What I've learned from Homesteading Today

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SunsetSonata, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

    Messages:
    2,320
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    10. A roo is not an Australian biped with a pouch.
    9. Wether isn't a misspelling of environmental conditions.
    8. SSS doesn't refer to evil German soldiers from WW2.
    7. Speaking of war, the discussion of property rights, witches and horse deformities results in :flame:, :Bawling:, and from the moderator, an occasional :nono:.
    6. Speaking of moderators, thou shalt wash thy mouth out with soap on this forum for the use of foul language. Fowl language is acceptable.
    5. Speaking of fowl language, chickens don't stop squawking after they die.
    4. Meat chickens are born to die - literally.
    3. There's a heck of a lot of people who don't neuter their dogs. (note the polite use of the term "heck")
    2. Vicki McGaugh might know a thing or two about goats.

    And the #1 thing I have learned from Homesteading Today:

    1. Freezer camp does not refer to a recreational facility dedicated to cold weather sports.

    Hello all! Been addicted to this whole HT thing for a couple of months and never before posted. Note the 1 up in the corner. Hoping to turn that counter!
     
  2. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,184
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Canada - Zone 5

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Messages:
    11,076
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Kansas
    What a super first post you have made. Both enlightening and entertaining.
    Welcome! As you know from all of your previous reading there are a lot of knowledgeable good folk here, and they are always willing to help---or at least add their two cents worth such as I do.
     
  4. nana-san

    nana-san Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    319
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southern DE
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I've been around chickens for-ever but the first time I knew they had a freezer camp, was when the Poultryprincess from Ontario sent hers there about four years ago. I can just picture them getting on the bus with their little suitcase. Welcome to the Stead. Unk
     
  6. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

    Messages:
    1,969
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Location:
    Alaska
    Wow, I wish my first post on this site was half as entertaining as yours. Welcome! Pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee, and jump right in.

    Nikki
     
  7. annie716

    annie716 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    I think you nailed it!!
     
  8. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

    Messages:
    2,320
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks all - My first post was going to be written along the lines of "hello, I don't belong here" - because - well, I'm not a homesteader. Don't live on a farm, don't even live in the country. But - I WANT TO! I want to live the lives you lead!!! I remember being little and wanting to live on a farm. I live in the burbs, in the house I inherited - could never live in the city, ANY city - but the country is where my heart's at. The tranquility, the scenery, the animals - that's the life for me. I know it's hard work and not always tranquil, but I'd take the smell of manure over the smell of exhaust any day, and the chance that varmits might take an occasional chicken, rather than living where wildlife, and a way of life, has been pushed out.

    I don't really know how to go about changing my life. I don't know any farmers personally, though I did work in an agricultural field years ago. I'd have to sell my house which needs a lot of fixing and I'm a bit overwhelmed at the thought of handling a move by myself. I'd have to figure out how to support myself where jobs might not be readily available. I may be a long ways away from this dream but this forum has thoroughly gotten my attention and it is giving me a glimpse of what it would be like.

    I think I did pick up a bit, for a newcomer. Seriously, I had never heard of SSS, roo, wether or freezer camp before coming onto this forum! Didn't know a Lamancha from an Easter Egger, coulda been the same species for all I knew - after all neither have ears!

    Thank you for welcoming me. I'd like to be able to chime in with stories of goat milking and chicken raising, but it's important that I get out there and tell you that I have nothing to offer in this department. :Bawling: But I appreciate the opportunity to immerse myself in your stories, adventures, heartaches, what have you. Should I ever find the pieces of my life falling into place and moving onto a homestead, maybe I will be just a little more prepared.
     
  9. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

    Messages:
    3,119
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    ME
    There are other people here who don't have a homestead.....does not matter. It will be better if you learn from others mistakes in HT and then move on super informed.
    O ka e na sai.
     
  10. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,715
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    N. TX/ S. OK
    Another thing about HT- when I see the word "kid" in a topic title, I don't know if they are referring to a child or a goat until I check out the first post.
     
  11. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    20,074
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    DON"T HAVE HOMESTEAD!! DON"T HAVE HOMESTEAD!!! :rolleyes: What can I say I'm shocked :eek:

    :p Just kidding your Welcome.

    big rockpile
     
  12. noname

    noname Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Northwest PA
    Suggestions? Start where you are. You live in a house in the 'burbs. Therefore, I'd assume you have at least a little space for a garden. Grow something, even if it's only a couple of tomato plants in a tub on the porch. Read something like Square Foot Gardening and see how much food you can grow in the space you have available. Learn how to preserve what you grow.

    Believe it or not, many suburbs will allow a few backyard chickens, as long as they're cooped and as long as you don't have a roo. I know someone who lives smack in the city and has 6 little banty hens living in a corner of his garage. You might want to check into that. You can probably also have rabbits, even if it's just a couple of the pet breeds so you can learn how to care for and handle them. Then when you move, you will know how to garden and raise chickens and rabbits, which is a good start for anyone.

    Look for a few acres of property just outside the 'burbs - something that wouldn't be a totally unreasonable commute to a job, but would give you at least a taste of what you want. Remember that many people move several times before they end up at their final homestead. It's ok to move to a place with the idea that it's temporary. And who says you have to handle a move by yourself? I've never met a friend that couldn't be persuaded to help out in exchange for beer and pizza.

    What you DON'T want to do is keep thinking someday . . . someday . . . and someday never comes. If you keep on doing what you've always been doing, you will keep on getting what you've always had. You don't want to be 80 years old, in that same house in the 'burbs, wishing you'd done it.
     
  13. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    What noname said is very good. I'd add to sit down and make a list of what you do want and what you don't want, what you need and what you're willing to settle for. Then make a plan to achieve your goal. Once you have it on paper it becomes real and you can start checking off "steps" as you achieve them. Also, if you've never lived in the country, you might want to rent awhile before moving. Some people find it frightening living out in the country.

    Many steps can be achieved right where you are. In fact, acquiring gardening and food preservation skills and equipment might be easier in suburbia. You'll be amazed how much stuff can be found cheaply or even free by placing ads, attending auctions, garage sales, etc. all which activities you will have more time for now than after you move. And how-to books on any and all subjects can be studied from the library before deciding which to purchase.

    You may discover that you will be most comfortable staying where you are and living the homesteading life on your suburban lot. Nothing wrong with that just as there is nothing wrong with seeking your 5-10-40-100 acre utopia. I've been full circle and now live in a small town but still garden extensively. Unfortunately, no chickens allowed by city code although I'm working at convincing the city officials to let me keep "pet" chickens (no rooster) in my backyard. They've basically told me as long as no one complains they don't care and I guess if someone does complain I'll just have to have chicken and noodles.

    Go for your dream.
     
  14. Tricky Grama

    Tricky Grama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    31,762
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Location:
    N. E. TX
    Welcome Sunset!

    We don't YET live in the country either, just in the 'burbs too. And I have a feeling I have a black thumb...

    Patty
     
  15. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,612
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    IN
    I have learned that there are people like me all over the place.
     
  16. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    NW OR
    Well, I hope if you're liberal (or gay), that you have a really REALLY thick skin.

    Enjoy!
     
  17. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Messages:
    7,380
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    east ont canada
    hi sunset, hope you also find there is no such thing as a dumb question and there can be 2 or more right answers! after 36 years still learnin'!
     
  18. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    Welcome! I wish I were in the burbs!

    I live on a .05 lot in city center in a rental house. We garden (entire back yard - tomatoes, dry beans, green beans, winter and summer squash, onions, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, lettuce, corn, potaotes and kale), have raspberries, strawberries and herbs in front. We canned for the first time this year, dehydrate (solar and inside), compost, vermicomposting (worms) on this little lot. Not nearly as much as we would like to be able to do, but it's a start and we are learning for the future.

    We can not have chickens or anything else in city limits. Could have rabbits if they were "pets". However, we are constantly learning both on line and offline and have met some great folks.

    One of the best things I like about this website is that I have access to great knowledge. I have learned that there are a lot more questions I need to ask myself about what I want to do on my "homestead". Water, energy, neighbors, natural resources, my skills, my interstes and a lot more things .... I need to think about what I REALLY want... welcome.
     
  19. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

    Messages:
    2,320
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thank you everyone for your great responses! Noname, that's funny what you said, this summer I DID in fact have 2 tomato plants in big pots on the porch! Actually I usually do have a small vegetable garden, but not this year as it had been underperforming due to a black walnut tree. DenverGirlie, you may live in the city but your yard sounds phenomenal!

    "If you keep on doing what you've always been doing, you will keep on getting what you've always had. You don't want to be 80 years old, in that same house in the 'burbs, wishing you'd done it." WOW that comment really hit home. I know I'll get out of here someday, I just don't know when, and right now, how. I'm just getting back on my feet after having had a lot on my plate, so it's nice to start thinking about a future.

    Went to the State Fair this year - I always loved seeing the livestock best. I'd see men snoozing on chairs, or kids sleeping in the hay with their animals, and I realized that some of these people were not renting hotel rooms. How wierd is it that witnessing these folks without the comfort of a mattress or even privacy, I still envied them? It was then that I realized where I wanted to be, and how detached I am from that place, that I don't even know anyone from that world to share it with me.

    So, you know, here I am!

    About having chickens, I was surprised to learn that so many places DO allow chickens, even in the city - I don't think that's the case here though. Also, even if it were allowed, there are a few neighboring cats around and I think I'd just be inviting trouble - wouldn't want my birds stressed out every day even if safely penned. I hope to find a way out of here in 2 years, and then get the chickens.

    HA so true about "kids" Ladycat, I never know who/what they're talking about at first either!
     
  20. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    507
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Western WA
    Welcome Sunset.
    I am one of these who 'stead on a small bit of land. My entire property is 1/4 acre. Now take out the land with the house, driveway, garage, 4 sheds and well, there isn't much to spare. But it is amazing how much you can do on a little land.

    I have hens now, used to raise rabbits. I have fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, veggies, and I love to experiment with new plantings all the time.

    Just choose one area to start and it will snowball from there. It is very rewarding.