Relatively New to Homesteading!
Hello, everyone! I'm new to the forum as of today. Call me TianTian (it means every day in Mandarin).
I'm a single, 22 year old female that will be finishing up college soon. Right now I live in arid, dry Utah; I'm hoping to move somewhere that gets a bit more rain after I graduate.
I grew up in south Texas on a quarter of an acre in the city. My dad had a small orchard, a garden with eight 12x4 beds, fifteen chickens, 1 rooster, 7 rabbits, a dog and a few cats (to keep the mice out of the grain). I used to raise and sell rabbits to a local pet store as a kid; I made a lot of money in those days! :D
I want to get back to that "mini-homesteading", but instead of a quarter acre, I'd like to go a little bigger. You'll see why in a moment...
Some of my goals include (but are not limited to):
1. Raise all kinds of livestock! Chickens, rabbits, mini horses (but no more than four), mini cattle, quail, keep a few sheep, etc. Animals have always been a big part of my life, so I want to continue that. I want to show my horses, so good grass is a priority.
2. I want to produce my own food, enough to feed a family of four and have food left over to can and store. I want an orchard and a garden. I haven't decided specifically what I want to grow yet.
3. Also, I want a green house and a fish pond. That way, if I'm feeling like fish for dinner, I can walk outside, net up a 12" bass , gut it and grill him on the patio (I did this as a kid, too, but we'd get the fish from a nearby lake). As for the greenhouse, I want to use it for starting seeds, potting, relaxing, etc.
3. I want to be able to "live off the grid" as much as possible. Dad used to have a collection of Mother Earth Magazines that went from Volume I, Issue I to 2004. I would read them all of the time as a kid; I really like the idea of not having to fork out hundreds of dollars for utilities every month.
4. I also want to build my own house. 4 bed, 2 bath. Buying a property with a house on it would not be okay. I've lived in too many places that have had "histories". Some places have been better than others, but I'd rather not deal with the hassle. I want to start fresh.
My questions are:
****Would ten acres be enough and to do all that I want to? Or would it be too much to manage? Or too little?
****Should I scale down my plans a bit? Or are they alright?
****Where should I start looking in the USA for land?
(Water is obviously going to be a big deal. I want to buy the cheapest land I can get away with (since I'll be fresh out of college and little to spare). I don't want to live too close to the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico (hurricanes and all; been through that already) and I don't want to go too far north (ie, Montana would be too far north; I may consider Oregon, but not Washington). I'm worried about wildfires, so a relatively fire-free zone would be great. Also, I'd like to live 20 minutes or so outside of a major city. That way, I have my quiet and privacy without feeling like I live in the middle of nowhere.)
****Because I'm young and I've never bought property before, what should I look out for?
And that's all I can think of for the moment! If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask!