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#1 Posted : Thursday, February 01, 2007 5:29:41 PM
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Welcome, Michael, glad you found the place, been fun for me.
We are close to the move to "The Place" our cabin.
We have been working on the project for quite a few years, and do enjoy the building and getting ready part.
We too palnted trees first thing after buying the land, guess thats a given, ''cuse just about everyone I see does the same thing.
Good luck.
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 03, 2007 1:12:58 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Welcome. We like to hear those stories about how it''s all coming together.
John Stiles
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 06, 2007 1:54:28 PM
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Posts: 134,494
pitfalls? Yes, do not let folks park their cars that do not run on your property.
Nutsy Fagan
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 14, 2007 10:04:18 PM
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Hi, I am new to this forum and new to the concept of Homesteading for myself. When my husband and I bought these 13 acres of trees back in 1980 we were both hippie environmentalists with lofty goals. When we built a geodesic dome in the middle of our woods in 1988 I still had the lofty goals but alas my husband started to turn to the dark side. I wanted solar power, he said we couldn''t afford it and the house is all electric; I wanted a garden, he had to have a lawn; I wanted our lifestyle to be environmentally friendly, he only recycled.

My husband is gone now and I have been left with an all electric geodesic dome in need of repairs, but with decent southern exposure in southwestern Pennsylvania. There are still a lot of trees on my 13 acres and a select harvest was done in 2001 so I can''t do that again for a few years.

I have three children and my youngest, my daughter, is very much with me in our pursuit of a natural healthy lifestyle. My sons are pursuing their own healthy, happy lifestyles on their own with just occasional help from Mom.

There is so much to do, I just don''t know where or how to start.
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:39:19 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Hi Nutsy
Sorry to hear about your loss.  I had some friends back in Oregon, Jennifer and Paul, who were also what you would discribe as "barefoot hippy types".  They bought 16 acres, started raising goats and organic vegetables, but in the end it didn't work out.  Their goats died, the vegetables rotted in the field, and the last I heard they had gotten a divorse.  We have been trying to avoid the same kinds of mistakes.  The single most important thing is knowing where the money is going to come from.  My wife and I decided that we'd keep our careers for now and make the homestead a weekend kind of thing.  We're paying off the mortages on both our house and land and expect to be debt-free in another 9 years.  During the same time period we get to SLOWLY develop our homestead the way we want it.  Then, we can take the big plunge!  For now, we have to stick to relistic goals.  This last summer I decided to put a roof on our cabin.  I designed, scrounged, and built it myself, but it took forever  and by the end of the summer my wife was accusing me of being a single mother!  I didn't get it finished till the Thanksgiving day weekend!

You can see a picture of it at...

The main justification was that you can't walk away from an unfinished roof before winter comes.  It's done now, but the next big project has to be set with more realistic goals.  I don't want to end up like Jennifer and Paul! 

So Nutsy, may I ask what is your source of income now?  How are you planning to fund repair work.  I have to say, the cheapest way to go is the do-it-yourself route.  Do you have a public library to go to?  I also like to go the the local flea market and buy second hand books, most for just a dollar or two.  When you say "all electric" do you mean everything, including winter heating?  That's very expensive!  One of the first things I would do is install a woodstove.  I just bought a used one from a neighbor for 120$.  Since you have a woodlot, wood heating is a natural.  If you are used to an all electric house, switching to solar is going to be very painfull.  All our homestead neighbors have altenative energy systems, and most are based on propane.  This means propane lighting, propane cooking, and propane refrigerators.  That usually means a 250-500 gallon propane tank in your front yard.  Is this something you want?

#6 Posted : Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:21:42 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Hello.  My name is Barbara.  My husband and I bought 44 acres near San Antonio, TX.  When we bought it, it had sat unused for years.  All the pastures were overgrown with post oaks.  No one cared for the well, so it had caved in.  We bought a repossessed mfg home, put in a well and an aerobic septic.  Since there's clay underground, the septic didn't pass the perc test.  So we got the aerobic set up that doesn't need leach lines.  It cleans the water, then it comes out sprinklers.  I don't have money for cattle yet, so I lease the land to someone with cattle.  I'm getting the land cleared for free by a guy in the firewood business.  I work full time as a nurse in San Antonio.  I just want to say, it takes a lot of cash to get started.  I really admire the Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites and would like to start a little community where we grow organic produce and meat goats.  It's really a beautiful place here--covered with wild flowers and beautiful trees.  I'm leaving the largest trees and only having the spindly ones cleared.

#7 Posted : Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:21:42 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Hello All
I am a new member and wanted to say hello to everyone. Two years ago my wife and I purchased a 50 acre parcel of oak woodland in the Sierra foothills with the goal of developing it into a self-sufficent organic homestead. It's in a remote area without electricity or utilities, so our nearest neighbor is about a mile away.

We have a five year plan to get our trees planted, complete the building of a cabin, and put in our garden. We've started out by planting about 50 fruit and nut trees, and putting a roof on a raw block building that will be our cabin. This coming year we'll be planting more trees, plumbing well water into the building, and installing a bathroom. Later projects include installing woodstoves, propane, and finally a solar/wind electrical system.

For now we aren't living on the land as yet. We're keeping our jobs in town till we pay off our mortgages and have the homestead developed to the point that we can live there year-round. I'm estimating that in another eight years we can be debt-free and then we'll be ready to relocate to "the ranch". For now we're satisfied with weekend trips and holiday's there with myself and family members putting in almost all the development labor.

I'd love to hear from other homesteaders and hear what kinds of successes and pitfalls you've had in putting together your own places.
Take care,
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