Sunday, May 10, 2015

Homestead Travails and a New Approach

If you have been following this blog you know we are working on buying a small farm to grow our own food and animals on and that this has been an evolving plan for 5 years.
The sale of my old home place should have been a hopeful time and it was briefly.

There has been little mention of our progress due to struggles with changing laws and the ever money hungry government. Suffice to say the damage inflicted in that department had severely changed our land purchase plans. Is it God giving us a clout along side the head because we are both stubborn and are stuck on a bigger property?

A large farm....big dreams.

Anyway this is an update and a view of our changed plans.

1- Land size reduced from a property of 50 to 100+ acres to a property of 20 to 50 acres.
2- A home size reduction from 1800 to 2000+ square feet to a home from 1300 to 1800 square feet.
3- No milk cow
4- No breeding pigs until we find out how much a smaller place can really carry. [ We will try to have a pig or two just not raise our own piglets from our own sow]
5- One breed of goats. [ We had plans to try two or three breeds to find the one we liked the best]
6- No rabbits at this point.
7- Less but more versatile equipment and attachments for the tiller and perhaps a used tiller not brand new one.
8- A smaller orchard with less variety of trees.
9- Ralph will look for a job after we are moved to help keep our cash reserves....reserved!
10- A less mixed flock of chickens and the purchase of some more commercial type meat birds to start our meat supply.
11- A smaller number of geese and ducks.
12- More intensive use of land and careful land management.
13- The use of more smaller portable buildings.

Smaller property with less work to manage and easier to maintain..more realistic.

We have been looking for property online again and since the money is supposed to arrive at the end of May we will be ready for another land search trip. It has been a truly discouraging winter/spring. This all started on August the 8th on 2014 and dragged on until now.

Despite what the news reports the real estate market is still out of kilter. There are fewer small farms on the market that I have seen in 5 years. There is a huge increase in smaller plots of bare land for sale. These are parcels that people are selling off to get money to make up in other areas. I was talking to one realtor and she said she had 6 listings that had been subdivided off larger properties because the larger places were not selling unless they had taken huge price drops.

I know we are going to find a place and it is interesting to see what is out there with our new search criteria.

So the adventure continues and will just be a bit different.

God Bless you all


  1. Twenty to fifty acres is a sizeable piece of land. Celi over at the kitchen's garden has pigs, goats, chickens, peacocks and a milk cow with calf and a couple of steers on only 7 acres. If you get enough rain for the pastures you should have more than enough on this size farm. Am I missing something here?

    1. Your not missing is just a learning curve for me as I am used to land that only carries 1 cow on 20 acres and received only 12 inches of rain in a good year. We had wanted more land as a reserve for dry years and as a privacy barrier to have fewer neighbors. We want to have lush healthy pastures and as few input costs for feed as possible. I have a phobia about over grazing and it is going to take me a while to adjust to the different climate and carrying capacity.

  2. Even though your dreams have changed, Fiona, you are still blessed with a tremendous opportunity. Let the new search begin, and I bet in just a short amount of time, you will both be excited by the new opportunities before you. I look forward to hearing about the search, decision and the big move.


  3. hi,
    just a word.
    you're not getting any younger and with a view to age adjustments you may find smaller is better because of less upkeep overall.
    i hope to have a one floor plan if we are able to move again with laundry facilities on the main floor.
    one likes a basement for tornado shelter and to house the internal organs of one's abode.
    i'd like wider doorways in case of wheelchair becoming necessary.

    you mentioned the cost of fencing [shudder]. much less with smaller property.

    i got a book from amazon about the unseen garden. tells how and what to plant to look like natural growth but which is really fruits in a less obvious appearance.
    called secret garden of survival by rick austin.

    also get 'one green world' catalog 1-877-353-4028
    cornelian cherries, honeyberries and a host of others.
    require little care and are pest free.
    have lots of vitamins, too.

    God will provide you with what is good for you and downsizing your plans is probably His will.
    God's blessing on your move!!

    1. Thank you for your insight, the catalog sounds great and I am going to get one. We have honey berries on our list and have several natural foraging books I have used forever. I think God is telling us we are getting older!