Artie Scott wrote:
When making these sorts of decisions, I tend to look at worst case and try to figure out how to mitigate risks from there...
Paul Kennington wrote:I'm more than a bit worried about the water situation. I'd suggest you price getting a well dug. Also, be set up to do and store a lot of canning. How far is the closest farmers market that you could sell things in?
Are you able to get a very large water tank and funnel roof water to it?
John C Daley wrote:If you have the rainfall and dont freeze all winter rainwater catchment and tanks are very viable. Much less cost than a well.
John C Daley wrote:I have to ask, have you had any experience with building and growing.
Its a big leap from nothing to production. .
John C Daley wrote: Have you thought about a 18month transition program where you start learning, collecting things and even doing things on the ground to help get the ball rolling when you are eventually on site.
It took me 45 years to make the leap!! quote]
This is the sort of thing I was considering. I have tools and gardening implements, but will need to purchase electric fencing, feeders, water troughs, etc, etc, etc for animals, and miscellaneous equipment for a bigger garden. I've been reading the book "5 Acres and Independence" and it recommended to take things on a very small scale 1st, then after seeing what works in your area, with your limited knowledge, and resources, build up from there.
I plan to have a very limited number of smaller animals 1st chickens fastest to raise to dinner plate size, quickly adding layers, then pigs to help with tilling and clearing, aand eventually goats/ sheep for meat and milk. Want to do some form of rotational grazing to make best use of the available land with room to expand for market crops/ products.
Nearest markets are in Bloomington, Terre Haut, and Indianapolis, about an hour drive. There are Amish stores much closer that may be a viable outlet for goods as well but that would be a relationship that needs to be built first.
Artie Scott wrote:Thomas, are you assuming neither of you will be able to work off the farm when you move? I think you will want/need some form of income to succeed in this endeavor if you don’t already have a nest egg piled up.
Or maybe the VA stipend will cover basic costs and health insurance, supplemented by what you can raise/grow?
When making these sorts of decisions, I tend to look at worst case and try to figure out how to mitigate risks from there, vice looking at the most optimistic outcome and assuming that will happen. If you are confident there are fallbacks in place should things not go as planned (jobs in town, family support, etc...$) Then maybe you are ready to go.
I know I probably wouldn’t want to rely on SNAP as my backup plan for feeding my family. Government programs are slow and unreliable, with many traps for disqualifying, so be careful with your assumptions there.
Michelle Heath wrote:From your post there are two dwellings on the property, the cabin your mother-in-law lives in and your sister-in-law and husband live in the main house. Do you and your family plan to build on the property or is there another dwelling?
Adding nine more people onto an existing septic system can cause problems. Has it been pumped lately? How many gallons does the cistern hold? Once again, the additional people will require more water. Can you adequately provide water for your family and the crops using only the cistern?
You stated that the land has not been used in years. Were chemical fertilizers used in the past? What was the last crops grown there and how did they perform? What is your level of farming/gardening experience and methods of growing are you planning to use?
I don't begrudge anyone SNAP benefits if they need them, but some states require at least one adult in the family to either be working or looking for work to qualify. You might want to be sure about the VA stipend before you take the leap.
As for frugality, we only have utilities, insurance, internet and an Amazon Prime subscription which is mainly for my daughter. The majority of our clothing is bought at thrift stores and our house and vehicles are paid for.
Good luck with your venture and another piece of advice I'd like to offer is not to go in debt to get started. It sounds like the perfect solution to begin with but can quickly turn into a nightmare (don't ask me how I know that). Start small and pay as you go if at all possible.
Karl Treen wrote:
Artie Scott wrote:
You are asking good questions here. Don't get carried away with the dream, because it's going to be hard. Maybe heart-breakingly hard. Make sure that VA pension is in place before making any decisions, also make sure you understand the ins and outs of the social services system in Indiana. Maybe your family can help sort that out?
My recommendation would be to put your finances down on paper and do some worst-case scenario calculations. If you have experience with farming and raising animals, and a government stipend you can conceivably live off of, this could be a viable move. If you have no agricultural experience, and lots of kids, you are conceivably putting everyone in a very difficult position and may end up regretting it.
Also, I'm assuming you know where everyone would sleep, and that you have a little money in the bank... If the answers are "I don't know" and "not much" I would say you aren't ready for this.
Finally, when one of the kids steps on a nail or falls off a ladder, will you be able to pay the medical costs? With 7 kids, it's not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when". Can you get free (or affordable) healthcare in Indiana?
The VA claim is key to much of this. At least that will be guaranteed income should all else fail. It may take longer than we'd like to wade through the red-tape for approval, but better to be certain. The family up there has been chomping at the bit to have us up there. They have had hard times in the past and have a strong disposition that they'll endure just about any adversity.
We have shelter covered.
We have a fair nest egg, just don't want to burn through it too fast; running out before we see a return on investment. IF/ When approved for VA we'll have food covered and enough to put clothes on our back. Vehicles are paid off and in good shape. The only regular expenses would be phone/ internet and what little power we use.
Health Care coverage is a good point that will need further research.
We both have experience with animals and have done some small scale gardening; however, producing on a large enough scale to feed us all, eventually scaling up to a marketable quantity will be a learning curve. Marketing is another skill to master as well.
John C Daley wrote:
Another thing to be aware of, if you think 40 per week takes all your time, i spend about 70 hrs per week fiddling on my place and I have a house and shedding!!
Thomas Brinn wrote:I forgot to mention that we'll be mortgage free, and have some available funds from the built up equity in our house when it sells. Don't know how long it will take to sell though, especially since Corona-Mania has impacted the housing market. Maybe a rent-to-own deal would be a better route to get out from under the house quicker, and maybe at a better price point.