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  1. #1
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    5,568
    Location
    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Three years ago, as my professional vocation began to wind down, one of the main goals/purposes of moving back to where I was raised in the country was to engage in some level of self-sufficiency combined with integrating some organic agriculture practices.
    It has been challenging and perhaps as rewarding as any we could have chosen to do.

    I began to assemble a list of foods that we now fill our jars and freezers and/or eat as the crops produce in season. Most in multiple varieties as noted.
    3 lettuce.
    3 tomatoes
    2 onions (yellow and red)
    3 sweet corn (early, mid, and bi-color)
    cabbage
    2 broccoli
    cauliflower
    2 potatoes (red and white)
    2 green beans (pole and bush)
    strawberries
    blackberries
    2 Sweet peas
    2 carrots
    2 spinach
    3 winter squash
    2 pickles/cucumbers
    2 green peppers
    water mellon
    rhubarb

    In addition, we have a couple dozen chickens and lots of eggs.
    Probably shoot a couple deer this fall and a few rabbits and squirrel.
    We barter eggs and vegetables for a half of pork.

    I don't know how one would compute it with absolute accuracy, but I am estimating that easily half our food now is produced right here. The shelves are filling up, the freezers are getting fuller by the day. It is incredibly hard work, but the enjoyment and satisfaction is priceless. The egg sales and marketing the produce pays the cost of the tractor, fuel, seed, all our own food and covers the property taxes. No complaints.

    Of course, if I compute my "wages" I'm probably working for $.50 an hour, but hey!
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    May 2010
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    3,940
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    of my
    Tractor
    Here

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    That's great that you're livin' life just the way you want

  3. #3
    Gold Member Uncle Doug's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Posts
    421
    Location
    Dayton, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota L3000

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Hard work is good for us, it is a much healthier lifestyle. Farm fresh eggs are great
    Proud Marine Parent to Cpl Joe.

  4. #4
    Elite Member teg's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    4,027
    Location
    Raleigh, NC Hillsville, VA
    Tractor
    L2800.

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Will be trying to do the same thing someday How are you "marketing the produce"??

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Apr 2006
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    6,389
    Location
    Wise county Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    All that work and I bet you still have lower blood pressure than you did while in the "rat race"
    Dennis


    "Winter 2013 a majority of the country is setting new cold records, Colorado is setting new record HIGH's"

    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

  6. #6
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    3,791
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    We are trying to do much the same - except we're both from suburbia, so we don't have the advantage of having seen it done when young'uns. Learning the hard way, but it is enjoyable and the food tastes a lot better! The Plant Manager has been canning and pickling up a storm for the past few weeks. Her blueberry jam is to die for - makes all the time spent weeding, pruning, getting stung and picking worth while. Good luck and keep posting!
    -Jim
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  7. #7
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by teg View Post
    Will be trying to do the same thing someday How are you "marketing the produce"??
    As a youngster growing up on a subsistence farm/greenhouse/nursery, but with 8 acres committed to market, we sold at the local "farmer's market" in town on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I don't recall the specifics, but 20 or 25 bucks got you your double sales lot for the season.

    The towns around here now simply don't see the real purpose in hosting these markets. It costs them virtually nothing, but they gain the traffic, the local color, and so forth. They ought to be free, as all they are doing is setting up in a parking lot, for pity sake. They are charging, per day, a fee. Counter productive.

    So, we sell word of mouth, Craigs, and signs at the end of the drive and we've done just fine. I also have a couple of Whole Foods type contracts, which I have not yet decided to renew for next year.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  8. #8
    Silver Member Chef Pa's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    168
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    JD 3010 4300

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    BP,

    Well wishes on your journey. I have a similar plan brewing now and hope to join you/others soon. I need out of the rat race in a bad way. This forum has been a good source of encouragement and learning.

    I also think you deserve a pay raise. 4% cost of living should just about do it... that brings you up to $0.52/hr.

    Happy Farming,
    Greg

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2009
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    1,566
    Location
    Jefferson County, Mo, ... about 35 miles out of St. Louis.
    Tractor
    Bobcat 235, Gravely ZTR.

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    I have always thought your "garden" was fantastic based on your posts. It shows how much work you do.

    Great job.

    MoKelly

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    1,620
    Location
    Lexington, NC

    Default Re: Self Sufficiency - Small Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by bp fick View Post
    The towns around here now simply don't see the real purpose in hosting these markets. It costs them virtually nothing, but they gain the traffic, the local color, and so forth. They ought to be free, as all they are doing is setting up in a parking lot, for pity sake. They are charging, per day, a fee. Counter productive.
    I agree, nonsense.

    Hey bp,
    Did you plant seeds you have had from saving them or buy seeds to plant? And thumbs up on the nice garden and well thought out plan!
    "God makes appointments with us in our disappointments. To see the pattern we must take three steps involving the heart, the mind, and the cross." - Ravi Zacharias

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