The sustainable farm

Discussion in 'Other Homesteading' started by cluckeyo, May 31, 2016.

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  1. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    I have a whispy kind of daydream about living on a sustainable farm. It would be a lot of work, but it would be a simpler life. Full of all the best stuff in my opinion. We would have a milk cow, and we would keep 2 calves on her and raise them for beef. There would be chickens and quail. Fish. A big garden with honey bees to help pollenate it. We would have solar and wind power, and we would sell back what we don't use to the electric company. As we have no aquifer underneath us, we would instead collect all of our rain water and store it in a big tank for the garden. We might utilize our gray water too.

    We would preserve our foods and make cheese and Greek yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream. Sell all the good things we don't use. And figure out different ways to make our living. I feel like 10 small streams of income would add to up to one nice income. I think it would be a wonderful life. We are actually about half-way there.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  2. 111kg

    111kg New Member
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    This is easier said than done, honestly, mainly because:

    1) you can't sell to the electric company the energy you are not utilizing, unless you can deliver a lot. I assume you don't want a solar field, but rather only a couple of panels (that are not as efficient as they should);

    2) Making 10 small streams of income that will last throughout the year is insanely difficult, depending on where you are living. You might have a chance in a rural area, but definitely not in an urban area, at least not when there are tens or hundreds of other people doing the same thing.

    Other than that, yes, it's doable, but you'd still have to be extremely careful at every step you take.
     
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  3. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    It's doable. I'm figuring lots of ways to bring in money. The computer is a vast field of possibility. Ebay, Amazon, Etsy,... Those three alone could provide a big chunk of it. Then there are many things which can be done locally. I have a cottage kitchen, and I sell pickled quail eggs, pralines and other candies, breads, jellies, cookies, honey. Facebook has real potential for getting it out there locally. I'm building a website to sell kitchen gadgets. It's going to be searchable on Google. Thinking of and reading about all kinds of ways to save money and make money. Blogging comes to mind. It's doable!
     
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  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    @cluckeyo, I'm sure you can enjoy the company of my husband for he occasionally talks about that farm you are dreaming of. If ever we would win the lotto, he would buy a 10-hectare farm land far away from the city. It would be best if the land is situated on a hill or mountain to make it difficult for intruders. As with the animals, cattle, goats, chicken and ducks are first on his list while the trees would all be fruit trees unless it has a purpose like bamboo. For the vegetables, cassava and other root crops plus so many others. We would be living in a sort of paradise where we plant our own food, harvest it by ourselves and process it with our hands. It would be fun to be milking the goats and the cows.

    It's really a dream because in reality, the excess will be a problem. When we harvested our Thailand banana which had 13 clusters - each cluster has at least 20 bananas - we had to give them away to neighbors and friends because we could only eat a cluster or 2. We already had 3 harvests of that variety and the neighbors were glad to receive free bananas from us. In that mountain paradise, how could we butcher a goat when we couldn't even finish 2 kilos of goat meat? That's probably some points to ponder on.
     
  5. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    We thought of having a vegetable stand, and a little store. The details will unfold as we go along. There are definately problems to be solved along the way. I think it can be scrutinized and evaluated. Trial and error. Practice makes perfect. We would eventually get it right. We are two people who can live pretty lean while we are working at it.
     
  6. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Down the road from my old place were a couple of hippy type people!
    They grew a heap of stuff and really good stuff.
    Every week they made a day trip to town usually Tuesdays.
    We would order the eggs, milk, veggies and wines from them on Mondays, it got delivered Tuesday morning on there way to town when delivering to a few resturants., they would also get
    us stuff from town if we needed it and deliver on there way home!

    The system worked well as they got cash for crops and 10% for whatever they got from town for us!
    They sold produce for cash and with the fetching dollars they did quite well!
    We saved by not having to go to town so often and always having fresh produce!
    We sold them fresh meat and jerky and took care of any shooting they needed done and any heavy lifting as they were both limited in that regard.
    With the eight places out there there was a thriving little economy going.
    Might still be going for all I know.
     
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  7. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    That's exactly what I want. Sounds like a great life to me. There are lots and lots of ways to pull in the needed income to be able to afford to do such a thing. Not only would it be a great life, but you would automatically prepared for many types of disasters.
     
  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Just a few blocks away from our home is a makeshift vegetable stand of an old man who is gardening a 500-square meters lot. Our village is in the suburbs but is moderately populated. The old man is selling on his stand whatever he would harvest. His primary produce is the katuray leaves that is made into a vegetable salad with ranch dressing, my husband loves that. There's also the cassava and sweet potato vines with the young leaves for vegetables.

    Here is the photo I had taken of the stand early this year. The white objects are the katuray leaves and the green are young shoots of sweet potato. IMG_6489 farm stand katuray.JPG

    Just take note that the old man is selling not for the money but for the enjoyment. Sales are slow and sometimes no sale at all. Just food for thought on your plans of a vegetable stand.
     
  9. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I think it is great as long as you are also able to provide your family with the practicalities of medical insurance. That is what caused my uncle his problem.

    He and his family moved onto 240 acres in Oklahoma and enjoyed their lives there for quite a while. They built a cabin from a log cabin kit lived as much as they could off of the land. My uncle was a bright man and learned as he went. He and his wife kept lots of chickens and his children grew up, the learned to hunt. The land was full of deer, rabbits, racoons, beaver, and bear.

    But life happens. His wife needed surgery at one point and one of his sons died in a car accident. County hospitals are not always the best and funerals cost money. He ended up having to drive an hour one way in order to work as a comptroller. He never moved from his home in the country, though. He called it his utopia. And to this day, his three children have homes on that same property.

    Just make sure to have contingency plans as unexpected events will happen. Good luck.
     
  10. acheno84

    acheno84 Member
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    This is awesome. I think it's great that there are people who do this. I mean, of course it would really depend on where you're located; however, people do it and they succeed. It's a matter of having the right connections and being dedicated. It takes a lot of work to maintain a small garden, let alone a crop field large enough to supply a small community with vegetables and fruit. It's a lot of timing, effort, harvesting, preparing, etc. My uncle did this with eggs and milk and did pretty well. He said that if he had enough time and did not have to work a full time job, he would have made it a full time gig. It was just good to have that extra income.
     
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  11. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Just a few lots away from our home is a grassy expanse of more than 1 hectare (just my estimate). When we moved here in 2001, that grassy land was planted to rice and the farmer was even drying the harvested palay in our street. He also have some goats and I think 2 cows that he sells milk in the morning although on a limited volume. That was his livelihood, he has 3 kids. The land is owned by their clan until now and the farmer lives by the side of their property where the houses of his siblings and cousins are situated. Unfortunately, he had a quarrel with a brother so he left. Now the grassy field is just that, a grazing area for goats. It would have been great if the farmer continued with his cottage business of producing milk and farming.
     
  12. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I am hoping to get better at gardening and growing fruit as my beginning point of sustainable living,. So far, I have learned that my garden needs to be at least twice its size to afford me food in the summer plus food for preserving. I have learned that, with daily tending and no curve ball thrown by mother nature, a garden can be grown without pesticides. I have also learned that lots of thought goes into each garden prior to planing a seed. Think how much more thought or strategy goes into be completely self sustaining. It kind of gives makes my brain happy to have so much to figure out.
     
  13. Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis Active Member
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    I'm looking into making some cottage kitchen items myself to sell lately. A lot of people love my baked goods and have requested that I become a presence at the local farmer's market with them. It would be a decent amount of work, but I worked out the profit margins and it would be worth my time. My grandparent's raised me on 36 acres. We had a commercial greenhouse and raised a great deal of our food (both meat and vegetables). I will be honest, it was quite a culture shock when I went to school and realized that everyone does not do this. Now, I live in an apartment in a smaller city, but I still container garden. I think it is definitely possible to have a sustainable farm that is small and make and sell enough items to make a living. However, I will say that it is a lot of hard work and you probably won't get rich, but I am not a person that is fueled by consumerism and materialism at all. Therefore, this is something that I could do or some of us could do, but most of us (Americans in particular) have too many wants that they think are needs to be comfortable with this type of lifestyle.
     
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