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Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Posted by mylonite Florida (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 12, 08 at 23:35

So, I've always been an outdoor kind of girl. Built forts as a child, loved to camp, hike, and all that... I always said I wanted to grow up and live on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Then I got married, and we bought a house, and there are no mountains to be found in Florida...

I still can't seem to get rid of the idea that I want to live in the boonies. There are still decent bits of land for a decent price available around here. I'm seriously considering finding a 10 acre or so parcel and putting together the life I always dreamed of.

I'm thinking hens (just for eggs, don't have the stomach for killing them) and some goats, a sizable in-ground vegetable garden, some amount of hydroponic greenhouse space, perhaps a shed or two for mushroom cultivation... Ideally, I want to have enough that if everything went to hell, we could live off the fruits of our land, with enough left for bartering.

Is it doable, or am I dreaming? Am I crazy?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

I am very interested in this discussion as I have the same thoughts, although I'm gonna do it come hell or highwater. I believe it is very doable. I wish us both good luck.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Not crazy. We're working on it.... it's a process that's for sure. It's called 'homesteading' (there's a forum here but not too active lately)
What are DH's thoughts on the matter? Mine is resisting the milk producing animal, but I've had chickens (laying hens) for 4 years and this spring got a rooster and now have just seen a hen hatch 3 chicks. It's awesome. I also got a pig this year (to eat) but won't be me doing the butchering.
There's lots of good info out there definately do lots of research. GL!

Here is a link that might be useful: homesteading forum


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Oh yes, I agree with the research, that's what I am doing. I look at some things that happened to me. I grew up in Southern California, just outside of L.A. and lived there for much of my adult life while my husband was stationed at Camp Pendleton. Every summer we would visit his family out in the middle of nowhere. That was a real culture shock for me. It was black as pitch at night which was a little scary and what was all that noise? oh yeah crickets and whippoorwills. I couldn't sleep for nothing, I was too used to the sirens and street lights. And OMG what did these people do for fun? There is nothing here, no shopping, no restaurants, no movie theatres, no libraries, no nothing.

It eventually grew on me and I have been wanting a farm with its peace and solitude ever since. We actually tried once a couple years ago with a 50 acre place and an older home. It was a dream. The problem was that in order to afford the place we had to get kinda far away from our places of employment and it just became too much to continue. We would have had no time or energy to grow a potted plant much less alone food for our table. So reluctantly we had to let it go.

So since my dream has not gone away, I am more determined than ever to see it work. This time I am reading everything I can get my hands on so I'll know more about what I'm up against. I want to be able to make an income from the farm, even just a little will help. We have a date in mind (this next summer) and are saving money and paying off things. We both have added more work hours for extra money. My plan is to work only about 6 days a month outside the farm, which my job will allow me to do, and then I can focus on the farm. My husband will continue full time and only be a weekend farmer.

I feel confident and happy with our plan. And I know it will be successful, it has to be.

Anyway, just my story.

mxbarbie--that is so thrilling about the baby chicks. It is one of my biggest hopes, to have a mama hen hatch out chicks. So jealous!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

delusional? Well... I guess that depends on what kind of mushrooms you're growing in those sheds.
Other than that, it doesn't sound bad. My wife and kids and I live pretty much entirely off the land. It isn't so much an ultimate goal as it is a series of hobbies that compliment each other. We didn't set out to live off our land- it was the end result of five years of outdoor hobbies and interests that lend themselves to homesteading. I grew up this way so it's easy for me, but even taking it step by step was a little much for my wife. So, my advice is to take it really slow and master one aspect of farm life at a time. Get the place first. Then start easy with chickens and a garden. Don't quit your day jobs, keep the farm as a side hobby so that it doesn't stress you out.
Farm life is more about the accumilation of knowledge than it is the accumilation of farm items. It is easy if you know what you are doing and if you don't it is undoable.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

I had the same dream a couple of years ago and we ended up here on 10 acres. Right now, I only have chickens but hope to graduate to some bigger critters in the spring. I did a lot of research on chickens and asked/read a lot here. Do your homework and understand that having some land is quite a bit of work. Maintenance alone is enough to keep one busy on their days off. It takes DH the better part of one day just to mow. If it has stormed, much longer to remove fallen limbs, etc. It is much harder than I anticipated and not everything has fallen into place like I wanted. Both DH and I have to work full-time jobs so that fact does make it harder to keep up with everything that needs done around here.
I would suggest getting some chickens first, after doing some research. Unless you have experience with goats or other bigger critters, it may be a bit overwhelming to get everything at once. I also dreamed of a huge garden. I'm not a novice gardener but this was my first year here in zone 5. I made a lot of mistakes but my biggest was having too big of a garden. I couldn't keep up with it and it generally fell to ruin. Next year, smaller. I would rather have 6 cabbages to eat than 15 for the worms.

I plan on starting an orchard this coming spring and that was after seeing what a winter looked like here. I wasn't about to spend that kind of money and that kind of work to have all my trees killed by the freezing winds we get. I guess my whole point is....get your land first and get to know it. Understand what your time constraints will be and how much time it generally takes in the week to just keep things up. It is definitely do-able and many of us here share your interest in being self-sufficient. Lori


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Thanks for being like minded and supportive, instead of telling me that it's damn near impossible.

I'm hoping to buy a plot by Christmas, but that's still very up in the air - it all depends on my work prospects and what we can find in our price range. I think the only improvements we would do this winter would be a *very* small amount of clearing, the construction of a covered pavilion/room that would later be converted to a greenhouse, and planting some berry bushes. We have a home we will continue to live in for some time, so the first steps will be mostly be land improvements and some low maintenance vegetation.

I've actually got it in my head that I want to make a 'guest's quarters' building with efficiency suites. If we get enough land, I'd be interested in hiring a couple of college kids (or hippies, I suppose) to stay and help out, do farmers market runs, something like that - in exchange for room, board, and some amount of pay.

Big dreams, but I'll try my darnedest to heed your advice and start slow. Best of luck to us all - feel free to use this thread to pound out some of your details, past, present, and future.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

mylonite.
Where in Florida are you.If its rolling hills you are seeking Mt Dora and Lake County have these.
Are you growing things now. I would go visit your County extension service and talk to them.Maybe take the Master Gardener course . Also find an organic farm or co-op that will let you volunteer for on the job training.
In ground gardening is a pain but I know the community garden does hydroponics and it is wonderfully prolific.
Are you spending time outdoors now. Remember you have to be out in the 98 degree weather with flies and poop if you have animals.Then there are the winds and sideways rain.
Are you going to be able to get your animals out of harms way if a hurricane threatens.
You will lose a good many hens to hawks and what have you unless they are properly caged. We have hawks here the size of VW beatles!
I think owning a small farm is the American dream but I know a good many people(I sell Real Estate) who change their mind after 6 months of no street lights or neighbors. Gas prices being what they are has kept me from moving further out.
Don't give up your dream but try it out first.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

My wife and I tried to produce excess stuff to sell for a while. We finally canned the idea.
1.when you start doing it for money it takes some fun out of it.
2. the cost of driving the stuff to town is probably more than the stuff is worth.
3. when you start producing things for money, those things get priority and in homesteading, priorities shift from day to day. Something will get neglected if you are producing things for money.
4. if you have a great product, people will want to buy it all and you will be living on leftovers.
5. Employing people stinks! We tried it and hurt alot of feeling firing people that just didn't get it. No-one will care about your lifestyle as much as you will and farming is rather low income. If you pay someone that doesn't care much, you are losing money.
My strong advice is do it all yourself for yourself and if there is excess, give it to someone who needs it. You will have a much better life for less input and help out those in need to boot.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

I'm glad to be told up front to avoid hired help - it was an idea I'd had percolating, but had not put any real thought into it. I shan't put any brain power into it.

As for Florida living, I'm a native - born and raised here and realized not too long ago I don't have any intention of ever leaving. I'm not really worried about hills anymore, it was just my dream once upon a time. As for the climate and the solitude, I'm a geologist - I spend my best days hundreds of miles from plumbing, air conditioning, and idiots.

Right now I'm a small time gardener - about the only things I have had real success with have been beans and tomatoes. I had hoped this year would be better, but then I put out all my seedlings the week before Fay hit. ::sigh:: I've got more beans already outside, but my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are still sprouting at a snails pace on the porch. I'm definitely going to look into the next Master Gardener course.

Thanks again!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

There's nothing wrong with your plans, I kinda have them too. The one thing I've learned over time is to be flexible and understand that things will change - what you start out growing will probably not be what you end up growing. Its like you upgrade from lettuce to tomatoes to fruit trees.

In my case I found 13 acres of wild land about an hour away from my job. The commute was long but I loved the view of farmland as I drove. I eventually had to give it all up and move to another state and live inner city (which ain't all bad - my garden here is bigger and more productive).

The problems I discovered back when I was living primitively and remotely: it was very hard to get reliable help when I wanted to build something or move something.Scheduling a group of people with carpentry skills and hand tools was next to impossible. Though many people found my rustic cabin charming they rarely came out to visit. Hard back breaking work sounds fun but not everyone is built to do it for their entire lives, if anyone in your family tree has arthritis you might want to tone down the dreaming. Same goes for skin cancer. Along those lines I can also tell you that if you have any sort of health crisis while living in the boonies it can get expensive and difficult to get yourself to the hospital (but then again, I was living alone, you may not be). The biggest problem was flaky/scary neighbors. On the surface it looked like everyone was into it for the same reasons I was... it took me a while to realize that many of my closest neighbors were up all sorts of illegal activities and that an hour away from the law was just what they needed. These are not the kind of people you can count on in a crisis.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

cpp6318 has excellent advice! I couldn't have said it better. I've been selling things at the farmers market here for 3 years now and I seriously think this will be the last. I was just about to make a batch of sugar free jelly at 10pm friday night for someone who keeps bugging me at the market for it. I was exhausted from chasing 2 toddlers all day and trying to do fall clean up in the yard, when I realized that - I don't even know this person's name! Why am I worried about making this stupid jelly so I don't dissapoint someone I don't even know??? I went to bed, and good thing too because he didn't show up at the market the next morning anyway >:-(
Next year, it's just for family. I'm starting to feel like the little red hen, even with some of my friends.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

You have received some great advice here! We bought 9 1/2 acres about 18 months ago and moved from town to the country. Both my husband and myself have always been "townies" and never farmed. We still don't! We have a large vegetable garden (we have gardened for years) and seven hens--our first experience with anything other than cats and dogs. It is working out well, even though we are so tired sometimes we just sit and stare. We are sneaking up on having bigger livestock and putting in a crop of something.
Now, for our advice to you. Find a spot where there are established, working farms. A few acres surrounded by other people with a few acres and a dream will not give you the kind of neighbors you want and need. We have found that farmers will help you with most anything and then go home. They are friendly and wonderful, but don't want to live in your pocket. Also, don't run out and buy every piece of equipment you are told you'll need. Most equipment can be rented or hired with operator for the time or two you will need it. Unless you are near a well-traveled road and can set up a small market stand on your own property, market gardening on a small scale isn't worth the effort, and will cost almost as much as you make. Read, read, read about everything you want to do. And above all, don't get discouraged--you can have a wonderful little place that produces food and contentment. Go for it!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

I bought 20 acres 11 years ago, and haven't had any regrets. I don't live off the land, I work full time with a 35 minute commute each way, and have a small daylily nursery. I live next to a dairy farm.

My hobby, growing, selling and hybridizing daylilies, started small, and will remain small. I do most my sales thru the internet. I found a "weeder", who helps me when she has time.

And I've found an invaluable person from whom I buy hay, wood, he does farm projects for me, he brush-hogs my pastures, cuts my trees, etc, etc. He's the same person who looked at me when I moved to this rural community, and said I'd never last.

As everyone else said, start slow. Meet your neighbors and people in the community. They are your best source for everything!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

I bought my 27 1/2 acres back in 94. My main reason at the time was for my horses. My DH and I married in 98. He was from the country and grew up truck farming. We started planting fruit trees, making a large garden, hunting and fishing. We got hens earlier this year.

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to go to the hen house and get 8 or 9 eggs. Stop at the garden and pick, tomatoes, okra, squash, zuchinni, eggplant, peas and butterbeans. Then, open the freezer and take out deer meat (that we processed ourselves) or fish that we caught.

And only have to use seasonings, oil, milk, flour or meal from the pantry that was bought.

When the fruit comes in we go outside and graze on plums, muscadines, scuppernongs, pears, japanese persimmons, thornless blackberries, raspberries.... We do can some and freeze some, but both of us perfer our fruit fresh.

You couldn't make me move back to town. I love living in the country and love being able to grow my own food.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Youre not delusional. It's normal and probably wise to proceed with caution, but do proceed. Ask yourself, if I dont do this, in 10 years or 20 or on my deathbed will I feel regret? If you try and it doesn't work, you know you tried.
My husband I, before we married, both had dreams of being self-sufficient. We bought 20 acres 6 years ago, built a house and coop and cleared a garden and raise chickens and pigs. It's a wonderful feeling to have our own produce, meat and eggs. It's work too and we are far from self-sufficient. We are both teachers so have summers free but deal with 40 minute commutes for work. We have given up, happily, good restaurants and plays and concerts. Honestly, I'd rather be home securing the coop at 20 below than any of those things.
You'll get lots of good advice on this forum--let me add one thing. When you make your move, make every effort to buy supplies and services locally. It's critical to the small businesses and towns around you and you will meet wonderful people who will give you much more than lumber and an oil change.
Go for it!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Hi.

No you are definitely not delusional. What IS delusional are the general population of the world going about their lives like nothing has changed in the world. People need to wake up and smell the not so sweet aroma of peak oil and climate change.

You are doing the right thing by making steps towards being self sufficient. It may be the only thing that saves you and your family from starvation in the coming years.

I have recently purchased almost 8 acres with a house and sheds, a bore for ground water and good rain water storage of over 80,000L.

I managed to buy this property outright by selling my assets so I have no mortgage - and I encourage others to do the same. Sell your house, boat and other useless stuff and buy some land outright with the equity. You will be surprised how little land and a house will cost if it is in rural areas.

I am not wealthy. To find a place that I could afford to buy outright I had to go a long way. My place is 6 hours drive from where I live - but I consider it good insurance against the coming economic collapse and carnage the world is about to go through. Remember the L.A. riots?

Rent a house in the city if you need to keep working - and go to your hobby farm once a month to plant fruit trees and mow the lawns.

When all hell breaks loose in the city you and your family have a place to escape to. Just make sure you have a stockpile of fresh seeds, lots of fruit trees, good rain water and ground water supplies or a dam.

Also keep a stockpile of at least a years food for each family member - perhaps even 2 or 3 years to cover you while you get your food production going.

Get lots of books on food production too or print and make your own library from free information on the internet - there may be no internet available for information if the worst happens.

There are plenty of resources on the internet with shopping lists for what 1 person needs in a year to survive. It is surprisingly cheap to create a stockpile of preserved food and grains. Also lots of info available on how to store it.

For those of you not keen on rural land - can I suggest looking at setting up an Aquaponic system to grow fish and vegetables intensively in your back yard. You can see my system on the thread here if you are interested:

http://www.aquaponicshq.com/forums/showthread.php?t=467

It is a great way to produce good quantities of food in a small space with little time. It is lazy mans gardening - and great for people with little time.

Hope you get some land - it will be the best thing to do for your families future and safety.

Best wishes - Hamish

Here is a link that might be useful: Hamish's Aquaponic System


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Hamish, the aquaponic thing looks very interesting - I'll stick with my chickens though!
So many of us preparing all over the world, it's nice to see when people become aware of what is actually happening around them instead of believing whatever the TV tells them.
Good luck with your land and your plans. I must get back to my canning.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Be delusional-its fun! Always live that way. As a 6 year old it started with plants which lead to a large vegie and flower garden-sold the bounty in a road side cart on a dead ended road. By word of mouth only-I could not keep it filled. I would fill it at 6am and by 9am it was empty(about 12 bushels). I only picked in the AM, things seemed to taste better. As things go animals were next. Chickens-ducks-geese...the more the merrier. Then at 14 my first goat (Nubian) she was pregnant when she arrived. 3 weeks later there was 3 more 'little' goat (Kids). Wasn't long before I was milking 80 nannies 3X a day(good money in goats milk). Then there were rabbits and pigeons...need I go on...I loved every minute and could not think of any other way to live. I'm sure you will too. Don't just dream--live your dreams while you can! I'm 57 now and have very debilitating arthritis and still love the plants and critters but not as many-except my little Serama chickens. Just do it and remember-Keep on Chick'en.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

You folks are downright inspirational! I'm a little bummed, the land I was looking at (14 acres obscenely cheap, I'm sure something was wrong with it when it was available) is apparently an outdated listing. I had e-mailed the realtor, and gotten no response, so I called both of the phone numbers listed - both disconnected.

I'm still looking, and my husband is actually *excited* about buying land. When I ran the idea of chickens by him, he said that sounded fine, as long as I didn't expect him to kill them. He had a suggestion though - perhaps there is a local processing plant or small time meat shop that would 'do the dirty work' either for money or exchange. He's not terribly thrilled about the idea of raising rabbits, though I imagine he'd feel differently if food suddenly became an issue.

On that topic... Hamish, I also think your aquaponics system is pretty nifty. My family actually owns land in Georgia - and my father has long since promised that he would happily allow my family (his ex and her husband, plus my little brothers, and my husband and I) to go make a go of it up there if the situation called for it. I'm not quite as pessimistic as you - I don't think widespread disaster is inevitable - but I do think the only way we stand a chance of preventing it is to make some serious changes. Making the change to a self-sufficient lifestyle is a hardcore change, but that (and/or the middle steps of supporting those who keep your community capable of local sustenance) has to happen, sooner rather than later.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Don't know if your crazy mylonite. But food production will be a very important part of survival as our world moves towrds a psot carbon direction.

Edible landscaping will be most important to feeding what is left of us when TEOTWAK arrives.

I got a late start as I knew nothing about food production before 2/11/08 and by the time my garden was ready to accept some seeds the summer was about a quarter over. But, as the saying goes...better late than never.

My lot is only 2/3 acre and I have to use the intensive method of planting. My main garden is about 750 SF but it has rock paths. I also have 6 smaller beds that are from 20 SF to 80 SF each. Also have 26 fruit tress.

Here is main garden.

[IMG]http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/reargardenvuew.jpg[/IMG]

Next year will put in another bed on side about 30 SF and a few more fruit trees.

if things get tougher, l'll put in squash bed about 359 SF

Here are 3 good books for those interested in developing an urban homestead.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Food-Not-Lawns-Neighborhood-Community/dp/193339207X[/url]

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-When-Counts-Growing-Mother/dp/086571553X[/url]

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Self-Sufficient-Suburban-Gardener-Jeff-Ball/dp/0878574573[/url]

I think we have a real food crisis brewing for the world. Not enough young farmers replacing the old, we will run low of fertilizer as the NG dries up and that food which is grown is devoid of nutrition and not healthy. And to make matter worse, fewer people can even afford to buy produce.

With the recent food shortages in the news I have to wonder as Richard Heinberg brought up "Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?"

"The average American farmer is 55 to 60 years old. The proportion of full time farmers younger than 35 years of age has dropped from 15.9% in 1982 to 5.8% in 2002. Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?" from "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg

"Amish farmers can't compete in conventual agriculture farming. 40 years ago 90% to 95% of the Amish were farmers. Today less than 10% are farmers." from: "How the Amish Survive" DVD

And even if the farmers keep up with production, many people cannot afford the high prices of produce. At Krogers a butternut squash was $7, a large apple was $1.85, a rutabaga was $3, an artichoke near $5 and a lemon was $1.35, a bag of cherries was $14.75, ONE organic yam was $8.25.

And these high priced produce are being offered when times are still relatively good What will this stuff sell for when gas is $10 or $15 a gallon? Peak oil, peak NG, peak water and food as well as peak uranium will fuel mass starvation as our artificial and unsustainable world decomposes around us.

As people buy less produce due to affordability issues and the produce stops selling and rots on the shelves, the farmers will grow less produce that just rots unsold and less potential farmers will be entering that field.

Book and DVD list. All available from your local library.

Beyond Oil: the view from Hubbert's Peak
by Deffeyes, Kenneth S.
[url]http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/[/url]

The Coming Economic Collapse - how you can thrive when oil costs $200 a barrel
by Leeb, Stephen

A Crude Awakening - the oil crash
Lava Productions AG, Switzerland DVD
[url]http://www.oilcrashmovie.com/[/url]

The End of Suburbia - oil depletion and the collapse of the American dream
by Greene, Gregory DVD
[url]http://www.endofsuburbia.com/[/url]

Fed Up
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Fed-Up-Angelo-Sacerdote/dp/B000CNGC6G[/url]

High Noon for Natural Gas: the new energy crisis
by Darley, Julian
[url]http://www.highnoon.ws/[/url]

The Long Emergency: surviving the converging catastrophes of the twenty-first century
by Kunstler, James Howard

Oil Apocalypse
History channel DVD

Peak Oil Survival: preparation for life after gridcrash
by McBay, Aric

Powerdown: options and actions for a post-carbon world
by Heinberg, Richard

Resource Wars: the new landscape of global conflict
by Klare, Michael T
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Resource-Wars-Landscape-Conflict-Introduction/dp/0805055762[/url]

A Thousand Barrels a Second: the coming oil break point and the challenges facing an energy dependent world
by Tertzakian, Peter

Twilight in the Desert: the coming Saudi oil shock and the world economy
by Simmons, Matthew R.
Well written book examining 12 of the key Saudi oil fields.

Who Killed the Electric Car?
Sony Pictures Classics release
[url]http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/[/url]

Zoom:the global race to fuel the car of the future
by Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran.

[IMG]http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/victorygarden.jpg[/IMG]


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Wow allenwrench, thank you for that impressive list of books and information. Which was your favorite/had the most practical information?


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Hi, I don't know what part of Florida you live in, but I'm a native, too, and all my family lives there. However, I've lived in Coastal Alabama (40 miles from Pensacola) for over 20 years. Same climate as the panhandle down to almost Gainesville.

My husband and I bought 5 acres 14 years ago that was in terrible shape. We've worked hard, and have done a lot. You might want to be aware that just 5 acres is plenty to play on if you have to keep your "real" job. I'm the farmer, and my husband likes to play in the woods. We live only a few miles from a town large enough to buy groceries in, and within 10-15 miles of our jobs, so it's not too expensive.

We did the chickens for years and years. Chickens are easy, and not picky about their habitat, but they will get sick if you're not aware of that. They actually get chicken pox! Talk to your local feed-and-seed for treatment if you see one getting ill. I saved many a chicken. If you want them for eggs, you'll about break even. Don't expect to save money by the time you pay for feed and calcium, but the eggs are much better. Banties are the hardiest and best layers, if you don't mind small eggs. I've done ducks and geese, too. Fun, but MESSY. Good eggs for baking, though.

Easiest way to keep chicken house clean: keep hay on the floor, and clean it out and put in your compost. Also, as someone else said, fence them well, or you're wasting your time. Hurricane Ivan blew a tree over our fence, and DOGS (biggest risk), foxes, hawks and owls cleaned me out in no time.

As for a garden, GET A GOOD TILLER. That will save a ton of work. Expect tons of bugs. Anything that grows in Africa will grow here. Best best for first timers: Purple hull peas and Okra!! As for winter crops, plant greens, broccoli, spinach, and sugar snap peas. If you have room, you can plant root crops in January.

EASIEST TO GROW, period: Blueberry bushes and muscadine grapes. I do very little to them and they're happy. Depending on your climate, Satsumas and Meyer Lemons do well, too.

You're not delusional about wanting to live outside the city limits -- it's fun. Just don't expect to make money unless you have a lot to invest. FYI-- I don't do anywhere near as much as I used to since I went back to work full time. When I really worked the "farmlette" was when I was homeschooling. I just don't have time or energy now, but I still pick the heck out of blueberries and muscadines!


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

You may want to look up Orange County zoning laws. Just because the land may be agricultural doesn't necessarily mean you can have chickens or pigs. Osceola County has this little loop hole. These animals must be 100 feet from boundrys. I know my neighbors well, but as the zoning guy told me, even good neighbors have bad days and turn you in. He has seen it many times. I have 6 acres, agricultural, but the thing is I am only 200 ft wide. Bummer. Also, a bunch of land around Christmas, Bithlo area was sold at auction about a year ago so those signs may be obsolete. Look at the property appraisers web site to look for owners names. Happy hunting and good luck.


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

Hi Guys, if you are interested I have some property in Northern Arizona four corners region for sale. You can view it on U-Tube under (Solar Power Off Grid Home for sale). It is 30 acres, 2 bedroom 1 bath 1,500 sq ft home. huge barn, all fenced, well, garden area, water tanks, Also availble are a few 5 acre, 10 acre and 20 acre parcels for about $1,000 an acre. If interested please e-mail at apostleproject2008@yahoo.com...Thanks


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RE: Am I delusional? Thinking about buying land...

You know, you might be able to get a couple chickens RIGHT NOW! Get the Storey guide to raising chickens, to see what the basic requirements are, and check your local zoning laws to see if they are legal. Some allow hens but not roosters. (You don't want a rooster.) But why wait? Two or three chickens don't need a ton of space, and it could be an enjoyable way for you to develop some skills and test the waters, while you wait for your perfect little farm to turn up.


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