Adsactly Homesteading - What Next?
Adsactly Homesteading - What Next?
Hello Steemians, homesteaders, and intending homesteaders. Oh, you are probably wondering what this topic means and its relation to homesteading. I guess several ideas to establish a homestead have been running through your mind since the last time–thoughts running like a chicken which has found the food of self-sufficiency. Your passion and zeal are full like a phone battery at 100% hoping to be used. But you have got to know some things before creating a homestead.
Image Source: Pixabay. Credits to clker free images for hen running used under the CC0 Creative Commons license.
Introduction: Recap of what is Homesteading?
In this part of the world, most families have difficulty consuming food that is rich in protein. This is not by design; instead, it is due to the restrictions placed on expenditure by the amount the breadwinner earns. Minimum wage is usually 60 US dollars per month. The cost of animal protein is high due to lack, and sometimes due to the complete lack of government support for mechanized farming. However, families make it a point to celebrate holidays, especially the Christmas holidays, with a little more than their average ration of protein. They save up for this before the end of the year, and they end up buying chicken or other types of meat they would use to celebrate the season.
Youths, unemployed, and retired civil servants are not left out as they are also at the receiving end of this problem. They tend to depend on others for living as they are characterized as people with little means of survival, and nothing is done by the government to increase the standard of living for these people. This tends to result in crimes and other dubious activities to survive and feed their family. But this does not have to be.
In my previous post, I introduced homesteading, the core aspect of it (self-sufficiency and home), and what it entails. I established its role in averting all these described problems by providing a means to fulfill self-sufficiency. You might want to check here for the post. However, before I started homesteading, I learned and noticed some essential things which you must know and understand before you also start. Perhaps if you are already into homesteading, this might help you to re-organize your farm to make more significant production on your homestead.
Things you should know before establishing a homestead
Effective planning: The idea of planning is a popular one that cuts across every aspect of living, from our daily activities (use of task schedulers), business (business plans), to the New Year’s resolutions. It involves creating goals to make life worth living and easier, or our business a successful one.
A plan is only useful if the goals are achieved. It should be noted that the documentation of this plan makes it more efficient and more comfortable in fulfilling. Don’t plan in your head or mind; instead, plan on paper. So get a paper and let’s plan. To a homesteader like me, efficient planning is shaping your homestead on a piece of paper and fulfilling such plans. Planning in homesteading covers every aspect of your homestead, from the land, the implements to be used, and the plants/animals.
The first goal you should consider while planning is why you are going into homesteading, which is a function of the extent to which you want to be self-sufficient (do you want to go off-grid or just rear animals in your home like me). In old times, homesteading involved going off-grid, but presently it has accommodated more options like urban homesteading, hydroponics, and balcony gardening. Answering that question is the core aspect of planning in homesteading because it is the foundation for all other aspects of the planning and will be the source of your motivation in your homesteading journey.
The following are the other parts of what you will plan on while establishing a homestead:
Deciding how many acres of land you want to use, attributes of the land, closeness to farm markets, etc., depending on the option you have selected.
Selecting the breed and species of plant you want to cultivate. Plant-soil requirement differs, and the area of land required by animals varies also. You can’t compare the size of land needed by cows and goats to that of chickens, and even the nutrient requirement of plants varies.
Your source of energy.
It should be noted that the goals could be achieved sooner or later; hence the need for flexibility. But the goals should be realistic and straightforward. Also, a single target is enough for a start. For instance, on starting my homestead, my goal was to provide meat through chickens alone, then turkeys came and now I am planning to use their droppings as compost. So a single step at a time.
It is essential to take our time while planning as it will affect your decisions on your homestead. Lester R. Bittel highlighted how planning could affect decisions:
Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.
Personally, here is why I said you should take your time. I am thinking of acquiring new land and moving my homestead there. Although I considered flexibility and extension while planning, moving will require me pulling down some structures at my home and erecting farm structures at the new homestead, a result of lack of efficient planning. These will undoubtedly lead to a waste of money. Poor me, I just have to do it because my farm is expanding. You will agree with me that foresight is necessary while planning (or thinking ahead in layman’s words).
Take your time.
Efficient planning is the most important as it will have a significant effect on the productivity of your homestead in the long run and other things you need to know listed here. It’s like a foundation for your homesteading activity.
Budget and Money: Money is necessary to have a successful life, business, and even a thriving homestead. The main issue with many homesteaders or small-scale farmers is money-related. When I asked people willing to go into homesteading why they have not started, their usual response is always associated with money.
And this is usually my response to them:
You don’t have to get a significant amount of money to establish a homestead. A homestead might be your house with just five chickens or a balcony garden.
Yes, money should not be a limiting factor in creating a homestead. Homesteading allows flexibility in startup capital and you using what you have to achieve what you want. All you need is a little amount of money and a more significant part of being resourceful/creative (which will be discussed in the next post). Although some homesteaders might get their startup products from fellow homesteaders like me for free, they will still have to purchase some materials but in low quantity. So, make friends with old homesteaders as they can help in reducing the startup capital by giving you some of their homestead products.
A cardinal rule you should also note - Don’t borrow a large loan as this goes against the principle and lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Homesteading revolves around simplicity, so cut your coat according to your size. Just start low with that little cent you have and take a project at a time. As you grow in homesteading, more cents will rush in since it is an investment, and then expansion will follow.
Also, on establishing a homestead, all the money you have should not be used to purchase land, seeds, constructing buildings, and acquiring an animal. What then, will you be left with to run the homestead? On creating my homestead, the little money I gained from friends, family, savings, and others, I divided into two parts: one part for establishing the homestead and the other for the efficient running of the homestead (a form of a budget).
Planning and money/budget are relational, i.e., the two should be considered hand-in-hand before creating a homestead. An increase or modification of your plan will increase your budget.
Start low and now
Update on my homestead
Mother hen is out with her kids and will be going into gestation again. That’s more chicks to my homestead. Guess who is trying to mount her? One of her sons from her first hatching. I hear you saying incest, but no, chickens exhibit mating within and outside their ancestry/generation.
More money is coming to the finance of the homestead. It was the festive period, and I sold three of my turkeys and will be slaughtering one on New Year’s Day.
Sadly, I lost two of my Isa Brown laying hens under a battery cage system to my carelessness. In that particular cage, the tap was faulty, and the birds were deprived of water for hours. So sad, but I learned my lessons.
My birds and I say Happy New Year to you
Start There and Now
Authored by @tormiwah
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