billj at harborside.com
Mon Apr 3 12:51:05 EDT 2006
I'm a snowbird. I spend my winters writing software and tutoring
students in math and physics, and the summer preparing raised beds and
keeping livestock. Buying bottle babies or weaners in springtime really
works for us, with no baby-birthing involved.
Our operation is 99% non-fossil fuel, but we don't pretend to be able to
produce more than what we personally will use. We live on the edge of
the wild, so the flood of voles (root crops), rats (peas), and raccoons
(tomatoes) about did us in. So now the focus has been on creating
raised beds tall enough to discourage them.
It's hard to know what the future will bring. As long as I can bring
home a bale and a bag of something once a week from the (now more
distant) feed store, we could go on almost indefinitely on very little
outside input, and even have a milk cow. There's no one delivering feed
out here now at a reasonable price. But when the day comes when we
can't drive, it becomes more complicated. At that point we would
probably spend the fortune that would have gone to car insurance on
twice-yearly deliveries and cab rides to town. So I guess I'm preparing
more for adversity in our golden years, than for the end of the world.
Self-sufficiency doesn't seem that hard to us, as a team effort. If a
person just can't stand the idea of packing home-grown cucumbers into
jars for pickling, or feeding a bottle to a calf, or composting manure,
then he or she won't like our lifestyle. But since those things are fun
to us, we've got it made, as long as we've got one toehold on the feed
delivery scheme (and a small income to support it).
S. Oregon coast
More information about the Homestead