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Discussion Starter #1
So we are a couple city-slickers hoping to make it work in the country. We want to build a house on this land. Financing should go through this week. Are we crazy? What do you think it takes to live in the country?<br><br>
It has a creek at the bottom and it is so pretty...<br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4637876944/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4637876944/</a><br><br>
Everyone is warning us about all the work but they don't seem to be able to tell me what "the work" is. We would have a medium size yard and leave the rest prairie grass.<br><br>
We will be 15 mins from the city- I assume this won't seem very long after awhile. Does 15 mins mean planning city shopping days or is this a "run-into-town for some flour" distance?<br><br>
We are very green so i am a little nervous. Thanks for your input.
 

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I don't think think there has to be a lot of work, unless you want there to be. Getting the house and yard built will be work, but then it will just be maintenance. You will have normal stuff like lawn mowing and gardening, probably snow plowing... will you be on city water?<br>
We live in the country, and aside from our chickens and the distance to town, it is no more work than living in the city and having a yard.
 

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15 minutes is nothing! We live 30 minutes outside of the city and it hasn't been awful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You get used to the drive. I like it - time to sit and chat with my husband and kids or listen to music or the kids can watch a DVD in the van.<br><br>
It's just a bigger yard. If you wanted a garden or animals, that's more work. Other than that, it's mowing and regular house/yard maintenance!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mama Mko</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">15 minutes is nothing! We live 30 minutes outside of the city and it hasn't been awful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You get used to the drive. I like it - time to sit and chat with my husband and kids or listen to music or the kids can watch a DVD in the van.<br><br>
It's just a bigger yard. If you wanted a garden or animals, that's more work. Other than that, it's mowing and regular house/yard maintenance!</div>
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This.<br><br>
Also, are you contracting out your house or are you being your own general contractor? From a kit or from scratch?<br><br>
My biggest regret/advice for country living is if you want to do animals, gardening, all the country living fun stuff... do it slowly. Add one more thing in each spring/summer. We tried to do it OMG ALL AT ONCE <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> and ended up getting extremely overwhelmed, got into a lot of trouble.
 

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That land looks very different from where I grew up. We had 64 acres, no animals (a couple of house cats), large garage, 3 barns. Here's the work I remember -<br><br>
1. Mowing 2-3 acres of lawn took 2-3 hrs every Saturday on the riding mower. Trimming was more.<br>
1a. Mowers need gas and need to be maintained & replaced.<br>
2. Tree maintainance (which you don't seem to have). Raking, trimming limbs, taking them down when they get too large.<br>
2a. Purchasing and maintaining yard equipment, including small tractors for pulling trailers that carried the branches (willow trees!), chain saws.<br>
3. Creek maintainance. The creek fills up with silt every few years & needs to be dug out. Also overflows, and the yard needs to be maintained from the overflow.<br><br><br>
....
 

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Yeah, totally depends on what you are wanting to do. We only have 5 acres, but I am BUSY. Every single day. I'm on here today because this is bill-paying day and I'm taking a break, lol.<br><br>
Mowing takes awhile. Weed eating definitely takes longer.<br><br>
Like a pp mentioned, there is lawn mower maintenance (I am always bending a blade on our rocks, then there are the belts that break, etc.).<br><br>
If you have animals, there are daily chores like watering and feeding, and weekly ones like cleaning and raking and of course, you have to haul all that stuff off! The more animals you have, the more there is to do and the longer it takes.<br><br>
If you plan to garden, there is the start-up work. Then the maintenance, and the harvesting and the processing the harvest.<br><br>
There are lots of things that come up when you own land. You just never know. Septic issues, etc....<br><br>
Other than that, yeah, it's the same as livin' in the city.<br><br>
The commute you'll get use to. We only live 15 minutes from the closest town, but we do NOT just run in for flour. We do have a country store, though. Costs more than the gas to drive to town. We just keep good neighborly relations and if someone is running to town, they ask if we need, and vice versa. Also, we borrow from each other if we need to.<br><br>
How many acres are you getting?
 

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Totally depends on what you want to do with it.<br><br>
We have 4.5 acres and I work full time. Our lawn is about an acre or so and it takes dh no time to mow it (riding mower). The garden does take some time but I love my garden so I don't mind that at all. We have 2 cows that require some time, feeding in the winter, watering whenever they need it and keeping the fence up. But most of our land is pasture for the cows so we don't have much to do there except set water when it's available.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the responses. We are getting 5 acres and I would like to have a big garden, start some trees and someday maybe do a milk cow eventually and raise a calf for beef. I don't have any idea if I can do that on the 4 acres of pasture that will be left after yard and driveway and such (I assume these will take up an acre at least). We are on city water but it is drip so we will need a cistern. We are going to try to contract ourselves even though my husband can get a deal through the company he works for. It still seems cheaper to contract ourselves.<br><br>
I am freaking out a bit because we are such city slickers but it also seems like an adventure.<br>
I am very wary of having too much lawn and such because that seems to be what the majority of the work is that people talk about- although I am interested in "no-mow" grass. Might have to start a new thread for that one!<br><br>
Once again- thanks for all the helpful responses!
 

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A regular cow might be a bit too much milk for one family. You could downsize to a Dexter or dairy goats. They'd require less pasture.
 

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I live on three acres, always thought I wanted/needed more but 3 is enough. The land is equally divided into lawn (with many trees and big rocks), pasture and woods, we have chickens a big garden and a little cabin. I agree with the pp, add things one by one, doing an insta-homestead can be overwhelming and discouraging, especially if your new to the lifestyle. We want to get away from grass altogether, mowing and upkeep is energy intensive, an acre is too much for an electric or manual mower. The garden work is seed stating, weeding, harvesting and seed saving...requiring a least two hours of attention daily. The chickens are pretty self sufficient as we do free range and great for reducing large amounts of yard waste in no time, plus the poop is good for the garden, and the eggs are delicious. All the out buildings and trees require up keep. We have a well which means testing, ultraviolet light, and a new pump this year. Three acres has kept us plenty busy, plus working, school and kid activities. We are hoping to add animals soon but know we are not ready for the work they will bring at this point. Good Luck!
 

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We have 3 acres, mostly pasture, a small stand of locust trees, oaks and about 15 fruit and nut trees. We also have a huge garden, a few beds for perennials and a green house. We have a milk cow and new calf, 30 or so chickens and sometimes have pigs. Bees are next.<br><br>
My husband works full time and I am gone about 3 days a week being the librarian at my son's school. We are homebodies so we mostly enjoy the work involved. I think that is the most important distinction to make. Do you love going out to eat, movies, connecting with people most days? If so, you may feel trapped in the country. My husband is anti-social so he needs to live in the country<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I like to connect with people but I can do that during my 3 days out and feel satisfied. We live about 10-15 minutes from Whole Foods, coffee shops but 30 minutes from Portland which is where I go 3 days a week. I struggle with guilt over my driving. I have tried using public transportation but we live too far to take much advantage of it. (in other words, I have to drive 10 miles just to catch the bus)<br><br>
The work of caring for a small homestead is very satisfying and not that difficult. I spend about an hour or so a day taking care of animals and about 3-5 hours a week on plants except for about one or two weekends a month when I spend the whole day doing a big project with my husband. Building or moving fences, cleaning out the coop, spreading manure on the garden, planting the garden, planting or pruning trees,weeding, preserving the harvest, things like that. My husband spends the bulk of both of his days off doing projects. Mostly he likes doing that though.<br><br>
I hope that helps. We really need more people growing food!<br><br>
~traci
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Traci mom23boys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15446567"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have 3 acres, mostly pasture, a small stand of locust trees, oaks and about 15 fruit and nut trees. We also have a huge garden, a few beds for perennials and a green house. We have a milk cow and new calf, 30 or so chickens and sometimes have pigs. Bees are next.<br><br>
My husband works full time and I am gone about 3 days a week being the librarian at my son's school. We are homebodies so we mostly enjoy the work involved. I think that is the most important distinction to make. Do you love going out to eat, movies, connecting with people most days? If so, you may feel trapped in the country. My husband is anti-social so he needs to live in the country<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I like to connect with people but I can do that during my 3 days out and feel satisfied. We live about 10-15 minutes from Whole Foods, coffee shops but 30 minutes from Portland which is where I go 3 days a week. I struggle with guilt over my driving. I have tried using public transportation but we live too far to take much advantage of it. (in other words, I have to drive 10 miles just to catch the bus)<br><br>
The work of caring for a small homestead is very satisfying and not that difficult. I spend about an hour or so a day taking care of animals and about 3-5 hours a week on plants except for about one or two weekends a month when I spend the whole day doing a big project with my husband. Building or moving fences, cleaning out the coop, spreading manure on the garden, planting the garden, planting or pruning trees,weeding, preserving the harvest, things like that. My husband spends the bulk of both of his days off doing projects. Mostly he likes doing that though.<br><br>
I hope that helps. We really need more people growing food!<br><br>
~traci</div>
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I am an introvert so the country seems great to me. I worry about my kids getting isolated but this seems far-fetched as we will be in and out of town at least 3 days a week too. It will really be a lifestyle change but I am excited to try it!
 

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OP, how many kids you have and their ages plays a big part in the workload. My kids do quite a bit around here. We only go to town once every 2 wks, and they never feel isolated. We have plenty to do as a family, and they have friends to play with out here.<br><br>
ITA about a cow being too much milk--unless you plan to sell it or make cheeses, etc...Dairy goats would be great, though! My neighbor is milking 3 does right now and getting 1 gallon a day. We have free milk 'til Spring when we have our own. Just to give you an idea of amounts...<br><br>
I personally love mowing. I do the riding mowing and my dh or the kids use the push mower where the rider won't fit. Dh does weed eating. Honestly, after being pg and/or nursing for as many years as I have, I relish my time on the mower, lol. I can sing at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me. I can be alone w/my thoughts with NO interruptions. I get hot, stinky, and itchy, but it's worth it because then I get a shower BY MYSELF. Wow, I'm a nerd, lol.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chicky2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15447877"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I personally love mowing. I do the riding mowing and my dh or the kids use the push mower where the rider won't fit. Dh does weed eating. Honestly, after being pg and/or nursing for as many years as I have, I relish my time on the mower, lol. I can sing at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me. I can be alone w/my thoughts with NO interruptions. I get hot, stinky, and itchy, but it's worth it because then I get a shower BY MYSELF. Wow, I'm a nerd, lol.</div>
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This is why I will NEVER give up doing the mowing!
 
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