Becoming an Organic Farmer Starts with Baby Steps


| 9/30/2016 3:03:00 PM


Tags: beginning farming, homestead planning, Sarah Ratliff, Puerto Rico,

old house

While we were working with contractors to have our house expanded from 750 square feet to 1500 square feet, it seemed like the most significant step toward becoming farmers, until the real work began.

I will say we learned a lot about constructing a house in hurricane alley. The amount of steel rebar, cement and concrete blocks needed to ensure a house can withstand up to a category 5 hurricane (150+ miles per hour) is staggering. The number of steel-reinforced columns and beams needed to hold up a small farmhouse and carry a 600-gallon water tank / cistern on the roof is also mind blowing.

Construction

Construction lasted six months and on New Year’s Eve 2009, along with our two cats and two dogs, we moved into our newly expanded home. We were exhausted physically and emotionally and the only thing we had the energy to do was feed the animals and fall asleep on the bed we had been smart enough to set up the day before.

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