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Customer Discussions > Gardening forum

How to Make Money Homesteading


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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2012, 10:20:56 AM PDT
TY says:
The Farm-Dreams Guide to Profitable Homesteading

Just sharing a link for a new ebook I just read and really found helpful. If anyone else has read it let's discuss here.

Posted on Apr 20, 2012, 1:44:50 PM PDT
J. K. Boaz says:
I don't read e books as a rule, but I'm gonna try to get the actual book version of this! Thanks for posting the link here, T.J.. My husband and I are quickly gravitating toward this way of thinking. Next comes the lifestyle.. we are afraid. However, I have started to diligently motivate each of us to liquidate our assets so that we may move to an ideal location. Conversation, advice, and words of encouragement are welcome but I am mostly interested in people's stories. How did you arrive at this lifestyle? Are you successful so far? Let's start a dialogue about the whole topic!

Posted on Apr 20, 2012, 2:42:09 PM PDT
TY says:
Hi J.K.

I'm in a populated area but still have a few acres that I can raise chickens and much of my food. We have a wonderful farming community in Athens, Georgia and two great farmers markets. One of the farmers we've supported for years wrote a fascinating book called The Accidental Farmers. They influenced my family's thinking in their blog well before they ever wrote the book. We couldn't make the leap from city to farm like they did but we were able to get started with chickens (meat and laying) and some rabbits, and have a great garden and small orchard.

I used to admire all the "pretty" trees around me...you know, Crepe Myrtles, Bradford Pear, etc. but now I look at all the land that is planted to non-food producing trees and plants. We began replacing everything with something we can eat and now have some almond trees, pomegranate, apple, plum, blackberries/strawberries, asparagus, and much more. Mostly in raised beds.

Other books that really turned my head were Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.

About the Farm Dreams book...I thought it was a very good guide and had some EXCELLENT ideas for income generation. Many I had never considered. However, the one caveat I'll add is that it just offers lots of great ideas but doesn't go into tons of detail into them. That job is up to the reader once they decide what they're interested in. Otherwise I suppose it would have been a 300 page book.

Posted on Apr 20, 2012, 10:48:25 PM PDT
mtnwmn says:
My husband and I made the homesteading decision a little over five years ago. We were renting at the time, but had a wonderful landlord who let us put in three huge gardens. Three years ago, we bought our first house. It's small and our mortgage is less than half of what most people pay per month. I was able to quit my full time job and now work one to two days a week for a little extra cash. We began buying all of our dry goods at a dry goods store in bulk and we make everything from scratch. This has saved us an enormous amount of money. We are raising chickens and ducks, but only use them for eggs at this point so we break about even on them. We purchased a flex-fuel stove this year and have been burning corn instead of our old kerosene furnace and have cut our heating bill to less than half. Simply making every meal at home, buying nothing in a box/can/preprepared we have been able to save enough money for me to work eight hours a week instead of forty plus. We're trying a different garden this year with a method called gardening by the foot. It saves space and gives a much higher yield than traditional garden plans. The book can be found on amazon at All New Square Foot Gardening
We're excited to see how this pans out. A master gardener friend of ours has been doing it for years and she said since she began utilizing this method, her yields have greatly improved. Homesteading can certainly be done and though in the beginning you may live a bit tighter (financially), time is priceless and you gain that in droves. Life is much less stressful and we've found that things that were deemed "necessities" just don't seem necessary anymore. We dropped cable almost a year ago, got netflix for less than a tenth of what we were paying and spend more quality time together working on projects, reading and just talking.
I think that while daunting at first (big changes always are...), you will be fulfilled. Remember that you can't do everything at once. Small steps; one thing at a time and you won't be overwhelmed. There are a great many blogs and books available with great ideas to refer to.
If you'd like to watch us evolve through our homesteading life, visit our homesteading blog at www.mountainwomanproducts.blogspot.com. It's new, but we will be posting new content regularly.
Best of luck to you...I have no doubt you're going to enjoy it!

Posted on Apr 22, 2012, 4:49:40 AM PDT
J. K. Boaz says:
So much good advice! I am amazed to see how like minded we all are! We are also trying square foot gardening this year, along with having planted many fruit trees. I am on my way to church right now but will post again later and tell my story here too. Thanks to everyone!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012, 3:41:57 PM PDT
J. K. Boaz says:
@ MountainWoman: Very cool website! I really love the blog and am subscribed. Our story is just weird..lol. My husband and I both lost very good jobs in 2010. There has been little else in our lives since (besides financial devastation). I have been feeling a very strong pull toward homesteading for about a year now. What I first thought was simple survival skills due to necessity, quickly turned into a simpler way of life that I happen to very much prefer (much to my surprise!). By simpler, I do not mean less work..quite the opposite. I too have experienced a dramatic twist in what I now determine "necessity". I am being introduced to the right people, books, this chat! at what I believe is the right time. Let's face it, our culture in general is on a steady decline; in terms of quality of life.. We are all so "plugged in" that the effects are starting to make themselves known. My husband has begun watching the doomsday preppers, and frankly I am concerned. Again, I feel a very strong pull toward homesteading that just has to mean something, right??

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 9:21:15 PM PDT
Miss says:
Hello,
My husband and i bought some property in the mountains of california nad over the last 6 years have built a log cabin and have been raising sheep. im putting in a large garden this year and am learning how to can vegetables. its alot of work but i enjoy it. we are three mile off the grid so it has been a big change. our boys are still young (4 and 5) but they love every minute of living where we live. we have big plans for a root cellar hopefully in a year or so. my husband works but i dont so thigs are slow going material wise. but you would be amazed at wht you can recycle to work for so many other things. were gitting chickens and rabbits next month along with another pig or two. i read a book called "the self sufficient life and how to live it" and it is filled with a wealth of knowledge. Everything for us has been a learn as you go kind of thing. were are hoping to plant some fruit trees next year along with some chestnut trees. our whole life has turned into an adventure and were loving every minute of it.

Posted on Apr 28, 2012, 11:31:30 AM PDT
Kat Jordan says:
We have 5 acres - horses, chickens, ducks and geese. The first big money maker was the ducks. I'd get 3 hatches of up to 20 ducklings and sell them at the flea market. But I lost all but 2 of my flock to dogs - got discouraged and bought chickens.

I have eggs year round, and sell them from the house, or when I've got more than 6 dozen, I take them to the farmer's market down the road. I don't make a profit with eggs, buying chicks every year takes it all. I'm going to get back into selling ducks, keeping all my female ducks as breeding stock. Having both should work better.

Posted on Apr 28, 2012, 12:57:13 PM PDT
J. K. Boaz says:
Welcome, Miss! Girl, you are seriously walkin the walk! All of you here are a real inspiration to me.. any dramatic lifestyle change can be scary, so I take comfort that everyone here seems really happy with their choices. I love the words, rewarding, fulfilled, and adventure when hearing you and others refer to homesteading. I am more excited than scared now, I can't thank you all enough! Especially for all the book referrals, I have ordered several books.. now I just have to make the commitment to reading them!

Posted on Apr 28, 2012, 1:35:43 PM PDT
Kat Jordan says:
I'm currently working from home - a self-published romance writer. However, I'm not going to plug my books because that can get me thrown off the Amazon Forums. But taking care of the farm takes up the most of my time.

I will plug a website called 'thecitychicken.com' for people who live in the suburbs and want to get started with poultry. Anyone can raise 2 hens in the back yard.

Posted on Apr 28, 2012, 2:57:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 28, 2012, 3:00:24 PM PDT
J. K. Boaz says:
At K.A.: Like any good city girl, I am seriously intimidated at the prospect of any animal farming. We only have a 3 acre lot and 3 outdoor cats. How do cats and poultry get along? If that isn't an obstacle, killing and butchering the birds would be mildly upsetting for me but my husband said he might be willing to try it.. I already buy my eggs local and really enjoy that. Is it wierd to feel funny about taking the eggs from the moms? It does somehow seem mean.. look what grocery stores have done to me! lol.. I am checking out that city chicken site right now and so far..I love it !

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012, 8:28:06 PM PDT
Kat Jordan says:
Only 3 acres? You're ready to go! Our place is 5 acres. There is a lot you can do.

I've got 3 horses, the poultry started as as pest control, but 120 baby ducks later I had to start selling them to keep the population down. That was a dozen years ago, when I was renting pasture space for my horses.

I don't butcher our chickens. I'll sell them, on the wing so to speak, but I won't do them in. My drakes go to a Chinese family. The older hens still lay and egg here and there - they only live a couple of years, so I keep them around.

My cats detest the chicks, won't go anywhere near them. (My dogs are the problem. I've got 2 Jack Russels who kill on sight.) Although there is an odd friendship between my 2nd rooster, Spike, and one of my cats. He dances around me, like he would a hen, but has never offered to harm me. Let's me pet him and eats from my hand. I like Spike.

Most hens have lost the instinct to brood eggs. I've only had 2, out of some 30 hens, who successfully raised a brood of chicks. Then only after they were 3 years old and not laying as much. My ducks are better mothers. I've had ducks hatch chicken eggs and take care of chicks. I've also had one hen who brooded a duckling.

Make sure you have a place for the adult chickens before you buy the chicks. They need constant warmth for 2 weeks and then can go outside on good days.

Have fun!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012, 11:59:52 PM PDT
Swedey says:
How can one help a hen get her groove back then? Can that instinct return? Or are there breeds that still brood?

Interesting, thanks for posting.

Posted on Apr 29, 2012, 3:54:03 AM PDT
TY says:
You basically have to "breed" for that instinct. Find one (of the 30) who has it, have her sit on a nest of HER OWN eggs and keep the females. Since chickens have such as short breeding cycle (21 days for the egg to hatch; start laying in 4-5 months), you can get to the 3rd generation in one year.

BTW, a website that is pretty helpful with all this stuff is farm-dreams.com.

Posted on Apr 29, 2012, 6:34:44 AM PDT
Kat Jordan says:
T. J. is right - there are breeders who have 'small farm' flocks that are bred to brood and raise chicks. I've only seen it in hens 2 or 3 years old.

My biggest problem has been my own dogs killing my chickens. Finding ways to keep the dogs away from the chickens has been a real problem. I ended up using electrified poultry fencing to keep the dogs in a separate yard. Which only works when the gate is closed and the fence on.

I can plug my blog where I talk about the farm. jordans croft.blogspot.com - find 'chickens' on the right my adventures are detailed there.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012, 8:00:28 AM PDT
Bamboochik says:
I could see the housing bubble forming back in the 90's and realized that some day it was going to bust wide open and destroy a lot of peoples lives. Since my hubby and I were going to be retiring in about ten years we made our plans to avoid what was to come and to be able to live comfortably on our SS plus our home businesses.

First thing we did was to buy ten acres of land, buy an affordable manufactured home, put up a shop for hubby and a greenhouse for me. Next was to plant a fruit tree orchard as well as many berries. We skipped nut trees since they take a long time to mature and we are not young.

We raise chickens for eggs, bunnies for their fur (for needleworkers) worms (bunnies over worm beds) and we have a stocked pond for much of our protein and the fun of fishing.

Hubby has a small auto body shop where he does restorations for car buffs and I grow many different plants that I sell here along with excess eggs, fruit, bunny-worm compost and veges. We are on a state highway so we are fortunate in that respect with our businesses.

Books I highly recommend are Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! All New Square Foot Gardening

The most important thing is NOT to go into debt to do this and to get out of debt before you begin your homesteading goals. Living simply without stress is the key to happiness. Material things will just weigh you down so if you are a big "shopping addict", forget this dream because that's all it is, a dream. Good luck to all !!!!Micro Eco-Farming: Prospering from Backyard to Small Acreage In Partnership with the EarthSolviva: How to grow $500,000 on one acre, and Peace on Earth

Posted on Apr 29, 2012, 8:24:53 AM PDT
Kat Jordan says:
Square Foot Gardening can turn any yard in to a productive garden. I had better results in a city lot and 4"x8" bed than I ever had here at the Croft in a big garden. I went back to Square Foot Gardening last year and finally got some results. It shocked me that it's much harder to get a garden going here than it was in the City. I think it has to do with the land being 'farmed out' to the point where nothing wants to grow. The pasture was nothing but weeds - my horses needed hay year round. Three years ago I bought a very small manure spreader, a bag of grass seed and started spreading. The first spring the difference was noticable, but it is still an up-hill battle. I still need to mow down the weeds monthly. Now everythig is fertilizer, horse bedding, wood ashes and chicken litter. The chickens are the composters and bug control.
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Discussion in:  Gardening forum
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Total posts:  17
Initial post:  Apr 16, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 29, 2012

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