Vickie Shaw

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since Nov 03, 2016
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Recent posts by Vickie Shaw

As one person wrote, I'm the idiot child. Yes, and the one economically disadvantaged, too. . That's hard at times. It definitely separates you from family.    My husband and I are the only ones that do this work. We love it, it gives us purpose and is so satisfying.  The bees, making maple syrup, gardens, high tunnel, chickens, eggs.   I  lay out the property the way I want and my husband helped plant it.  The edge of the woods , my food forest is coming along.
 Every one making comments now about coming here when SHTF.  No, I don't think so.  They didn't take the time to learn the skill sets needed and most like their couches too much. I've given them live plants, plans, canned foods, etc. They sure like the food!  But none have lifted a finger in fifteen years.
Our neighbors are a different story, they all garden and raise different animals although not organically.  When you talk to them about permaculture they don't know why we would do this.  They just clear fields.  We all help each other with projects and problems.
I hate to say this but aside from this group, the only time we have felt we had found our "village" was at mother earth news fair in Pennsylvania.  It was affordable. We learned so much, talked to so many  like minded people from every walk of life and circumstance.    There are so many classes out there I would love to take but it seems everything is so expensive we just can't do it plus as another wrote, we can't leave the farm !  
I want to thank everyone involved in and everyone that posts.  You are all life lines in teaching and support. Thank you for letting me vent.
Where would I begin?!   Buying way to many meat chickens at once. The 100 pan fryers special! " But They were only 25ยข each". They were awful! 100 roosters ready to be butchered all at once.  They were fighting, they clogged the plucker, they were good only for soup and wings and legs.  Then there was buying100 broilers.  Even with them in pasture , do you know how much it costs to feed them? And  Two long days to butcher them for a couple of amateur.
Now we buy 50 broiler at a time several times a year.  We help neighbors butcher theirs and they help us.  
4 months ago
Most of my relatives think we are crazy and lazy. We don't have the conventional lawn they have.  We have raised beds everywhere we can.  Nut trees planted, fruit trees, berry bushes together.   It looks like an animal sanctuary, birds, bees, insects every where. You can hear wild turkeys, see deer from our front yard. I couldn't wait to retire , a little(a lot) cash poor but  I love this. It creates a sense of security in some ways.  We will always have enough to eat,We have lots of perennials planted along with our food forest. Thank you Geoffrey, Elliott, Joel and Ira. And God.
4 months ago
Update:   no contract on high tunnel.   It's ours .  We were approved for the high tunnel and most equipment needed for it. $7000.  I have to come up with delivery, and labor, boards surrounding the tunnel and money for the neighbor that will level the land a little.  And doors. About $3000.
We can grow anything we want in it.
We must have water going to it and soil samples done for three years. This was done through the department of conservation.  I
We have one year to do this or we can opt out.    We can work it for our selves and family,and neighbors.  This is important because of the political climate in this country. Prepping for our "village" .   We could raise chickens in it after 3 years.  I've become the neighborhood chicken broker by accident lately.   Everyone in the neighborhood is raising chickens now and butchering at our place because of our very cool equipment and shelter.  
We might make a few dollars selling vegetables and eggs at markets, we don't need much more income, ,without it we would survive but it would be a little tougher. More like on grid homesteading.  
If we died sooner instead of later , it would add to our tiny farm when  our kids sell the place.  I'll have them list it here !   So , we'll probably put it up.  
My husband and I really liked all of your replies and they were most helpful.  We dug much deeper into the situation and the agent came to the house several more times because of your help.  I appreciate the honesty.  Thank you.  
 I'm a retired medical secretary and 65 years old.   I have the opportunity to obtain a 100 ft high tunnel through a grant but would have to sign a five year contract to sell food that I grow.
Why I'm worried about doing this is for the last two months my husband just had a total knee,  I've taken care of  150 chickens , broiler and layers, our house, etc.  Butchered last weekend and will again this weekend.  Our 36 foot tunnel is a mess. It's become a food forest!  As has the small kitchen garden.
We need the income stream the "new business" would create .   I have some gardening experience, more than a beginner, about 30 years worth of dabbling in growing food for ourselves.  We have always have started seeds in the basement with very good success.  I've taken master gardener classes, classes at MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, read many books. We have a pretty big library of homesteading books. We own 13 acres. We have bees and make maple syrup. I sell eggs to the neighborhood.  In the past we've have had large gardens in the area where the new high tunnel would go.
 My worry is about not keeping up.   This is much bigger than I've done on my own.  I think what's bothering me is the commitment of a business that can fail for many different reasons.  I'm not a spring chicken. My husband has many health problems and has been disabled for 26 years. I would have to hire people.  
Should I do this?
Any one out there building a rocket mass heater to fit a maple sap evaporator?
4 years ago