Your homesteading dream

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cchapman84, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. cchapman84

    cchapman84 Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Okay, I know posts like this surface every so often, but I've seen a lot of new names on here since the last time I saw this post, so I figured I'd start one again. What is your homesteading dream? Where is it that you're going with your homestead? Are you trying to be as close to completely self-sufficient as possible? Or are you just trying to lower some of your bills like food, while giving your family a less materialistic lifestyle?

    I'll start.

    I want a cordwood house, somewhere between 2000 & 2500 square feet (that's including my studio, plus DH's office). I want slate roof and as much "green" material as I can get (wool insulation, possibly solar panels, masonry stove, etc.)

    I want an organic cider apple orchard. I'm going to start small with 5-10 trees added each year. I plan to sell the cider through mail order and wholesale, with maybe a farm-stand type thing.

    I want to grow plenty of organic veggies, enough for our family for the year with enough left over to sell to the natural food stores for extra cash (at least enough to pay for the cost of seeds and other gardening implements).

    Possibly some chickens. I love free-range organic eggs. Haven't decided yet.

    I want space for a *LARGE* herb garden, so that I can grow herbs to use in my soaps, as well as sell herbs.

    I've decided that I'm not going to do much with animals to start with. We still like to travel, and having livestock makes that pretty near impossible. So, to start with we'll just do produce. I can leave an apple orchard unattended for a week, you can't do that with a horse/cow/pig/goat/etc.

    Extras on the property: A pond, a good fast-moving stream, some woods, some field, not too far from town but far enough away to avoid the politics!

    Reasons for doing it are to save money and be more self-sufficient. I want to know that if anything were to happen, either personally, locally or on a larger scale, that we would be okay. We've been in the position of not being okay in the past (having to wrack up tons of credit card debt and take government handouts just to survive because of an economic slump), and I don't want to deal with that again.

    So, what's your homestead dream?

    Cameron in VT
  2. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

    Nov 15, 2003
    My hubby and I are getting a late start at homesteading. I am almost 53 and he just turned 50. He works as a machinist and makes a really good living for us. However, we are both from farming and ranching backgrounds. I grew up on a ranch and my husband's family owned a grainery and a farm. We both have worked out in the world and because of the oil industry have lived a lot of different places. We are now back home in the area where I grew up. We have 10 acres next to my parents place. My Jim still works long hours as a machinist and I am staying at home trying to get this late life homestead going. We want to be as self sufficient as possible and have a lot of plans.

    We have had this 10 acres for a number of years but have only been living on it for the last 5 years. We found a small frame house ($4000.00) and moved it onto the place and have been slowly but surely fixing it up. We have done most of the work ourselves and it is a loving work in progress. Our other blessing is that we have acces to my parents acerage next door and that is where we raise our cattle with my parents cattle.

    We now have 10 cows and a few calves. We hope to raise more to pay taxes and as back up income.

    We are planning a large garden this year. I want to grow as much of our food as possible and have some to sell also.

    I don't have chickens yet but I want some and we are planning to build chicken pens.

    I am also interested in goats and may plan to raise some later.

    We have a wealth of natural resources but not a lot of money to spend on the hardware, wood, etc... needed to build. Our kids (2 boys,married with kids) got in some financial trouble and we helped them out. It left us short. This won't happen again as they are going to have to grow up and be responsible for themselves as one day my hubby and I will be gone and unable to help them.

    Our greatest goal, with the Lord's help, is to become self sufficient so my hubby can retire or at least cut his working hours and spend time doing what he loves best---farming and raising livestock. We want to find a way so that this blessing of 10 acres that the Lord gave us will pay for itself and support us. It will require a lot of hard work but we are willing.

    I really appreciate Homesteading Today as it is such a great information source and such encouragement from my HT neighbors is appreciated and enjoyed.

    Thanks all!


  3. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    Oh, TOO much fun!

    I want to live somewhere with decidous forests and a little bit of winter, but not so much that you are stuck and struggling with it for months and months.

    I want a little Cob house with wood heat and well water, attached to a big greenhouse with room for worms, tilapia, rabbits, chickens and a wood fired hot tub. I'd like to produce as much of my own food as possible. I'd love to think I could work part time just to buy necessities and animal food, books, plants, coffee, Merlot, etc, lol. I want a garden and fruit trees and bushes. It would be great to live in some woods that you could forage in a bit.

    I could live without a phone, but of course have kids, so probably need to be reachable, and I have to confess that I'm sort of addicted to the internet for talking to friends and reading about everything, so I guess I'd have to be on the grid for those things. But as far as gadgets, grooming and otherwise go, I could live without them easily. I would need to be able to charge my batteries for my cordless tools.

  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    Okay lets see....

    Around 1800 square feet with wrap around porches about 10' feet wide.Wood stove and wood furnace heating.On a fully finished basement with laundry chute(easy way to tidy up :D )Slightly raised above ground level.

    Tin roof with a water cistern and a grey water system for watering gardens.

    Fully fenced and cross fenced with wooden fencing,water run to pastures.

    Small orchard of fruit trees and raised bed veggie gardens to supply most our needs.

    A fully stocked pond fed by creek on property with a weir(is that the term??)on one end.

    A woodlot that can provide all our firewood needs.

    Small guesthouse/studio of about 700 square feet for family to visit and for Mrs oz's hobbies.

    Large traditional gambrel style barn with hayloft.

    Chicken coop with fully fenced chicken run so as to keep out predators and rotten dogs.

    Raised pig sty upwind from house... :haha:


    Longhorn cattle-no idea why but it is my dream. :)

    About 25 brown egg laying chickens

    A few pigs...maybe.

    This is fun and if only we had a pile of $$$ it could happen right now.. :D
  5. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2003
    2000 acres of diverse land

    No neighbors

    No government noses poking into our business

    Sensible property taxes
  6. denverentrep

    denverentrep Guest

    Right now this city slicker lives in a 1600sqft house with no basment that cost about 190K
    I work about 70 hours/week to keep my wife home with the kids.

    About 30 acres in green rolling hills somewhere 1/2 wooded (Possibly Alleghany cty NC or Northern KY)
    Mineral rights
    Not near or ever exposed to waste water runoff
    Strong year-round stream for hydro generator and a small pond.
    20mins from small town - 60 minutes from city

    2000 sqft Log cabin + walkout basement that I built myself during the year that I was able to take off after making it big with my Internet business.
    Great office in that basement that has High Speed Internet and everything I need to make a great income at my web business with minimal amt of
    hours per week. Wrap-around porch with hummingbird feeders.
    Want home to be as green as possible to include solar, radiant heat,
    geo thermal, etc.

    few chickens for eggs, great garden and greenhouse to keep the veggies goin most of the year if not all.
    Couple horses to ride.
    Maybe some beef cattle and pigs down the road (we don't do dairy)
    Place for my yellow lab to run and maybe get him a friend!

    I'm 34yo and married with 2 kids (son 5 and daughter 2). My wife stays home with the kids, but it's hard to do this in the city.
    I work full time for a large cable company and started a business on the side in 2002. The business brings in about 50% of what my
    FT job does now, but I'd like to find something more web-based and less location-dependent. Love to have more time with kids and home
    and safe place to raise family in a wholesome way. My wife agrees with me, so it's just a matter of finances now!

    Love to hear from web entrepeneurs to discuss ideas on making money on the web.

    Love this forum!
  7. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    Wow...I can only tell you what sounds good today, 'cause the ideal changes often. :haha:

    Today what sounds great is 70 acres, half timber, half pasture. Set about a mile off the pavement with a very old fixer upper. Huge, good, but ugly barn. mostly fenced. Good water ( a luxury here) and beautiful 100 year old trees in the yard. A half acre of garden space with a greenhouse. A good calm milk cow and one more goat. The chicks grown up and laying. Oh, and a mute maid so I can spend all the time with the children and the animals and still have clean clothes and dishes, and not have another woman's mouth in the house to deal with! :haha: Oh and I am a woman before any one flames me. All this for the bargain basement price of $160,0000, plus enought o fix the house.
  8. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    We can't do all those modest dreams because: we THINK we can't do them right now.

    I am not sure how things happen, or how we convince ourselves to make them happen, but we do.

    This might sound a little corny or idealistic: I know I have done a lot of things -- amazing things -- really; I think I just went ahead and did it; with total, unwavering resolve; we did WHATEVER it took to finish or START the task.

    How you get to that point of no return, that point of total commitment -- I don't know -- maybe it's a form of craziness -- or foolishness (from a more conservative person's point of view).

    I am going to try to do one thing right now that I want to, and I find difficult. I going to see how the process works -- then maybe I can expand that to bigger decisions -- though this is the same as for other bigger, grander ideas.

    I am going to get off this forum (for the rest of the day!) -- and get back to work: a giant step for starting the rest of Alex's life.

    Can he make it?

    Good bye.

    I'm leaving.

    That's it.

  9. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    I want somewhere rural but not too rural. Basically want the creature comforts of civilization but none of the hassles. Access to good Internet speed / service, good delivery for mail, UPS, etc. Reasonable shopping opportunities and access to big cities within a few hours. Somewhere that is super cheap, both for land / houses and general living. Very low crime rates. Neighbors I can take or leave, don't want the unsocial types.

    Ideal would be something like 30 - 40 acres, barn / outbuildings, would like to build my own high mass house. Probably either stone or rammed earth. Want the ability to be completely energy self sufficient in terms of heat / hot water but would like to be connected to the grid with the ability to maybe cogenerate power for payment by the utility.

    Ability to do a home brew hydroelectric or solar system, mostly wooded acres with good variety of hardwoods, some fields, place to have a nice garden, fruit trees, berries, maybe a little greenhouse. Maybe be able to harvest a bit of my own lumber. Possible home brew sewage treatment plant, septic systems do not turn me on. Maybe get another dog. Be able to dabble in a lot of different things but not have to work very hard at any of them. Be free to travel and not have to worry too much about leaving the place. No hassles generated by somebody from the outside to demand their agendas be met on my time. Want a reasonable travel distance to my relatives that I like. Have the ability for them and other visitors to come and stay in comfort.

    Want a first rate workshop with all the toys and tools, blacksmith shop, to do home foundry stuff, good metal working / welding shop. Lots of little sheds, garage or place to park all vehicles out of the weather.

    Want a very high differential in money between my present location and future paradise so selling my house here allows plenty of slack to buy all sorts of other things, like trucks, tractors, equipment, etc and still leave some left over after getting the property for fun and buying more toys, investments to have even more income than at present. Prime interest is in finding something a bit distressed where I can make it into what is desired and / or quickly increase its value. Where they have nominal building controls / rules.

    Slowly putting it together.

    Have my present house in Ma. under agreement to sell next month. Trying to buy a small house outside a town in SE Ohio as the base to then do a lot of searching for the ideal property. Supposely have an agreement, signed / sent all the papers, still haven't heard if the deal was accepted. Moving will be pain, these real estate people totally have their heads in their own dark cavities. Everything is a problem and they never seem to be skilled in solving any of it, answer all questions with brilliant "I don't know" replies.

    This initial house is just a throw away deal to get based somewhere to do a lot of travel / looking within a day or two drive. Trying to put my destiny under my own control as much as possible. Depending on how it works out may resell / keep / give to a relative / or whatever feels right / throw key in, followed by a match :haha: . This one is a bit of a fixer-upper (If I am eventually successful in buying it). Never even seen it in person, had them run around and take pictures. Would be nice to find somebody relatively close to just go take a peek at it. I am tied here until this construction project behind me completes some trenching, they can do a massive amount of damage to my house and I can't chance not being around until that is complete. Just need an address to move too initially. The renting hassles and dumb arsed people factors are out of sight in attempting to do a leap based on putting some tight schedules together to get me out of MA all in one piece at a reasonable price. Difficult to see how anyone ever pulls this off. :D Everybody seems to have agendas, if you meet their requirements, they simply move the goal posts. :rolleyes: Really hoping a couple of nephews can come thru to help out with certain tasks.

    This method should allow me to take a lot of potential useful junk accumulated over the years for that type of lifestyle. Within the next week or so I should know if I have solved the first big hurdle to getting back somewhere in Ohio.

    Potentially my areas of prime interest are Adams, Athens, or Monroe and its surrounding counties. Lots of properties well within my range and should be able to find something that suits. Even considering buying a Town Place and something a little more rural within a relatively easy commute.

    You can only plan so much and do things from afar. Always some risk. Trying to line up some relatives to help. Maybe I need to go to church more often, Lord help this sinner get thru it. :worship: :p I have the huge hurdle done, getting a private sweet deal for my house in Boston, in the clean out phase now, moving to a less certain but hopeful future. Praying for the certainty I tried to buy with a throw away shack located somewhere out of New England. One step at a time and easy does it. ;)
  10. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2002
    Fl Zones 11
    I would like just a tad bit more land- an acre or so- within easy walking distance of the lake cabin. I would plant it with non citrus fruit trees and berries, enlarge my garden and possibly raise rabbits. Need to find a duck egg producer locally so I can try duck eggs, if I like em, I would like to have a couple Indian runners and maybe some heirloom geese. (I had pet ducks as a child) I don't want any more occasions like the carambola, that grows so nicely and produces 2-3 crops a year of starfruit, but...I...just...don'
  11. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Jul 25, 2004
    Pell City, AL
    50+ acres, Northwest style log cabin right in the middle with a huge river rock fireplace open on two sides, the kitchen and the living room. A driveway with no mud. Fenced and cross fenced. Two milk goats and a herd of meat goats. We have rabbits already. I'd like to commercially raise heritage breeds of chickens. I'd like a huge flock of muscovies and sebastapol geese. At least three ponds, maybe more. One big one for bass and bream and a smaller one for catfish. Of course to have our own well and for everything to be solar powered. I want several huge greenhouses. I'd like to have one heated and full of tanks to raise tropical fish. Huge gardens and orchards, hay fields and alfalfa fields.

    I want it all, if I'm dreaming. For now, this year, I just want my driveway fixed and to be moved with all the parrots set up for breeding. I want to order some broiler chicks and some blue turkeys. I want to fence some of our five acres for Sam, our beloved pyr, and to get some goats.
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Reading many of the posts about the homesteading 'dream' are interesting.

    My idea of a 'goal' in homesteading in a philosophical sense is in the notion of conservation, doing for yourself without a drag on the environment, sustaining yourself with renewable and clean energy use, utilizing heritage and heirloom plants and animals for diversity, and a sense of well being with concern for your fellow beings.

    A 'dream' is to do without want, and desire for concerning nature within your scheme of homestead activities. I like to think of things like achievieng an organic cycle to what one is doing by homesteading. For example, a 'dream' compost system to maintain a 'dream' soil for a 'dream' garden is by starting with the basics and adding layers to the 'lifestyle'. So, my dream is to incorporate the following:

    A decent comfortable structure to live that has room enough to do those activities required to achieve my levels of homestead interests. An area of crafting room within, or attached to the dwelling tha will be lived in. Size of dwelling and construction isn't important, except that it should be compact and insulated enough to be energy efficiency for the use intended. An area for office and some other room for creature comfort with my companion animals, such as my dogs. A sunroom would be nice. A basement with a cold area (cold storage), a large cistern, and an area with under floor heating that will radiate quiet heat during winter from the outside wood furnace boiler system. The warm floor area also is an early spring boost to start strong seedlings for the garden.This furnace would be ideally fueled from an ongoing woodlot, with assuring reforesting to maintain a cabon sink to help counteract any CO2 released from the wood heat. To 'dream' further would be to utilize a system to burn manure dried bricks for the fuel source and that would double to utilize a fine ash source of fertilizer.

    A barn. Good sized and 2 floors. The bottom floor split up to have a shop area for construting things for the animals and garden, and maintenance/storage of the machines used on the homestead (chain saw, tiller, lawn tractor,etc.). The rest of the barn area divided for holding poultry or animals.

    Chicken coops.....probably 2, with maybe separations of them to hold breeding stock of heritage turkeys, and other heritage poultry, and the main coop for laying hens and some laying ducks. Muskovy and Khaki ducks would be part of the mix and able to forage for insect control. Chicken and Turkey tractors utilize to move along the clover bearing pasture.

    Pasture area.....Whatever acerage it is, and divide up into paddocks with high tensile wire fencing, for rotaional grazing. Meat goats to be part of this.
    Tamworth or other bacon type hogs to be kept in rotational areas early in spring to root where the garden is to be. This should be green planted in something that pigs will utilize as part of their organic feed source. So, this means about 4 large fenced garden areas. Pigs, then moved to other pasture with either 'tractor' movable system or proper fenced area for them.

    Gardens.....4 large annual gardens distanced from each other both for purpose in rotation to help prevent disease and esthetics.....and one perrenial vegetable garden. The perrenial is for asparagus and possibly bramble berries or strawberries.

    Large Compost Bins (two compartment)....One near each garden to be built and all manure/bedding from poultry and animal sources to cook and make finished compost.

    Store Building..with road entrance to the craft selling business and for market garden sales. This, and a vermiculture operation, is part of the homestead full time revenue stream.

    Ideally, I would like the possibility to develop part of the farm as an energy farm with wind power electrical generation, and get to the stage where methane digestion could be utilized for an energy source since corn for ethanol fuel isn't grown in this region.
    Those are 'dreams'.....some of which can be put into practice sooner or later.
    Oh, and beehives, and some natural foraging areas for morels, fiddleheads, berries and such for the added benefit of true homesteading for diversity.
  13. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 26, 2003
    New York
    My wants are quite simple.............I have 5 acres, and I think that's enough.

    I've planted a dozen fruit trees and ordered 2 more Gala apple trees for this spring. I have 8 blueberry bushes and will add 6 more this spring. The big addition this year will be 2 beehives, and if the weather cooperates, I'll get the pond dug. I have a huge garden, and expand it yearly.

    I have lots of chickens and a few ducks, sheep and goats, dogs, cats and rabbits. I am buying a pony this summer for the niece and nephews. I've always dreamed of surrounding myself with critters, and it's now a reality.

    Someday I'll need to replace this old trailer I'm living in, but for now it's fine. I'd love a small wood house, 1000 sq. ft. would be perfect, with a metal roof. I'll put a woodstove in it. And I'd love a summer kitchen, and a nice barn with running water and power, and as long as I'm dreaming, I'll wish for the perfect homesteading mate, too.

    My goal is to retire and have everything set so I can truely be self-sufficient. I'll barter for whatever I can't produce for myself, and sell just enough to pay the taxes and insurance. I have a bit of a survivalist mentality, so I try to be ready for anything that could happen.
  14. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Hmm it is a bit difficult to look at what I dreamed compared to what I have... I wanted a small house in a pine forest, a nice shop for myself and another for my husband, some chickens, a creek, a bit of pasture in case i decided to get a horse someday. A couple of greenhouses that were heated so I could grow food all year long. Solar and wind energy and a wonderful well. I have been blessed to have a good portion of my dream, though we have NO water, I still dont have my own workshop, we did get solar panels this year and a small wind generator. We do life on top of a mountain in a pine forest and since we have no water we are always very concerned about forest fires (due to 7 years of drought). I would not trade it for anything, though I am getting tired of all the work of building our own home and out buildings etc etc etc for ever and ever it seems LOL. Can you tell I should just stop and go to bed LOL
  15. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    That's a nice place ...Oz
  16. Stickywitch

    Stickywitch Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    Sweeping over Salem
    I once heard it said that "You can measure the success of a man by the length of his driveway"

    I'm not a man but I want a long driveway.
    I want a driveway soooo long that I can see someone coming a mile down the road and still have time to dust away my cobwebs if I need to.

  17. Blackthorne

    Blackthorne Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    My dream is... a couple hundred acres of pasture, woodland & crop ground with a good creek, lotsa hills. A giant old house with loads of character, wood heat (with all that woodland) solid outbuildings for cattle, horses, hogs, chickens and machinery storage. A big garden, so we can grow most of what we eat. Good hunting - also for eating. Perennial beds, a fruit orchard, a pond with at least a few fish in it. Snow in winter and sun in summer. A great place to raise our kids without neighbors.... and I am thankfull every single day that we are living the dream I just described. Life is good.
  18. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    Hmm got the land! 22 acres
    5 springs so far
    2 creeks
    walking distance to a river

    the dream -----

    1500 sq ft A frame style
    metal roof =-= green
    solar powered
    400 sq foot workshop for me!

    chickens ducks geese turkeys and and
    gotta have a couple


    big garden

    and a tall sweet lady to do all the work! LOL Just kidding!
  19. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2004

    Hi Sisterpine, All you need is a good rest and you will feel like getting up and getting back to work again. We have had our homestead 20 yuears and the work never ends. But life is designed that way I think. We enjoy the work and do the seasonal work on time. The rest gets done as we get to it. What we have learned is to keep a sence of humor, take setbacks on the chin and realize it isn't the end of the world for instance when the goats eat all the winter cabbage in one day as was the case here last fall. !! We enjoy nature, family and eachother and don't worry about what we don't have when the necessary things are all here; that is what matters. We are warm and dry and have enough to eat and stay fairly well. It is the good life when the weather doesn't destroy our crops or they aren't eaten by pests. The good life is when the children grow up and make what they want of their own life and no longer complain about how hard it was growing up! The first seedlings popping through the ground in the spring and the little baby goats in the barn bring us joy. Our dream place wasn't perfect and we have neighbours and not the isolation we wanted. But that can be a good thing too and they aren't meddlers. We are thankful everyday for our almost perfect ten acres.
  20. cheryl-tx

    cheryl-tx Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Kings Mountain, NC
    Guess I have my dream, BIG house, got my HUGE kitchen I always wanted 24x24, little over 3 acres, good neighborhood, some good friendly neighbors, family within spittin distance. Hubby has darn good job, which gives me the opportunity to be home with kids. I work one day a week, don't have to, but do so to build the savings. No debt, no credit cards. BUT, I do still dream for more, want the 3 wooded acres behind us, wish for a stocked pond and wish M.U.D (municipal utility district) would pack up and leave. :waa: well got capped, oh well, times change, gotta give stuff up. Want someone to magically appear and finish fence. Wish the area was less wet, but I can still work with it. Other than MUD, no zoning problems. Got two tralier plots on land with hookups, no renters, just had occasional family member use, all gone now, but a source of income later if needed. Dreams can happen, sometimes you have to compromise or wait for that dream, but get out there and catch it, life is way too short!