Thursday, October 1, 2015

Understanding what you sell

Yesterday we got 1000 board feet of  1x8's  1x10's and 1 x 12's. It is band sawn lumber from an Amish sawyer about 2.5 miles from us. We have shopped at Home Depot, Lowes and other big home stores like everyone, and I am sure we will shop at those stores again, they do rule the world so to speak.

However shopping local is on my mind more and more and this experience is one of the reasons we ALL should local source the things we need to build, can, and generally use about our homesteads.

1: Good Prices for what you get.
2: Knowledge of the product.
3: It may be a reachable source of something you need after a crash.
4: Often these business's provide other sources that you may not have found other wise.
5: Keeping the money in the community.
6: Cheerful conversation while loading.
7: A smile at seeing you.

These are just a few of the basic advantages of local shopping. We saved several hundred dollars on the actual lumber, saved fuel, found a firewood source and learned which planks to use to repair our big old tobacco barn walls. We also found a furniture maker that could use some of our old barn board to make furniture as we repair the building.

It was an enjoyable transaction as Ralph and Mervyn hand bombed the lumber into the back of the pickup.[It has a topper and we do have a love hate relationship with it but so far its rain protection has saved it]. The  men talked weather, feeding pigs, tractoring chickens, barefooted children  on gravel and of course the best wood for what.

The buying of feed locally has had many similar results. Knowledge of the area we would not have found, discussion of GMO and its consequence. A potential of Ram sales from our sheep. A source of economical organic fertilizer and all sorts of other things. This is from a man who knows his store and the feeds he sells. He is more than happy to find things you want and has won us as customers. The big stores have dragged us away from this team work aspect of shopping, much to the detriment of service and what it should be.

The Home and Building supply store shows us how things can be in a store that services both  large contractors and local builders as well as DIY folks. I still wade through the huge paint chip fan and I am getting the walls of the house colored to my preferences with  paint we bought there. They know where everything is in their store and have knowledge of what each produce is good for and which would be better if your selection is not quite right, often saving you money at the time. They have the supplies we need to change the doors on the tobacco barn from hinged doors to track doors, with lots information in the process. They make shopping a lot easier and offer more than competitive prices with any of the Chain stores, with much better quality!

So now we are heading out to put the wood to use,  dividing up the sections of tobacco barn into its next reincarnation as a mutli use animal facilitiy.

Think about your entire shopping experience next time you head out the door. Look local I know you will find it an enjoyable experience with surprises you do not expect.

God Bless you all

A special Congratulations to Leigh at 5 acres and a Dream. She has sold the 5000'th copy of her book and hopes to have the second one done by Christmas. She is having a draw for a copy so wander over to her blog and enjoy the reading.


  1. Fiona, you are so, so fortunate to have those wonderful local alternatives! What a blessing. I live in an area where folks simply don't get it. They are content to simply accept whatever the industrialists offer, including the landscaping lifestyle, rather than agrarianism. It is so hard to find good materials or an honest transaction here. So glad you're writing about your experiences. Makes for great reading.

    1. I think the loss of willingness or desire to use land for even small agriculture is a tragedy with consequence we are only just noticing. Your use of 5 acres is what everyone with an acreage should be doing.
      There are a lot of big lawns here too! Thank you for stopping by.