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  1. #21
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    723
    Location
    Arizona
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    We're headed in that same direction. We bought 40 acres and plan to build a cabin over the next 3 years. Then when we move in fulltime, I will build some green houses. It's been years since I did any canning, but we will get back into it. Nice job. You're an inspiration!

  2. #22
    Silver Member Damifino's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    206
    Location
    North Central Fl.
    Tractor
    DK35SE

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    BP, thanks for the information and foresight, we have 10 acres of which 8.5 would be useable less scattered 60-100 year old oak trees.

    There not going anywhere unless mother nature dictates otherwise.

    I beleive like you have stated, start out on a small scale first, if that works then increase each season, chickens,rabbits would be first on our list.

    I am not retired yet, so to keep manageable without it becoming a burden would make it sustainable for future growth.

    Thanks again for planting the seed (pun intended) to at least start something going.

    BP, I do have a question for you, in your post #20,

    "I do not want to "import" manure from odd sources. I want to use my own"
    Are you sure that is safe for consumed foods.
    _______________________________

  3. #23
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    5,414
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Damifino View Post

    BP, I do have a question for you, in your post #20,

    "I do not want to "import" manure from odd sources. I want to use my own"
    Are you sure that is safe for consumed foods.
    Funny one! I can mangle syntax after 10 pm with the best of them.


    Chicken litter: One should follow the guidelines of proper manure management on a foodstuffs garden. Every State Ag University and Extension office has published guidelines for use/handling of manure. This one, for example, is easy to understand.

    The University of Maine - Cooperative Extension Publications - Bulletin #2510, Guidelines for Using Manure on Vegetable Gardens
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  4. #24
    Silver Member electrarc's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    102
    Location
    QLD, Australia
    Tractor
    Foton 82 hp with loader,Ferrari Cobram 65 & Shibaura D23F

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    BP,

    Your thoughts on power generation within the farm. Solar, Small scale wind? This is 1 of our largest costs..

    Cheers Zac & Judy
    Foton 82 HP,Ferrari Cobram 65 RS, Shibaura D23F, 5' Verge Mower (Flail),7' Side Shift Flail mower,Brush Hog, Finishing Mower, Rotary Hoe, Box Blade, Rear Blade, Land Leveler, Pipe layer, Carry All, Spreader, Auger, Ripper, Tipping Trailer, Ferris IS2000 ZTR.

  5. #25
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by electrarc View Post
    BP,

    Your thoughts on power generation within the farm. Solar, Small scale wind? This is 1 of our largest costs..

    Cheers Zac & Judy
    It is awfully early in the development of these alternatives, in my view. I don't know if we will see improvements in my lifetime to attract me to the initial investment. My neighbor has a cabin back in the woods that is off the grid. What he has spent in solar, appliances, generators, etc to enable him use that place would have paid for the electricity for almost the rest of his life.

    He has no choice. So, ... it is what it is.

    One choice we made upon getting the property was to install an electric free propane space heater (vented) in the basement. It works simply by convection, is dead silent and very efficient. I had to have the assurance that if the power went down for some reason, in the winter, we would not be without heat. The 25 year old forced air furnace that it replaced went bye bye. It was about junk anyhow. You can count on one hand the days we have any need for air conditioning. I am researching alternatives to propane now, because I don't believe there is any future in it, economically speaking.

    I drove a new well on which I put an old fashioned pitcher pump, mostly for the nostalgia for the grandkids, but also as a realistic way to get water by hand in the loss of power scenario. I also have a woodstove in the shop.

    Living up here as we do, for six months of the year, we don't need refrigeration, so that helps.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  6. #26
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    I have a good friend, down in Casey County, KY who is ahead of me on the application of self sufficient and simple living lifestyle. His home is huge and gorgeous, he built it. Heats with wood, cooks on expensive wood cooking stoves, also gorgeous. His water is a developed spring, gravity fed to his house. They don't use A/C. His barn, he built, is fantastic. Has a milk cow, chickens, gardens, and has 4 acres of pasture. He works among the Mennonites and shares life with them. He is also an arborist on the side.

    His electric bill is $25 a month, year 'round.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  7. #27
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    20,950
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    BP, congratulations on your success! I envy you your perfect growing temperatures, but not your short season. I noticed in your list that most of your plantings are cool season crops with maybe the exception of corn, cucumbers, and watermelons. Is there a market there for cantaloupes? I'd expect them to sell well and produce much quicker than watermelons. Of course, okra is probably virtually unknown there and southern peas like crowders and cowpeas (blackeye peas) are also not in high demand.
    Jim


  8. #28
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    BP, congratulations on your success! I envy you your perfect growing temperatures, but not your short season. I noticed in your list that most of your plantings are cool season crops with maybe the exception of corn, cucumbers, and watermelons. Is there a market there for cantaloupes? I'd expect them to sell well and produce much quicker than watermelons. Of course, okra is probably virtually unknown there and southern peas like crowders and cowpeas (blackeye peas) are also not in high demand.
    Hey Jim, our season is indeed too short for many of the items you mentioned. Part of being a successful gardner, as you well know, is that one grows toward what nature allows. It is foolish to do otherwise.

    Yes, we can grow a very short season, hybrid muskmellon. No problem. I just didn't. The watermellons are for my wife and grandkids. I take requests.

    Southern peas are my favorites, but no way. The days to market on those is well beyond our capabilities. But, I have brothers in KY and TX who plant equally large gardens, and so not a problem. I stock up when I'm through, which is twice a year, usually.

    But your point is SOOOOOOOO stinkin' valid. Don't fight mother nature, work with her and she'll mostly reward you.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  9. #29
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Thanks to all who've shown an interest in the kind of rural living.

    I'm outta here for a few days of visiting old friends. Check with ya in a couple days. Blessings to all.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  10. #30
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Wisconsin

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Bp, have you ever thought aboot grazing a couple of beef on the neighbors 4 acres?

    I have beef and chickens now, shooting to get a piggy sow in the spring. The kids should love having baby pigs. Until butchering time.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

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