A differnt idea of farm living...
Hello, peace to all of yoy.
I have a question I'm hoping someone can answer or steer me to the right resource.
My family (me, wife, one 3 yr old girl) want to change our life in a way that seems to be hard to find information for... Everyone else seems to have way bigger ideas, or way smaller....
It's pretty simple. I have a job that pays right around the poverty level, but I love it and it has insurance and a retirement plan. We have no money left over, but with God's help we get by.
We have no debt to speak of and detest debt in any form but real estate debt. We qualify for a USDA loan, and remarkable, even my bank is willing to give me a small conventional loan for a home, so we are looking. We rent right now.
In our area, we could find a humble house, and maybe a barn, on 5-10 acres, for a price about equal to our rent payment.
My wife has some exprience with goats, and we're thinking or keepng goats to provide milk and meat. The goal is to feed ourselves, not sell. If we find some local folks that want to buy milk or meat fine, but not necessary.
I might raise a steer or 2, again for personal consumption, sharing with neighbors, and maybe selling the best cuts for a few bucks.
We want a garden large enough to provide maybe 7 -10 types of vegetables and fruit... Again, to feed our family and share. No intention of making profit.
My goal after the first 3 years or so is to have learned enough to cut our food bill by 80%. 90% in 5 years (i suppose there will always be a few items needed, as we are not radical purists of any kind).
We'd like well water if we can swing it, and use as little electricity as possible, and as little fuel as possible.
In short, we'd like to sustain ourselves, our basic needs, as much as possible.
We have no use for expensive toys or hobbies, fancy furniture.....We love simple things. I like to target shoot with my guns and my wife's passion is reading and learning (mostly about animals, goats and dogs in particular).
So you can see that our hobbies are humble as well, financially speaking.
It seems perfectly feasable for us to accomplish a goal of having about half of my $1240 net income or so to save for emergencies, retirement, and an occasional, well thought out pleasure purpose, like a vacation once a year.
This is what we want, and we'd like to find a forum and books, magazines, etc for just this kind of thing. I thought we would be considered homesteaders, but we don't seem to fit that, as the sites about that subject talk all about needing 2 jobs in the family, woring 16 plus hours a day just to survive.... What on earth are these people spending their money on? Yes kids are expensive, but not expensive enough to need a work schedule like that, with 3 or fewer kids.
One guy had 340 acres, and raised soybeans and other stuff to feed his 1000 pigs...... He said he barely makes it, and thats 16 hr 7-day-a-week work. What on earth are his living standards, I wonder? What do most people consider "a living" nowdays? I thought most country minded folk had pretty simple desires. They do here in central kentucky where I live.
Maybe it's a geographical thing.
So where are the simple folk that want to try to grow and raise say 125% of what they need to eat, hope and pray for 100% to actually come through, and need only 1 humble full time job with health insuranse and a retirement plan to pay for what we can't do or make ourselves?