Hello from our new Homestead in Kentucky

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Taotejen, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    My Husband and I (he’s been a member here for more than a year now) have been on the homestead for four months, and though we are a little behind schedule, we’ve accomplished a lot! He and I have benefited a great deal from this forum, and I’d like to participate more actively, so I set up my own account : )

    We moved from Ohio to our 18 and a half acre Kentucky homestead in early September, camping in our RV while we worked to turn the raw acreage into the beginnings of our homestead. Some of our friends and family thought (still think) we’re, well, a little crazy leaving our home of 20+ years, with its very large garden, fruit trees, grapes, berries, bees and like-minded neighbors, especially since I’m medically retired, spending much of my time in a power wheelchair.

    But they forget we’re both former Marines, and that I’ve learned (was a tough lesson, let me tell you) that I can be in pain in bed with no life, or in perhaps more pain, but out in the woods with my husband and dogs surrounded by beauty and grace.

    We picked beauty and grace – with a huge helping of hard work and frequent setbacks, but so worth it in our estimation. We financed the land, but are only moving the homestead forward as our small budget allows – and camping in our aged RV as we make progress.

    Despite losing more than a month with me in the hospital, a heartbreaking visit to Texas when my Husband lost his brother, and an emergency trip to the vet when our dog was kicked in the head by a neighbor’s horse (she’s recovering well), we’ve tamed the five or so acres that are relatively flat, fenced in a small area for our not so country dogs to protect them from themselves and the coyotes, mapped out the future location for most functional areas of the homestead, and built the first phase of our home, including the poured footers, crawl space, subfloor, framing, and part of the second story subfloor. It’s topped with a temporary roof which is causing us a lot of anxiety, but we won’t be able to frame out the second story and roof it properly until end of January or early February.

    We had a fantastic year in our Ohio garden, putting up more than 100 lbs. of tomatoes alone, and that is helping us keep our grocery bill super low. We would have loved to have had chickens in place by now, but we won’t bring in any animals until we are well prepared to care for them properly. Looking at January or February for completing the chicken coop, and February or March for the hog paddocks.

    We plan on using solar and possibly supplementing with wind for power, but our budget won’t allow for that until spring, so we’ve joined the local energy co-op as a temporary solution because I need to operate and charge my medical equipment, including my power chairs that let me get around on the homestead. We are bringing in water from the front of the property for now, but are planning on utilizing water catchment as our primary water source – just as soon as we have a solid roof to collect it from!

    We hope to pay off the land in five years, and be well on our way to being as self-sufficient as possible, with a mature rotational crop system, multiple green houses /high tunnels, laying hens, a milk cow, a couple of sows and meat cows per season, the beginnings of a forest garden, a presence in the community selling raw and value added products from our homestead, and the peace and pleasure that self-sufficiency through smart work, constant learning, simple living, and collaboration with others can bring.

    Looking forward to being an active member here, and learning as much as I can from all of you! Jen
     

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
    dsmythe and CountryMom22 like this.
  2. termite76

    termite76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    little farm under construction, Calhoun Mo
    Hello, and welcome. We are in West Central Missouri and understand the anxiety of a temporary anything. Sounds like you have been busy. It will all come together in time. Best of luck with your homestead adventure!
     

  3. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Dec 13, 2016
    Thanks for the welcome and encouragement termite :)
     
  4. LuLuToo

    LuLuToo Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Location:
    OH
    Looks like you've made a lot of progress! You sound a lot like us. We are also in Ohio and planning to move to our homestead in KY. Right now, we have a small 'shabin' on the property. Septic has been installed. Water is finally on the property. After the first of the year, we will start our pole barn and get electric to the property. Right now, we are planning to have a small living quarters in the pole barn so we can work on building the house. I am also retired. Hubby has a couple years left to work. Feel free to private message me, if you like.

    LuLu
     
  5. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Dec 13, 2016
    Sent you a message Lulu : ) looking forward to hearing from you about your Kentucky homestead thanks for the welcome!
     
    LuLuToo likes this.
  6. CountryMom22

    CountryMom22 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Welcome and wow! You are an inspiration! Thanks for the pics, I love to see what others are doing. You sound like you have a great outlook on life, and that's really important. You say your hubby has been a member for a year, but who is he? If you don't mind me asking. Just trying to keep everyone straight in my head!~ I'll look forward to your posts, it is an exciting thing, building a homestead from scratch.

    Oh, and thank you and your hubby for your service!
     
  7. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Dec 13, 2016
    He is i8paintchips : ) and thanks for the welcome!
     
  8. thestartupman

    thestartupman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    855
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    mo
    Welcome, and I hope all goes well for you.
     
  9. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    IN
    Welcome. Thank you. Have fun on this trail. You have achieved a bunch.
     
  10. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Thanks Bret : ) It's hard for our families to watch what they perceive to be an unnecessary struggle. We could get a loan without any trouble and move things along faster. Be warmer, take normal showers, not be confined to our small RV. But this is the trail we chose, and it will make us stronger : )

    Jen
     
    dsmythe likes this.
  11. tiffanysgallery

    tiffanysgallery Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks for posting your pictures. I just love KY. Maybe because I'm from here. I sold my 200 ac homestead in Warren county in 2012 and have been planning to move to TN ever since. Taxes are better for me there, although KY has a lot more love in my heart. Enjoy your homestead, lucky you! Your pics are wonderful!
     
  12. Jollyhomestead

    Jollyhomestead Well-Known Member

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    Sep 23, 2016
    Location:
    New Hampshire
  13. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Tiffany and Kathie - thanks for the welcome! Kathie - do you miss your homestead? Once ours resembles a homestead a little more than now you are welcomed to visit!
     
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  14. Taotejen

    Taotejen Member

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    Dec 13, 2016
    And @ startup man - I can wish for smooth sailing but I know it won't be, lol. My hubby and I will have a lot of challenges because we chose to do this without much cash. But that will make it mean even more as things come together, albeit slowly. My only regret right now is not having started sooner.
     
  15. ihuntgsps

    ihuntgsps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    west central iowa
    Welcome to the forum and thank you, and your husband, for your service!

    Looking forward to more progress pics of your beautiful homestead.