Mountain Krauss wrote:Hey Jake, just wanted to wish you luck. A lot of us come from abusive backgrounds, so you're not alone, even if it feels like it sometimes.
Be thrifty. Even if you're only making $13/hour, you can save a few hundred a month. Most people making that little won't save any money, but they don't have a dream to pursue. You do.
Be patient. Even under perfect circumstances, it will take years to acquire the money and knowledge you'll need. You have time. Luckily, life lasts decades, not years.
Be resourceful. There are lots of skills that aren't farming, but will useful one day when you have a farm. People have already mentioned some: construction, heavy equipment, welding, electrician, arborist, etc. learning one or more of these will make things easier for you when you're a farmer. They also tend to pay well, so they'll help you save for your farm faster.
Be open. Try as many opportunities as you can. Most won't be the right fit for you, but you won't know until you try. You may find that after working for a farmer for a while, he (or someone he knows) has land you can lease, which you let you start farming much sooner. You can save up for a lease much faster than a purchase. And if you're successful on your lease, you'll soon have enough money to buy your own land.
Finally, be nice. When you realize a situation isn't right for you, be nice to the people you're leaving. They may be mean or arrogant or ignorant, but they may have their own difficult backgrounds that make them that way. They may be trying just as hard as you, even if it doesn't show. Leave situations that aren't right for you, but be nice on the way out.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Simon Johnson wrote:My two cents would be to have a look at Paul's book list and read some of those over the winter. I would say start with "Mortgage Free". An excellent book. I would also recommend heading over to http://earlyretirementextreme.com and having a look at what Jacob has to say over there. He also has a good book list to pick from.
Following some of those strategies will make it much easier for you to accumulate the necessary funds needed to "do whatever you want" instead of being "a wage slave", if you will. With a pretty low income you can still save a good deal of money if you go about it in a seriously extreme manner. Before you know it you will have enough to get some land and build a place to live.
Main thing is, don't stop learning and don't stop doing. Continuously adding to your repertoire of useful skills by reading about and working at them will be of great benefit down the road. Not only will you be able to do things for yourself and not have to pay someone else to do it, but you can also get paid for doing these same things for others.
Good luck on your journey!
Nick Kitchener wrote:Now fall is almost upon us, I would spend some time studying a few people you will find very important.
These three podcasts are a good start:
Curtis Stone: Started his farming operation with 7K and made 22K in his first year. The model he uses (SPIN) provides a means to make approx $100K per acre per year. (Curtis lives in Kelowna BTW)
Greg Judy went totally broke doing traditional farming and started again with $20. He now operates a cattle operation encompassing over 1,500 acres running over 1,000 head of cattle. His basic model was to lease land and raise other people's cattle using mob grazing methods. He then slowly grew his own herd over time.
Finally, Jean-Martin Fortier lives in Quebec, where he is producing $140K on 1.5 acres, with a profit margin of 40%.
Basically, there are options for you provided you get your act together over the winter. I'd look into places where you would want to base yourself, business models you would want to base your operation on, and possible government financial assistance that is available.
Archie Quinn wrote:You already have the life you need, or you would not be alive, everything else is desire, remember that. The only happy people are those who are happy with what they have right now. This does not mean they do not want more, or something different, but they unlike most understand that all people will want more, but most are unhappy because they do not have it. Stupidity is to think that upon reaching a goal you will never want anything again, you will, be it a partner, a better crop, a better solar system, to build a hydro from your waste water as it falls, discovering you should have built on a hillside so you have fall for hydro no matter how tiny (you can put hydro machines on taps)
I live without power and water from connections, sometimes it is hard, no sun or fuel for the generator, hasn't rained so i have to cart water, my girlfriend would rather live on the grid. whatever you think will make you happy or "give you the life you want" is simply a matter of acceptance. Accept what you have now as "your great life" you will make better regardless of all these things you want to "add to your great life" and you will always have a great life.
As for the practical applications of off grid self sufficiency, be worthwhile, get a trade, carpenter or electricians are best, if the world ended and you are only a grower, who will fix your house, build your power equipment to pump water and so on? learning a trade gives you common sense building skills, a welder is another good one or steel worker. think of something you would use to be useful other than farming, anyone can farm enough to survive, it may not be the ultimate in horticulture, but you can learn this afterwards. your trade will help to set you up, you can fall back on it and so on for extra money. buy hillside land for water collection and hydro use, yes even a half acre block can produce hydro, hills get good wind for turbines, all very helpful when it is cloudy for days.
don't concentrate on having it all at once and right now, but buy the land as soon as you can, it is going up really fast everywhere, and at least you can camp on it if you have no job, old dumpy caravan, 4 100 amp hour batteries and 500watts of solar to recharge them, they will run your computer your lights and your bar fridge in the van (turn off bar fridge at 4pm daily and on at 9 am keep ice bricks in freezer everything will stay cold) there is your escape place, and you accommodation while you build when you have enough money to move to your block. buy diesel only vehicles and generators, you can make biodiesel but you cant make petrol. good luck
R Scott wrote:That is John Jeovens and biointensive method. It isn't actually diamond, it is equidistant or cellular. You do get more plants in an area that if you plant rows or grids. It works, there are a lot of things in the full-on biointensive that are LABOR intensive so most people don't do all of it. Square foot, SPIN, etc. all use some similar concepts but not all as they try to optimize for time or something else.
Biointensive shares a common permaculture goal in zero outside input. I think it is a critical part in self sufficiency for me, but I have taken shortcuts because of time limits and land abundance compared to the target audience of most of these "suburban" methods.
Some don't like tractors at all. I think tractors are a great tool to focus animals--just like you have to make some people sit down at a desk to get their work done, sometimes you have to focus the attention of the animal in a small area to get that area DONE. There is a balance that needs to be maintained. Those duck tractors looked small to me at first blush, but as a brood nest they are more than adequate if moved more than daily. Our broody hens LIKE to be tucked back in a private space like that. So I can't pass judgement based on a couple pictures with no backstory. The ducks don't look sad...
Kris schulenburg wrote:They used to talk about that in "Organic Gardening" 35+ years ago (it may have been based on "Square Foot Gardening"). The rational was if you planted the plants in that pattern in a bed, you could get more plants in a given space compared to rows. The other benefit was it would shade out some weeds. It does work but my beds are still weedy if neglected or not mulched. you can always diversify your plants to make a polyculture. You gotta eat something while the food forest is growing.
Danielle Venegas wrote:
Jake Nisenboim wrote:http://mossybanks.ca/2014/04/17/planting-brassica/
They claim to be permaculture based, but Im not seeing it much at all.... And not sure why, I am really really uncomfortable with the use of animal tractors.... They are completely in cages and it does not feel like that is "working with nature", that is controlling nature.
In any case, it seems to be a way to get more edge / plant more in the area ? What do you think ?
Still, I am sick of seeing mulch around plants, I want to be somewhere where there is living mulch and when people complain about weeds, its chop and drop, or chop and eat...
Am I too "picky" ?
If you are talking chickens it's probably much safter for them to be in the cage. Also, chickens have a way of eating what we don't want them to eat. I know people who rely entirely upon chicken tilling and if you think the chickens are sad about it you'd be mistaken.