May 27, 2015 at 9:40 am #867
So, this is a forum to talk about MB related topics, publishing, authoring, booze, food, farming, off-grid living, homesteading, survival, and donuts.
May 27, 2015 at 11:59 am #869
Can you list your top ten priorities for off grid homesteading? 😀
May 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm #871
I’d like to know two things: Is that an image of Elvis I see on that there piggy’s hide, and if so is your pig in touch with the spirit of Elvis? Will we be reading about this ‘connection’ in a future novel?
May 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm #873
The Elvis connection to my homestead (and pigs) is top secret. He doesn’t like me to talk about it. 😉
May 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm #872
Oh, let me see. I’ll throw a list on here but I’m sure if I had time to think more about it I’d change it up some. But I’ll take a shot at it…
1. As far as choosing a place to homestead, FIRST, I want a place where I have the most freedom possible to do the things we’d need to do to survive and thrive. So I don’t want people telling me I can’t build a shed or I can’t catch water off of my own roof. Stability is really a key so that we can make long-term plans.
2. Water is a priority. And don’t underestimate it. Even if you live on a river, there are very important considerations. With us, we chose to live in a semi-arid desert, but we knew that with enough work we could catch enough water to survive, even if we’d only get an inch of rain a year. It is important to study about water and how homesteads are affected by it. Relying on unsustainable ways to procure water (pumps for example) can lead to disaster if the SHTF.
3. Growing season and length. Things don’t have to be perfect, and we can use tips and techniques to extend the growing season, but many people move to a place and buy land without considering if it will be possible for them to grow enough food there to make a go of it. Growing food, including animal food, is a huge priority. It can be done on small(ish) plots, but it takes a lot of planning. Ideally, being able to grow at least some food year around is an ideal.
4. Animal selection. Another area that can lead to grand failure. This needs to be studied carefully. Many people think “farm” and they think… milk cow, chickens, sheep, pigs, goats, turkeys, etc. but in reality these decisions are very much subject to the amount of land we have, what grows on it, and if we can grow enough food for the animals we have (planning on a system where food is bought at the feed store is planning to fail.) There are a lot of considerations, like perhaps rabbits, small birds, and mini-cattle instead of the big versions. Most homesteads fail because they can’t afford to support the feed store.
5. Raw materials. Stone, wood, clay, water, etc. Perhaps salt? It is good to know that if things collapse “out there” I can build serious and permanent structures with what exists on my land. Ample raw materials can help us sever our dependency on the lumber/hardware store and keep us busy when there is no money. Firewood is a major consideration.
6. Proximity to stuff. How close am I to town? What size town? What positives and negatives present themselves because of this information? Is there a small town nearby that would be a good place to do a farmer’s market? How far to get supplies? I personally prefer to be farther from town but not too far from some very small towns. I definitely do not want to be close, especially not in the same county, with a big city. Those people can get a wild hair and vote that you can’t keep pigs or something. But it is nice to be 6 to 12 miles from a small town. Even if we decide to use horses, we can still make a journey if we want to. You also need to consider traffic and crime.
7. What kind of homestead is it? Is it designed for sustainable survival? Or just a hop-skip-jump mini-farm to supplement some other income stream? Is it designed to turn a profit? As for us, we were looking for sustainable survival. We’d like to live out here with near zero input from the industrial/consumer system if possible. That is our goal. So that is something that needs to be considered before starting the homestead.
8. Wild edibles. From wild perennial or annual plants to the critters that live on or near the homestead. Is this going to be a viable way to provide a percentage of the necessary food for the family? We harvest plentifully from our land. From prickly-pear cactus, to agarito berries we seasonally pillage the land for food we can eat, store, preserve, ferment, etc.
9. Tools. Tools are definitely a priority, and the proper care and maintenance too. Also, consider what peculiar or particular tools your property might require and how you might repair or produce that tool if you need to.
10. Could be buildings and structures, but I’m going to say community. For us, we wouldn’t like to do this alone. Living near like-minded individuals who can help us (and vice versa) is critical to our happiness and success.
That’s just a quickie list. Like I said, if I spent some time thinking about it, I’d probably change it or move things around.
May 2, 2016 at 5:38 am #1960
How did you discover your community in Texas? Rod Dreher has described what he calls ‘the Benedict Option,’ where groups of like-minded people come together to form intentional communities built around agriculture. Not like agri-hoods, which seem upper-middle-class-trendy, but with a more spiritual emphasis; more like the New Catholic Land Movement, the Amish or Mennonites.
May 2, 2016 at 2:31 pm #1961
We started this community when we realized we needed to move from our old, smaller farm in West Texas. We had like-minded friends who were already trying to buy land near us in West Texas, so we decided to get together with them and look for a larger plot out here in Central Texas. Definitely an intentional community. Ours is founded on our agrarian like-mindedness, but is also founded on our same religious beliefs (like the Amish are). While others can move into our vicinity and participate at some level with friendship/work, etc. without being a part of our church community, only those who are part of the church community can be a part of our close communion and/or live within the actual confines of the community.
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