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what to do first?

Sarah Yao

Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Posts: 26
i'm looking for a small property for myself and my daughter. if you could start over again, what would you do first to begin setting up your homestead?


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Fred Morgan

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 975
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
I once heard someone say, plant your food first, then build your house. That makes sense to me. Put whatever you need just to be on the property, and build, then when you have your land producing your needs, you can make a pretty place to live. Many people start with the trappings of success, and never make it to success.

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David Goodman

Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 382
Location: Zone 9a/8b
Yes. I'd probably approach it via what is needed for existence.

Water (you might get electric at the same time)
Food (may include fencing for animals, cooking equipment)
Facilities for laundry, niceties, etc.

You might actually nail down shelter, food and water all at once. I looked at picking up a pre-made shed as an instant tiny home to drop on a lot. Then from there, you might look at building a bigger place.

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David Goodman

Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 382
Location: Zone 9a/8b
"Many people start with the trappings of success, and never make it to success. "

That is so very true.
David Goodman

Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 382
Location: Zone 9a/8b
Another thing: avoid debt. Debt can strip away all you've worked for.
Brenda Groth

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
if you are looking for a property the first things to consider are what will you need for water, power, food, shelter and transportation. Good pure water should be high on your list, as esp in our area there are some cities that have lousy water but almost everywhere in Michigan if you have a well you get good pure water..but also if you have a stream avail. even the better as you can access it even if there is no power.

If you are looking at a temperate area that gets cold and snow..really look hard at the shelter..roofs that drop a snow load are essential here in our area as otherwise there is a fear of collapse so no flat roofs, also oriented toward the sun here with some good overhangs is helpful to help heat in the winter and to block the high summer sun in the summer.

good soil is helpful and some trees, but you can plant them if you have to and build the soil..better to start out with at least a good shade tree and some decent soil though...and check the soil for chemical residue...if possible

And I believe the most important things to plant first are of course your trees, vines and shrubs, esp things like berry bushes and perennial plants as they will help you out earlier on..and read some good books as you are shopping for property ..some permaculture books like gaia's garden and some others and some good quality homesteading books and canning books, cookbooks, etc..

wouldn't hurt to start shopping at thrift stores for some things you might be needing as well..plan ahead.


Bloom where you are planted.
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