Homestead Output

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Meadowwood, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. Meadowwood

    Meadowwood Active Member

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    Enumclaw, WA
    I am curious how much you think your Homestead produces of your daily needs. For example, I would say 80% of our family food comes from OUR Homestead, 10% through barter and the rest through purchase. Our H2O is ours ( a spring and a well), we are unfortunatly totally dependant on the grid (for the moment) for our power needs as our transitional mobile home is completely electric and we had to haul out the wood stove to qualify for insurance. We do have a portable propane heater and camp stove for emergencies. We have tons of wood on our property and in the new house, things will be different. We raise gardens year round with the help of a green house, have fruit trees,and berry bushes, bees, chickens, ducks and goats that all pay their way in meat sales, brush clearing, egg production and for barter goods. I know we are in no way close to being self-sufficient, but it gives me a good feeling knowing that we have managed to come this far in the 5 years we have been at this. Would love to hear you you are doing!
    Darlene
     
  2. Kelle in MT

    Kelle in MT Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to say a far figure would be 75%. We have 1/4 acre garden, in which I grow 80% of the vegetables we eat, a fruit orchard with Apple trees( soon to be more next Spring) elderberries, raspberries, currants, chokecherries and I'll be adding strawberries next Spring as well. We raise our own chickens for meat and eggs. The eggs we sell to help with feed costs. We also have turkeys. We plan to add a jersey cow and calf(to be butchered) next Spring after we get all our fencing finished. My Dh and Ds are hunters and provide all our red meat. We do buy whole grains( for grinding), milk, cheese and other oddments and personal hygiene stuff. We barter whenever we can, that is how we got our 5 turkeys. I am a licensed hairdresser and barter haircuts and perms for other things. We do have city water, but also have a well( tested and drinkable) We are looking into getting a windmill for pumping, we have a hand pump on it right now. We too are on the grid, but do have a wood cookstove for heating and cooking, so our natural gas usage is almost nill( just to heat the hot water tank) We are currently looking into a combination of solar and wind power, but it can cost a small fortune. I'm looking into Bees too, not sure about it though need to talk to someone local who has them.
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Very little, when you consider how much a family of 4 consumes.

    Oh, we have berries by the gallon, eggs, christmas trees and ALMOST enough vegetables during the growing season, but as a percentage of what we consume?

    Not very much, I am afraid! There is too much else that I do, and we are not allowed most animals. But, what we do produce is so much FUN! :eek:
     
  4. Where do you live? I had to shop around to find a insurance company that would insure with a wood stove but they are out there. I live in Mo.
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    We don't look at it as a percentage. There are times when we can supply 100% of our needs for fruits and vegetables. Other times less. We don't raise any animals at this point (intentional). Our plan is to build up our cash crops as we increase our personal output (for consumption) of various things. I'm comfortable that if we had to we could increase our production for personal consumption.

    We have plenty of wood from the woodlot if we want it. At this point I split several cords of wood a year. I do it all by hand because if I ever was forced to depend on wood heat I'm making the leap and assuming that gas for a powered splitter would be pretty expensive.

    Basically, we pick and choose how we approach it because we can afford to. We have a longer term horizon (5 year and 10 year goals) in our planning. things change and our plans would change accordingly.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Mike
     
  6. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    I left industrial employment in 2001 and now make all of my income here on my place through gardening , return from my investments , etc.
     
  7. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    Can or do? Right now we get about 75% of our food from the homestead, and maybe 10% of our power (in the form of wood heat - we do buy some wood), 2% of our clothing, 100% of our water from our homestead and 40% of our animal feed. But in a pinch, we could get much more - all of our food *could* come from the homestead if I wanted to give up tea, bananas, orange juice, etc... and grow a lot more grains by hand, as well as cutting our meat consumption down to the animals we can raise on our own grains and feeds. We have plenty of wood and could cut all our own, we just choose not to use the time. We're nearly at a place where we could manage comfortably without electricity, although I think we might still want it, in the same sense that we like orange juice - it is a pleasant luxury. Clothing would be a stretch, although we wouldn't need much for years since we store extras. I don't weave, nor do we grow cotton, and large quantities of linen would be a project, so we'd be down to wool. We grow some of our medications in the form of herbs, but I'd have to give up having babies since I'm Rh sensitized and I don't know how to make rhogam at home. Besides our bread, we could make 100% of our entertainment - we both play instruments and sing, like board games and playing with our kids, but an occasional movie and music on CD is nice. 10% of our transportation comes from the homestead in the form of bicycles, but the boys are still to little to travel any distance by that means and I'm too pregnant right now. A horse and buggy would be a big help.

    Sharon
     
  8. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At this point in time I only produce about 25-30% of the food which we consume, however, I earn about 25% of my income from my bees, so their contribution to the homestead economy extends far beyond the honey and other hive products which we consume. I have a well for water, but use electricity to pump it. I have far more firewood than I need since I only have fireplaces in which to burn wood- more for ambiance than heating, so fortunately our need for heat is minimal here in Florida. I am hampered in my ability to produce more of my own food because I travel and cannot keep gardens watered, but this year I came up with a new approach- I am expanding plantings of drought-tolerant perenniel producers, such as pineapples and bananas, and hope to have a surplus to sell next year. The cost to establish these is $0- I get pineapple tops from grocery stores and hotels, and my banana patch was started with plants which were a gift from my boyfriend. So, while I may not produce the food which we consume, I may be able to generate more of the income needed to pay for the food which I purchase.
     
  9. Belle

    Belle Active Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    [ We do have city water, but also have a well( tested and drinkable) We are looking into getting a windmill for pumping, we have a hand pump on it right now.

    We are currently looking into a combination of solar and wind power, but it can cost a small fortune.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know about Montana weather, but if you can, go for a solar pump on the well (if you have enough sunlight in winter) and if you're not too deep--you'd have to check the specs on the pump. In Oklahoma we have relatively shallow water and lots of sun so it works well. I have a windmill just for the well, but it doesn't give me fine control or cutoff abilities like I would like, and the towers are expensive!!!!!!! Then there is always the idiot that shoots at the "antique" that couldn't possibly be in use or needed, and then you are out a pumphead and they too are expensive.

    With solar your panel can still be a target, but you get the more modern conveniences of a submersed pump, shutoff, freeze protection, etc. and all you need for the house will be a cistern tank to keep up pressure and larger supply. I am envious, you are closer to your goal than I am--I'm not on the ranch yet but hope to be in 2-3 years. Oh well, I get to do my research and shop alot for the best/most economical answers right now.... :)
     
  10. Meadowwood

    Meadowwood Active Member

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    Enumclaw, WA
    Thanks everyone! I am enjoying hearing what you do and how you live off your land.

    To Unregistered in Mo.

    There is only one company that would insure a mobile home as old as ours and that was on the conditon we get rid of the woodstove. It did not meet code, was right up against a combustable wall and really didn't put out much heat (fortunately, or the whole place would have burned down long ago). We are walking on eggshells at the moment, because we tried to up our liability coverage since we sell live, meat animals on our place and wanted some extra coverage, and when we contacted out agent, he said we would be canceled because we have more than 7 animals. (There was a big discussion on this on another thread last year). Anyway, no companies that would insure the "farm" will inure the old mobile, and anyone that will insure it, will not insure the farm! When the company sent us the renewal letter, we happily sent in the $$ to keep our current coverage! We hope to build next summer and then hopefully this will all be over and we can get the coverage we need.

    Elizabeth in FL

    Wish I could grow bananas and pineapple!

    Darlene
     
  11. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually Darlene, you probably could grow them, albeit on a small scale! The bananas can easily be grown in pots and then brought inside during the winter.
    Pineapples can be grown in small pots indoors too. You won't get a huge cash crop from them but it might be fun for you to try a couple of plants.
     
  12. I'm growing 4 pineapples in pots...started them back in August so I won't see fruit for atleast 1.5 yrs...it takes awhile, but there an attractive (cheap) houseplant--don't need a whole lot of water either. They do get pretty big i've been told...oh yeah, they have really sharp leaves...google for more info on how to...
     
  13. Swampdweller

    Swampdweller Well-Known Member

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    Oct 15, 2003
    I'll not bore any with our details, but I must speak concerning this issue of "insurance". I've never had it, nor do I condemn those who do. But, you will never be self-sufficient while on your knees answering to and at the mercy of an insurance company. Right in their contract, not even in the fine print, they make it clear that, while under their protection, you have a very limited set of choices. THEY will decide what is good for you, and what is not. And how many sad stories have I heard about insurance policies that didn't pay in time of loss for _whatever_ reason? For those locked into mortgage payments and subservient to banks AND insurance companies, I offer my sincerest sympathy--NOT. Take a HARD look at reality, and your priorities, get out of debt, and call your own shots. Pioneering is not for the faint of heart.

    Swampdweller