Just looking for a way to build our homestead on permaculture principles for idealistic reasons. We love food and beauty from the earth. This spring was gloriously colorful. I want to be able to support this lifestyle and to prosper in it. Why pay for gym membership and expensive herbal supplements when I get up and work like a pioneer and then pluck my own medicine. I would love to see my neighbors hold on to theirs and hope to create niches for each others yields. All this requires that I transition from working overtime in my outside job and make the difference up in farm income. Certainly the savings to our home adds up and is surely income. Salatins book "You Can Farm " lists the ten best and worst farm enterprises. I envision a combination of CSA market garden , Pastured poultry and Herbal Medicines. From you alls experiences - what are some of the best and worst permaculture enterprises? Thanks for any input.
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I think the way to start is to Identify expenses you can eliminate so that you aren't dependent on the overtime work. I stopped working outside of the house almost five years ago and immediately started to see all the places we could save money on the day to day expenses. It took some time to get used to the cutbacks but now I don't even miss things like TV, store-bought bread, dining out, and junk food. At this point we support our family of four on one outside income and whatever we can grow, forage and raise here at home. We barter for some things and buy what else we need to.
As far as a business model is concerned, I think the land you have will make all the difference. Try and figure out what is easiest to grow/raise with little to no expense aside from labor. Next identify you local market needs. It's no use growing a hundred pounds of something if you can't sell it right? Finally take your time implementing your plan. We started by making a 1 year, 2 year, 5 year and 10 year plan. And we consider a 50% achievement rate a success, so that we don't get discouraged. To be fair I set pretty high goals that I think would be impossible for anyone to attain just to keep me humble.
I live by a few simple rules now.
1. Eat only Real food
2. Simple is Best
3. Be Good
4. Daydream Daily
5. Have Fun
6. Waste as little as possible
This thread needs to be buffed up and carried with us.
I love Craig's "SIMPLE RULES" ... especially his NUMBER 2 ... "Simple Is Best"
It reminds me of one of the most important (IMHO) quotes from our dear Henry David Thoreau
In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
More than philosophical fluff, this could be a GOLDEN KEY to homestead, permaculture, and Life success.
In proportion as we simplify?
Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. HDT
A Permaculture Homestead is like engineering ... engineering as simple a life as possible?
In engineering the most elegant solution to a problem or challenge is ALWAYS the simplest one.
We moderns really tend to make things complicated, I think.
How can moderns become less complicated (more Simple?)
I carry that phrase from Thoreau ... "IN PROPORTION AS WE SIMPLIFY ..." with me like a mantra almost all the time. When finding myself stumped or frustrated, I often take a deep breath and ask, "What is the simplest solution to this problem?" Often, it may mean NOT DOING A THING AT ALL !!
Is there a TAO to permaculture? I think there is. I like Mollison's idea about permaculture being a "lazy man's approach to agriculture". Seems to me it is always a challenge to engineer the greatest returns from the least effort. Lowest input, Highest return.
Ludger Merkens wrote:simple is best -
a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, comes to mind:
Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to omit
is simple easy?
From "The Little Prince"? One of my favorite all time books. I may dig it out and read again. My highschool french teacher had us reading it in french and then later I found it in english. Very profound story, I think.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
thats exactly the background I'm carrying around in my head. I could add a sentence I heard from Geoff Lawton - sorry can't quote him exactly. But he said something like, he'd rather sit 100 hours in the garden and think about a problem, to work 1 hour afterwards than the other way around. Yes "permaculture design" has a lot of engeniering characteristics and good simple solutions are often hard to come by.
yes from "The Little Prince". But I read it in german, I could probably read it in english, but why read a french book in an english translation, if thats not your native language?
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