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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to lighten the mood here tonight.... :)
We are getting ready to buy some land in Mississippi. We plan to move there in 3 years when my son gets out of high school. We have a ridiculous amount of money coming soon from the sale of my DH's ESOP funds from a company buyout. We are using this to buy the property outright and investing. We would also like to start now getting items together to help us live extremely self sufficent. Being that said, we currently live in town and can not have animals or even a garden (see why we are moving??). So, if you could buy things in advance to help yourself later, what would it be?
We have started gathering a good deal of canning supplies. Any other advice or suggestions? Thanks!
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My inlaws live in Purvis, but we are looking at a piece of land in Ashland. Its only 5 and half acres, we'd like more.
We also like to raise our own meat. So I was wondering about grinders and such. Any suggestions or advice could help! :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking the same thing. For now though. We want more land but we will hold off on the tractor until then. Rider would be nice though. :)
Things I am pondering...
Grain mill (hand cranked....I know I am asking for a work out!)
Meat grinder and cuber
Canning supplies
Dehydrator
Stuff for a summer/canning kitchen

We have 5 children, 4 who will be moving with us. So I have lots of hands to help! But DH has expressed he would like to use as little to no electric as possible. We are looking into solar. So I am guessing I should look into oil lamps and such as well.
Can you tell I am excited? :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Once you have the land, I would plant fruit trees, nut trees, and bushes so they would be established when you move out there.

Start working on raised beds if that's the way you decide to go. Fill them with cotton gin trash every year and you'll have some great beds when it comes time to plant.

What about fences? If there are none on the property you might want to get them ready in advance. If there isn't a barn or loafing shed, you might want to build some outbuildings before you move out there. Having it ready for the animals when you arrive would be nice.

When buying I'd get a land patent instead of a regular deed. There are a few threads here about them if you aren't familiar with them.

Things to buy now to carry with you is hard to figure out. You almost have to be there before you can know what you need. Canning supplies are always good, and good garden tools would be something you could buy in advance. A stock trailer if you will be raising cattle, hogs, or goats. Stock trailers are also handy for hauling things like the garden tools, lawn mowers, weed wackers, etc. when you move.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thank you Spinner. Never thought about the trees and bushes, but that is an awesome idea! There is no barn, so we want to build one soon. The house needs repair, how much we wont know until we look at it. The price is cheap though, so it might be worth either repairing it or just tearing it down and putting a new mobile home on it. Good idea on the stock trailer. We plan to spend summers there. Aleast I will be there with the kids, DH still has to work.
I will search on land patents, sounds like something I need to know about.
I did a search for pictures of a summer kitchen and all I came up with is those fnacy dancy outdoor stainless kitchens people have their back porches. I am just trying to figure out the best layout and what to include.
I am so glad I ask here! :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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You said you haven't looked at the house yet......probably will need things, as soon as you decide, make a list of thing you'll need and hit the yard sales. We got lots of remodeling items. Hoses, garden equip., seeds, chicken wire, fence posts, freezer and flower pots to start seeds. If your getting chickens save egg cartons.
If you were like us we were to busy to go shopping. Get things before you move.
We loved moving to the country. Do put in raised beds, a real time saver and no tilling every year. We cover our beds with plastic, so they are ready for spring.
Have a great move, look forward to more posts......
 

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I've been wanting to build a summer kitchen for years. I've put a lot of thought and research into it. Some of my ideas so far is to build a cabinet out of concrete blocks and tile the sides, then put a concrete top on it. The concrete is pretty easy to do with a mirror finish. It can have color added to the mix to make it look really nice. It can have underground gas and electric run to it to install a small frig and a gas grill if thats what you want. I also want to build a outdoor oven. I found some neat links online showing how to build one. It would be great for baking bread, pizza, and general baking. Here's the page I looked at to form my plans. It has lots of different designs and ideas. Once you understand the principal of how they are made, you can design one any way you want it.

http://heatkit.com/html/bakeoven.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dh agrees, raised bed. We will lay plastic for while we are away. We will use the summers and short trips during the rest of the year over the next 3 years to get it in shape. We have family in Mississippi whom are in the building business, so we will hire them to get the house repaired and maybe remodeled.
Question for anyone who can tell me......DH says hard red wheat from the feed store is the same kind you use to grind up for wheat flour........is that true????
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Hard red wheat from the feed store IS the same kind you'd use for bread flour. You use hard wheats for bread - more gluten - and soft wheats for pastries - less gluten. The feed store wheat might not be as clean as wheat packaged for human use. Just be sure it's for livestock feed and it should be ok.

I don't have a homestead, but have gotten interested in putting up my own food. I've gathered at thrift stores, yard sales and used online things like:

A flour mill (it has the option of being hand run, but it takes a LOT of power to grind wheat!)

A food processor, a cherry pitter, a water bath canner and a pressure canner, lots of jars for canning, a food dryer and I hope to be getting a vacuum packer too.

Last year I really got into making jam, this year I'm way behind, I've been too busy. I love cherry jam though, hence the pitter!

I second the advice about trees and bushes, those are the first things to get in. I like to lay out where I want my landscaping beds (and I like edible landscapes!) and then lay down a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard and put mulch over it. That kills out the grass and weeds and the next spring you can make a hole and plant your tree, bush or perennial (annuals too, but probably not seeds). If you research which trees grow well in your new home and pay attention to the site, you can plan for shade in the summer and get trees that will give it to you in just 5-6 years. Plan for sunny areas for your veggie garden and for your fruit. There are some great ideas about planting forest gardens - different layers of food plants under taller trees. Now I'm sorry I have dwarf apples :) Even though they are easy to pick!

Think also about setting up the areas where the livestock will be. If you will be there year 'round, get sheep to graze most of the "lawn" and save yourself some trouble. If you are only going to be there summers, you can get a couple of lambs, raise them up and butcher in the fall. Same with boiler chickens and possibly piglets. For eggs you need older hens, they won't be laying til you are about to leave if you get little chicks. Generally livestock will need to be watched and cared for all the time, so your schedule will make quite a difference.

Consider carefully your water supply. If you want to stay off of electricity, how will you get water? Is there a well? Is is shallow enough to get water with wind or solar reasonably? Well, look into that - water availability and water quality are very important to a homestead. I know my ideal place would have running water and a fairly shallow well. I'd want to put in a good sized cistern (not all areas will allow you to do this) and use a solar well pump to keep it full. Running water can be used to power a pump to pump the water into your fields or garden too. Look into that. :)

You will definitely want storage buildings, places for livestock, decent fences, etc. We've had good luck researching livestock in the Storey's Guides for the various species. It's good to know what a sheep needs or a goat, if you consider them. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Food processor, see I didn't think about that!
You guys are amazing, I am so glad i ask this! Tons of info here.
I love the brick ovens! How neat, can't wait to show DH. :)
Keep the ideas and advice coming everyone, I need it.
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Forget a brush hog... run goats through it once you move out and get a fence up, and then raise whatever you want on it to keep the grass down. make a profit by selling extras rather than paying so much for expensive equipment!
Learn to can now, I'd say, you can probably get great deals at farmer's markets and teach yourself that way. Maybe build a simple solar oven or dehydrator, too.

I am so excited for you, that sounds wonderful!
 

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MicheleMomof4 said:
Question for anyone who can tell me......DH says hard red wheat from the feed store is the same kind you use to grind up for wheat flour........is that true????
Yes and no. Yes hard red wheat is used for flour. No it is probably not the same wheat that would be used for flour, at least not by flour mills.

Here is a good example. The wheat harvest in Kansas for the year 2007 is a near failure. While many fields in central Kansas aren't even being cut due to a very late freeze, disease and a handful of other ills western Kansas has had some bin buster yields.

HOWEVER the wheat in western Kansas has very low protein levels this year, so much so that millers are looking outside of Kansas to supply their needs. That said, the feed store wheat may be ground for flour but may not have the gluten that you would desire for bread, nor the protein level, nor other qualities. Milling and baking is a science. Generally flour mills use their laboratories and analyze wheat and then blend varieties in order to mill the best quality of flour for consumers that they can.

There are a few individual varieties that have excellent milling and baking qualities with blending. I believe many here recommend Prairie Gold or something like that. I'm not aware of it being grown in Kansas at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To be in the country and debt free is the most exciting part of it. We are so blessed and I keep telling the Lord, I deserve none of it and thank Him for all of it! :)
I thought about goats, miniature cattle, chickens and some pigs. All for food or milk. And to be honest, the goats for entertainment! LOL Of course I have 2 little girls who would skin me alive if we did not get a horse or two. We shall see. :)
I thought the same on canning. I have some basic knowledge from growing up with my Granny and I canned a bit on our last place in the country. But not extensively. I want to be more 'seasoned' at it before we move. One less thing to have to learn and perfect on our homestead. :)
Here is SW Florida tomatoes won't be ready until aleast late Oct. or early Nov. cause of our heat. I will start with those. I don't have a pressure canner yet and I do have a glass top stove. So I am needing to get a step up for that, looking at those gas burners from Cabela's catalog with GREAT interest! :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Windy in Kansas said:
Yes and no. Yes hard red wheat is used for flour. No it is probably not the same wheat that would be used for flour, at least not by flour mills.

Here is a good example. The wheat harvest in Kansas for the year 2007 is a near failure. While many fields in central Kansas aren't even being cut due to a very late freeze, disease and a handful of other ills western Kansas has had some bin buster yields.

HOWEVER the wheat in western Kansas has very low protein levels this year, so much so that millers are looking outside of Kansas to supply their needs. That said, the feed store wheat may be ground for flour but may not have the gluten that you would desire for bread, nor the protein level, nor other qualities. Milling and baking is a science. Generally flour mills use their laboratories and analyze wheat and then blend varieties in order to mill the best quality of flour for consumers that they can.

There are a few individual varieties that have excellent milling and baking qualities with blending. I believe many here recommend Prairie Gold or something like that. I'm not aware of it being grown in Kansas at all.
Thank you! :)
I am thinking I will have to order my wheat, before shipping.....what would be a good price to buy per pound?
God Bless,
Michele
 

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I think I saw something about converting bicycles into farm tools to use where there is no electricity. Could you connect a grinder to bicycle-power and put those kids to work? Or you could get a mule and have him walk in a circle to turn the mill.

Also, consider dehydrating instead of canning....there would be less equipment to move to Mississippee that way.

Keep an eye open for auctions, flea markets and garage sales that have old manual farm tools. Google for info on scythes, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Jan,
I have told my son that I saw a blender and grinder attached to a stationary bike and he about died. LOL But Dh and I are examining it closely to see how we can do the same. :)
God Bless,
Michele
 

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You should research how much acreage necessary to support the animals you want. We have five horses on 13 acres and, with the really dry summers three years in a row, are having to feed hay earlier than normal (not that we're feeding hay yet). You need a minimum three acres per horse. I'm sure there are optimum minimums for cows, goats, etc. If you put to many animals on the acreage you run the risk of ending up with bare dirt and having to buy feed/hay year round. Not a pretty picture!

Really, the best thing you can do to prepare is read and research!
 
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