[Homestead] Run like the Devil
erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 26 01:43:18 EST 2006
Clansgian at wmconnect.com wrote:
> I see in your post the description of the frenzied homsteader and
> also the idle city dweller as if, correct me if I have mistook this,
> those are the opposite ends of a logical continuum. That is, if you
> don't opt for the realtively idle city life, you will be running
> like the Devil for the setting sun you will never reach.
Actually James, while I can understand how you see that in my post and
postings, I have, in the past few years, found more middle ground than
you might think. Most of it came out of a health crisis and then later
a marital crisis, but I have weathered both and have learned/am learning
to stop and take it easy/easier. I downsized, perhaps even too much, to
the point where I now want to upsize a bit. I want goats again. I want
sheep again. I have turkeys and geese and muscovy ducks again. I want
a larger garden. I guess the difference now is that I am less of a
purist...I'll use whatever mechanical device necessary to make things
easier and that will give me more time. For my birthday this year, I
bought myself a little "mantis-type" tiller attachment for my weedeater.
It's great for mixing compost and other small jobs that are labor
intensive. Next week, I'll use it to bust up the caked floor of the old
chicken coop to make for easier shoveling. In the past, I would have
just grabbed a maddock or something. Everything now is on automatic
watering...again, less time spent doing chores and more time spent
riding horses. :)
> When I began to suspect there was something amiss with this paradigm
> and though through my episodes of setting sun catching, I found that
> it was almost always because I was doing things a far more
> complicated way than need be. I was constantly doing things twice
> and thrice, I was spending more time setting up and clearing away for
> a task than doing the task itself.
Yes, I understand that. Very often, 4 projects have to be done/cleared
before getting to the one that needs doing. Our pipes to the barn burst
a couple of weeks back because I forgot to put a light in the wellhouse.
We usually put a trouble light in there if the temps go below 20.
Well, it hit 12 here, and the PVC shattered into a bazillion pieces.
First, I had to gather all the PVC fittings, which involved a trip to
town. Then I had to swap stuff around to free up the extension cord so
this wouldn't happen again. Also, I had to dig through the woodpile
looking for a piece of wood large enough to use for a door for the
wellhouse, and swap out a few cinderblocks so that the wellhouse itself
was more airtight. (It's just a dry stack of cinderblocks covered with
tin, not really a wellhouse, per se) Of course, while we were getting
materials together to fix the pipes, I was again hauling water for the
animals from the rainwater tanks. That meant, in the case of the
rabbits, that I had to pull out and bleach and wash the old waterers,
find the clips to hold them to the cages, etc. etc. Later, I realized
that I should have just put a few bowls or crocks in the cage. It would
have been much easier and faster.
> So it isn't a linear progression that I attempt to address of
> idleness vs industry. But can the homesteader look out over *enough*
> produce, *enough* livestock and their products, *enough* fodder,
> *enough* fuel, etc (usual drill) and say, I don't need any more. I
> needn't go at a rush for more now because I really can't use it...?
That's been part of my 'downsizing' mentality. Why am I spending time
putting up 20 jars of jam when I am the only one eating it? I no longer
bake bread daily for the same reason. Right now, I might now have
enough wood to see us through the winter, but I know of a few good
standing deadwood trees that we could take down in a hurry if we need
to. I didn't can nearly as much this past year as I usually do. How
many jars of salsa do I need? How many chickens do I need to butcher?
And I am still in the middle of readjusting my thinking. I bought a lot
of hens this year so that I could sell eggs next year. I lost quite a
few, and I lamented over that, but in reality, isn't 18 hens enough to
provide plenty of eggs for me and Ron and still have enough to sell to
pay for feed? I think so, but I have to keep reminding myself to slow
down and rethink everything.
> What I found is that once one reaches this equilibrium of need vs
> industry, there sets in a fine tuning and finesse of the projects
> that further reduced the frenzy.
I am getting there. Not there yet, but there is a paradigm shift at
Bevanron of EarthNSky Farm Sleep well tonight, for somewhere in the
ocean's depths, MY son is protecting YOUR freedom.
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