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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kittikity, Jun 1, 2006.
I hear you I only have 2 acres in AR and it is not nearly enough for all the produce and animals I want to raise.Atleast land is cheaper in AR than where you live and if my neighbors dont sell me more moving is an option. Why is moving not an option for you?
I second Jnap's question.
We couldn't afford land around Atlanta or north GA either.
So we moved to WV.
Yeah, but your 2 acres is in FLORIDA! That makes all the difference in the world!
Tell me, are there restrictions in keeping livestock? If so, what are your restrictions? Because, I think that you can have EVERYTHING on your list excepting perhaps the cattle.
Critters like chickens, rabbits, dwarf dairy goats, and alpacas do not need a lot of land. You can do a LOT with 2 acres, and when/id you DO move onto 20 acres you will have the foundation stock plus experience plus contacts.
When we lived in California, my folks would plant 4 tomato plants every year. From those 4 plants, my Mom would put up 150 quarts of tomatos a year, as well as having all of the fresh tomatos that a family of 8 could possibly use. That was the advantage of a 10 month growing season.
When I moved to Midwest, where the richness of the soil is well known, I was SHOCKED to learn that a family would have to put in 2 DOZEN tomato plants to produce what my Mothers 4 plants did.
You see, in California a tomato plant will grow to be 5' tall and 5' wide: in the Midwest they are a fraction of that. In California we picked tomatos for 9 months straight: in the Midwest we picked tomatos for 3 months and then frost kills the plants.
You have a very long growing season. Make use of it. Plant your big garden, and put the tomatos where they will get afternoon shade to protect them when the weather is too hot. Find out what critters you can keep, and Instead of mowing the grass then rotationally graze it. Start thinking about critter housing.
And, if you are renting, then of course run the ideas past the landlord one at a time in the LEAST alarming manner! A rabbit hutch that can be easily removed, for instance.
Once that is up, a half-dozen hens with a chicken-wire run. And, if you are going to be there for a while, you can point out that a fenced yeard will increase the property values AND allow your grazing critters! Then figure out how you can get a fence up inexpensively. Use an inexpensive hot wire to rotate the stock within the fenced area and increase the carrying capacity.
MANY communities say that you cannot keep livestock, but rabbits are often not considered to be livestock. Think about it.
If you do not want to move, then bloom where you are planted.
Watch the dollars, mend the credit, and keep your eyes open for land. In the meantime, USE the 2 acres and when it is full and earning/saving you money, consider renting more.
I live near town because I married a gent who loves cities, and he lives in the country because he married a gal who loves the back woods areas. We live where we can BOTH be happy. it works that way, sometimes.
Here is what I did when starting off. Hit the rabbit forum. We have three does and two bucks and MORE than enough meat for my wife and 3 kids (soon to be four). We give it away, sell it, freeze it. If all my rabbits died right now, I could probably eat rabbit for a year and a half. My rabbits take up about 80 square feet. Plus, the manure makes the garden grow like gang busters. On to the garden.....I'm in south Louisiana so we likely have similar growing seasons. My garden is 150 feet by 100 feet and we have more than enough veggies. You'll have to learn how to rotate crops and how to grow a year round garden but with rabbitt poo, you'll never over use the soil. With a couple of well-chosen and cared for orange and/or satsuma trees, lemon trees, grapefruit, granny smith apples, plums, loquats, persimmons, paw paw trees, etc, you'll be picking fruit year round. In the winter you'll have to plant cold weather tolerant crops like sweet peas, lettuce, kohlrabi, chard, mustard greens, and even strawberries. You can grow herbs, (rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, cilantro, and ANYTHING really). Spring you'll get tomatos, cukes, squash, that you'll need to can, dry, or preserve. Don't forget grapevines for summer grapes. Muscadines or concord seedless if you need a seedless variety. In the fall, tomatos and cukes again, squash, eggplant, peppers, and really any spring crop. Winter, strawberries, potato digging (sweets and spuds). I have two acres and don't buy a piece of fruit at the store. I trade rabbit meat for chuck roasts with a cattle farmer down the road. I also trade rabbit meat and veggies for bacon (you'll need the grease in the south LOL). I trade rabbit meat and veggies for three gallons of milk each week. I want a dairy cow but don't have the room, BUT.....I do get the milk using something else on my property, the rabbits and garden. You may think you NEED something, but you can barter around it. Yeah the garden is A LOT of work, but SOOOOOOO worth it. I know what I eat.
Sorry for hijacking the post. Got excited. Stick around for awhile and listen to the writing in the posts. Keep a journal of ideas. Ask questions. EVERYONE will help. You would be surprised what you can do on your two acres. WELCOME and have fun. Don't be discouraged....Most of us are in your boat. We want to be more self sufficient and are working toward it.....
Check the Homesteading forum as I just posted a question that is likely to get a lot of responses and possibly some ideas for your two acres....
two acres is nice. when my kids were kids we only had about 3 acres to live on, but we made it count. I used every square inch and it had an established orchard. Our lawn was as big as a living room. I planted raspberries along the fenceline, a strawberry patch, kept 12 chickens and 50 fryers. five sheep,geese,(the sheep kept the orchard clean of falloffs in season, which kept pests from living as their life cycle was interrupted., the geese kept the grass down). I had two big gardens. The kids had a grand time and our house was always full. I was wishing for more land, too. Now I have it and it is nice, yes. but the happiest times so far where when the kids were kids and we lived on that minihomestead. Husband had to work and I cleaned the school to make extra money, but we raised all our vegetables, had more fruit than we could eat or give away, our kids never ate storebought fruit, and think what a luxury raspberries and blueberries are and the plums from our trees were heavenly. We had buckets and bushels of luxury. we had our fresh eggs and butcherd the chickens and the buck lambs. I kept the gardens and area really nice and we really enjoyed it. I did make some money making christmas wreaths, which the kids loaded on a wagon and sold from house to house. everybody bought one. If you can not have what you want right now, look for the good in what you do have and make sure you enjoy it while saving and preparing for your ultimate goal..
I hear you I am in the same boat, but like I said I will be able to re-locate if I cant buy land near my house. Sounds like you should re-locate to a tropical place down in south america, since you like it warm, land and living is a lot cheaper there of course you would have convince the family to re-locate with you.
from what I can gather about the insane land prices in Florida, my advice would be to buy the 20 acres for 300K... plus buy another tract if possible. In five years, sell the other tract and with the profit, pay the first tract off...
Great land two miles from here sold for 1K an acre back at Christmas. My sis wants to sell some scrubby pine plantation for 2K...
If you gotta live in FL, look to the future... buy it now, it won't get any cheaper, unless everyone decides to just up and leave...which I can't see happening...
Try and take one thing at a time. Me? I live on a city lot I put out a garden and can as much as posible. Then I got some rabbits and I just keep that small with two bucks, two does and now eleven bunnies out of two litters. The next thing I am doing this year is starting an herb garden and some strawberries. Of corse theres not much room but untill I get my credit mended and such it will have to do. Ever little bitt helps but just keep in minde that it all takes time. Good luck to you!
We started out on 2 acres.I'll admit it did take some time and some sacrifices.It will give you something to work twards and have a reason to pinch all those pennies and work so hard.We are almost there now.My folks have passed but we stay in the area anyway,My kids have grown(that doesn't take long) and I am not old and grey yet.20 acres here sells for around $500.000.It is not impossible to climb the ladder,you just can't start on the top rung.
Kittykity, would it be fair to say that your options are limited (by family considerations, climate and income) to an area of unaffordable land?
Do you own the present two acres? Rent short-term? Lease long-term?
A lot can be done with two acres of decent ground in central Florida. Is there anything preventing you from making maximum use of that land?
Time can change family considerations. My family lived in Dade and Broward counties for decades. Now not one member of the family lives there. The older generation died out and the younger people moved to more pleasant areas (away from South Florida problems).
Climate is a consideration for many people. It is not necessarily very difficult or unpleasant to adapt to a change. The thought of change is usually more daunting than the change itself â as is true in most things. Willingness to make some change would open a great number of options (including much more affordable land -- perhaps $1500 per acre instead of $15,000).
School change can be difficult for some children, perhaps for most to an extent. Is home schooling impossible? It may be the best form of education for many reasons.
Central or southern Georgia offered reasonable living conditions and affordable land a few years ago (which may still be true). The drive from there to south Florida would be longer, perhaps a total of five hundred miles â ten hours driving time. However, highways are excellent and if the trip is made only twice or three times a years, the additional distance might be manageable (to achieve important objectives).
This is NOT intended as a criticism of your decisions (notice there are no criticisms), but as impartial observations from someone who faced vaguely similar conditions long ago -- and who resolved the issues.
Actually, NONE of this is a problem. You have to walk before you run anyways, and you are BEAUTIFULLY set up to start walking!
For instance, you sometimes see pallets thrown away. In fact, behind a lawn mower shop near up there are TWENTY pallets thrown away!
Pallets are wood that can be taken apart into boards that you can build with. OK, the boards are only 3'? long, so you have to pay some attention to using them the best way possible. Perhaps a chicken house? (Rabbits chew wood, I don't think pallets will make a good rabbit house).
I HAVE gotten 2 x 4's at a construction site. They were in the big trash bin so I went by after hours and took some out.
Of course, there WILL be SOME costs like nails and hinges and chicken wire and such. Lets look at finances next. I am old enough to have some skills in that area.
THE GARDEN.... If you must buy seeds, see if the dollar general has them. Out here they sell them for 25 cents a pack. You will not get the highest-producing hybrids that way, but a 25 cent pack will STILL give you more melons than your family cares to eat!
If you not an experienced gardener, start with a TINY garden.
If you HAVE gardening tools, then make them do. If not, get the bare minimum to start you out with.
THE HOUSHOLD BUDGET...
Supposing you wanted to buy mac,n cheese and it was on sale for 33% off? Instead of buying the 2 that you had planned, buy 3. You won't spend ANY more money, and the NEXT time you want mac'n cheese it will be there.
In time, you will have a stash of such foods so that you no longer have to pay full price for groceries. If it isn't on sale, use the one in the larder instead. Do NOT spend any more money per week than you would have anyways, and only stock up on what your family buys a lot of. In time your grocery bill will drop.
Start a penny jar. Put the pennies in your pocket into the jar, and when it is full you will have what, perhaps $20? Use as needed. It will take a couple of months before there is much in there, but it is GOOD to have a little money you can lay your hands on. And you will NOT miss the pennies!
Bake from scratch. To get you started: Roll out slightly risen bread dough, drizzle with melted margerine or butter, and sprinkle heavily with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll it up, slice it, let it raise and bake. Turn the sweet rolls out while they are still hot or they might stick to the pan and the sweet stuff will no longer be on the sweet rolls.
My usual bread dough recipe: 3 cups flour, 1 cup water, heaping teaspoon yeast, rounded teaspoon salt, and a dash of oil. Knead a good deal more than you want to and let rise.
This is weird. Am I going nuts or am I the only one that isnt seeing any of Kittikity's post. I got the title line but the body of the message is just ...
Obviously the rest of you can see what she is saying and are answering her questions. Did she come back and edit out all her bits after you answered. What gives? Never seen this glitch before.
she came back and deleated her posts for some reason