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Old 03-25-2011, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dena, happy birthday to Maple! I think taking the girls to a park would be fantastic, especially if it's warm. I can't stand the cold any longer. I'm ready to be outdoors in the warm sun and fresh air (well, as fresh as can be near a major city.. wild.gif). I'm looking forward to the LLL meetings, because I'm definitely struggling a bit with the breastfeeding thing. I wanted to do child-led weaning, but it was just getting to be too much, so now I'm trying to partially night-wean... it isn't easy for us, that's for sure.

 

As for the building materials, we just found a place that has a TON of pallets out back of their building and they said we could have as many as we wanted. So my husband went and picked some up yesterday, and took most of them apart. It's decent wood to use for at least one growing season (but I'm sure it would rot in a couple of years). I think we actually found an old compost bin out in the back of his aunt's property, so we're going to see if she'll let us use it for that (I don't know what they were using it for previously). It doesn't have a top on it, but it's got double doors that swing out, so I'm thinking we can make a top out of some screen or a slat of wood or something, and then just open the doors when the compost needs to be turned. Anyone have any other ideas for compost bins?


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Old 03-28-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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Yay! Glad you found some wood for your project!  What size greenhouse are you building?  I actually made a compost area out of pallets when I lived in Maine.  It was three, three sided squares.  The fourth side (front) was left open to make flipping it easy.  So the veg scrap exc started in the first, then we flipped to the second, then to the third for finished compost.  Don't know if you can visualize it?  Now we just have a free standing compost pile outside and a vermi compost (worm bin) inside. 

 

Oh the night nursing, I totally feel you, we're there too.  I wish you the best of luck in your partial night weaning. 

 

I'm gonna pm you about getting together this week;)

 

 

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Oh I am so inspired. We recently moved to the country and although it is not as basic as some it is not an easy life. We were told that we had free heat from a gas well, but the well does not produce enough gas, every few days we would go from 68 to 50 or less. We have a wood stove, but we moved in Sept. and did not have enough time to get our own wood. We were so poor we could not afford to buy much pre-cut wood. The water is from a well and it is NOT drinkable. The water has huge amounts of salts and minerals in it. It is drying out our skin and not easy to rinse from our hair. We all have flaky hair.

 

We are miles from most any supermarket and the price of food is more than in the city.

 

With all this I LOVE IT HERE! I love the land, BIRDS, POND, CREEK, LAKE, and NO NEIGHBORS!!!! I love that I saw 7 deer in my back yard last night. I love that I have ducks living in our pond and I can sit at the kitchen table and watch them. I love clearing away all the brush and seeing what is hidden beneath.

 

My dh is building a coop for our chicks. We have bunnies and are going to try for a pig at the next auction. ALL my friends think I am crazy, but I really do not want to go back to the city. We homeschool 2 of our 5 children and next year another one is leaving school to homeschool. If we did not have teenage children than I would never look back at city life. I would completely submerge our family in off the grid living. Older children, who are used to friends and movies and malls are not easy to convince that this is a better life style. lols

On a side note we came upon an Amish home that was having an auction. There were non- amish people there so we got out to investigate. OH I wish I could have taken pictures, it was the most delightful and entertaining experience I have ever had. Our teens refused to get out of the car!!! GRRR! Watching all the Amish women, children and men bidding on horses and stuff was so fun. We bought a small Amish rug. This is the life I want to live, just have to figure out how to do it.

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Old 03-31-2011, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, Robin! I'm so glad that, despite the minor setbacks, you're still able to see the wonderful potential for living self-sufficiently. I can't wait to be there! I was thinking about your water situation, and I wonder if you could install a reverse osmosis system in your house? I think they're supposed to filter out pretty much everything right? As for the wood, have you checked your local Craigslist for free wood? I find a lot here in Connecticut (not that we need it yet), and even if it isn't seasoned yet you could always store it for next year. Thinking good thoughts for you!

 

Do you have any farmers' markets within 20 - 30 minutes of you? Do you get SNAP benefits (food stamps)? We're on SNAP, and this Saturday we're actually going to an indoor Farmer's Market that I'm super excited about! Buying local is cheaper than what you get in the grocery stores, because there isn't all the packaging and shipping costs. You can save a lot of money that way!

 

And I hear you about the teenager thing. I don't have any teens, but when my parents were up visiting a couple of weeks ago, my 16 year old brother came as well. When we all sat down to talk about moving onto some property together, he started playing with his IPod. eyesroll.gif At one point I asked him what he thought of the idea, and he looked up at me and said, "Huhhh? I don't know what you're talking about." He wasn't listening at all. I guess if you don't grow up in that sort of environment, it's harder to wrap your head around. Granted, I didn't grow up in a self-sufficient environment, but I was lucky enough to thrive during a time when my parents were kind of poor, so I definitely learned the value of being thrifty and being happy with previously loved items. And who knows, maybe they'll grow to really love and respect the idea!


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Old 03-31-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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I was talking to my in-laws about building loans (they're loan officers) and basically got the idea I'd need to spend a lot extra and/or go with a very standard, unhealthy and inefficient house, built by hired contractors if I wanted a loan. Originally I was thinking 2 story + finished basement strawbale house with about 1500sqft above ground costing around 150-200k to build. Now I don't want a building loan, maybe borrow a small amount to add to savings with personal loans/credit cards during building, that way there's way less oversight for *how* it gets built (the building permits should be easy or unneeded where I'm looking to build) then get a tiny mortgage when building is complete and inspected. We'd pay it off in <5 years then be totally debt free before I'm 35. I've been looking into it and playing with floorplans, talking to DH about what spaces he wants, and now I want 1250sqft cob house, 1 story, something on a scale my family plus some friends can build ourselves and with dirt cheap materials but will please DH with its great comfort. The roof has to be expensive though because DH doesn't want the place *too* unique in style so standard framing, no thatch or metal shed roofs, nice shingles of some sort. The solar power and water systems will cost a good bit too but then so would hooking up to services in an undeveloped plot.

 

Once the house is built I'm now wondering if I should put off keeping animals (just do perennial food plants for a while) and dive into midwife training and apprenticeship for a few years. Then take just a couple clients a month and keep up the hobby farm after training and certification was done. Heck with that we'd be able to support ourselves month to month (just barely) with what I do and the four of us produce at home, DH's "real" work would all be extra for repairs and luxuries and savings.

 

Hey it looks like you can get a water softening and reverse osmosis drinking water system for about $600-$700 plus yearly filter cartridges. Definitely an investment but worth saving for if possible. I'd get one. Good working woodstoves are very nice to heat off grid but wow when you're first there it takes some time to get that firewood supply started huh? Excellent warning to all of us going that route. Our friend who landscapes as a side job gives us unsplit, fresh firewood free or cheap all the time but it has to dry and get split before it's burned. I do hope my kids stay as interested in the farm lifestyle ideal they share with me now. We should get there by the time the oldest is 10. Right now he keeps saying "when we have a big yard can we..." (have chickens, have a treehouse, a zip line, sheep, goats, etc) I love it.

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Old 05-11-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:23 AM
 
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So two years has come and gone now,are you still in the (on hold) mode?It takes a lot of years to get to where you want to be.Have you made progress?

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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BeckyBird - excuse my ignorance, but about your greenhouse - what exactly does that enable you to do? Grow things year round? Do they have to be hardy like kale and stuff? Or is it for starting stuff in spring?

 

This thread is really inspiring. DH and I are 44 and 42, with a 14 month old and a 9 year old, who while not a "special needs" child, has some major issues. It's hard for us to imagine as we get older and more tired, with 2 demanding kids, ever getting to this place. For us, it's more a goal of being half-off, I suppose, but hard to know how to start. I'm going to check out urban homestead... I love hearing all this and am so envious!

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Wow its been a while since I dropped in on this thread but everyone here seems to be moving forward! Our big accomplishment this summer was finally completing our reclaimed glass window greenhouse. It was a 6 year project so we are psyched! It has a chicken coop attached to the front and eventually will have a fishpond in it. We had it about 70% done when the nuclear disaster in Japan struck and since we live on the west coast and have been subjected to radioactive fallout we quickly put up plastic to seal it off and built a giant raised bed in it for our greens. Now all the glass is up and it is rocking! Yes we are hoping to extend our growing season with it as well. Its raining out and things are rotting in our garden, but in the greenhouse we are still growing greens, basil, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce. We'll see how long it lasts into our (northern california) winter but for now we are grateful!

 

We also added a turkey coop built from pallets and a fenced yard across from the chicken coop but our 3 baby turkeys died. We are excited to have a usable yard for either ducks or meat chickens when spring comes.


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Old 10-17-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I just took a pick of our greenhouse/chicken coop

greenhouse.jpg


Talia Rose - mountain mama to Grace and Xack::  h20homebirth.gif :homeschool.gif  goorganic.jpgwhale.gifchicken3.gif

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Old 10-18-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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LOVE this thread! MayasMom88 really warmed my heart with the original post - the part about knowing what 'career' choice you want and that one being a mom. I am 52, my kids are grown and although I went to college, I got an arts degree mostly because I wanted to have fun and also to please my parents and get a degree. But I never had an ambitions towards a career outside the home. I wanted to be a mom.

 

My kids were born in NYC in the late 80s but we moved to a small cabin in Alaska with an outhouse and no running water inside. But we had a well. We have also lived in relatively suburban areas so I've raised them in a few different environments. But we always lived very simply and usually on one income (sometimes on none - very stressful). Of course, we did the cloth diapers and all the usual natural stuff.

 

Now I've moved to Australia to be with my new Aussie love and perfect soulmate. We are both broke (he hasn't been able to find work for a couple of years and I was a full-time volunteer at a remote Buddhist center for 3 years) and starting over. We have a small amount of debt - maybe $4000 between us and he has some debt to family but they are not in a rush. So we've moved to Sydney where we plan/hope/pray? we can work for a short amount of time (the jobs are here and he used to make good money in IT) and then move out to the country. 

 

I've always lived simply having been raised by Depression-era relatives so I know how to do most things and need very little. I am very inspired by this thread since I'm starting all over again. We want to have chickens and I'm also hoping for goats. We will grow most of our own food and I'm also really hoping we can find a way to barter for many needs. 

 

So thanks for the inspiration. I'm looking forward to keeping up with this thread. It helps a lot to have pics also of what you have done. Helps the dreaming! Also, I really liked a suggestion made earlier about not waiting forever to have your dream. I second that. Just because we live in a city right now (and actually just staying with friends of his who use the dishwasher every day and both parents work, etc. until we can afford our own place) doesn't mean we can't live simply and use many of our skills right here. All my housekeeping skills alone will save us hundreds of dollars that we would otherwise spend if we lived a typical suburban life. As soon as I have my residency visa, I am planning to work at least part-time, but I mainly just want to help the dream happen faster even tho DH wants me to stay home if that's what I want.

 

I also want to stress the don't wait for "someday" idea because last winter my sacro-iliac and pubic joints just 'gave out' with no apparent injury. I click like I'm 8 months pregnant and no one seems to be able to tell me any more than my pelvis has opened up wider at the top and it's stressed my pelvic joints and that they don't know what to do about it. I couldn't walk and the pain meds made me crazy (literally) so after much acupuncture and physiotherapy I was much better within 2 months. But OMGosh, I really value my health more now (I hardly ever get sick) and I realize that the time is now, not years from now. 

 

LoveLoveLove what you are all doing. Thanks for sharing your amazing dreams and stories.

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Old 10-19-2011, 03:39 AM
 
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Quite a nice little set up,Talia Rose.Progress on my place is coming along slowly but surly.

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Old 10-19-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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rabbithorn - this may sound crazy but i have had the same issue with my hips and pelvis. a friend (who has a lot of food allergies) looked at me and said "thats corn! quit eating corn!" and i was in enough pain that i did.......i am 45 and was faced with being crippled up, so i quit corn and sure enough my hips got better. not entirely but mostly. i can walk again. weird reaction to a food but there it is. this summer i tested it - went camping for a few weeks and cheated on small trace amounts of corn like xanthum gum and citric acid and by the end of my trip i was limping around again. cleaned up my diet and it went away. so maybe just get rid of all corn for 2 weeks and see if anything changes.....

 

rayyy  thanks! been a long process but its coming together nicely!


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Old 11-02-2011, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I've been away for too long! Talia Rose, your greenhouse/coop looks amazing! And it's great to see some new members commenting on this thread as well - I didn't actually think many people would, but it is a wonderful surprise!

 

So my family and I are now living in Newcastle, Maine... the state I swore I would never want to live in. And - surprisingly enough - I really love it. We are living in a 220 year old home and doing a partial rent/worktrade with our landlord. This place needs a LOT of work, but has SO MUCH potential! We are secretly hoping that we'll be able to purchase it for cheap when my husband gets his settlement. It's a historic home on two acres with a weird garage structure out back that would be perfect for a chicken coop if we can ever get our landlord's crap out of it, lol. There is a beautiful trail circuit less than a minute down the road which we frequent, and we are less than 30 minutes from the ocean... which is sooooo exciting because sitting by the crashing waves can be great therapy for me.

 

We haven't done much in the way of self-sufficiency yet, as we just moved a little over a month ago, and are still trying to get our finances in order. My husband just got a job so that is a godsend! we just really feel like this is where we're supposed to be. The way everything fell into place was incredibly synchronistic and felt "destined." So we're excited to see what the future brings, and are trying to remember to live with the "attitude of gratitude." ;)

 

Rabbithorns, I'm so glad you gleaned inspiration from this thread. It is a blessings to know that so many people are striving toward a life in which self-sufficiency and caring for the Earth is a daily practice. Love and Light to you all! And I've gotta get on here more often, lol!


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Old 11-03-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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mayasmama - it sounds wonderful! everything is a process that takes time but it sounds like you have found a place to begin. congrats on your husbands job! a precious thing these days (isn't that crazy!) i wish you much luck and look forward to hearing and seeing your journey forwards....


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Old 11-10-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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Wow! This was very moving. I had my own "aha" moment four years ago and never looked back. It was the best decision for myself and my family. Thank god for forums like this where people from all over the world can share their stories and ideas. Your "aha" moment reminds me of the one my good friend Masa Tekei had. He's currently embarking on his own journey and posts weekly vlogs here: http://www.youtube.com/user/masaoffgrid. Thank you, MayasMama88. You are truly an inspiration.

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Aww, shucks. Now I'm blushing, lol! Seriously though I'm glad so many people found this thread to be inspiring. Together, we will make a world of difference!! In a very literal way, too! ;)


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Old 11-20-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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I just thought of talia rose's lovely greenhouse and coop and it reminded me of this great book I'm reading that's really inspiring me on my way to self sufficiency.  It's Bioshelter Market Garden by Darrel Frey and It's a great overall permaculture book.  I love how it incorporates these ideas into indoor growing, including a coop/greenhouse set-up using the heat of chickens and composted manure to help keep the bioshelter warm (along with lots of other methods).  Right now I'm sprouting, growing shoots and lower light need microgreens to feed our family and have supplemental income at Farmer's market, so I'm looking forward to trying more, maybe with salad greens, in a greenhouse structure.


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Old 11-20-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talia rose View Post

rabbithorn - this may sound crazy but i have had the same issue with my hips and pelvis. a friend (who has a lot of food allergies) looked at me and said "thats corn! quit eating corn!" and i was in enough pain that i did.......i am 45 and was faced with being crippled up, so i quit corn and sure enough my hips got better. not entirely but mostly. i can walk again. weird reaction to a food but there it is. this summer i tested it - went camping for a few weeks and cheated on small trace amounts of corn like xanthum gum and citric acid and by the end of my trip i was limping around again. cleaned up my diet and it went away. so maybe just get rid of all corn for 2 weeks and see if anything changes.....

 

rayyy  thanks! been a long process but its coming together nicely!



Just noticed this.  I don't know about hips and pelvises in particular, but my youngest has some very bad allergies, and he does get allergic arthritis (it was severe enough he had to be screened for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) from some foods.  And this was verified by conventional doctors.  S, I don't think it's crazy.


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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