Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by shohga, May 5, 2005.

  1. shohga

    shohga New Member

    May 5, 2005
    A probably silly question from a newbie...

    My husband and I are thinking seriously about leaving Japan to go back to eastern Canada and live as self-sustaining a life as possible. He can work from home some and I am not overly concerned about the ability to make monthly expenses. What does concern me, however, is that, given that we have an international family (Europe, Canada, US), how do you manage the occasional time off to see family or have a week for a vacation? One of the reasons we want to do this move is to enjoy family life and as might be expected, our extended famliy is also important to us. Any suggestions? We aren't planning farming on a large scale, but more the kind of large potager, fruit trees, chickens and, eventually, a cow for cheese that one sees on old French country homesteads.

    I would really appreciate your contributions and advice, especially things you wish you'd known when you started and how (if!) you've managed to also ever get away from your farm once you got to it!

    Many thanks!
  2. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Are you talking about how do we manage leaving our animals and gardens? It's hard, but can be managed. Some farmers keep animals until slaughter or sell rate, then start all over in the spring. This would allow you a little time each year to plan a vacation. No garden or just something self sustaining like overwintered turnips, that time so that's how you could do it. We live near relatives, but it's a problem when we want to go somewhere together (can you believe we'd want to??). But we are blessed with wonderful neighbors who I feel really guilty asking their help each summer.

  3. D

    D Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    NW AR Ozark foothills
    You might read some of the Nearings' books; they did it without animals. Or find neighbors who have similar traveling desires and swap labor with them. Good luck.
  4. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Jun 29, 2002
    River Valley, Arkansas
    We try to go on a cruise every couple of years and our neighbor watches our animals. We go in the winter so no garden to speak of. We invite family to visit here but since we are the "Nuts" (for selling everything in the city and becoming country folks) of the family we have only has one cousin visit but that was Twice in two years. So maybe we aren't so nuts.

    When our neighbor up the road had some personal problems we fed his sheep and llamas for about a month to help him out,

    Our neighbor's brother has been in the hospital so we are feeding her stock to help out and return the favor for her helping us out.

    By the way her brothers wife was born and raised in Japan.
  5. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I trade critter sitting duties with a neighbor who has sheep and chickens. I get 2 weeks around Christmas and she gets 2 weeks during the height of summer. I don't have dairy animals, so if I'm going to be gone for overnight I stuff the feeders with extra hay, set out extra water buckets and give everyone a pat goodbye.

    I've helped out other neighbors when they needed someone to feed the horses, watch the dogs, or water the garden. In turn they help me out when I need extra hands around here. We all look out for each other.
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Now I, on the other hand, have not resolved this problem... if we need to go somewhere it is a major, major, issue. Sheep can be penned with feed and water for a couple of days, chickens likewise if you don't mind throwing the eggs away... but if you've got dogs, you'll need a housesitter. If you've got milking animals, you'll need someone who can do that.

    In retrospect, I wish we'd given this more thought before we put ourselves in a position where only one of us can be away at a time.