a giant garden. You can start learning to can, ferment, dehydrate and cook from scratch now. It will save you from wasting lots of produce from your first large garden.
Find local permaculture meetup groups and start going to events.
Save as much as you can and avoid debt as much as possible.
With the arrival of summer here I've been digging into this more.
Going to see if I can find some place to volunteer on the weekends I plan on looking at the local portion of the forum for that first.
As far as saving and income I plan to keep my current job. The next 7 months are paying off debt and dealing with that then socking away as much cash as possible to save for land and the house to build on it. This is a long term idea around 6 to 7 years is when I actually see myself making the purchase and starting to build. My job will let me work remotely for a good portion of the year so I will be set for money since I will have a job I can do from home.
I want to look into finding a butcher shop so I can learn to process a whole cow or pig.
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