A time for learning.
Almost every new experience seems to be just that.
Starting out on a new homestead or taking over an existing farm is no exception!
In this guest post by RLT reader Mary, we can learn right along with Mary’s family as their new farm develops little by little…with some of those inevitable ups and downs!
The first year begins
We purchased our micro farm just over a year and a half ago.
We dove in with excitement, not fully knowing what we were doing, but pressing ahead anyway. We were educated; we would learn along the way!
Have you been thinking that now is a good time to increase the sustainability of your lifestyle?
It’s time for all of us to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on outside sources of food, household products, and other goods and services.
Why the emphasis on sustainability and self-sufficiency? After all, many of us live where there is still plenty of everything.
And recently, some of us have noticed some empty store shelves, had to wait for stores to resupply, or cringed at the price of products we used to buy without blinking an eye.
Our last post – The Challenge: Affordably Living Off Of The Grid got so much response that I decided to tell a little more about our backstory.
Now – I’ll warn you, this is a long post because I am very wordy (har har) so just a heads up. I’ll be posting practical stuff next time
We’ve had a lot of new readers (welcome!) in the last few months who might not know how this all happened.
Living off of the grid – an update from Bethany
As many of you know, my husband and I have been working and planning towards our homesteader life for many years now.
While many people don’t start on their rural living journey until after retirement, or spending several decades building a nest egg, we opted for a different route.
We did not want to wait – we wanted to raise our children in the lifestyle – and so we made a plan to get to the land.
When we discovered our piece of heaven in the country, we were “sold.”
But before we signed on the dotted line, Jim pulled out his cell phone.
“Three bars!” he said. “We’ll take it!”
Well, that wasn’t exactly the true moment of decision.
If you’ve read Jim’s articles about rural property selection, you know we did our due diligence and evaluated many other factors.
But Jim’s cell phone test (which really did happen!) definitely is a sign of our times: communication systems are important no matter where you live. And in addition to phone service, Internet access is a high priority to many of us.
In our last post we talked about several different definitions of the much-used word sustainability.
We also shared with you how why we as a family have focused on sustainability on our farm.
As the patriarch of my family, I’ve continued to think about this and believe that sustainability is a word that essentially defines for us whether we are living within our means and abilities or living outside them.
If we are living within specific parameters, we will be able to continue to do what we are doing indefinitely.
Have you ever noticed how words in the English language get hijacked and take on new lives with different definitions?
It’s like the game of Gossip or Telephone where a whispered message goes around a large circle of people and ends up way off from how it originated.
Passing time has the same effect, gradually altering the use of words and even their meaning.
Think back to your childhood…weren’t there a few words that had different meanings then? Radical once meant ‘really out there’ rather than ‘amazing.’ Money used to be green bills and coins; now it can mean something is really awesome.
Today we’re introducing a new feature to the Rural Living Today blog.
We want to devote some time and blog space to the most precious commodity we can produce and nurture on our farms.
That would be our farm kids!
We at RLT have quite a few young children in our family.
Many of our readers have children or grandchildren, or hope to expand their families one day.
We always enjoy hearing from our Rural Living Today readers.
It’s even more fun when we learn some new ideas from readers .
Today we have rounded up your suggestions for living on less, a list of RLT readers’ blogs, and entrepreneurial readers’ online shops and business websites.
Readers’ tips for making ends meet
We just have one car that we have paid off. We do not carry any credit card debt. Very little eating out, we have a lot of “stay at home” dates. We preserve as much food as possible by freezing, canning, and dehydrating. We have a garden, and are working to grow our own food. What we can’t grow for ourselves we attempt to buy in bulk. We use foods that go a long ways such as beans, oatmeal,etc.
While creating multiple income streams is one path toward making ends meet, there’s another aspect that involves managing that income.
We call it “reducing the burn rate” of our money.
Jim is back to share his thoughts on this topic.
Today many of us live in a society that is based totally upon debt…debt created out of thin air, to be used by the government to finance our massive consumption addiction.
Additionally, debt is created to “help” us to contribute by buying more and more. Even though we have no way to pay it back. Even though we really don’t need this.