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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This topic probably should go towards a more general
group including familied or couples,etc. and maybe those
having bigger properties etc . Anyway , here goes.

Over the years dedicated to what elkhound mentioned in
a previous post elsewhere regarding us as 'homestead practitioners'
What have you done and plan doing more with / on your
'Stead'?

I've been 'planted ' on my country stead since 1990 with
stints of development and stints of downslides. Had fire
losses , divorce and such negatives . On the up side I'm
pretty satisfied where I am and mostly what I do here .

I've planted a forest , over 4000 red and Scott pine, now
in a nice maturing stage attracting wildlife and permaculture
activities.
I planted exceptional gardens previously that grew award
winning veggies and birds at the local ag fair.
My property lies just where I envisioned it should be even
before the modern homesteading concept was widespread.
Around me is farmland to the south and north is true forest
lands . West is wild lands for miles before another road.
You can imagine the wildlife diversity, and that is exactly
what I strive for.
My adventures over years have ups and downs,too.
I hardly garden now, but forage more for wild goodies,
Hunt and raise poultry for eggs and meat.
Every other year I grow out big turkeys mostly to make
jerky and ground freezer meat .
For recreation and my face to face 'socializing' I keep
a full time position at low wage in nearby town doing
what I know best from previous work with sports outdoor
equipment. Some days that is no picnic, but I do mostly
on my terms and persuasions.
I am always glad at the end of a workday to get back home.
A bad day at the homestead is better than a good day at work.
I work because I need the extra wage to supplement
past debt payments (divorce , etc ), otherwise I'd probably
garden more.
Oh yes, I operated a business on site. No longer, though
I keep skills used from that. I even learned a few new skills
like bike assembly and customer firearm specialty from the
meager workplace and it's all good .

Oh, one more thing. I even witched my own water supply that
has been sound and plentiful over the years.
And am a really nagging coffee snob about fresh grind and
Gotta be good arabica type.

What have you got to brag about in your homestead
developments?
 

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its about the lifestyle i wanna live...close to my land slow and simple out of the rat race of the world.

one thing is i am learning more permaculture style of things to do and what i have done in past is mostly homesteading i can see the blending of permaculture into it for systems that work longterm better now as i read and learn from others.

i had a bit of success gathering mushrooms both cultivated and wild after watch moonwolf show pictures of his shrooming adventures.they use to scare me back then...and still do a bit...but it was something part of homesteading/permaculture/wild gathering i wanted to do...so i learned and can do a bit now...with more to come.

my orchard has been a battle of love...from droughts and wildlife damage.but i aint given up and for the past 5months i have had a pair of olive trees living in my orchard and i hope they find the situation to their likeing and stay for decades....we will see.

my little woodstove is my favorite tool in winter time....loli love sitting by it in winter reading and learning and dreaming of things to come.


around my homestead in the forest i have certain trees i have pruned and cared for hoping to give them a boost in life.this year marks a milestone on one tree. a whiteoak in the edge of my meadow that was knee high is now 20ft tall and approx 8 years old.it has produced acorns for the first time ever.my goal was to have a tree like that in edge to view deer coming and going eating acorns and to have an extra sweet spot to hunt deer at early in season to provide red meat for myself.

redmeat....99% of my redmeat comes from my forest the last several years.a little bragging bonus is all the big game i harvest have been by primitive weapons....sticks and lead balls.

i have been longing for a root cellar for so many years now it seems as nothing but a dream.its been started and stopped for various reasons and currently is nothing but a hole in the side of hill.its been planned and re-planned and changed.i hope by the time i get it it will be the ultimate cellar ever.

edible hedgerows too.

i have hopes and dreams for more of everything as i work on my homestead projects and living the simple life on a place called Shangri-la Homestead .
 
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We won't live long enough to accrue the money needed to buy a decent homestead ( " decent " meaning a few acres with a house that isn't falling down around our ears)...when you're starting over again in your 60's it's best to be a realist..LOL..reality dictates a house in town..there are a few with almost an acre...it's doable..

..we both wanted very much to have a place where we could have chickens, goats, a few pigs , a smokehouse and a large kitchen garden..since that's not happening, we've rethought our goals/priorities and will be satisfied with a kitchen garden, a small smokehouse, an herb garden, bees , quail, and perhaps rabbits.. we can fill the freezer with critters hunted in season, fish, and somebody else's fresh chicken..

The old Rolling Stones song applies...LOL.."You Can't Always Get What you Want.."but if you try sometimes you might find...you get what you need"...:)
 

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We won't live long enough to accrue the money needed to buy a decent homestead ( " decent " meaning a few acres with a house that isn't falling down around our ears)...when you're starting over again in your 60's it's best to be a realist..LOL..reality dictates a house in town..there are a few with almost an acre...it's doable..

..we both wanted very much to have a place where we could have chickens, goats, a few pigs , a smokehouse and a large kitchen garden..since that's not happening, we've rethought our goals/priorities and will be satisfied with a kitchen garden, a small smokehouse, an herb garden, bees , quail, and perhaps rabbits.. we can fill the freezer with critters hunted in season, fish, and somebody else's fresh chicken..

The old Rolling Stones song applies...LOL.."You Can't Always Get What you Want.."but if you try sometimes you might find...you get what you need"...:)

BL/AC can do it together in a yard.

http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2010/05/21/whats-urban-homesteading/


 

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Nice link Elk.

I sometimes think my place isn't moving forward as fast as it should, especially the orchard, but when I think back to what it all looked like when I started clearing for the house, I feel better about things. Dad had timbered the land a few years before he passed, and the regrowth was worse than any jungle I've ever visited. You couldn't walk six inches without getting slapped or stuck by a sapling or saw briar.

Now, there's about 18 acres of grass pasture. The woodlot is open, airy and usable for cattle/goat forage as the privet/wild hedge is now under control (goats love privet). The garden soil is not black yet, but it's a whole lot darker than the original sand I started with. If the darn deer (and droughts here too) had left the fruit trees alone, I would be harvesting bushels of apples and pears by now...but I haven't given up. The blueberries are coming along nicely, except for two that got scalped last week...(no further damage since then and I'm not exactly sure what varmint I'm dealing with). The barns are pretty much as I want them, and I'm blessed with all the equipment needed for maintaining the place and harvesting hay. I do have a root cellar, but it is hiding under a dense cover of blackberries just now. For some reason, the low growing ground covers I put in place failed, but boy did the blackberries succeed.

Lots of fun things left to do and play at, like wine making, sauerkraut, jams, jellies, and fresh bread from wheat ground here. Just trying to enjoy the journey, and like Elk, I enjoy sitting by the fire, both inside the house and around the fire ring in the yard. Hope we are all blessed with beautiful Falls.
 

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it will never be done,gardens are great,fruit trees took a hit from cold,walk in cooler from scratch working well,5 more yrs till retirement.between now and then-a green house-I want to try growing all year.last b4 I retire-a 24x24 cabin on a pad,4 block high.the i'll rest.:sleep:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some day again I'll try to post pictures around zen stead.
The plum orchard I planted from transplant seedlings I dug
up from my own wild stock is now in third year growth.
The trees are over 7' and this year bearing a good amount of
sweet plums. All around them grows red clover my ducks
love to hang out. I got ideas making easy toting chicken tractors
for next year to put there. So, the past seeding is panning
out after all.

Though some days I look down from the backyard deck at
zen fields and trails looks like crap, but there is beauty in
the nature shaping it with some help landscaping and
sometimes bragging about the madness.
 

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I have accomplished an amazing amount in my life. Just about moved mountains in my younger days. At times I have raised/made all the food for a family except for coffee, salt and baking soda. Have generally had a milk cow and made all my dairy. Raised calves whenever the cow was in milk. Baked homemade bread and goodies from freshly ground flour and cornmeal. Butchered critters I'd raised and critters that I shot. Raised my own honey. Done a fair bit of gathering wild foods. I've preserved and dehydrated....bought in bulk when I could.

I've taken rough 'cheap' land and made it productive. I've taken red clay that is suitable for making pots and turned it into lovely soil. Cut firewood. Cooked on a wood cook stove in the winters and over an open campfire in the summers. I've made do, done over and done without......for a long time.

I'm hoping y'all won't throw me out of the homesteaders club if I admit.....I'm getting tired.

I'm tired of my feet and legs being bruised and bug bitten. I'm tired of manhandling equipment because I don't have anyone to help me. I'm tired of sweating in the sun and then having bugs/hogs/deer/opossums/coyotes/drought/etc. reap the fruits of my labor. I'm tired of being all by myself on this remote farm all the time(though I do love not having neighbors and enjoy the quiet). I'm tired of trying to do business with men that treat me like I'm an idiot because I'm female.

I've scaled down quite a bit several times. I'm thinking of doing so again.
 

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Great thread, and some great responses!

Can't add much at the moment, but it's finally taking shape, but a long ways to go. It's like creating a piece of leather art, or a saddle if I might say so. They start out as a picture in my gourd, and hopefully a plan to cover up my mistakes. But when the shape starts taking a form, you know you are either happy with it, or tear it out and start over.

I'm happy with it!
 

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Whats done:
House is liveable , actually nice!
Woodstove in and sucessfully heating with wood a few years now
Staying a year ahead on wood supplies
Chickens thriving and productive
Cows doing well although I would like to see more heifers
50 x 100 garden producing well
Canning/ preserving is seeing me through most of winter
Raising a pig every year is working out.
Butchering small cow was quite the learning experience, need more education
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What needs doing :
Fruit trees , many setbacks but there are many orchards here so doing ok
Cellar stores jars and potatoes but too humid for much else, would like to make a root cellar
Would love to build and use a smokehouse
Would like to build a small barn ( the big one burnt down )
Would love a greenhouse
Would like to go non hybrid and save my own seeds
It would be easier to do all this if I didnt work two jobs

Life is grand , I am enjoying every minute!
 

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What have you got to brag about in your homestead
developments?

11 years ago I bought 5 acres to 'ride motorcycles and play games' with.
10 years ago, I started a little garden, 6 tomato plants, couple of cukes.

Today, I am growing 125 tomato plants, from seed; organic, and canning everything.
I have fruit trees....and canning......making my own jerky....dehydrating etc.

And I can't wait to learn more!!!
 

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To add....

Lived on a ranch and started a family on cowboy wages. Just a get by situation. Rode 15-20 outside horses a year, shod horses, trapped, learned to make saddles and accoutrements, bought a dozer for outside work, and put a small cowherd together. All for keeping bills paid and a small sense of security. Was doing pretty good for a ranch job. Job fell apart after 20 years of making a non- working ranch work, (long story that really burnt me.) Decided if I wanted something of my own, I had to totally do it on my own for myself and mine.

I searched for knowledge for a time and talked to lots of people. had job offers, but didn't want to base future on anothers whims. After much soul searching I made a move to start my own business. One which hadn't been tried.

The first year I barely squeaked by, and that year started the first of a many year drought. I rented a small place that I had always admired, cuz I knew who owned it, and I could see they were headed for disaster/divorce. And by year 3 when I was fairly established, I was able to buy it with the help of a good banking friend. I knew the risks, and knew I was a high one.

The next year the X decided to call it quits and leave. It took three more years to finally reach a settlement, but we did, and I paid her off after putting everything in hock to the max with my banker that knew me well.

The business kept growing despite the drought. The oldest boy was out of the home, but I raised the other two boys and I'm eternally grateful for that opportunity! I did do some drinking, which I really wished I hadn't. And there were many tough times, emotionally and financially. My kids remained by my side, though! Golly...we are tight!

Last year my banker friend moved me into the very upper echelon of risks. I don't owe much anymore...made my last equipment payment last month along with replacing some very high dollar parts.

The three previous years to this, have been the worst of the drought. It now appears that we may be coming out of it? Customer base has expanded greatly during the dry years, and very little to no competition due to good service and the drought.

When I get home in the late evening I can set out and chill. Take stock in what has happened here. Hillsides that I can actually irrigate that I couldn't before I did some work, Fruit and nut trees that are taking off...some nut trees are gonna have to be relocated or killed, since I didn't investigate proximity to fruit trees. But I've got all kinds of room to do so!

I've got 700 acres, really not much. But there is creek bottom and irrigated to play with. So much potential to realize!

It took me a while to realize it, but I love my past, and I love my future!
 

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To add....


It took me a while to realize it, but I love my past, and I love my future!
What a beautiful sentence.
I am English but have lived many years in Denmark. Would still be there but my partner fell for an older, uglier, but much cleverer lady:)
He offered to buy me a house and I think he was very relieved when I chose a smallholding 800 miles further North in another country!
I am blessed with 100 acres, mostly forest in a village which at the turn of the last century had a population of 200. Then they all started emigrating to the U.S.A. and we are now 10 villagers.
I moved here 5 years ago. I am kept busy, during the summer the sun doesn't set, during the winter....
New language, new culture, a rescue of 70 badly treated sheep. These are
sponsored by people all over the world. So I spend a lot of my time on the internet, keeping friends informed as to what I am up to.
The sheep, and my cows and horses, are working hard reclaiming bush land and opening out the landscape.
I plan to keep at this way of life as long as my health allows it then, who knows, maybe another adventure. Here is my place.

And my chalet from where I took the first photo
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What a beautiful sentence.
I am English but have lived many years in Denmark. Would still be there but my partner fell for an older, uglier, but much cleverer lady:)
He offered to buy me a house and I think he was very relieved when I chose a smallholding 800 miles further North in another country!
I am blessed with 100 acres, mostly forest in a village which at the turn of the last century had a population of 200. Then they all started emigrating to the U.S.A. and we are now 10 villagers.
I moved here 5 years ago. I am kept busy, during the summer the sun doesn't set, during the winter....
New language, new culture, a rescue of 70 badly treated sheep. These are
sponsored by people all over the world. So I spend a lot of my time on the internet, keeping friends informed as to what I am up to.
The sheep, and my cows and horses, are working hard reclaiming bush land and opening out the landscape.
I plan to keep at this way of life as long as my health allows it then, who knows, maybe another adventure. Here is my place.

And my chalet from where I took the first photo

Great looking homestead.... And you seem to have the
Right attitude to continue on. Going back to my zen stead
pretty much overcomes adversities of the past.
 
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