Successful Homestead Management ... Knowing your resources

in homesteading •  6 months ago

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I have yet to meet a Homesteader who didn't WANT to succeed.

Most I have met BELIEVE they can succeed.

Sadly, here in the Ozarks, I have also seen many who have FAILED.

I continue to see many STRUGGLE to stay on their land and complete important projects.

It's in my nature to want to Reach Out...


  • to open a discussion

  • to offer a fresh perspective

  • to teach skills

  • to strengthen the links of this Community

  • to improve my own chance at success.

The above actions benefit all who participate.

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Here at Borrowed Earth Homestead...



...we want success
...we believe we can succeed
...we struggle to complete projects.

Lots of changes have been happening here. Change leads to the need for updated management practices.

  • We have been blessed by the addition of my son, his Lady and their pup.
  • Our resident Boy Scout Leader/Biker Ron has left to work for the summer, his last before full retirement.
  • Animals have arrived.
  • Financial commitments of three family weddings add extra stress.

I am working on finding a Balance that benefits us all. A management framework that adapts easily to changes. The structure I personally need in order to feel like I have a grip on the reins of the homestead, yet allow the freedom this homestead is intended to provide to those calling it home.

Back in the day, I had the opportunity to attend a full day workshop offered at an organic farming conference about Holistic Management lead by Alan Savory and Jody Butterfield.

Many of the concepts they discussed have become part of my personal decision making framework.

Currently, here on my homestead, I am working on defining three pieces that are at the core of our homestead management practices.

  • Defining the whole to be managed
  • Goals
  • Resources

These are the building blocks.

Today I wish to discuss some thoughts I've had about Resources.


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Resources come in many facets. The folks calling a homestead home contribute to its resources.

We form a community, a whole of individual wholes each with its own resource base. I have been tempted more than once to write myself a resume for this homesteading lifestyle. A list of skills and experience. With the aim to boost my morale when I am feeling low.

Today, when I was writing my post about Garlic I began to write a small bit about my relationship with Garlic. It goes back to my years of experience on an organic veggie farm. Garlic was a cash crop for us, one of three we specialized in for the farmers market and wholesale to chefs and restaurants.

I found myself swept away in the story, wanting to detail all of the wonderful things we were doing. Those years of my life were very satisfying.

As I wrote, I started to look at the activities of the farm and the skills those activities taught me. I have always considered myself and experienced veggie farmer with 10+ years commercial experience.

I felt bullet proof in my gardening/ farming abilities coming to the homestead. I was instantly challenged by the soil, back home we had black gold everywhere... Wanna garden? ...dig a hole...insert plant/seed... Done.
I felt I could learn to overcome this and thrive.

Yet I am struggling. There are holes.

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I noticed today as I wrote about the farm that the troubles I am having are the very tasks that fell to others. We each had our strengths to add and apparently I missed out on learning some important skills.

Here are the holes in my experiential knowledge that I have been stumbling over living here on the homestead and now I am noticing that they are holes..

  • direct seeding
  • irrigation management
  • pest management

The first step to filling a hole is to step in it and notice it!!!

Knowing your Resource Base and knowing it in raw honesty is important.

I hadn't looked at the Veggie Farm in a way that showed the holes in my experiential knowledge base before today. If I had, I could have been more prepared for the challenges I have faced gardening here on the homestead.

I invite you all to take a look at the holes in your experiential resource base.

Knowing in raw honesty what you really know how to do and don't know can save you grief by reducing the surprise lessons this lifestlye brings.

Well, thanks for reading. I am cutting myself off as I begin to ramble at the end of a long day.


~all text and images are my own unless otherwise credited




Just a girl...
Living, Loving and Dancing her way to Wholeness with the help of a Mountaintop and a Purpose.

Follow the Adventure

@borrowedearth


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Great article, @borrowedearth! You are so right. When we moved we came from fertile land in Ontario to beachy land with loads of rocks in the tropics. Man is there a lot to learn. Good thing we are quick adapters or we would have quit a long time ago!

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Steep learning curves!!

Did you begin this journey with the family coming along? Or did they join in later? How did you end up in central america for this adventure? Full of questions this morning!!
Hugs... I am working on those 12 questions! Fun challenge...

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Two sons with their families remained in Canada. Two teenaged sons came to Costa Rica with my husband and me. We spent 6 years in Costa Rica before moving North to Nicaragua. Things were much more peaceful in those days...I wrote about our adventures when I first joined Steemit a year ago. Perhaps I need to resurrect those stories...

You are a great blogger! It's professional appearance is so pleasing to read. There's so much to learn! I look forward to getting to know you better as you share your Ozark happenings!

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Thank you so much! I try to make my blogs feel like I have you here on a mountaintop visit.
If someone had tried to tell me 25 years ago that I would be doing something like this all from a phone in the woods... I would have laughed and called it sci-fi!!!!

A really good point about holes. I am very aware of the holes that would be left if my husband becomes more incapacitated. The vehicle repair/maintenance, carpentry skills beyond my own, computer expertise, and driving. I've sometimes thought about what will happen...

But given our level of health, there's not much I can do about filling those holes myself.

If something happened to me, the holes would be financial management, gardening of any types (he DOESN'T do gardens...), household management, farm management on many levels, and food preservation. I expect there's more as those categories are very broad...

I sometimes wonder what will happen, but not too much, most of my energy goes to keeping going day to day.

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Thank you for bringing another important point into this discussion. After all we are only ' borrowing earth'. ;)

Management plans are for the now, the short and long term future. Identifying eventual holes in the plan is an important part too.

I personally stay away from all the noisy gas operated time saving solutions...lol... So I would be buying firewood for sure. Having the extra folks here makes it a challenge to juggle at times, yet is security by having more backs to catch the work of another who may be incapacitated or have passed on.

I recently attended a gathering of homesteaders in this area. The common age was about 60, there seem to be many folks choosing this lifestyle as a retirement plan. They were gathering trying to fill these holes for themselves by working as a group on filling them. A young strong back seems to be what they needed most!

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I have sought out a community around here as you described but have not found anything. I don't have the energy to start something, but could help out if it was ongoing.

A single strong back would make a HUGE difference around here. But alas...

We have no option but to rely on gas power, as our physical health doesn't allow otherwise and there's no $$ for buying in things or paying someone to do it.

Transition plans often offer the future of taking over the farm, but they usually have separate accommodations for the younger family. We don't have the option of separate housing here. It's something strongly encouraged, so the sanity of all concerned, and I understand why.

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Did you have any responses to the @s-h-e-p / @kin-shep post you made?

I am considering making one...I think it is an amazing opportunity if it can just get noticed and used.

The veggie farm I talk about in this post had 2-4 interns a summer and it was a fantastic experience overall.

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No, no response at all...

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