How Do I homestead all by my self(single)

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oilpatch197, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'm a Typical American White male. I'm wondering to move on land with a trailer, how much land do I need to sucessfully grow a garden for food, I want to start out on semi-homesteading since I don't want to mess with animals.

    Can I homestead withoug animals?(purchase meats at store) and how much land will I need?

    Will ONE acre with a trailer and a drive, be enough room for a Garden to supply me with one year's worth of Edibles?
     
  2. Dave in Ohio

    Dave in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    One acre would be enough, if it is fertile, good climate, grow things like potatoes, corn, tomatoes, have a way to preserve such as root cellar, canning, freezing. Will still need to buy some things such as flour, sugar, meats, however chickens are good and so are goats, supposedly easy to care for and will make use of little land area. I would at least try to get 5 acres, the more the better, also if you have wooded land you can get firewood if managed correctly. We grew potatoes, corn and tomatoes for several families, on about half an acre, I would put up about 60qts of tomatoes, freeze 100 pints of corn, pressure can 60 qts of potatoes and have maybe another 15-20 in a root cellar, could of done more it necessary. The potatoes were canned were the ones cut when we dug and would rot if left alone, I threw them in a washing machine to get the skins off and then can them in a pressure cooker. We would plant about 4 dozen tomatoes plants that way enough would ripen to make canning worthwile other wise you would only get a half batch or so. Onions can be dehydrated, same thing with peppers. You just have to be ready to spend alot of time getting the soil ready, planting, nuturing, and harvesting and then the hard part but rewarding is canning and preserving. I still have canned tomatoes and potatoes from '98 along with many varieties of fruit. I haven't canned since 2000 as I moved out of state and don't have access to the land anymore. I do miss it at times but also remember trying to garden and work and raise a family all at the same time and just didn't always seem to have the time as a garden demands attention at certain times and you can't just say I'll do it another day. Good luck. By the way this gardening was done with a garden tractor,plow, cultivators, hillers for the potatoes and rototillers, if you have to do it all by hand good luck.
    Good luck and keep us informed
    Dave
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    There is a lot of freebie available to you also, such as planting fruit or nut trees where you want shade, useing grape vines as a natural fence, berry plants as landscapeing, ect. There is an author here in Florida whom is a master gardener, Tom MacCubbin if you can find any of his works there are a great many ideas to use for free food. Basically he uses things you can eat as landscapeing plants. Don't plant it if you cannot eat it.

    One title is 'Florida Home Grown 2: The Edible Landscape'
     
  4. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    Upstate SC
    Is it possible?? Yes. Is it easy?? No. Will you save money?? Possibly.

    On an acre, you should be able to have a nice garden. Obviously a lot depends on your particular climate and soil but you should be able to raise plenty of vegetables - more than enough for yourself.

    On the other hand, how much money do you really spend for vegetables over the course of a year?? Not your grocery bill - just the vegetables??

    I haven't had a garden in several years because I've found it more efficient to buy stuff in bulk when they're in season. For example, when it's late fall and we're expecting the first frost, several vegetable farms around here sell tomatoes for ten-cents/pound, you-pick. I go out then and load up - can a bunch, make spaghetti sauce, etc. etc. It costs me less than trying to grow them myself. And it's more efficient in that I'm canning all at once.

    In all honesty, there's a certain satisfaction in growing your own things. And - next year, when I have a garden again - I *will* grow tomatoes. But I plan on concentrating on things that don't travel well and/or are expensive to buy and/or are super easy to grow.

    For example, I like figs. They grow well around here yet I never see them in stores. Same with blueberries and raspberries - they're expensive to buy. Green beans, okra and summer squash are both easy to grow. Many herbs are easy to grow and expensive to buy. My family loves spearmint tea so I'll be growing a big patch of it. Rhubarb and asparagus are perennials - once you get them started, they'll produce for several years. And they're expensive to buy.

    On the other hand, corn takes up a lot of room and is very cheap when in season. But I don't even bother canning corn - I buy lots of canned corn when it's on sale (four cans for a dollar). Same with peas - I think frozen peas are as good as fresh (well, almost :) ) and I like canned peas in a pea salad (peas, mayonnaise & vinegar). Potatoes are more trouble than they're worth (IMHO) - besides, we don't eat that many.

    I find that I save more money using my time to pre-package stuff. Like making big batches of chili or spaghetti sauce that we can simply heat and eat. This saves money on those days when we just don't have enough time and would otherwise go out to eat. I bake bread simply because I like it better. My sons love fresh-baked cookies so I make up a big batch. The packages ones in the refridgerated section are quite good but costs three dollars for 20 cookies!! Baking supplies usually go on sale around the holidays. And don't even get me started on cereal!! Oatmeal is much better for you. Or cook up big batches of pancakes/french toast and freeze them (simply heat up to eat).

    I could go on and on but you get the idea. Don't go by what other people think you should do or grow - analyze your own situation and see what works best for you.
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Almost certainly.

    But, you will probably still want to buy SOME vegetables. For example, when you go shopping, the lettuce and bell peppers in the winter can look enticing.

    Here in the Midwest, my 30' by 50' garden provides us with MOST of the fresh vegetables that my family of 5 eats, and will continue to provide for us until frost. Even after the frost, we will likely be digging root vegetables for a bit.

    On our one acre we also have some fruit trees, some Christmas trees, a half-dozen chickens, 2 beehives, and 3 rows of blackberries.
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    An acre of usable ground is PLENTY, if you don't want animals and are only growing food for yourself and your family (if and when you get one). If you have a daytime job, an acre will keep you quite fully occupied. You can also put a number of smaller animals on an acre and still have plenty of garden space, unless you're trying to grow small grains.
     
  7. William

    William Member

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    Location:
    Mexico
    Itsnay the mobile home. I'm a starving artist living in one because it's free, But I can't stand anything in disrepair, and I think I am getting a feel for what it would be like to maintain a motor home.

    Put up block. Run the block up the gable, too. Put on a metal roof. Build your own wood casement windows, and use wood doors finished the same. You'll have a good looking house that you will love every minute that your their.

    Remember, debt is the devil incarnate. Keep it simple; utterly important for us single homesteaders.
    William
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Om my 1 acre homestead, along with my trees, garden and such, I DO have room for a couple of goats or sheep if I wanted them. In fact, I THINK I could squeeze in a dexter cow, though cows are herd creatures so I would not want to keep just one. Keeping 2 would be too crowded.

    One problem would be that zoning forbids me to keep cattle and such. You should check this out before you buy. I AM allowed rabbits, and I have enough room to keep a lot of meat rabbits if I wanted to. Which I don't.