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  1. #31
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    804
    Location
    Arizona
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota L3400

    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
    Our 40 acres are way off the grid. I have been pricing solar systems and I believe a system that cost 10K will be plenty adequat for us. It will be about 2-3 yrs before we get the cabin built, so it may be lower than that by then.

  2. #32
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,829
    Location
    Iuka Mississippi USA
    Tractor
    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    THats a great start, Slowly but surely we are aiming that way. Dad grew up in a poor part of rural MS on a small farm but later they eneded up with a biggertractor and did custom work to. A few years ago somehow I just took up farming after a wild streak. I use almost no chemicals except on the squash bugs. Market gardening did great this year on the squash and I have picked up another restaurant on that deal.

    Im workin on a smell permaculture et up on one acre of the 10 I have. I have also gathered alot of special equipment for the tractor. I got a free 300 gallon towed sprayer, My Mini round baler for baling hay, and mulchin straw, a Mechanical transplanter for planting tomatos and cucumbers and other items.

    Im working on siting a new barn and a small pig parlor and a new chicken area and also a rabbit set up for fertilizer production. Plum Im builing it all from the landfill lol.

  3. #33
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    5,498
    Location
    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Duffster View Post
    Bp, have you ever thought aboot grazing a couple of beef on the neighbors 4 acres?:
    Yes, neighbor JB and I have discussed what is best to range on that 4-5 acres for a year or two now. The issue is that the soil here is so poor that nothing much grows until it is amended heavily and irrigated constantly. This is 100% sand and gravel moraine, as the glacier took the good stuff down to parts farther south.

    It a catch 22, because some cattle manure would improve the soil somewhat but there's nothing native feed on, really. Price of hay being so high, it kinda of defeats the self sustaining cycle a bit. We can pump out of the creek, get that acreage fenced properly and work toward that. It's gonna have to be JB's pockets, though, not mine!
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  4. #34
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    134
    Location
    Nebraska
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson gc2400

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    We have 5 acres, a 120x120 garden (60 beds) and 25 hens.

    We have owned the property for a year or so and it has been a ton of work. Our goal was working towards self sufficiency and a peaceful, cheap retirement someday.

    We decided to operate it as a small business for now to help cover the costs. We don't make much but it covers our projects and gives us some tax relief.

    This is our site if you want to see our work

    The Farm at Long Lane, llc | Heirloom Vegetables & Herbs - Kitchen-Garden Workshops - Farmstand - Gluten-free Baked Goods - Serving Lincoln, Nebraska and Omaha, Nebraska

    Like I said it is a ton of work but the way things are going it may be worth it.

  5. #35
    Veteran Member Lloyd_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,494
    Location
    South Shore Nova Scotia Canada
    Tractor
    2008 Kioti DK 45 sc

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    We have 12 acres. 6 cleared, a couple of acres of alders being converted back to pasture and hopefully garden or growing land - interested in Hops and grapes as a possibility.

    I have been doing an organic garden for the last 3 years. All from seed. This season we will be trying to save our own seed. The irony to all of this is that 2 generations ago (my grandparents) this would have been the norm - small scale farming. We are growing meat birds for sale - lost 50% to a weasel, and are growing two pigs - Heritage breed/Berkshires.
    Both are pre-sold. Actually we will be keeping a half for ourselves. We have layers as well.

    You guys should be looking up Helen and Scott Nearing. They were the first/early back to the landers - out of NY to New England in the early 30's.

    Good Life Center :: Home

    I have many of their books - very interesting. In fact there are many similar outfits up here
    using their model.

    All very good...
    Work hard to get it down - play like tomorrow may end!

    Small Horse Farm: 12.5 acres: 2008 Kioti Dk 45SC with Cab, FEL, BH, 6' snow blower, 7' back blade, 7' box blade, 6' bush hog, 9"& 14" auger, 8' chain harrow, 4" chipper, sand spreader, 7' landscape rake, 3pt quick attach & coffee holder.

  6. #36
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    557
    Location
    Inland Portugal
    Tractor
    NH TCE45

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    I was led to this thread through another one that TBN flagged up in this month's Newsletter. It is a pleasant change to read so many enthusiastic posts. As a family we have been living on a low income for several decades (admittedly when younger taking paid employment when things were really tight) and managed to farm in several countries, big acreages sometimes too.

    The thread has been quiet for a long time though. Anybody who posted care to update us all on progress or lack of it? If it failed, perhaps you would be good enough to give other "newbies" the reason(s).

  7. #37
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    804
    Location
    Arizona
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota L3400

    Default

    We are still plugging away. The county has been, and still is, a major pain in the rear about getting a permit for a cabin. Otherwise we are still building driveway and doing other projects to get ready.

    Bo Fuller


    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing"

  8. #38
    Silver Member electrarc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    102
    Location
    QLD, Australia
    Tractor
    Foton 82 hp with loader,Ferrari Cobram 65 & Shibaura D23F

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Hi Again,

    Well the wind generator is up and running. What a great thing it is too. Along with 400 watts of solar it keeps the house running. We have mains power as well, but the cost is going through the roof.

    The alternative power is feed to a battery bank so "Blackouts" are a thing of the past.

    The hydroponics is also going great guns and tastes fantastic. The farm is coming to life now with Kangaroos, ducks, water hens and a lot of birds. We are also stocking the dams with fish.

    But I am sick of the snakes. If only I could sell them!!!!
    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.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,149
    Location
    Mt Crawford Va
    Tractor
    massey GC 2400 JD LA 145

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    We own 2.25 ac and take care of three more. Our gardens add up to 160 x 21 and a 10 x 20 strawberry patch. My wife picked 16, 5gal buckets of peas this spring and her sister came and picked 5 more. The green beans were doing well but we only put up about 50 qt when her back went out and my health went down hill so we tilled in bushels of them, we plant them both in squares, peas 21 x 40 or so this year and more green beans. The rest of the garden did fair, do to heat, lack of h20 and lack of work on my part. Plan to start 2 chicken tractors this spring, one with 75 eating chickens and one with laying hens. We will see how and if that goes. Good to hear what everyone else is doing. helps me look to spring.

  10. #40
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,766
    Location
    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by electrarc View Post
    Hi Again,

    Well the wind generator is up and running. What a great thing it is too. Along with 400 watts of solar it keeps the house running. We have mains power as well, but the cost is going through the roof.

    The alternative power is feed to a battery bank so "Blackouts" are a thing of the past.

    The hydroponics is also going great guns and tastes fantastic. The farm is coming to life now with Kangaroos, ducks, water hens and a lot of birds. We are also stocking the dams with fish.

    But I am sick of the snakes. If only I could sell them!!!!
    Eat them. Poisonous or not they all taste good. I think. At least rattlesnakes do.

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