How many of us are self-supporting?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by heidith, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. heidith

    heidith Well-Known Member

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    Hi all!
    Just kind of wondering how many of us here are able to support ourselves on the land that we have. I don't mean without trade, barter or selling what we grow or make for a living. I guess I'm just wondering how many of us don't have "outside" jobs, outside being away from our homesteads.
    We have a large house on five acres, chickens, a moderately sized garden, a pond, the beginnings of fruit trees and fruit bushes, we're talking about dairy goats and bees, we heat with wood (most of the time!), homeschool our three kiddos, and so on... but my hubby works "ta town" and makes a very good salary so I wonder if any of this would be possible withOUT that money...I of course am always dreaming about it!
    Just musing on another snowy day...
    Thanks!
    Heidi
     
  2. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    NW IL
    I work in town with a good salary and good health insurance. I love my job and won't give it up right now. That said, we raise all our own meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, geese, rabbit, guinea) except fish (and that can be had at the local creek). Eggs, honey, milk, cheese, butter are all raised here on the farm. Veggies, fruits and herbs too.

    I enjoy our electricity and can't barter with the electric company anyway (yes I know there are alternatives). I consider us pretty self-sustaining - a lot by some folks' standards and a little by others.
     

  3. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    WV
    I think this can be a tricky question.

    We each are self-employed with offices here at home. My SO travels regularly and I see clients here. We don't have any livestock now and our gardening focus is increasing specimens and landscaping now as opposed to growing all/most of our food.

    We live very comfortably with many amenities like gas, electric, hottub, etc. and get to schedule our days as we wish. Our incomes are on the low end of the national ratings, but we are making a life, not just a living.

    Many people on this board would be disdainful of our lack of some of the basic homesteading chores, which we have done in the past. I think this kind of sustain-ing question brings out a lot of different 'homesteading' definitions.
     
  4. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

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    a covered wagon crossing america
    I live work and homestead on a small piece of property;no electricity,am working on a gravity fed water,rasie a portion of my food,am concerne4d that what I take ,in order to make my living,be low quality trees,while the stuff that is left be high qualityam slowly building my house/shop. Will be working on a barn this summer.Everything goes very slowly since I live alone;no second income,extra hand to hold that long board, plant the garden etc.Am working to eventuallybecome more self sufficientin the food dept.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The wife works in order to provide decent health insurance and I am full time here on the farm. I earned more money when employed off the farm but the quality of life was far less. The conditions of the work off the farm were motivators for me to get things paid for and to have enough acres to meet our needs. How to have decent health insurance without one of us working "outside the farm" is a problem that I have not found a solution. :confused:
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    My husband works. We could live off the farm if we didn't have all these dang teenagers. The plan is for him to quit working when the kids get out of here. We have health insurance for life so that's not a problem.

    Jena
     
  7. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    My husband and I both work outside the farm. Our daughter is grown and we couldn't have this place right now w/o both our incomes. That said I certainly admire those who planned better and either own everything outright or don't owe much on what they have. I've been thinking this week about how we need to get things paid off and at least down to manageable on one paycheck. Hubby would like to work full-time on the farm and things would get done in a more timely fashion if he could. So, you've all inspired me to get busy and spend our more "disposable" income on paying things off.
    I love this forum because you're all such and inspiration to me!!
     
  8. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    self sufficiency is just an illusion. Self relience is achieved in degrees as one establishes their social flexibility and perspective to use the people and resources easily at their disposal.
     
  9. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I agree with agmantoo, the biggest issue is health insurance.

    Mike
     
  10. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    Jena -

    I've missed all the 'personal stuff'! And this question probably has a really obvious answer if I'd been paying more attention.... But:

    Just curious - how does one go about finding 'health insurance for life'????


    Sue
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    First you have to work along time :)

    My husband took an early retirement package last year. Part of the deal was totally paid health/dental/vision insurance for life, for him, spouse and kids.

    Of course, if he dies first I'll have to come up with another option. Yet another incentive to treat him well :)

    Jena
     
  12. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    Move to Canada to get Health Insurance for Life. We pay $92 CDN ($70 USD) per month for two of us - for life.

    We could not "live off" the income from our 1/4 Section, the way its set up now. We could live there, with retirement incomes that we have coming, and without working out.

    We will get about $5,900 CDN/$4,500 USD from the hay we sell from 65 acres each year. $5,900 is our share 60/40. If we bought the equipment and did all the work ourselves (instead of none), then we would get about $9800 CDN/ $7,500 USD, less the tractor, baler, rake, mower, hay shed, amortizatons, and less selling expense (if any), fuel, repairs, twine, handling, labour, workers compensation, payroll taxes, accounting costs, etc. Hardly seems worth it, except for all the fun of it.

    Our expenses are about $1,600CDN/$1,200 USD per month for the farm and our living, including income taxes. All land, buildings, tractor, and other items are paid for at the farm. Also we have expenses of about $650 CDN/$500 USD for our condo in Vancouver, the $650 is for condo fees, property tax, electricty, gas, phone, and ASDL internet connection, the condo is paid for too. btw there aren't any property taxes for the "home quarter" at the farm, we get a "Homeowner's Grant" that pays all of the farm property tax (not true at the condo - we have to pay property tax there).

    So our monthly expenses are about $2,250 CDN/ $1,700 USD, even though all things are paid for.

    The farm-cabin-near-Moberly-Lake would pay for it self, if we turned it into a business and hay-farmed (after buying and fixing up another 480 acres) then we would have about 640 acres, with about 600 "open", we would have to buy some more tractors, and everything. I am not sure that is what we want right now. Oh sure it would be lots of fun, and we would have a great time. Have to think about it. I used to do bees, and I really like them. I could make some more hives and enjoy not too big a production of honey. We'll see about that too.

    For now, we are busy with other things, including work. Our goal is just to be there more, work on the cabin, work on the new land, try to make our garden grow.

    Alex