Gary Lewis

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since Mar 14, 2013
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Recent posts by Gary Lewis

Not the pretty side of our society, but when picking somewhere to homestead we should look at the crime statistics. While state level stats can be skewed by large cities, they can provide you an overall flavor of what crime is like in a state...

So here is a blog post that has the following stats:

Crime rates by state - are crimes getting better or worse
Gun ownership
Equipment theft and recovery
Murder rates
Motor vehicle thefts
Burglary rates

I hope people find this useful.

5 years ago
What is the best state for you to homestead in America? I have been asked that a I decided to compile a state-by-state guide of the information you might use to work out what is the best state for you. Each state has details on:

Homestead tax laws
Agricultural statistics
Average land cost per acre

...and many have comments from homesteaders in that state.

Here is the link:

I hope you find it a useful guide


6 years ago
Awesome Jay - always wonderful to see progress (how about you post a photo or two? ) :p
6 years ago
I don't know about you, but getting in control of my budget was the first step in me understanding and being in control of my homestead finances! Being involved in project finances for years, it seemed like I could use those skills to work out what the heck was happening to my money when it came to running my homestead...and helped me to find things to cut and be more frugal (lets face it, making ends meet is a constant battle for the homesteader without a solid off-farm income).

I have now been using my homestead budget for 10 years now..and decided to share my methods and knowledge with others...and developed an online course that contains templates links to free software and step-by-step methods to get in control of your cash.

In the same frame-of-mind that homesteaders are trying to save money - the course fee is just 99c. BARGIN! Right??? And whats more fun...if I can save you stress and money for 99c then I feel like a winner as well! (and your 99c helps a fellow homesteader with a small amount if income.

So here is the link:

If you are not in need of this sort of thing..but know others who might, please share it around! I would love to see people benefit from this on their homesteading journeys.


6 years ago
I don't know if all of that is true John. People WANT to feel like its real...the manure I understand...but people want o hear ambient farm noises...

6 years ago
This idea has been on my mind..and we are a few steps down the pathway.

My business model is simple. We can't provide a fancy barn etc for the 'high end' weddings...but we can provide a field and a 'forest wall' as a backdrop for a wedding ceremony. The basic fee is to hire the field. Then the wedding party can arrange all the rest. Or I can do that for them, for the cost of the rentals (tents, porta-potties etc) plus a 'arranging fee' of 20%.

My wife is a cake decorator - so thats another add on if they wish. A family member is a photographer. A friend does musics...etc

So at the basic level, its a set fee (and almost no work by me other than mowing the field spaces. Then the sky is the limit if they want to go that way

Insurance? There are companies that offer 'wedding insurance' that you can insist they take out...and they must show you the policy before they can sign the place.

6 years ago
This is great advice Bethany! I have not used Etsy, but I know lots of people talk about using it as a way to sell crafts etc.

Your post really provides good solid information to help folks along...and thats what I like about this thread

When we lived in Colorado I did run a small online business selling items for a modeling hobby and I made some good money. I got all my sales through eBay selling....and so it was very much 'let the market' decide the prices...but it brought in some extra money for the farm

When we hit Maine with two kid, a new homestead and a lot of other outside work pressures, it fell by the side. It was about priorities I guess.

But knowing that people are having good success doing this sort of things is very helpful for those still seeking better financial independence.

6 years ago
For those folks who would like to use the templates I mentioned in a former post here they are for you to download:

Northern Hemisphere:

Southern Hemisphere:

I hope you find them as useful as I do.

I'd love to see how you use them on your place! Post some pics in here :p

6 years ago
The link for the blog with more instructions and the templates is here:
6 years ago

I have been using a circular yearly calendar this year to better plan my plantings and projects...and also to show rainfall and snow falls. It's a super way to see a years worth of information

So what I do is use a template which can be used for any year...and then add the first day of each month (ie if the list of January is a Monday, i put a small "1" in that box). I don't number every box...cause I am too lazy..and I can always work out the days as I add data.

I also add the last and first frost dates for my town...then with a highlighter I mark out my growing season. Then I can start planning.

Here is my data on snow and rainfall so far on our homestead....same deal.

The templates are cheap (like 99c ) or FREE if you sign up for the newsletter. People already signed up will get them emailed to them. You can then use the templates over and over, year after year.

Anyways - just a nice tool that I wanted to share!

6 years ago