Relatively New to Homesteading!

TianTianSeptember 8, 2012

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!



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You are off to a good start since you have defined your goals fairly well.
10 ac- enough or not? This totally depends on the area. If in arid UT, you won't be able to have as much pasture as in KY or TN for example.
Cheap land is cheap for a reason. As long as you know why the seller values it where they do, you should be able to decide. Walk ALL THE WAY AROUND AND OVER any property you are thinking about buying. You need to know and SEE the property boundaries. Be aware of vague directions. Meet the prospective neighbors if possible. Please do post here often and keep us up to date on your progress. Some of us (ahem) are old and don't do as much any more but love to hear about young folks' success. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Chris Cousineau(6)

Hi I am new to homesteading as well. I bought property in NE Tennessee. I don't think it was cheap, but then again my property has a house on it. I find Tennessee to be great. I did a lot of research and while I have different priorities, my goals are similar. I have close to 3 acres, and want a milk cow, chickens, ducks, turkeys and possibly a pig. I have been here around a month and haven't even started yet. As to TN its quite nice. There is good rain fall the summers are not nearly as hot and humid as where i was before, and you actually get to enjoy all 4 season. I made sure to get land in a nice valley, as you tend to accumulate more water, have thicker greener grass, and stay just a tad warmer then on a mountain. I know I am late in responding to this, but I am quite new and have just seen this.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:22AM
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