The contribute your good advice post

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by crwilson, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. crwilson

    crwilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    I would like to start this thread and have as many people contribute one good piece of advice that they have learnt at some point in there life to do with homesteading.. Please no hijacking this post... Keep to the topic... "ADVICE"... It can be as trivial as you like as long as its useful, or even something thats changed your whole homesteading experience....
    So to start things off The first thing I really remeber learning that was useful to homesteading when i was 8 i developed a fascination for pumpkins i grew them every year for five or six years and i couldnt let a single seed go to waste not even the punny ones cuz i thought maybe it was the one that would produce me a giant pumpkin like howard dill. Anyways my advice would be egg cartons make wonderful seed storage containers. i must have had 20 full of seeds and about 30 envelopes full as well.

    Also a great piece of advice i learnt from ozarkguy today in another post

    "Look at everything on your land as an asset. Hmmmm - what can I use THAT for?" great advice
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    One thing I learned a long time ago is that if you hear noises at the barn at night, don't wait until morning to see what it was. It can be a real mess by morning!!!

  3. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

    Nov 15, 2003
    To listen to our "older folks". They have learned a lot of lessons in this life and can share much with us so our lives as "homesteaders-gardeners-farmers" can be a lot easier and we won't make quite so many mistakes. I just wish I had been old enough to realize what a wealth of knowledge my great granny had.
  4. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Ok. Go into town to the Harley Davidson shop and get all the big tall motorcycle pallets you can. Stand them up on end, and with cedar posts sunk in the ground at the corners, they make great loafing sheds or barns. Instant framework. Just cover up the walls on the outsides with scrap boards. 2 pallets will also make a roof to put tin on.

    Hang a tire in the barn with a chain to put the loose salt minerals in for the goats or sheep.
  5. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Central Iowa
    If you have a septic system and your old house occassionally gets a "sewer" smell check your basement drains. Either cover them or run a bunch of water down them every few days or when the smell comes back. Only took me nearly two (sometimes smelly! :eek: ) years to figure that out!
  6. Little Bit Farm

    Little Bit Farm Active Member

    May 10, 2002
    If you can't buy a homestead rent one until you can. Sitting in town for years to save up for the perfect place is a waste of good learning time.

    Little Bit Farm
  7. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2002
    Dyersville, Iowa
    In a pinch, you can take T posts and kicker bales of hay or straw and make duck & goose houses!

    Also, cougars or wild cats as they're called in some parts of the US chirp at night. It sounds very much like a Big bird chirping!

    Cattle panels make very nice hoop house frames

    If 'something' gets in your chicken coop, mutilates all of the chickens but only seems focused on taking a chunk out around the breastbone and leaves the rest-it's a raccoon!

    Goats will chew up the inside of barns that are panelled with OSB!

    And last but not least: A frost free hydrant doesn't mean you will be able to get water-keep the pipes leading to the hydrant insulated if you're in areas with -30 winters

    This thread is a great idea!! :worship:
  8. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Use 5 gallon buckets for nesting boxes.

    Use a deep composting method for your henhouse and you will have great compost for your garden with little effort at "cleaning the henhouse." I NEVER DO. and I have the healthiest chickens. I keep the straw (and am thinking of useing some shredded newspaper in the mix) deep. No smell, Straw soaks up the moisture and it all turns to very enriched dirt.

    Clean water is THE most important thing about raising animals.

    Take care of weeds before they get seedheads.

    Learn to do as much as you can yourself: building, fixing your car and tractor, etc..

    Goldfish in the rain barrels (and I've heard stock tanks) keep the algae down and make the water fertilized for the garden.

    Pot up all the volunteer tomatoes in the fall and have indoor tomatoes all winter or at least be able to put out the earliest big tomato plants in the spring.

    If you organically garden: It takes three to five years to build the soil and have beneficial insects to help with the bad bugs. If you wait a big when you have an infestation, usually something will come along and eat the bad things.

    Milk is a great antifungal for plants. Just dilute what the kids leave in their glass and spray on the leaves of plants with fungus problems.

    Knock those japanese beetles into a container with water and a little oil. Feed the jps to the chickens for extra protein.


    Use every vertical surface for growing vegetables.
  9. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

    May 12, 2002
    South Dakota
    I've tried this the last two years and it seems to work. Plant your carrots, water, then cover the row with a board. Leave for longer than a week, but you can start checking then to see if they're up yet. The carrots take awhile to germinate and the board helps keep the moisture there.

    Now a second one, not necessarily for homesteaders: Never let your brothers-in-law dig your car out of a roof high snow drift.
  10. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    If you sign a 2 year contract with a small scale (or maybe any size ) timber copany, and they start the work after 2 months, it does not mean they'll be finished hauling them away any certain time.
  11. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    When starting in gardening, plant half as much as you want to and give it twice the care!! Cage up your tomato plants and mulch with straw to conserve moisture. Enjoy all the fresh produce you can in season as it is never quite as good when canned or frozen. Take a few minutes every day to set back and enjoy what you have acomplished :D
  12. Rebel

    Rebel Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Put a wooden post in your stock tank in the winter, long enough for a few feet to stick out. When the water freezes it will push against the post, lifting it upward making the ice weak. Lift the end of the post and it easily breaks up the ice. I love this new post. A great idea.
  13. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

    Dec 9, 2004
    Don't let your chickens in your garden too get hole in all your maters
    Dont put your tongue on the frozen pole!!!
    Let your vining veggies grow on the fenceline if possible its neat to see the squash hanging and its not dirty.
    Make applesauce with your best friend and can together its seems to make the job nicer :eek:
    I had an old mailbox(Large) I made in to a nesting box fer the 'ladies' (hens) they love it
    We use the wood from the kids broken bunkbeds to make raised beds, and the bottom part was like lattice so we put that up for the hops to grow on very purty
  14. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Do as much as you can yourself, but if there are certain jobs you just plain hate then save the money and hire someone else to do them. The hired person will probably do a better job than you would, and you have more time to do the things you like to do.

    Don't completely count on your garden to produce well if you live in the northern states. Late freezes happen, cold summers happen. During the good years can everything possible, and then save enough money to buy vegetables if the growing season just doesn't work out. Also, plant all sorts of cruciferous vegetables - they tend to do ok when everything else just gives up because it hasn't gotten out of the 60's for the last 2 months.

    Take time and enjoy the reason you're working so hard! Sit back and watch the critters wander around. Watch the hawk circle and just marvel at the design of it's wings and how beautiful it is. Look at your trees and garden in the afternoon sun and just reflect on how wonderful your home is and how blessed you are to live there.
  15. LWB

    LWB Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2003
    Always whittle away from yourself.
  16. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Don't get animals until you are ready for them -- fences, stalls, pens, feeders, everything.

    Start small and grow slowly. (Slow and steady wins the race . . . . )

    Take time for picnics.

  17. Ozarkguy

    Ozarkguy Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    Right HERE, of course!

    Oh my.... there's LOTS of good advice from some very wise folks here.

    What I would like to add is this:

    LISTEN to your animals! That's right. They DO communicate to us in their own ways.

    Here's a good example -

    A while back I was dropping some trees on my property. I didn't want my dog in the way getting hurt, so I tied him to a tree stump. Not long after that my usually very well behaved dog started poking his head out from the bushes keeping an eye on me. Then he started digging holes and whining. He turned his head sideways and started chewing the bark off the trees and pacing back and forth. VERY nervous and excited. I was so busy clearing the land, I assumed it was because of all the noise and commotion going on with what I was doing, so I ignored his warning signals!!!

    I was very tired and might have have slept through it, (or even have been the been the meal), but I heard my dogs' very deep and quiet growl around 4 in the morning. Then I heard what almost sounded like a little kid scream as the mountain lion took down a young doe not 30 feet from us!

    I DID apoligize to my dog in a big way. He had been telling me with his actions all day that there was a dangerous predator in the area, and I was so busy that I didn't listen to him.

    And so.... my advice is to "listen" to your animals. Their senses pick up a LOT we should pay attention to!


  18. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

    Mar 8, 2003
    Terra Planet, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy
    Be a good steward to the land and listen to it. Mother Nature trumps the power of the homo sapiens sapiens species.

    When in doubt about a livestock predator you have shot, shoot it at least once more when you are close to it before you try to pick it up to bury it. You don't want to be dealing with a wounded predator trying to rip a hole in your face.

    Goats, sheep and fowl will always find a way out of their pens. The best you can do is to keep them more interested in staying inside their pens than outside. Give them something to do and they will entertain themselves.

    When cleaning animals for food, make sure to have plenty of water, sharp knives/hatchet and clean tubs to put the meat in as well as a bucket for the other parts. Make sure you have more than one sharp knife. Also, put the waste animal parts as far away from the homestead as you can to keep predators away.

    Keeping things simple makes for less stress.

    Firearms are useful tools, learn to properly use them and have at least one around for an emergency.

    Sometimes mistakes turn out better than the best laid plans.

    If you let some garden produce stay in the garden too long, sometimes that is not a bad thing. Save the seeds for next year's planting that you get from the over ripe vegetables.
  19. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    Land of the Long White Cloud
    To cut bailing twine with out a knife. Take a 2nd piece of twine and pull it back and forth a few times over the other bailing twine it will fray the piece still around the bail. Hope that makes sense. :rolleyes:
  20. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2002
    South Central Michigan
    The first thing that came to mind for me we go slowly. Don't try to start too many projects all at the same time. If you are buying bare ground, really look at the land and see how the water drains off etc. (or if it drains off) before you build barns, paddocks etc. Depending on your age, think about what you want to be doing when you are older as far as homesteading and build accordingly. If you love gardening and know you will want to be doing it when you are older, start building the higher raised beds when you are younger and you have tons of energy. Do lots of research and talk to others who have kept them before you get each type of animal etc.