Terri Matthews

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since Nov 21, 2010
Eastern Kansas
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Recent posts by Terri Matthews

I did/do most of the homesteading work in our 1 acre back yard. Since I am now 65 and handicapped I need a lot of help on any large project but this was not always so! I am only 5 ft 2 inches tall, but there are a lot of ways to make the physical work easier.

If you live in a house with a back yard, can you start right now or would that hurt your property value? Different areas expect different things of property owners, and since you want to sell the house you will want to keep the property value up.

At any rate, I think an excellent place to start would be to grow a variety of salad greens. I plant a bed of them and my salads tend to be half bought lettuce and the other half will be rainbow swiss chard, bok choi, spinach, etc from my raised bed.

ALso children adore cherry tomatos! They love to pick them and eat them right off the plant.

In my area of late frosts my fruit trees do not always bear, but when they do bear they are great. This year I am pretty sure I got 60 pounds of fruit from the 2 dwarf trees that did bear. The apples did not bear because we got a frost just as the apples bloomed.

This summer my husband helped me build 2 more raised beds. I have a  bed of onions that winter over and can give me onions all year round. I will now include, I hope, a bed of potatos that will winter over but I am not sure I will succeed with this: This will be my third year growing potatos and there is a great deal that I have not yet learned.
4 months ago
If I had enough grain products then we could manage for a long time.

I do not have enough land to raise grain and I do not even try. However rice with soy and garden vegetables make a good stir fry, vegetable soup with bread can make a dinner, an easy over egg with a piece of toast makes a fine breakfast, and I have fruit and this year I will likely raise  beans, etc.

I cannot feed the neighbors and I do not intend to try.
4 months ago
I ALWAYS wanted to farm!

My husband is a city boy and wanted to STAY a city boy, and so he got a job in a SMALL city as that way we could live on a small parcel of land and commute. We bought a house on an acre of land that was close enough to his city job and then later we bought 5 acres outside of town.

Because he DID get a job in a small city, my husband simply followed a highway from his job to outside of town to what he thought was a reasonable commute, and that was where we bought the house on an acre of land.

Every morning he followed that highway to work, and I also took the highway to the job I got in a hospital.

So, you want to farm. Fine. That means that you will want to sell what you grow. Or, you can do child care and farm in your free time: child care providers can bring in a decent wage and then you can work your land in the evenings or on weekends. Because you have school debts you might still need your income for a while

So, if you want to sell what you grow you might get a job in a store for the practice in selling, or you can raise plants in your back yard and sell at a farmer's market on Saturdays, or whatever. At any rate it is almost spring: you might raise a fine garden in your yard for experience.

A farm is a business but a homestead is not. I am not certain: are you wanting to farm or to homestead?
4 months ago
I give my laying hens as many feed pellets as they want, and they do not get fat. However my hens are starting to molt, and that means that their egg production is not very good. The 2 big things that stop my hens from laying are days that are too short and them having their yearly molt

Lack of protein will also  cause chickens to lay poorly. Grain tends to run about 11% protein and chickens need to have a diet that is about 18% protein.  The feed that I am able to buy is only 16% protein and so I give my hens treats of high protein foods. It may be that your hens were getting enough insects in the summer to give them enough protein but now it is getting close to the Fall and they might be getting fewer insects

10 months ago
In your climate, I suspect that potatos will do the best for you.

This spring was so cold and so wet that I started my potatos inside. It worked out pretty wel, though I lost a few that I started too soon. Potatos do not need light to get them started but there does come a time when indoor light is not enough! If this coming spring is again cold and wet (I think it will be) then I will pot up my seed potatos when they would normally go outside
10 months ago
The climate predictions of the global warming people have not turned out as they predicted. What that means is that the science is not yet settled.

I spent a lot of time last winter searching the net. And, there are a huge number of variables that have been identified as affecting  climate, far more than I think the global warming scientists have taken into account, and I do not think that a lot of variables to climate have even been identified yet, let alone understood.  It appears to be a highly complex subject
11 months ago
Building a home is a full time job, starting a business is a full time job, and when you add the hours spent homeschooling and parenting THAT is a full time job.

Are you a single parent or do you have a partner? Will your brother be your full time partner or a source of part time help? I can just see 2 full time people who also work at the project on weekends accomplishing all that, but as a single person? That sounds like way too many hours.

I once attended a farm show, and I asked a speaker how I could learn to sell when my skills were in my hands. His reply was to take a job in sales, as the basic technique was the same regardless of what you were selling. Well there was a recession on, and I could not find a job in sales, and so I visited a popular nursery, found the person who was assisting the most customers, and I watched her out of the corner of my eyes, and then I practiced in front of a mirror. THEN I started selling at Farmer's Markets for the experience.

Tell me, since you wish to sell your produce, have you ever sold anything or is this also a skill you need to learn first? I learned a LOT from watching that sales lady!
1 year ago
Animal feed would be a good thing as well, not to mention grain for bread
1 year ago