First step to homesteading

kesaberMay 14, 2014

Hello Everyone,

I was browsing through Youtube watching videos when I stumbled upon a few about homesteading. I was immediately sucked in by the idea and decided almost instantly this was going to be my next project. It didn't take me long to realize there are many different ways to live the homestead lifestyle, so I should specify what I am trying to replicate.

First I should mention that I don't like money. Making it, spending it, interacting with it, etc. I realize it isn't possible to avoid it 100%, but the closer I can get to that the better. I want to go back to the simple life before everything was justified by money. I do have money to spend to get on my feet and will spend it if it puts me in a better starting situation, but I wont argue with a cheap place. I want to build my own house, run solar panels, grow food, raise animals, etc

That being said, I am looking to be isolated. That could mean a couple hours away from a city or more, obviously cost will be a factor and I assume the farther from the city the cheaaper it becomes.

Ideally I would get a place in California just because that is where my family is. Although if it would be clearly better for me to go to another State I would be willing to do so.

For me, it seems like the two main things I should be looking at when deciding on the state/city is whether and soil fertility, and I'm not sure why these two are important. Intuitively I would assume a place with more sun is better since I could build a greenhouse to cool my environment, but I can't recreate the sun without spending money. Is this logic sound? Also is fertile soil only important because I can plant right away? I assume I can make bad soil fertile through some kind of care, or is this not the case?

I'm very new at this but very eager to get started. Any comments, tips, advice, anything at all would be really appreciated.

Thanks!

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lucille(Houston)

It would be pretty expensive to get enough land in California in many places to start a homestead, enough to grow food and raise animals.

If I were going to do something like this, before weather or soil fertility I would look into the political climate, what laws you may have to deal with in raising farm animals, property taxes.

Then I would look to see if where I was planning to move had commercial farming, and how that might affect my choice (spraying, etc.).

The simple life is an appealing concept, but in this day and age you can't pay for a doctor visit with a couple of live chickens, so you need to consider how much income you might need for medical care, veterinary care, expenses like fencing, utilities, and so on.

Your heart is in the right place, and by asking questions first, your head is as well. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:48AM
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kesaber

A family in LA is pretty much self-sufficient using 4000 square feet. The only thing they buy is rice, which I would grow, and they have a $12 a month electricity bill with solar panels. Maybe it would need a larger start up cost, but I'm sure I could get it to free.

I'm not worried about doctors visits either. I appreciate you thinking about it and bringing it up as well as all your other helpful tips.

Anyone have any input on weather and soil?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 1:26PM
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karateken123

While California typically does have great weather and is a boon to homesteading, I'd be concerned about the current drought conditions and its long term effects. Growing rice, as well as other crops, seems like it could be a difficult task given these conditions.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 1:52PM
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JoppaRich(7b)

"A family in LA is pretty much self-sufficient using 4000 square feet. The only thing they buy is rice, which I would grow, and they have a $12 a month electricity bill with solar panels. Maybe it would need a larger start up cost, but I'm sure I could get it to free."

If its the family I'm thinking of, they also have a team of interns and volunteers doing a ton of work on the property. It's small space, but it's managed in an extremely intensive manner.

California has cheap areas (depending on what you think is cheap and what sort of income you have). Areas around San Diego are relatively affordable. Just can't be in the city, or anywhere near LA.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 2:01PM
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kesaber

I would really like input about weather and soil as that is why I have posted. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. And no the family I am thinking of does not have interns.

Soil and weather please.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:20PM
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karateken123

Pretty sure that I was discussing the weather.

But, whatever.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:27PM
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kesaber

Yes you did talk about the weather. Good job. These were my questions:

"I would assume a place with more sun is better since I could build a greenhouse to cool my environment, but I can't recreate the sun without spending money. Is this logic sound? Also is fertile soil only important because I can plant right away? I assume I can make bad soil fertile through some kind of care, or is this not the case?"

If anyone can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:23AM
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Sattie

Weather information is easy to get from the internet. What you are asking for, however, is "climate" information.

When you design or build "a geenhouse that cools your environment" please post pictures and descriptions for everyone.

Soil amendment is a rich, fertile topic with dense layers of nuance best left to cultivars of acumen, not those of pernicious noxious wit. Or, I dare say, even lacking perspicacity!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:12AM
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charlieboring

Kesaber if you are trying to escape the use of money as much as possible, CA is not a good choice considering taxes and the cost of living. Your best choices are the sothern states for their weather and their cost of living and taxes.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 2:24PM
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