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Urban or Farm?

A couple of months ago I posted a question concerning my family moving to a farm. We are somewhat at a standstill, a family divided, if you will.

First of all I am married with three young children--ages 4 to 11. I am unemployed, but thankfully, we have closed on our family business and pocketed mid six figures. I am 42 and my wife is 36--both of us relatively young and very healthy.

We live in Jacksonville, Florida in a very economically and racially diverse, historic neighborhood that we absolutely love near the downtown. As a whole we don't care for Florida or Jax, but like I said, we love our very "community" oriented neighborhood. Lots of friends.

We are struggling with the idea of moving to the "land." We would surely lose the community that we enjoy here. Secondly, my wife and I have never lived off the land. I have been reading and studying everything that I can get my hands on concerning the farming "way" of life. Anything from Barbara Kingslover's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," to other gardening books with such topics as "how to grow organic fruits and vegetables," and also reading all the farming magazines i can get my hands on such as "grit" and "Mother Earth News." So its definetly not for a lack of study that we would fail.

Having said all of that, we are leaning on staying in Jax, but in the back of my mind i'm thinking that's not the wise thing to do. We are concerned with the rising prices of food and energy, the possible collapase of the US economy, unrest in the cities, etc. I love the idea of simplicity, farming, self sufficiency, healthy homegrown food, the beauty of being rooted in the land.

I've found a few farms anywhere from 5 to 10 acres in Tennessee and North Carolina. A couple of properties are completey set up for organic gardening and raising livestock.

We would certainly entertain the idea of doing it with a couple of other families, buy 40 to 60 acres of land and build a community of like minded people. Would even consider trading acerage with another couple who have the ability to build.

Well, i would really appreciate any thoughts, ideas or different perspectives.

Grace & peace.

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How many units would be

How many units would be required to sustain the eating habits of one individual?

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John2K, a 10 pot Baby

John2K, a 10 pot Baby Bloomer should take care of 1-2 people. I have one pepper plant, one tomato plant, 4 lettuce plants that are on a rotation of about 3 weeks apart, 4 newly planted strawberries. Lettuce grows really fast so you can easily have fresh lettuce all the time. Please read more about this system at my website; http://www.4huts.com/products/nourishing-food/homegrown.html If you have further questions please feel free to contact me. Happy Holidays!!! Shelley

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

The links are not working

~Your perception becomes your reality~

~Your perception becomes your reality~

Freddiel, I just tried the

Freddiel, I just tried the links and they worked for me from this website. Are you saying that the links from the DP aren't working or the ones from the 4HUTS website? Thank you for the feedback, I want to make sure everything is working correctly.

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

Works for me

Nice website

Brazil, thank you for your

Brazil, thank you for your feedback. I am glad it worked for you and thanks for the complement on the site. Are you really in Brazil, if so how nice!

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

I am from Brazil, but

I am in Alaska. There are some RP supporters in Brazil.

Feliz Natal!

*****

Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. John Adams

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

Obrigado! Feliz Natal pra voce.

Merry Christmas to you.

I am from New Mexico and we

I am from New Mexico and we say; Feliz Navidad!

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”. Voltaire-1729
www.4HUTS.com

Check this guy out! he grown

Check this guy out! he has grown more then 6,000 pounds on less then a acre a year !!!! http://infospill.com/?q=node/479

Consider talking to your local extension service.

I have a small hobby vineyard. During my research I found the Texas and California extension services helpful. They have numbers that will help guide you. For example, knowing the rule of thumb that it takes one full time person to maintain 4 acres of wine grapes helped me scale my vineyard to a manageable size.

Also knowing the number of inches of water/vine/season helped me estimate my costs of city water vs. estimated rain vs. nearby creeks.

The extension can also provide you with seed selection advice, time of year to plant/harvest, etc....

I found everything I needed on the net.

--
"A centralized church is no less corruptable than a centralized government."
- I said this

--
"A centralized government is no less corrupt than a centralized church."
- Brent R.

Attra, too...

similar to extension service, but organic!
http://www.attra.org/

A mini farm!

5-10 acres would be enough! But you definitely should consider at least that much rather than an urban setting! It would be a plus to buy one that is already set up with outbuildings and a good garden spot!

We are looking in SW NC near Murphy, NC ~its 2 hours to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Asheville and surrounded by national forests with lakes, rivers, trout streams and good farming!

"Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave fast enough to be a new source of energy independence."~ samthurston

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

Actually one acre would be enough!

I have 130 acres, and reality has driven home to me that I don't need that for subsistence. It's all a question of gardening effort and skill, not acreage. I don't have a green thumb at all, so I'm looking at options other than gardening.

For a vegetable and poultry farm, one acre would probably be more than enough. I remember playing as a child in my grandfather's one acre garden. One acre is a lot of tilled soil. He grew mountains of produce, and raised chickens.

In my opinion, you'd never need more than five acres, unless you intended to profit from the farming professionally or graze grass-fed beef.

SUPPORT OUR FOUNDERS' AMERICA
Support the Constitution of the United States

SUPPORT OUR FOUNDERS' AMERICA
Support the Constitution of the United States

Potatoes

A family of your size can live off of just 1 acre of potatoes for a year if you really have to. I personally have begun saving up to try and find 50-100 acres that I can farm and be reliant on self. While making a living to pay off property taxes etc.

I think you are heading in the right direction. Make sure you have no debt. Buy the land and house outright. Then, even if you can't find a job, you know your family will be safe and happy, no matter the way the economy turns.

Plant an acre of fruit trees, get some bees, maybe an acre or two of wheat if you can squeeze it. An acre of alfalfa if you have animals. An acre of corn for chicken's and yourself. Then you can have some vegetables and potatoes. Also make sure you plant berries as well. Make some tasty jam for storage, etc.

Make sure the home has a fireplace or wood burning stove. That way you can heat it with wood in necessary.

Get some chickens, maybe some goats for milk and cheese. See if you can't move somewhere that has a fishing hole within just a few miles so you can eat fish as well.

Stock up on non perishables. Farm's can and will fail depending on weather and disease and you would want to have 7 years of wheat, beans and rice just in case.

And make sure you have shotgun and plenty of shells. An assault rifle could come in handy for zombies as well :D

Staying in a city like that is not safe in these times. You saw what happened during Katrina. Let that be a lesson to all. People are disgusting by nature. It is best to seperate yourself from them.

Beyond 40Ac. & A Mule

If I had the money...I'd buy the land with a view of the mountains..as much as I could get...with streams or a lake on it...I would then buy 2 or 3 of those cute out buildings people put in the year to store things..use as an office..what not...and link them together..add lights..plumbing..rooms....next I would plant trees...apple..peach...walnut..and have a section for grapes..muscadines..and scuppernogs...(look them up..but they are sooo good)..I would take a good size area to grow veggies...and an area to grow fresh herbs....After a year when some of the crops came in...I would go to the far side of the land..put up a couple of more buildings and make them houses..and rent them cheap..or trade free rent with help to make the farm grow...them getting fruits and veggies..and rent...you getting workers....and slowly build up from there...adding hogs..cows..a horse or 2..as needed

Freedom is another way to God...A corrupt government is a straight way to hell.

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

Why not

Just get an RV?
A home on the road. Bartering for food and gas along the way. The home or house could just be a big storage room for the resources needed to run the "Mobile Home".

what to do???

First let me say that this is a great post and you pose some awesome questions for everyone here to read. I will try and share with you my thoughts about both ideas.

If you go Urban Survival:

1.Water is gold if the grid goes down or we experience hyper-inflation- Convert your roof over to baked enamel style/metal roofing to harvest rain water into rain barrels.Depending on the size of your roof will determine how many barrels you will need, but keep in mind, conservation is an absolute necessity. Bathing will be limited to a wash cloth maybe a couple of times a week. Buy a Berkey water filteration system that will allow you to manually create potable water for cooking, drinking, ect...Buy the very best of their systems will all the cartridges and if you are going to think about your neighbors in the "just in case"...buy 2 systems, your neighborhood tribe will be knocking on your door.

2.Energy Needs: Lets be honest with this one...we can live with a whole lot less. Get yourself a basic RV style fridge that runs on LP and a 500 gallon LP tank for the backyard, this will help to cover the basic cooling needs for milk, butter, cheese ect. Convert lighting over to 2.5-5 watt LED bulbs for your home. Get rid of the T.V. and use low watt (25-30 watt) Laptops for your entertainment purposes such as movies, games, music, ect. Get rid of all ghost light electronics and energy storage hog appliance that need a continual trickle. Use wind-up systems for clocks, food processors ect...anything hand crank is awesome and you will be surprised on what you can replace with a manual version. Get rid of the washer and dryer...again there are hand crank systems out there that use very little water to get the job done and don't forget the drying rack systems. Also check into the ionizing laundry balls, this will replace the need for detergents.

Because having a 500 LP tank is essential for urban survival, get yourself an LP generator and some back up solar panels in the event the electrical grid goes down or prices skyrocket. If you think in terms of how to decrease your energy needs all around, you will be surprised on how little your setup costs are going to be in order to be independent.

Cooking/Heating: If you have a fireplace, buy yourself a Tuscan Grill from a company called Spitjack. You can also buy various cast iron pots and pans to give you the ability to cook in a fireplace. It can be a little tricky, but this is what humans have been doing for thousands of years, just use the technology to do it better. Now with heating or cooking, you could go with a wood burning cook stove. They are expensive, however they do they do a great job and always hold their value if taken care of properly. Try not to use your LP for heating and cooking because availability and price could be an issue...Think conservation!!! With your eating habits as well, get use to the idea of a Macro-biotic diet. Again the less energy you have to consume the better with regards to wood ect.

3. FOOD: well here at DP I have heard a lot of ideas and here are my thoughts. Food storage is good, but it is about what you get that makes the difference. Remember your water needs in an Urban setting may be limited, so you have to think in those terms and it takes a lot of energy to cook irregardless of wood, LP, Electric ect. Put on your "thinking cap" with this one, because survival is name of the game. Remember if you buy pastas, rice, bulk beans, grains, you are going to have to find the water and the energy to cook it...not to mention the water necessary to clean the pots afterwards. So dried fruits, canned meats, canned soups (which contain water needed for the body, which in turn cuts your daily consumption need) nuts, canned cheeses, canned butter ect. *I can give a more detailed list of what to buy if you email me.

Gardening is essential: In an urban setting, square foot gardening is the way to go and you will yield higher in a small urban lot. Also consider ripping out your useless shrubs and replace them with edible landscaping such as grapevines, figs, citrus, blueberries, strawberries ect.

If you can get away with it and depending on the code, build an enclosed chicken coop. Get yourself a nanny goat for milk, she will eat all your garden scraps and useless foliage you could find for her around your neighborhood.

Also don't forget about all the earth warms and bugs that can be harvested for eating as well...just pretend you are in Asia or south of the border somewhere. If it is good enough for a large portion of the world's population to eat, then it is certainly good for you and I.

4. Protection: AR-15s and AKs including a ton of ammo. You are going to need it to protect your setup. Because when people get hungry or get cold and you are the only one in the neighborhood prepared, believe me your going to be answering your door. But let us not forget about the hours your not watching your stash?

5. Bartering and Money: Great things to stock for bartering purposes are booze and tobacco. In a depression these are going to be hard to get and the return on it might be better than gold. Silver coins a must...my preferred choice are 1 ounce silver eagles and nothing else. Collector's value doesn't mean a lot when the shit hits the fan.

6. Do not forget the PASSPORTS!!!! you may need to buy passage if it gets to rough.

Now with regards to Rural living, I live in Franklin NC which is the most beautiful place on the planet IMO. These are the oldest mountains in the world, the weather is great, a ton of water sources, fishing, hunting, and a lot of wild edibles grow here. Not to mention that folk around here are well prepared if anything was to go down. I would live no where else but here and trust me I have spent a tremendous amount of time researching the best location for growing seasons ,climate, scenery, food sources, access to water and overall survival given the people that I will be around when the music stops playing...By far Franklin and western NC is the best choice. Not to mention that the Cherokee Indian called this area the navel of the earth...hmmm I think i know why.

Should you like any more information or my thoughts on this subject, please do not hesitate to email me at: shatari@gmail.com

I also am interested in getting going in together for land as well and know of a ton opportunities in this area. Please let me know if I can help and who knows maybe we can we can work together. I too am married and have four children, so I understand where your head space is at.

Love Has No Opposite!

Love Has No Opposite!

Move to KY - We finally did what you are asking

We moved to a farm in KY 2+ years ago and LOVE it.

Before that, my wife and I lived in some of the largest cities in the world. NY, Toronto, Boston, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Manchester UK, Tampa FL, etc. We moved 18 time in 18 years and decided it was time to settle down. So we spent a few years deciding what we wanted – and what the Lord wanted us to do.

I needed High Speed Internet because of my work – computer/internet/telephony. We wanted a small farm with other small farmers around so we could learn from them. We wanted God to water our crops for us, not have to pump it in and move sprinklers. We wanted very low taxes. We wanted a state that was good for Home Schooling. We wanted inexpensive land that was fertile.

What we bought was a great 64 acre farm with a house a very large shop (2500 square feet) and a very large hay barn – all for less than we paid for a house in Bradenton FL – Lake Wood Ranches.

We are slowly learning how to be good farmers and live off the land. I still have a full time job, as do most farmers around here. We now have 12 beef cows, 1 milk cow, 40 chickens, dogs, cats, etc. Most of our land is in “hay”, which our Amish neighbors cut, bail and stack for us on “shares” – that means they keep part of the hay. This way I do not have to do it (because I work full time still) and I have not yet bought a tractor. I hope someday to have a tractor and do more of it myself, but one thing at a time. I do not buy ANY hay for my animals because I raise it.

We are learning to garden well using the Mityleider Method See my post on that here http://www.dailypaul.com/node/76907#comment-828736

We have more milk than we can use (4 gallons of Jersey milk each day) so we share it. We have more eggs than we can use 15+ per day, so we share that. We make our own cheese (a skill I learned this year), sour cream, butter, ice cream, etc.

My taxes are ~$800 per year. I have High Speed DSL (who says they can not do that to the country). We heat our house mostly with wood that we cut from our own property trees. EVERY ONE around us does some type of farming. Many of my neighbors are Amish and very friendly and willing to help and show how to do things the way they do it. Seeing someone else do things and asking them questions is so much better than just reading a book. The non-Amish neighbors are also great, very friendly and will help with anything. They are who I learned about cows from.

If you moved to an area like where we are, you already have people established there that know how to do what you want to do. You do not need to bring other like-minded folks to the area – they were already born and raised there.

What you need to do is go to a place (like where we are) that IS ALREADY the way you want to be. There are a LOT of rural areas that have NEVER become like the cities. They STILL know how to live without power if they need to. They still grow some of their own food and still can food and put it away. They still know how to use the resources around them to support life. To them it is not YET a lost science that they need to re-learn. To them it IS life.

Go somewhere where the people STILL live the way you want to live – and learn from them. You will make fewer costly mistakes this way and have a HUGE support system already.

This is what we did. We moved where people were still living on small farms and living much the way we wanted to learn how to live.

Important things to consider are. Property Taxes, How to water plants (some places you must buy water rights and can not store rain water), other property rights (like mineral, oil, drilling) some places sell those separate from the land and they may already be sold – this gives someone else rights to your land for some things. Are there people there that you can learn from?

We would love to have you move close to us!! There are many good RP folks around here too.

Feel free to contact me at jbgledy at yahoo dot com

... in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ...

Cool!

Cool!

Bryan

Great Post!

Thanks.

Hey I'm from the Bardstown

Nelson County aera.. I'll shoot you an email.

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Truthsanityalways

I am responding to your post below. Ecuador's government is not on the ropes. Where have you been? Correa is asserting his independence and bringing his country out of the darkness and freeing it from oppression. Most of the oppression was from countries like ours. Do your homework. Growing pains, nothing else. I applaud his efforts.

Healthnut4freedom

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6

Healthnut4freedom

The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

Healthnut......

Sorry, no offense meant. I applaud his efforts, too. But as we all know, throwing off the ropes of oppression can mean instability for a while ... especially when David is fighting Goliath. Grrrr ... oppression just makes me very angry. But I have also become a Realist after having some hard knocks trying to cling to my Idealism. I would be delighted if Correa is victorious in throwing off the financial oppression laid on it by countries like ours. Also, wouldn't it be awesome if that could be true for smaller countries everywhere!!!!??!!

The unpleasant arithmetic of Ecuador's default:

http://risk.typepad.com/blog/2008/12/the-unpleasant-arithmet...

Interesting post

Ex-pats benefit from Ecuador's growing pains. Ecuadorians may not but we do. It happened in '99 and will happen again. I have a lot of friends that are ex pats and natives and feel fine about all of this. It is less than perfect but Correa is trying to undue hundreds of years of oppression. That takes time. He is getting our base out of there in 2009. Good for him. He has taken on oil companies like Chevron and other corporations who have raped and pillaged their beautiful countryside. Someone is finally standing up for the indigenous people.

Healthnut4freedom

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6

Healthnut4freedom

The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

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FARM!!!

Get out to the farm and get the heck out of the cities PERIOD.....even if you get a job and have to drive a little to get to work it will still be worth it to have the land and secluded location.

what a great thread

in regards to best sources for plentiful and clean water I suggest BC Canada.
***Merry Christmas everyone***

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Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

I've Said It Before

I'll say it again.

Investigate vertical hydroponic gardens. Advantages to these kinds of systems is that they're super compact, require far less water and land than conventional farming, and produce a lot more fruit than something that grows in soil. Further, you avoid soil-borne insects and diseases, eliminating the need for a lot of pesticides. You still need to weed, but it's much simpler pulling weeds out of vermiculite than soil. Also, because they're vertical, you don't hurt your back bending over.

The only downside I see so far is that they're pretty pricey. I bought only a small handful for my not-terribly-big suburban lot, but it will be a much better subsistence suplement than, say a conventional garden would.

Talk to Chuck, who invented the Hydrostacker system over by Tampa and don't let him rip you off for shipping since you don't need to move them far. Chuck grows five acres' worth of produce on only a quarter of an acre.

I know of a man who grows strawberries in Illinois using this system. His strawberry plants finally died in late October. That is so incredibly far out of season it's crazy.

With your budget, you might be able to stay close to the community you love, and farm at the same time. Get a piece of land close to town, and use a U-pick model so that your customers harvest the food they buy. The potential savings in labor costs are stunning.

An additional advantage is that some of your customers will want to buy these systems -- and you'll be in a position to sell both devices and education. There is a huge ground floor opportunity here, nationwide. Get in while the getting's still good!

~jaq

~jaq