I am new to the forum and wanted to start a post for planning out my homestead. I have already started to live a "back to the basicss" lifestyle (garden, storage, heat my surburban home with free wood, etc.) and want to expand for possible SHTF and for a FUN and rewarding lifestyle! I don't have an exact property yet but have one that I hope we will buy in June. We are in Minneapolis, MN area. I have a wife, 3 boys and a girl.
I have read a TON and have too many thoughts in my head!
So I start an outline for myself to help aid in the process. I would love input on it in segments. In order for my A.D.D. brain to not go in too many directions, I want to start with the basic categories. Please feel free to tell me if you think a category is missing or if I have a category that is not worth the trouble of thinking about.
From there I would like to break them down into options for each category. Then I can work on how to implement options.
Again, right now I don't want options for each, just want to make sure I have the basic catergories covered.
These categories are mostly in order, as I see them. They are ALL important (and somewhat inter-connected) but let's face it... Water is VERY important, Food also, etc. on down to comfort items, we can live without but are nice!
I have this in outline form right now but might move to or join it with a mind map/brainstorm map to be able to interconnect items: i.e. a methane digestor could cover power and food cooking or a horse could be a farm tool or transportation, etc. (I will post this document in the next round of talking about options for each category)
I don't see any problem with your outline.. If you will be able to cover the expenses you have listed
That means a steady paycheck. The homestead will be a money pit for quit some time. That usualy means not spending a dime on something you can live without.
You have a very good list. I see the words want or wanted 4 times. It is good to have plenty of "want." Get started. Cash is a good tool that is always in short supply. Keep putting back what you can for things that show up that you "want" that were not even on your list and are to good and important to pass up.
It has been re-released many times since it was first printed, so if you look around you might be able to find it on-line for free.
For me, everything I did was new to me. So, I broke it down into separate products and some things have gotten done and some things never did.
What got done got done. I am older now, and I do not think that I will ever get into solar power and other such things. That is OK, because I have gotten done the things that are the most important to me.
You're missing Tools on your list... depending on the land, and how you want to live, tools can be a huge expense, especially if you start needing tractors, implements, chain saws, log splitters and such...
My wife and bought a place a few months back... just getting there and back once a month before we can move there is a huge expense, especially when we're hauling a loaded trailer..
Money should be the very first thing on your list... We're going through it like we're using it to stoke a 500,000 BTU fire...
I wouldn't even have barter items on that list... You will have no idea what people in the area your home is will need or want... In the sticks, a helping hand will go further than a lot of "items" will.. .
I appreciate the input!
Yes, money and time are always limited resources. I am lucky to have a good 9-5 job and some extra money. We live frugally already so there is extra money to work with. My wife is excited about working in the garden, except weeding and my oldest is a GOOD worker. The boys love to split wood with me! When the other 3 grow a little I am sure they will help on the homestead, because... no work, no dirt bike!!! Got to have those incentives.
Terri, thanks for the book idea! I am growing my homestead library and sounds like a good one.
Simi, tools are part of the workshop category. I agree that tools are a must. I use to be a contractor and still have my skidsteer, dump truck, 22 ton log spliter, stihl chainsaw and MANY hand and power tools and I am blessed to have skills in those areas. I could always use more, the wife doesn't understand that though I will need some more farm oriented tools though.
That made me think of all the freinds and family that would help out. I have a friend that has more tools than I have ever seen!!! and the knowledge to figure out how to fix about anything!!! We have joke about, he is coming to live with me if SHTF. I also have a good friend that was a Marine and is now a fireman and EMT. Another good man to know. Last but not least my father who is retiring at age 69 and grew up on a small farm where if you didn't grow it, milk it or pluck it, you went hungry! He wont know what to do with himself and will definately help.
I will add the category of friends/family (that you would actually want around . Seems silly to list but if you don't have the knowledge or skill for something, you better know where to go to find help!
Have at it! That is the point of this conversation. To share and learn. I am going to post the actual document here soon. Want to refine a little more.
Simi, I have been heading this way for awhile (like 7 years) and my carrer and lifestyle have allowed me to aquire items of value for homesteading. Just haven't had the actual property yet. Hopefully in June!
How many acres generally do you think youll get
Where at generally
How big a garden do you intend to have< OR, how long do you intend your garden to carry you through the year.
How many of what kind of livestock do you think youd have?
Do you intend to raise feed for the livestock you think youd have.
Do you intend to put up hay for the cows/goats/horses? youd have??
Answer these questions and we can help you more, and direct your thoughts with better information, and a bit more precise information.
Bill, thanks for the questions.
The place we are looking has 140 acres. I am buying with a farmer that doesn't want any more buildings. I would have about 10 acres, 5 of that wetlands and pond. There are some areas of the 140 that I don't think he will farm because they are too irregular and small, they are hay right now. I could use those couple of extra acres for hay or maybe something else. Nice soil, good production. He already owns a farm a mile away and knows the land well.
West of Minneapolis MN
The garden area is about 3 acres. Already has a chicken coop, a small building that I will use for the pigs, a 30x50 pole shed and another small storage building I plan to build a rammed earth or concrete greenhouse with passive solar mass storage and have some growth all year but preserving will be necessary. I plan on doing seed starting in that green house to plant crops at varying times for harvest. Generally outside gardening is May to Sept.
Plan on starting with 10- 20 Chickens, and 2 pigs. I like bacon! Grow into dairy goats and we will see from there. I would love to have a pair of work horses but I know that is expensive and a lot of work.
I would like to grow some of the feed I am not sure I will have room.
If I do get horses or cows or goats I would have some hay on the before mention spots
Again, This is a list to try and cover all bases/wants and then I will have to prioritize for reality. There will be a lot of trial and error in the starting years, I am sure.
I was considering that part of shelter, must have heat in MN!!!! I already heat my home with wood. I get more free wood than I know what to do with.
Did you make mention about what I said about minature horses and /or donkeys? On a 3 acre garden, they seem even more viable than I thought before.
Those irregular pieces, like you say, make for good hay or pasture ground.
What do you mean, you are looking at a 140, but would only have 5 or 10 of it?
DO NOT get less than 3 THREE hogs.
1 hog will eat when shes ready, which is when shes hungry, and when that hunger overides laziness. Wont gain much for a LOPNG time
2 Hogs will always be fighting for their next meal. There in good enough shape, and thats why there able to fight. There useing excess energy to fight to gain more. They dont gain near as well as they could either.
# hogs dont hardly fight. They do come when called. IF one is hungry and gets upo to eat, the other 2 will follow thinking the first might eat all of the feed. Since they are smart, and know that no one of them can beat the other two and eat more of the feed, they tend to go by the principal of live and let live. They dont exercise as much, and the gains they make stay on. Much less feed givin per hog, for a specific weight
Not sure what good minature horses are? Donkeys sound more useable.
I would like a pair of Percheron really but again that is more commitment
The 140 acres is the whole place. He is going to buy the whole place and sell me the buildings and 5-10 acres, because he doesn't need them and it is just an expense to him. I can't afford the 1.1 million for the whole thing.
Thanks for the input on the hogs, I did not know that!