Cocolove

Living on a farm

14 posts in this topic

My ideal lifestyle would be living alone on a small farm where I have minimal work, live frugally, and grow most of my own food and sell some things for what I need. If you are familiar with Joel salatin's visionlogic farming that's what I'm going for but on a smaller scale. Anyone have any ideas on this? where do i start researching?

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If you are looking for minimal work, I wouldn't have thought farming to be it. Forest gardening, might be easier with a small nursery.

Even if you automate, if you're not watching it things can go out of hand. I heard a story from a shepherd in Portugal, about a chicken farmer that went on holiday, when he came back all the chickens were dead, as the water had stopped working.

For income, location & market is important. There's an Urban farmer, Curtis Stone, who grows salads in Kelowna, Canada. But that's one of the most expensive cities. 

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On 6/28/2019 at 4:32 PM, Cocolove said:

My ideal lifestyle would be living alone on a small farm where I have minimal work, live frugally, and grow most of my own food and sell some things for what I need. If you are familiar with Joel salatin's visionlogic farming that's what I'm going for but on a smaller scale. Anyone have any ideas on this? where do i start researching?

Sounds awesome. Don't know about the minimal work part though, seems like a lot of work, but if you enjoy it, it might not feel too much like work. 

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I'd say it's better to work hard totally for yourself than be a wage slave in a massive company where you matter less to the CEO than dirt.


"The narcissist becomes one with everything, because the narcissist is everything and everything is the narcissist" -Sam Vaknin

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I used the word farm loosely. I want to have plants and animals on a piece of land. 

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search for sustainable  gardening/farming (i.e. you want continuous delivery of products, seasons repeat), automated (you want to enjoy it and concentrate on consciousness work too, i.e. go beyond survival), find group of like minded people  (i.e. it is easier to maintain, learn and progress) etc. good luck   

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This has always been my dream lifestyle as well. Grow lots of food and cannabis (as well as all types of other healthy herbs and medicines), enough for all year round.

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Posted (edited)

My family owns a small ranch-type set up - it is a lot of work!  But rewarding.

They own chickens, ducks, cats and dogs - for every animal species you own you need to put in at least an hour a day, and they aren't cheap.  For them, every morning is a four hour process before even getting started on their actual job-work.  Every morning, crack of dawn!  Gardening is also a lot of work - in order to have a set-up where you are not using pesticides, it takes a few years to clear the land of harmful bugs and to get a good mixture of beneficial ones - Indian runner ducks are great for this clearing process, though!  They were designed to walk in between rows of crops and eat insects.  They will eat slugs and snails, and will catch and eat mice when they can.  When I was healthier, I used to go visit my folks and do work in the yard and it was nonstop, there is always something that has to be done or someone who needs to be taken care of.

The nice thing is, when it is set up, nature starts to work with you.  For instance, our ducks sleep in a very large outdoor rabbit hutch that has had the legs sewn off - we use hay to cover the wire floor - rats used to burrow under this and created a network to get to the chicken coop - however, last year, I noticed a hive of honey bees have set up shop under the hutch due to straw being such a good insulator from the cold - and the rats have stopped coming for a few years now, so they must have been building their hive during that time and we never noticed.

If you want to have prey animals, you will need a fence and at least two livestock guardian dogs along with one smaller breed that can sound the alarm. 
Some of these LGB's include: Kuvasz, Akbash, Great Pyrenees, Maremma, Komondor, Anatolian, and Kangal.  Kangal has the strongest bite of any breed of dog in the world, btw.
They sell trained ones on a facebook group called "livestock guardian dogs" all the time, so you should be able to find some adults or puppies that have been raised on a farm to work for you.  You can get feral cats from TNR rescues that are looking to place them as ratters and mousers as well.  They have a lot of them on craigslist in the pets section, just type in "rat" in the search bar and you should find some before too long.

I would suggest going to gardening shows, nurseries and tractor supply stores for more information on how to set everything up, as well as checking around for workshops on how to work with the land without using pesticides.  Taking a few classes at a community college on horticulture/agriculture/livestock management couldn't hurt, either.  I recommend using cedar for your housing structures.  

Edited by Keyhole

🌺 

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I assume you have never lived in the country. "Minimal" work. xD

If you sit on a bag of money and do it only as a hobby, then yes you might do with minimal work. But as a way of survival? That won't do with minimal work.

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You could try woofing or volunteering on farms. Vancouver island is nice, I was there 5 years a go or so, worked on a small Lavender farm for accommodation while backpacking around. Unless you're going to marry someone rich or go full out autarky(self-sufficiency), what market you sell to is very important.

@CocoloveI suppose if you want to live the good life regardless, you need a budget in mind as your seed capital, and a time frame.

 

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@Cocolove Hi, lovely to see other people interested in sustainable farming here.

First I’d say don’t underestimate what it takes to be totally self sufficient.
You’ll need to have a lot of experience and you’re gonna have to make a ton of sacrifices.
Especially in colder climates it can be a huge challenge to realise.

So being totally self sustained is probably aiming a bit too high, especially in the beginning. Work part time, see to make passive income or work from home. If you wanna go all in consider selling some of your produce or starting a CSA. You’ll never be rich though. You also don’t have to grow everything yourself, there are lots of alternatives and in-between steps. Look into community gardens and food coops for example.

Where to start? On a farm;-) From your post I can’t read how much experience you have in gardening/farming but I’d say start on other farms for sure and see how you like it. There’s lots of different ways of living sustainably, no two farms are the same. Get a feel of what you like, not only in theory but in practice. Farming is very hands - on. I can seem romantic until you have to work 12h days in a physically exhausting job just to see half of your produce go to waste because it doesn't rain enough. Only if it's a true passion you'll be able to take those kinds of setbacks.

It’s beautiful and rewarding if you love it and you’re willing to put all of your energy into it.
But I don’t know a lot of people that would actually thrive doing it.


"The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake.
There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star." - 
Henry David Thoreau

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@flume I have near no experience.

@Girzo What about like just growing a few things and selling some to get basic necessities for living. I'm looking at this as a way to support a really really simple lifestyle. I'm not claiming that I do know a method of doing this but that's what I plan on researching. What about monks and shit, like the stereotypical ones that live in a cave and everything close to that. I'm not looking to make a lot of money or anything just to literally survive.

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Monks rely on their savings or generosity of society/family. People bring them food to their caves and sometimes they have a person who cooks and runs errands for them.

Just surviving from farming takes a lot of effort. Plus you need land and property and experience. You can try WOOFing or Workaway.info and visit some farm, see how it's done.

Do your own math, there are a lot of channels on YT talking about the topic.

But it's not an easy path. Making money online, owning a small business in the city, etc. are way easier ways of surviving.

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You could try and find a farm/ community that you like and volunteer there. They might let you live and eat there in exchange for working several hours a day in the garden or in the fields. Camphill - style! I did that for quite a while and it's a good way to find your own direction. 

In a bigger community it's also usually easier to spread the work and have a bigger variety of food of your own, not just some veggies from the garden and 2 fruit trees. I work (actually hope to work soon) on a farm where we're I'd say we're 90% self sustained. That includes everything from fruit (fresh and for jam and juice) veggies (all year round) to grains (for making our own pasta, rice, spelt for bread, buckwheat etc), herbs (for tea and spices), milk (and milk products like cheese and yoghurt), eggs, meat and fish. Even wood for furniture, bowls, etc. and wool for clothes and carpets. 

Just for reference, this grew over the past 20 years and there's around 30 people working there everyday. Again: it's a ton of work! But doing it that way (in exchange for living/eating there) you would bypass having to own something and saves you a lot of responsibility. 


"The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake.
There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star." - 
Henry David Thoreau

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