Meeting other Homesteaders?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sedition, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Sedition

    Sedition Well-Known Member

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    What are some good ways to find other folk near you who homestead? I’m mostly interested in sitting down and talking with people “who have done it”, but also networking with folk nearby to swap skills, products, labor, trash and what-not. I’ve met a few folk online, but not an extraordinarily amount by any means. I know that there are more folk around who try and live self-sufficiently, but by our very natures, we tend to keep to ourselves.

    Anybody have some advice on the issue?
     
  2. pumpkinlady

    pumpkinlady Well-Known Member

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    Is there anyone on this site that is close to your area that you might be able to meet. One idea that came to mind is Carla Emery (writer of homesteading type books). She is traveling around the country and is talking to groups of fellow homesteaders. Check out her thread in Barter, maybe she is coming close to you. I am planning on attending when she is near me. Looking forward to meeting people that I have seen posting on here! :)
     

  3. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Does your area have any type of a "country store?" I know when my PaPaw was alive he had a fruit stand/ store way out in the country. People used to come by all the time and sit on benches out front. They talked about the weather, hunting, fishing, etc. He had a woodburning stove and a couple of easy chairs inside for when it got cold. As a kid, it was a very nice place to be and I knew everyone in the "neighborhood".
     
  4. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd almost think you'd need to come up with a more specific "hobby", something people have in common, and then narrow the group down from there. Maybe not.

    The first thought I had was meeting folks through the healthfood store a few towns away from here. (I worked there for many years). There were several people/couples who made the trip to town every few months, and stocked up on bulk grains and beans, peanut butter, tamari soy sauce, etc.. Some of them kept animals, grew big gardens, berries and fruit trees, tapped maple trees, etc.. There was a corkboard on the wall, and occasionally you'd see someone asking for help with a strawbale building, or selling ducks. These folks loved to talk about what they were up to.

    My second thought was the feed store or farm supply store. They have corkboards, too. I might put up a colorful sign offering pie and coffee (at a nearby diner or ??) to folks who are interested in an informal discussion on homesteading or voluntary simplicity. Do a telephone RSVP.

    We recently had a goat health seminar nearby. It was advertised in our local Pennysaver. Wasn't everybody surprised when 114 registered for it!! I met some wonderful people that day.

    How about the library. Again, I'm talking about putting up a sign and advertising for like-minded folks.

    Thanks for the question. I think that before I spend another lonely, bored out of my mind winter, I'll make a few signs looking for people to get together with once a month :haha: !!
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Countryside magazine has a Countryside Contacts section where you could put a classified ad. Perhaps something along the lines of: "Homesteaders near XXX looking to start a pot-luck round-robin to met fellow homesteaders. Contact: XXX.

    Goat seem to be a fairly common homestead livestock. If you have them you might arrange for the local vet to give a program on something like "The Care and Feeding of Goats". Might be in the back room of a coffee shop. Advertise in your local paper classified section. Have those willing to sign a sign-in list with the name, address and phone. Then make a copy for everyone. Pass the hat to cover advertising costs and something for the vet.

    For the vet they get to meet new people. Should be an opportunity for a vet new to the area or just stating a clinic.

    Other topics might be the same concept on calves, horses, pigs, rabbits and poultry. Perhaps they could be held quarterly in rotation.

    After a couple you could develop a mailing list with a post card reminder of the sessions.

    For a pot-luck, it might include a recipe swap. When someone brings a dish they also bring perhaps a dozen copies of the recipe for it.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  6. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great ideas Ken. We are going to sell produce at our farm and want to attract people. Might put an ad in the penny saver type paper to alert them of the upcoming vegies, eggs, etc.
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If you develop regular customers you might also ask they if they want to be on a mailing list to alert them to new offerings. Say you will be bringing in hot yellow peppers for the first time. If you have indicated they would like to purchase them, it would cost you $.22 to let them have first crack at them. Perhaps develop a one-page sheet with your vegetables listed. They would check off the ones they are interested in so you don't have to alert everyone every time. However, it would still serve as a good reminder. Whether to make it first come first served, or hold some back for them, is up to you.

    After you get to know your customers, you can cull the list. Joel Salatin does that for his pastured poultry. You have to order in advance. If he doesn't think they are a good customer for them (e.g., too picky, complain about this or that, or the price), he simply stops sending them order forms. Normally demand exceeds his supply, so he can do this. Pre-orders also allows him to know how many to have available on set pick up dates.

    You might also check into a used but working well ice machine. If you can keep you product cold until the customer takes it away from your booth it may enhance your sale. If your local library has From My Experience by Louis Bromfield read "The Roadside Market to End All Roadside Markets" chapter. The picked most of the vegetables the evening before and kept them in running spring water until sale time. I don't know if doing so in a freezer set on high would have the same effect.

    In any event, you might consider taking along fresh water in gallon jugs and a misting bottle. Periodically spray the vegetables much like supermarkets do.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  8. Belle

    Belle Active Member

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    I'm beginning to feel like the preacher......If we don't know where you are, we don't know:
    1. if you're close to US and we can share pertinent info
    2. what your climate is
    3. what your markets may be
    4. what your produce might be
    5. what works best there

    What is so hard about posting your state in your info so it appears under your name with your posts?????
     
  9. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

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    Have a homesteaders picnic!
     
  10. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    For the trash part, think about starting a freecycle site or joining one in your area:
    http://freecycle.org/

    lacyj