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A Hope to be Homesteader  RSS feed

 
Samantha Burgess
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How many of you would pack a bag and leave society today?? Ever considered community leaving or a homestead opportunity? I have truly been considering purchasing some land to build a fully functioning, self sustaining homestead to raise my kids on and protect them from this wicked world. However I am a single working mother of 2 yr old twins and it's almost been impossible to do on my own. I would love to find some like minded people who feel the same that I could partner with to successful build a self sustaining community. As they say "It takes a village!" Right?!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
28
bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
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As much as it takes money to get by in "society", it takes money to get by "self-sufficient."

To process a pig, for one really specific example, takes:
A knife for cutting
A sharpener for the knife
A rope
A gambrel
An excellent pulley or two strong helpers
A bucket for guts
A shovel
A cutting board
Some kind of disinfectant
A table to cut on
Butcher's paper/plastic wrap/string for the cuts

... and that's just the processing. Raising the hog takes a list of equipment just as long, as does cooking the hog.

And every single other thing has its own list too. Fixing a fence, planting a tree, sharpening a lawnmower, replacing a faucet, everything. Equipment. Money.

But Mike, Pa Engalls did it fine without money. Ok, yes. But he had a two-room cabin with a string for a door latch, no plumbing (let alone wifi), and one dish per person. And he STILL went to town and worked for money sometimes!




If I were in your shoes, Samantha (and I kind of have been), I'd get comfortable with the idea that it's going to be a while. That homestead freedom is really appealing, but that freedom comes from owning productive assets. A homestead supports you by yielding food and materials. You can't get productive assets for free.



Now's the time for skills. Canning, caning, sewing, sowing, selling... you can be learning, training, building those skills now so that you have them when it's time to use them.

If I died and left you my homestead tomorrow, would I even be doing you a favor? The tractor is fickle. The garage roof leaks. The peach trees have a weird fungus. That one section of the fence still isn't up. Birds are in the damn soffit by the bathroom. Now that I've been at this a while, I know what to do about some of those problems, but still not all of them! And if I had been dropped into this situation fifteen years ago, it would be hopeless!

So where you are with the little ones, i can't imagine that getting a self-sufficient homestead right now is feasible OR desirable. I certainly relate to the feeling of wanting out. So get out... gradually. Wisely. Get out in a way that makes things better, not worse. Learn the skills. Acquire the tools. Find friends who know what you want to know (try groups related to old-fashioned skills- weaving, steam tractors, blacksmiths).

Actually, that reminds me. You didn't mention this, but do you have friends who support this path? Are you wanting out of society because you're feeling isolated, lonely, and like you don't belong or fit in? Me too! But then I found the right people. My kind of weirdos. They're out there if you look for them.

Best of luck. You're going to be alright!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Mike Cantrell wrote: That homestead freedom is really appealing, but that freedom comes from owning productive assets. A homestead supports you by yielding food and materials. You can't get productive assets for free.


Possibly nearly free: http://www.permies.com/t/53723/financial-strategy/rat-race-homestead-savings-money

Many people are offering free or nearly free land here on permies. http://www.permies.com/forums/f-6/intentional-community
 
Samantha Burgess
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I appreciate all the insight and I say this with respect, but what makes you think I don't know what it takes? I have spent the last 10 years acquiring skills, knowledge and tools to one day live this lifestyle. It is not that I want to "protect" my children from the world although I know this is what I said, it's more about wanting them to never settle for what society says life should be like. The twins have been experiencing nature with me since their first camping trip at 5 weeks old, we hike every weekend, garden, build and re-purpose. However I still have to go to my Mon-Fri office job to provide for them in this society because I am a single mother and have no other options. I have no family near, nor do I have time to make friends. We are as green and organic as we possibly can be right now and I realize it is a step by step process. I've earned my certificate in Herbology and I am currently pursuing my bachelors in Alternative Medicine. I have learned to make all household products we need, hygiene products, we can what we grow, we have chickens, I make our clothes. So I'm working on it, I'm not trying to go into this blindly. My issue has been the lack of land and means of getting it. I came on to this site in search of like minded people who would encourage and support me...
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Is there a particular area of the country you're interested in? There are regional forums: http://www.permies.com/forums/c/3/
 
alex Keenan
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I was lucky to grow up knowing a number of homesteaders in Alaska.
What came after them were people with money in the 70's and 80's
The failure rate was high, by some estimate near 80%.
This high failure rate matches much of homesteading in USA.

The key to success or failure tended to be economic.
As has already been stated it takes tools and techniques to go along with the people.
How do you earn cash to pay for the thing you cannot provide from the land?

I look at the Permaculture group in Anchorage Alaska. And I ask myself how many more homesteaders could have made it in that part of Alaska it they had access to the plants, tools, and permaculture techniques that exist today?

I am now in my later fifties and can't do as much after my heart attack a few years ago.

However, that has not stopped me from working with my plants and testing out many permaculture ideas on a small scale one my few acres of land.

I know from experience that there are so many things you can apply on a small scale that would benefit you if and when you did become a homesteader.

The successful homesteaders did not instantly become a homesteader. Many of the successful ones did not have tons of money.
What they had were the tools and skills acquired over a number of years. If you truly plan to be a homesteader, than you should think of yourself as a homesteader now. You need a mindset that will allow you to start collecting the tools and learning the technique that will be require.

For if such an opportunity presents itself, it will likely not wait for you to be ready. By the time you get ready the opportunity will likely have past.

Here is a frame of mind I use with young people.
What would you do if you won the lottery. Make a list and prioritize the list.
I then buy them a lottery ticket, which so far I have NEVER picked a winner.
OK, you did not win the lottery, but you still have this list.
Now what can you do to make things on that list happen!

 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Samantha Burgess wrote:I appreciate all the insight and I say this with respect, but what makes you think I don't know what it takes?


If you know everything you need to know, not looking for any new information, just encouragement, then that's fine too.

You can do it! Follow your dream!
 
Samantha Burgess
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Definitely don't know everything I need to know, I learn more everyday. Was just stating that I know it takes hard work, skills, tools and money. The ability to live that lifestyle far out way everything it takes to get there.
 
James Everett
Posts: 94
Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b
3
dog greening the desert trees
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If I could jump straight to it I would. But I am fortunate enough to land a 30 acre plot to work on being self sufficient as I can while still paying off my debts. Long term I look to being off grid but till things are settles a swale here is made, bills paid there, eventually my homestead will be complete.
 
Devin Lavign
pollinator
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Location: Pac Northwest
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Samantha Burgess wrote:How many of you would pack a bag and leave society today?? Ever considered community leaving or a homestead opportunity? I have truly been considering purchasing some land to build a fully functioning, self sustaining homestead to raise my kids on and protect them from this wicked world. However I am a single working mother of 2 yr old twins and it's almost been impossible to do on my own. I would love to find some like minded people who feel the same that I could partner with to successful build a self sustaining community. As they say "It takes a village!" Right?!


As mentioned there are some good sections of the forum where you can seek others who might want to work together to build a community land project, or other sections where you can join someone who already has land and is looking for others to come join them. Still tends to take money to do this for decent homestead situations. Where you have to pay some sort of rent for what ever allotment you get to work on, and pay for your own food and necessities if your not producing them yourself.

This is just your introduction thread, you saying hello and letting us know what your about etc..

So hello and happy to meet you. Welcome to Permies. Please feel welcome and able to share your ideas and dreams with us.

As for your question about packing a bag and leaving society, oh I have been there many a time. Literally bags packed and stopped myself before heading into the woods to say forget society. And I am glad I didn't do it. I am about to close on 40 acres that are about the ideal dream property I had envisioned.

I also can understand your frustration being a single working mother. I lived in a community in AZ and dated a woman there with two kids, she hadn't had a moment of real rest for 5 yrs. After dating for a bit, I watched her kids while she went off with some friends to Baja. She was so much more energized and ready to take on life after that single vacation. I can't relate completely, but I can sympathize.

So as mentioned, there are some great resources here at permies. Look around get to know the place, and you will start to find options.
 
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