Starting out

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Donnyten, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Do you like beets?

    One year I planted a good deal of them, and I ate them as salad greens by picking one leaf from each plant every time I thught the plants were large enough. Then, after the weather got cold in the Fall I harvested the bulb and ate that as well.

    I did the same with onion sets. I put the sets an inch apart in pots on the deck and as I added them to salads I picked every other onion to give them the room they needed. If it threatened to freeze I brought them in, so I could eat tm as green onions while the garden onions were still dormant. By the time I had eaten them all my garden onions were producing so I did not replant them.

    Cabbage greens are also good: just pick them one leaf at a time and add them to your salads.

    Unfortunately garden soil is generally too heavy to use in pots. If you decide to use pots you will need to buy bags of soil.

    Lastly, the Dollar stores have good seeds at a very cheap price. The latest hybrid will give you larger ears of corn and such, but the latest hybrid will cost you something like $3.50 and the dollar store will charge you 34 cents.

    THEN take the value of the vegetables you have raised and put it in a homesteading bank account.

    Also, fresh bread makes an excellent snack on a rainy weekend. Also but the money you did NOT spend in the homesteading account.

    Save gas by reducing the driving you do. If you are in an area of town that has more than one place you need to be in then do both errands to save yourself a trip and put the money in the homesteading account.

    If you buy something you need at a yard sale then put the difference in the price in the... but you get the idea!

    Save up the cash until you are in the area of the bank and then deposite it all at once: if you make multiple trips to the bank it will burn gas that is better used else where.

    Lastly, keep track of everything you buy and look at t at the end of the month. When I saw how much I was spending on diet soda per month I decided to brew a pitcher of ice tea and keep it in the fridge instead. That saved me $40 a month, and that was over 10 years ago so things cost less then. You see, if I drank a diet coke then the kids would want one as well, and that adds up fast.
  2. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 5, 2010
    W. Oregon
    What vegetables do you like and use the most of. Greens are easy and cheap to grow. Zucchini and yellow squash too. 2 tomato plants in large pots will give you lots. Potatoes can take up a lot of space and are cheap to buy, may be better to grow something else but if you ate mostly potatoes would be good to grow. Corn is the same way, corn does best in a block, not a single row along the fence. Solar is best to wait unless you are a long way from the powerline and the cost is prohibitive, then put the money into solar instead of the infrastructure to have grid power, solar is a long term payback. Put your money in fencing the perimeter of your property and fruit trees, these take time, get them done and have something for many years. Start small, best to do things well, than get discouraged by trying too many things or too much but only you know how much time you have and your dedication. You start, see the reward and that gives you motivation to expand. You aren't doing it because it is cheap, you are doing it for the reward, quality and self sufficiency, saving money is a bonus when it happens, dedication and the reward of doing it, fruits of your labor, something from nothing, keeps you wanting to do better. Cheap is buying a few, waiting for seeds, new starts and expanding out from 1 or 2. It is a lifestyle, giving you better. Even giving up comfort, security to do something on your own. Satisfaction. Every property is different, weather, irrigation, topography, forest, swamp, hillside, bottomland, etc. Make what you want and can from what you have....James

  3. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 14, 2008
    First of all, welcome to the forum. I sense that you come from good motivation, but I will have to disagree slightly about your mention of "coming from wealth" to get the homestead you desire. I would call it "capital", and here in the good ole US of A, at least, to me, "capital" is not a disparaging word. My Dad, fresh from WWII had good intentions when he bought our 80 acres on a wing and a prayer and a promise--but he proceeded to make us all slaves to the payments and to the labor and to that stiff clay soil for nearly the next thirty years on a run-down, undercapitalized piece of property that maybe we all wished he would have never bought. It became a hand to mouth "homestead" where we survived on his factory wages, and my mother's calloused hands and aching knees......oh, we had lots to eat, we had clean clothing, we had baths at least once a week, and our animals didn't go hungry or thirsty, but we had plenty of nubbin corn, weedy hay, and lots of manure to pitch by hand. I did not inherit his land, rather, he sold it by parcels in his old age so he could have a bit of a lake cottage and a couple of new cars for his own (and Mom's) retirement--much deserved.

    What I did inherit, was far more valuable. It is the knowlege: of soils, weather, seeds, mechanics, crops, machinery, construction, weeds, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, firewood, gasoline and grease, compost, fertility, tools, irrigation, and so much more--which, when combined with experience--gives you the other half of the capital you will need as you start up your own homestead.

    You can start with this half, as you save and try to earn the money capital you'll need, by finding a plot--maybe rented from a farmer, maybe in a community garden, maybe leased from a relative or family friend. You can start with a garden, and who knows, maybe (in the right place) some small animals like chickens or rabbits...Maybe even in your own back yard, if it has the space and sunshine.

    Here are a few learning tools to help get you started:
    "The Resilent Gardener", by Carol Deppe, from
    "The Mother Earth News". either online, or at a magazine rack in the stores.

    Hope this may help.

  4. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

    Mar 21, 2017
    Upstate, SC (Greenville County)
    So much good advice here.

    The secret to financial 'everything' is: Stop living paycheck to paycheck.

    Once you're living below your means and you're putting money aside every month, you'll have a lot more clarity.

    If you can budget and work overtime to the point of setting aside 1k to 1.5k a month, then you'll be ready.
  5. JerryJimmy

    JerryJimmy Member

    Apr 18, 2017
    - You ought to look into Dave Ramsey's podcasts or radio program. I expect there might be more information in his book, if you felt like buying it.
    - It might seem tough in your situation, in the heat of battle. Even still, throughout your posting I've noticed you becoming more encouraged and I'm glad. It's important not to emote, just remember your vision. It seems like you've got the vision part. You've just gotta have an organized plan but keep focused when struggles come. As the good book says, "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all." - Ecclesiastes 9:11