Categoryhomestead

Why I Chose Homesteading… NOT Farming

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My first homesteading project was about the worst one I could have chosen. I was a cage-stage permaculturist—“cage-stage” meaning I had learned enough about it that I could talk the talk a bit, but so enthusiastic that I should have been locked in a cage for a few years to prevent me from arguing with people until reality and balance sank in. I selected as my first endeavor, not something simple...

Why I Chose Not to Farm (and Decided to Homestead)

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My exploration of the possibility of farming began as many people’s do. I had grown up in the suburbs and hadn’t ever given much thought to where my food came from. But we became friends with some people who had a garden and chickens. Then someone recommended Wendell Berry and Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm. It wasn’t an immediate conversion, but I was definitely intrigued. This was about ten years...

Keys to Finding Free (or cheap) Resources for the Homestead

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I was in the house the other day when my wife called and said that our neighbors were there and wanted to talk with me. We had gotten to know them a bit over the past few weeks. The husband runs a local company and he breeds horses as a hobby. When I got outside, they told me that their company was getting rid of a bunch of old stuff and that some of it might be useful for our homestead—old...

Powering the Homestead with a BCS Generator

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We lost power in a thunderstorm last Wednesday and didn’t get it back until thisMonday. Much of my original motivation for getting into homesteading was disasterpreparedness. So it was particularly frustrating that we weren’t ready for this event.In my defense (it’s human nature, unfortunately, to always defend ourselves!), I haddone some things to be ready for such an event. Just a few days...

Raising Chickens and Children on the Homestead

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My 10-year-old daughter came and found me in the house this morning, complaining that my 12-year-old daughter wasn’t letting her help feed and water the chickens. Not a bad problem to have, huh? I was over thirty years old before I met anyone who owned chickens. I think this is so interesting—how for hundreds of years, every generation of Meyers (Meijers, when they were in Holland) probably kept...

Fences, Neighbors, and Potential Productivity for the Homestead

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Yesterday I built our first fence. I spent about 90 minutes pounding in 7/8-inch fiberglass posts and stringing it with polywire to create two paddocks along either side of our driveway. In total it’s about 2.5 acres. Over the past year, during my internship at a farm in Alabama, I strung a lot of polywire. If there’s anything I’m good at right now, it’s putting up portable electric fencing. So...

Is the BCS TRactor a Good Homestead tool? – My initial thoughts

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The farm I worked on in Alabama owned a very nice John Deere zero-turn mower. It was incredibly easy to use and could turn on a dime. You could maneuver into whatever space you wanted easily, but it also went about 10 miles per hour. I taught my daughter how to use it and she picked it up quickly. Lawn mowing is one of those things that, on the one hand, I enjoy doing. It’s fun to smell the fresh...

Why I Bought a BCS for the Homestead

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The first time I heard about such a thing as a walking tractor was when Phil Whalen got one.  Phil was in his early sixties and wanted one to make hay on his five-acre homestead just outside of Dayton, Ohio. He and his wife had a huge vegetable garden, raised chickens, and fattened a few head of cattle for themselves and friends. The Whalens were actually the first people I ever knew who...

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