Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blessed are they that own land!

Blessed are they that own land! It was the paramount reason our ancestors emigrated to this great nation. If you have the opportunity, I would advise you to get a few manageable acres. Something rural and able to farm on a small scale.
Before the Great Depression most of the United States was rural and agriculture was its way of life.Families commonly owned a cow , a few chickens and had large gardens to grow their own vegetables.That way of life has pretty much disappeared.We turned that responsibility over to big corporations .
Massive Supermarkets have strangled the life out of local streetcorner butchers .These shopowners are near extinction.Produce comes from third world countries with attached health risks we've all heard about.Mass production of meats & poultry can't hold a candle to home grown pork,chicken,turkey and beef.Or your own backyard free range eggs.
I'm amazed at how little land is required to raise your own food.Most of what I raise is accomplished within the confines of 2.5- 3 acres.That includes a pond full of fish,an orchard area of apple,peach,pear,plum & cherry trees,a garden 185 x185 ft ,a generous area for chickens & turkeys to browse about and the barn. Beyond that I have more land but its mostly wooded and the horse pasture where sheep & goats hang out.You don't need a heck of a lot of land if you're producing only for your own use.In fact, my garden area supports my household and is shared by my daughter & son in law's household.
It's a lot of work but I'm able to work full time and still manage it and have recreation time.You would be amazed at how much time we spend on foolishness.Having your own farmette provides you with the highest quality food, is invigorating, builds self esteem and is an absolute cure for insomnia.!
What about bad weather? Dress for it! The nordic people have a saying "there is no bad weather, just bad clothes!" It's true. I wore my snow pants I use for winter hunting when I had to feed the animals & deal with barn issues when cold temps bottomed out this winter.A hat and a hood keeps the head warm,my mucking boots had inner liners & I wore gloves. It was -15 F and I was warm as toast. "Phew ~ it's hot out there !" ,I said one night when I threw open the kitchen door with a frigid bluster of wind.I had just returned from evening outdoor chores ,closing up the barn and throwing down hay to the horses through the trap door from the upper level of my bank barn.
Outdoor activities keep you healthy.If I do get a cold it's gone within a week now.Maybe only 3 days.
There is a wealth of information out there both in books and the internet and a city-slicker can become quite skilled at country living within a short time.The best books I've found are:

"The Encyclopedia Of Country Living" by Carla Emery- Sasquatch Books

"Five Acres And Independance" by M.G.Kains A Handbook For Small Farm Management-Dover Books

"Farming For Self -Sufficiency" by John & Sally Seymour Independence On A Five Acre Farm- Schocken Books

The above website article is absolutely worth reading .Clicking onto the references is an enlightening experience.

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