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Just curious to know how many of you actually up and left the rat race and moved to the country to homestead? What was your biggest mistake/regret?
 

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I sort of sidestepped into homesteading. I was a supervisor at a factory making car parts. The Oil Embargo halted automobile production. I sold my house on a lake for 20 acres of farm land and a small camper. I bought a small tractor and plow. I built rabbit hutches and a chicken coop. I shoveled out all the neighbor's horse stalls and grew a 3 acre garden. I wanted to go draft horse power and realized that 20 acres wasn't enough land.

I found 80 acres in the far north for $12000. That and a log cabin and barn would be my homestead. But I saw that the land was too low and too poor to grow crops. I was ready to make the jump out of the rat race. But was wise enough to wait for soil that could grow crops.

I found a farm with a 5 bedroom house, barns, streams and 160 acres of reclaimable fields.
I secured a job in the area and began to farm. I often had livestock before I had enough fencing. The learning curve for each animal is steep. Digging hundreds of post holes is hard work. Cutting and splitting 40 face cords of wood each year is hard work. Milking a cow twice a day is hard work. Baling a barn full of hay and maintaining a mower, rake, baler and hay wagons is hard work. Having a couple dozen show quality Kacki Campbell ducks eaten by a fox is tough. Having three bottle lambs grow up in your front yard and be slaughtered by coyotes at 6 months is tough. Having a month old brown eyed Jersey heifer die in your lap because the scours tablets came too late is tough. Having a 5 year old pregnant draft mare drown in 2 feet of water is hard. To work so hard that there is money to buy more farmland, eventually totaling 400 acres, then see farm land go down in value, while nearby shore property grows 400% is tough.
But within those strenuous days and heartbreaking setbacks, there were hundreds of grand successes.
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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We left the Houston area for 111 acres farther down the Texas gulf coast.

Part of the time, the land was in row crops. We later raised beef cattle, rabbits, chickens, and dairy goats.

Huge garden. Baked bread. Made pickles and dewberry jelly.

Raised two awesome sons.

Hubby now has 300 pecan trees, several orange trees, and we lease out the pasture.

I now have rental properties.

I wish we had saved more money.
 

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I finished my education at RIT in Rochester, New York in late 1969, and got on the next plane to Alaska Wilderness, filed for a Federal Homestead, under the "Homestead Act of 1862" and moved to the deep wilderness of the Upper Susitna River.

Nearest other neighbor was roughly 70 miles away. Proved-up on the requirements and got the Free Land. Sold it and flew to Lake Clark, Alaska and did it again. My only regret is I was never able to find a lady willing to live that wilderness "subsistence" lifestyle.
 

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When I left the rat race to home place truck patch and worm ranch I didn't totally toss my rat race employment. Instead I incorporated chosen aspects of my rat race career into a freelance consultancy aspect factor of my home place agricultural factors as regardless of how involved one chooses to get involved in home place truck patch garden farming, most folks find using some of their rat race skills the best way to maintain emergency funds and pay insurance premiums and property taxes and such.

Best part is by picking the rat race facets to retain that have the most time flexibility and you are most skilled in allows you more time to pursue agricultural interests.

So many folks want to plunge into home place sufficiency lifestyles and live like the Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie, yet they forget that as the Ingalls ran their 40 acre farm, Papa Ingalls worked limited rat race jobs as a freight wagon teamster and sawmill worker to more easily earn the folding money needed for initial growing expenses, store bought shoes, etc.

In this century incorporating a craft shop, computer lab, home investment office , etc. is easier than working as a wagon teamster while letting one build their emergency folding money funds with their rat race skills as they feed themselves and make additional money from the weather element and disease immunity dependent agricultural aspects of the lifestyle they choose.
 

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BYOJ
Bring Your Own Job because there aren't many in the country and what few there are, they will hire their relative or fellow church goer, that has no experience and no common sense, before they'll hire an "outsider" with experience/common sense and unless you're 4th-5th generation, you are an outsider. The jobs outsiders can get are convenient store, sawmill laborer, retirement home and all pay minimum wage or slightly above.

If you end up near an interstate, it's different as more people there are from somewhere else.
 

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Just curious to know how many of you actually up and left the rat race and moved to the country to homestead? What was your biggest mistake/regret?
I am not sure what your definition of "homestead" is, but we moved to the country 16 years ago.

Our biggest mistake was not doing it sooner.
 

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Just howling at the moon
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I'll be making the jump this spring so let you know in a couple years.

WWW
 

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We both left corporate jobs to move to a rural area. Like the others said, be sure to have plenty of money saved. And, it's very helpful to have a career/job that you can either do from home or bring with you to the rural environment. That being said, not working in corporate America means your cost is actually less IMO. No going out to lunch/dinner, no fancy clothes, etc.
 

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It is a work in progress for me. I am still running on outside income even though I share a farm with alpacas, a calf, and a pig. Hopefully I will be able to shift toward more farming and less rat race sooner rather than later.
 

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Hmmmm This sure brings back memories....

I started "homesteading" (living off the land) out of a necessity to keep my precious mother out of a nursing home. We had little money to start out on at the time I found out she had Parkinson's disease.

My biggest mistake was in not realizing I might actually get old. ROFL Yeah I never gave myself a thought! If I had I would have made sure to purchase different farm equipment, i.e. a garden tractor that could also mow and bale hay for sure.
 

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I remember the day I was told that due to the merger my position was being duplicated and I was offered the choice of either taking a lesser position or my retirement pension.

As I got home and tended the worm bins and garden I got a call from another guy offered the same deal as I was , telling me that he was starting his own small scale environmental test lab and possibly a small manufacturing shop at home to bid the percentage of small biz contracts we often found as part of our employer's contracts.

After his phone call I considered how I tended my worms and garden at home, then drove 40 miles to work, drank a cup of coffee at my desk as I checked the morning stock market openings and decide if I was going to alter my investments or not and after finishing my coffee, putting the morning paper in my desk drawer and logging off of Yahoo finance quotes, I started my work day.

With this in mind I considered how my bedroom door was 10 feet from my home office / study here , 30 feet from the worm and greenhouse room and the extra bedroom across the hall from the office.

So I turned the extra bedroom into my home electronic R&D lab space and cut my daily commute from 40 miles one way to 30 feet and instead of a stop at the plant break room before going to my office , now I go in the kitchen to get my home breakfast and coffee before going to my office or work area no more than 50 feet away. Sometimes I don't even home cook my breakfast if I am still full from my café breakfast with her a few miles from my place at 530 in the morning as she is starting her 45 mile drive to her rat race maze job.

Sure I have had less rat race jobs to do than when at the plant, but when one comes in, it's all mine and I have my home office to work my investments when I get back after seeing her head off to work.

Without the 80 miles a day to and from work, I expanded my BISF garden and built some produce tables by the driveway that I stocked with fresh produce from my expanded garden and usually let run on the honor system if I have other stuff to do. 20 years of running the produce table honor system style. only one day did someone steal all the produce and they couldn't access the fire safe I had mounted in the produce table with casino table cash slot style slot to collect as close to exact change payment or IOUs from regulars when I'm not there to man the stand .
 

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Just curious to know how many of you actually up and left the rat race and moved to the country to homestead? What was your biggest mistake/regret?
The last go round of upkeep/my efforts made the place too "pretty". I should have never started down the path of improving the looks of things. I done it all (work) myself, was a lot but didn't take a lot of money. Now it's just too damn pretty. I've posted pics before on here and will post them again, but it's just too damn pretty.

I wanted a milk cow in the yard, pigs off the side of the house. Vineyard/orchard in front yard, metal building in side yard. Now all of that stuff is about 80-90 yards away because the place looks too pretty. Oh, the little guest house was going to get some trees whacked down around it and a greenhouse installed right next to it. I was going to sell honey and some produce out of there. Now it's a "pool house" and a nice guest house. All of our out of state family loves to stop by here (Nashville area) all the time now and stay in our guest house. I end up with way too many guests. Wife wanted a pool at the time for our 3 kids...

WAY TOO DAMN PRETTY AROUND HERE! Don't fall for it.

house22.jpg





FALL dAY tRUCK.jpg


Wife after I put in pool at guest house and extended deck on back of guest house to new pool: "We need an entrance from the
front of the guest house to the back deck and pool so everyone doesn't have to walk through guest house or around it"....so then I had to build this (she wanted a ramp).
NewRampMod.jpg


Woods/brush came right up to the back of the guest house. With the new pool idea we (we = "I" btw) had to start clearing out brush to beat back the bugs...this is how pretty it turned out to be behind guest house: Note the brush use to come to within 6-8 ft off the back of guest house deck.

IMG_20170523_114713181.jpg


Oh, and this lovely stream we have off our side yard. It was brushed in heavily. You really couldn't tell there was a stream there it was so brushed in. A stranger wouldn't even know there was a creek there until my wife said: "You know the 3 kids are starting to play in that creek all the time now. With all the copperheads and rattlesnakes we have I am thinking that we (we = me) should clear out some brush to at least give them a chance to see a snake vs stepping on it and getting bitten". Pic below is in 2nd yr effort at cleaning it up. A year earlier you could be standing in same spot the pic was taken and really not be able to see the creek anywhere up through there.

BridgeBrushClear.jpg


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Wife: "You know I was looking for a board in our lumber pile today and I noticed we have enough rough cut cedar boards to make a few raised beds and put in the side fenced in yard for me (really me) to raise greens in vs in the big garden out back. Why don't we (me) build a few". I did...and then she said "You know those would look great if you stained them the same color as the house, and I think we (me) have some stain left over". So I stained them.

IMG_20180707_143457648.jpg



You know what's really cool about it all? We live 500 yards or so back in the woods and nobody sees this place besides for us, the mail lady, and UPS/FedEx delivery drivers. We've got a ton of curb appeal but no curb. All of this work including me stripping and staining both homes and painting the entire inside of both happened over the past 3-4 years.

Guest house before:
Guesthouseb4.jpg

GuestHouseAfter.jpg


Yeah I carried in all those rocks around guest house out of creek to make those raised beds in the front.

Main house looked just like like guest house before I spent 140 hours stripping and putting 2 coats of stain on it....been 3-4 years and many pounds shed (I'm 49 and weigh the same as I did at age 14) with all the work. That's not even counting all the time I put into critters, firewood, 3000 sqft garden, etc.

Don't make it ALL pretty. You can have a pretty wildflower area, a pretty porch, a pretty "this and that", but if you make it all pretty it will be a lot of work and you will not want to mess the prettiness up. It use to be "blah" here, now it's way too damn pretty and I blame it all on my wife (lol). Sure I wanted to create a place like this for her and the kids, but man it's just too damn pretty to be practical.
 

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Biggest regret..... Not starting sooner....

"Work in progress" That is what it was on day one, and still is all these years later. One day at a time, every day.
It may seem us old people have done it all. Frankly we have. Just not all at the same time.
 

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I grew up in the middle of it. Although we started not too far out from where dad worked. In 1968 or so my folks bought land and moved into a tent. So at 53 I've been there done that on a whole lot of stuff. But there's more to come to try to be more successful than we've been. Success in health and agriculture is the goal. And good nutrition for good health starts in the dirt. I love growing good things. It's the most rewarding thing ever tried. Not always successful but every "failure" is a step toward success.
 
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