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I am closing this week.

John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
      I recently quite running all over the world and working as a contractor. I have been living overseas since I retired from the US Navy five years ago. My family is staying overseas until the end of the school year. I found a job with an 80% reduction in pay stateside but it will mean I will be home every day with my family. It is over a hundred miles from my home town so I had to do some real hard scrounging to find housing. I have been boarding with relatives an hour from work for the first six weeks that I have been at the new job.
    In less than a month after I started working I found a ½ acre property with a 110 year old farm house that had renovations complete in the last 20 years and still sound structurally. I got the call from the bank and I close this coming week. The property has a 2 car detached concrete block garage.  The property is perfectly flat with hard road frontage and city water. It is in a rural area without any restriction on what is done with it. I am less than 200 feet from a year round mountain stream that I can use for emergency water
There is no building permits needed there. The only restrictions in the area are perk tests for new septic. The purchase price is 17K.  While the reduction of income sounds drastic, the actual quality of life will be improved. My commute is two gallons of gas round trip.  While I could buy a more fuel efficient car I feel it is more ecologically sound to maintain the current vehicle that gets 21 miles to the gallon until actual time to replace it. My house payment is less than $100.
The equivalent size property with the same level of features in a more urban area would cost me over $20,000 a year in payments. Between my military pension and my paycheck I will be able to maintain my family at a good quality of life and at the same time homestead pretty much independently of the outside world.
Even though the state of WV has restrictions for certain permaculture favorites such as the Autumn Olive, there is a native equivalent by way of the buffalo berry I can use for a nitrogen fixer in shrub form. The European Black current is not legal to have anywhere in the state all the North American goose berries and currents are legal in my county.
My boss told me she does not buy meat for their home as her husband is able to get enough out of the public hunting area during season. As I grew up with game a big part of our diet I believe this to be an option as there is an over population of deer in the area that has lasted over ten years.
Within 15 miles I have located three farmers markets in which to sell produce should that become a desire. I am also a full time student in environmental studies. I am hoping to couple that education with a PDC in the future.
Wish me luck as this journey is going to be fun.

I am the first generation of my family to grow up on the grid eating out of the super market. I hope to be the last.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6652
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
137
Good luck in your new homestead.  Spend your income wisely...fruit & nut trees, asparagus, and other crops that will feed you forever.  Every meal you grow yourself represents that much cash you didn't need to spend.  A plate full of food you produced yourself is more rewarding than a pat on the back from your boss.
                          


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 56
Location: Bremerton, Washington
Congratulations!  It sounds like a great opportunity to begin building the life and world you want.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
thank you for your service.

I'm very happy you were able to get the home for such a wonderful price..even if it does require work you are blessed.

blessings on our closing and getting your family there, and the job and commute..etc.

you didn't say much about the property..but if you have not read Gaia's Garden yet pick it up, library or buy it from the  bottom of the page here.

wonderful book will help you to plan your property.

my suggestions would be to get the fruit trees or shrubs in for family favorite fruits first..including things like bramble berries and grapes on fences or arbors around the property.

then of course find the sunniest areas for the vegetable crops that you will want to put in and make sure there is a windbreak hedge if there are prevailing winds that will be affecting it.

look around the area for possibilities of free materials like mulches, pallets (for wood), compost, etc..

do some property walking and find your suntraps for the more tender crops, like the south facing walls or niches in hedges, whatever..and check out the soil for wet and dry areas..etc..watch the sun and shade patterns, and watch traffic patterns of how people or animals walk around the property..as they won't change even if you plant a baby tree there.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
The rough description of the property.
The property is almost perfectly flat. It is rectangle shaped with 100 feet of road frontage and 200 feet on the sides. The house faces to the south east.  The west and north sides of the property are bordered by a community center and play ground that used to be an elementary school. The comunity center lot is covered with mature maple trees.(Free Mulch) The east borders part of a horse farm. The south is on the paved highway.
The area is agricultural land. The leach field is in the front 100 feet. I have a clear space of 100 X 100 that I can plant anything. I plan on covering the perimeter with edible hedge. The area where the leach field is I will leave as lawn.  The rest of the land will be a small food forest.
Elevation is 600 feet above sea level. Zone six in WV. It is one quarter mile from the Ohio River.
It is an area where native goose berries are allowed. Autumn olive is restricted but I can use buffalo berries as a replacement.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
may I suggest you check our our drainfield on my blog below..I have used it to a great advantage for our property..there is a circle of lawn surrounded by perennial flowers, shrubs, vines, and dwarf fruit trees.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Just closed today. My bank was ready but the seller was not and it took an extra week. Any way I will have water on Tuesday and electricity will be hooked up week after next.
I really don’t have much chance in starting any real transformation this year. I just need to map out where I am going to be doing my guilds.
I work at a place that I can get an unlimited supply of boxes for sheet composting. The land is clear of anything but grass so I have a blank slate to work with.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Front View of my little $17,000 homestead


[Thumbnail for DSCF0664.JPG]

 
 
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