We did it and you can too.
It takes guts, and stupidity. Not really courage.
First things first. You can't do ALL of it. At least not right away. But you can start right now, today.
My dh is a roofer. If we want to pay the bills, he has to work. At his 'old (before the move) job, in the city. Up to a 200 mile commute each day. Sometimes he goes 'out of town' and has to get a room. THis IS stressful. However, roofing jobs out here are hard to find and pay 1/2 of what they pay in the city.
So, first question....what can you do to raise money?
Unless you have extensive farming experience, you aren't going to grow all your OWN veggies for many years, never mind make a living selling them. Life in the country is hard and poor. You have to really plan.
I have 2 1/2 cords of firewood in my yard, that equals weeks and weeks of work. 4 cord will get us through the winter. OUr house is 1000 sq ft (7 of us lived here, 1 bathroom), every 4 hours, day and NIGHT, someone has to go feed the wood stove. No gas or oil bill, but you do get tired.
We also sell wood. SInce we don't have a truck, people come and pick it up. We get less, but it costs us less. DH works like a dog, has shirts as sweaty as doing that construction, and sells about 8 cord. (about $1000) You need a chainsaw, a woodsplitter or a strong back and an axe.
Our eggs come from our chickens. SInce coyotes and neighbors dogs wiped out most of our flock, I now get 2 eggs a day.
: I still have to feed all those pullets though, for 5 months, then they'll lay too. Meanwhile, the grain still costs $17.00 (organic) a month.
We raise pigs. It's a ton of lugging and they smell. I can't even begin to describe the smell. Think the worst diaper you can imagine, times 100 and then imagine smelling it in your house on a hot day. BLECH! HOwever, we sell 2 1/2 pigs and eat 1/2 Vegetarian pork sells for $5 a pound, easy. We'll have about 600 pounds of pork to sell. They'll eat ...about $600-$650 worth of grain this year...wait that includes the cost of the piggies. Don't forget pig proof fencing, that' ll cost another $50 and hours of work. ANd if you don't move tehm to greener ground, they'll stink worse and cost you more in food.
Still interested? Want to start NOW?
can be anywhere. Grow tomatoes in a container. Check your local codes...many cities will allow you 3 hens, NO ROOSTERS! Stop driving to the store, playground etc, every day. Plan trips, imagine it takes you 30 minutes to get to the nearest store, 45 minutes to one you like. But lots of produce on sale, get yourself some canning jars and start canning. It's an invaluable skill once you get to the country and your own garden.
Make believe the grocery store is your garden. What's on sale? Buy a bunch, of say tomatoes and green beans. How many ways can you eat tomatoes? (dry thtem for tomato pesto, fresh with mozzarella, can some for salsa and make a batch of tomato sauce) Green beans go great in a three bean salad, steamed, stirfry with other veggies, etc. What ever you make to put up, you eat that night, too.
Now take the money you saved on gas from running to the store every day and eating out or cooking meals with more expensive ingredients and put it in the bank. Take a long ride to the country and search online for cheap land wayyy out. (Get a south facing piece if you plan to garden....NO wait, read 5 acres to independence, and every other homesteading book. Ask at the library for the Foxfire series, lots of ideas there. THe library can also get you booiks on chickens, goats, etc.)
Unplug your clothes dryer and start hanging the clothes out.
When you see a piece of land that interestes you, ASK! Don't be afraid that you don't have enough of a deposit. Don't be afraid that the land isn't cleared......you'll get used to hauling trees your dh has cut down and lugging firewood.
Hmm, just noticed the three acres! 3 acres!!! Three henswould give you 3 eggs a day, about. That's 21 a week, enough to seel some and get some experience. And you could have a heck of a garden! Start composting, join homesteading groups.
Oh, uh, we pay $2400 a year for property tax. Thats for 17 acres with a tiny house.
Oh and forget your pride. Homesteading means collecting bottles and cans for the $.05, picking up pieces of firewood that fell off a truck, getting the waste produce from therocery store to feed to the pigs.....and then going through it to get the good veggies and cooking them. (yeah, go ahead and cringe. Organic beets and carrots, right off the shelf, that I was just about to buy, for free. So I dig through some funky lettuce to get them.
Be prepared to shop at Goodwill, to get dirty and to stay home alot.
And I wouldn't trade it for the world. But I would have liked to have some idea of how much work was involved beforehand. Also, I live in new england. Does your dh know that construction workers here collect unemployment all winter? Pretty much all of them. That';s wehn they find the trees they'll cut come spring, worko on wood projects and spend time with their kids to make up for the summers.
Sheesh, THAT was longwinded.