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Working full-time and homesteading.


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Can it be done?

 

I am trying to get things in order in the house so I can work less but it just doesn't seem to be happening.

 

I would love t homestead but it seems so overwhelming and it seems to take a lot more money to begin that I have to spend.

 

What says the hive? Can it be done? Have any resources on homesteading?

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well...

 

personally, other than homeschooling, I write part time. As far as day to day work, my dd takes care of all chicken chores. We take summers off so that we can garden and work on projects. (IOW, instead of doing school we work on the farm)

 

Start small with some chickens and pots of tomatoes on your porch. Don't try to go all out and try to be self-sufficient right all at once. If you have acreage, a beef cow is a very low maintenance animal.

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By working full-time do you mean an "outside" job (even if it's working from home)? And homeschooling?

 

Unless you can hire workers or have neighbors and lots of family who will do the work for you, no, a full-fledged homestead can't be done like that. Sorry. But starting slow with a few chickens and small garden would be a good way to get a feel for it. It takes many, many years of experience in farming to be able to live off your land and it will be quite expensive the first few years having to buy food to replace your failed crops and the chickens that got eaten by racoons :tongue_smilie:.

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By working full-time do you mean an "outside" job (even if it's working from home)? And homeschooling?

 

Unless you can hire workers or have neighbors and lots of family who will do the work for you, no, a full-fledged homestead can't be done like that. Sorry. But starting slow with a few chickens and small garden would be a good way to get a feel for it. It takes many, many years of experience in farming to be able to live off your land and it will be quite expensive the first few years having to buy food to replace your failed crops and the chickens that got eaten by racoons :tongue_smilie:.

:iagree:

 

We;ve been doing this for 10 years. i have been at home, homeschooling the whole time. We are still a LONG way from a full-fledged almost self-sufficient homestead.

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Yes and no. I do not have a standard away from home 9-5 job BUT I am gone more than 40 hours a week to take DS to therapy and other activities. I spent the time teaching DS how to plant and harvest and it was well worth my time to do so. No matter how mush there is too harvest the time spent never increases.

 

I planted a massive garden this year (45ft x 90ft) and never spent more then an hour each day planting. Just harvesting the garden I spent about the same but preserving (canning and freezing only at this point) was a bit more time consuming. Just freezing the daily harvest took me 45minutes to an hour each day. Canning I did with my mom and grandma on the weekends only. It was a fun and crazy experience. Despite the major drought I NEVER watered.

 

We tried chickens but they were eaten by predators because I ended up getting to sick to properly secure their run. I learned a valuable lesson about finishing the run/coop before bringing birds home, no matter how young.

 

Look at year round mulching, it will save you so much time and make homesteading while working doable, IMHO.

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I don't work fulltime, but I homeschool fulltime and have 2,000 square feet of (in progress) garden + several fruit trees + 5 chickens. It's a lot to manage. If I had to work fulltime also, I don't see how it could be done!

 

We also do it w/o spending lots of $. The most important first thing is to build up your soil. Where we live we have very poor sandy soil. Our city provides free compost. We're adding free manure from our chickens whenever we have enough, plus from other local sources that are free, you just have to haul it. Cover crops aren't that expensive to grow and help a lot too. Compost in situ. Put your scraps directly into the bed your improving and bury it as you go. It will take 3 years to turn mediocre soil into good soil w/o going out and buying good stuff. We did spring for drip irrigation (huge time and water saver). It cost about $600 to do our entire planting area, plus a lot of time to install it ourselves. Totally worth it (or it will be when we're finally done!). We also got airplane packing crates (looks like wood fencing) from a local airplane manufacturer and used those to build our beds.

 

Those are some of my random thoughts... it's a ton of work, especially in the initial stages but bit by bit everything comes together. We really want to do tilapia as soon as the other stuff is up and running!

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I was going to add too that it's not the planting that is so much work, it's the harvesting!!! Oh, my! It's all well and good to plant everything, but it's quite daunting to keep up with it all on the other end. I ended up feeding basil to the chickens because mine grew so massive I just couldn't put all the time to harvest it all. Plenty went to friends too! :)

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It just depends on so many variables:

1) What is a homestead to you? Is it big and fully self-sufficient, or small and only partly so?

2)How labor and time intensive is your work? What about your other responsibilities?

3)Would you be going it alone or do you have help? Children, relatives a supportive spouse?

4)What is your personal energy level? Are you highly motivated and driven, or do you like to kick back and relax often?

5)How organized are you?

6)How creative are you? Cost really depends on creativity.

 

My two cents for the above:

1) For us, in this season of our life, our homestead is our city lot. We grow all our own produce except for some fruit in a large garden, we raise ducks for our own eggs. We have a root cellar for preservation and we can the summer bounty. We will be adding more fruit trees next year. We do have to buy meat, dairy and baking staples, but we DIY what we can (making our own yogurt, bread, etc). If our city every legalizes goats, we will likely wean off meat and only need to purchase baking staples, like flour.

 

2)DH and I both work full time, but we are self-employed and work from home, so we can juggle our schedules as needed. We also homeschool and have active kids, so this eats up time as well. We still manage to fit in all the chores each week. Our jobs aren't labor intensive, so we aren't ever to physically tired for the homestead chores.

 

3)I have help. DH and both our children help out with chores. I couldn't do it alone, work and homeschool.

 

4)I am a high energy person, DH is not. My version of relaxation is to be engaged in a project, his is zoning out on TV. In other words, I prefer active relaxation and he prefers passive relaxation. If were both passive relaxers, I don't think we could do it.

 

5)Once again, I am a highly organized person. I make lists and actually complete them. I am good at time management.

 

6)Both DH and I are creative, and our homesteading costs us very little. We scavenge, scrounge and build things ourselves. We are easily self-taught people so can teach ourselves the skills we need from books, friends and the internet. We are also lucky with good soil (thanks, Mt. St. Helens!), which can be the biggest start up cost for many. We are currently collecting old discarded windows for a greenhouse.

 

So in short, yes, I think it's possible for some people, especially on a small scale. Most importantly, start small. Start where you are. It's a marathon, not a race, and you can build your homesteading stamina as you go. :)

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For me, I wouldn't be able to do all three. I work and homeschool, and we live on acreage in the country. When we first moved here, we tried to make a go of being somewhat self-sufficient with a garden and a flock of chickens and the thought of more livestock. It quickly became apparent that I could not do all three...so we dropped the garden. We still have chickens, they are easy, but buy the rest of our meat and some of our produce from local farms, and enjoy our space and our nature. Gardening and homesteading etc are very popular ideas and somewhat even idealized in our network of homeschoolers, so having the space but electing not to do these things sometimes makes me feel a little like a black sheep, but you gotta do what you gotta do, or not.

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