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Spring is here; I’m starting my first seeds! — 4 Comments

  1. My comment is also for Deborah:

    I’m 58, and there was a long lull between the last homestead and the current one….I wondered if I was too “old” or too tired to have a go at it again, until I did it :)……I have found that the more active you are, the more energy you get in return; the more active you are, the easier it is to be active….all those rusty parts get a workout and leaves you feeling great, once you get adjusted to it….As we age, sometimes our confidence ages too, and accomplishing some of the challenges of a homestead is a great mental boost, as well….

    Whatever you try, if it’s too much or doesn’t appeal to you, you can always eliminate that….if you get goats and they are a bother, you can switch to chickens or something else; if gardening doesn’t thrill you, growing fruit trees may….the potential is endless and yet not “forever” if you don’t want it to be……

    As a single woman I worried that the projects would be to much to handle myself, there are limits that even the young’n’s can’t do by themselves ~ depending on the specific situation, a local 4 H kids program can help you while they work on their own projects in return; a local handyman or small construction company might be able to assist you as well, for a reasonable amount (just to have the work opportunity)…..you could also check into the local high school classes, and see if they might want to tackle one of your items as a class project……or just asking around the nearest neighbors can open up some bartering opportunities…..

    Above all, don’t be afraid to try anything new – you may just find out how much you love it and are thankful you found it…..same applies to what you find out you can’t (or don’t want) to do……And yes, sometimes it may take you longer to do compared to those a few decades younger, but that’s ok too, it does get done…..

  2. YEA!!!! I got 10 very large frozen turkeys today. I am going to put then all in jars, two at a time. I love canned turkey and will enjoy many meals out of these birds. When I get these done, I may get some more. They wil taste good a long time down the road.

  3. Deborah, you surely are not too old at 60 to homestead, but you may have to practice adaptive or enabled gardening. Use raised beds to garden in, at least 2 feet tall so you can sit down on the edges or on a chair when you need to rest, and as wide as your two arms length so you can reach the middle from each side. Two feet also gets you out of the vertical range of many garden pests. It’s usually best to orient the beds north-south but consider winds when you set them up. If your beds are one sided, one arm’s length. Depending on your soil type, you may be able to just mound up your soil but long term I think you’d find it best to contain your soil in something – logs, cinderblocks, rocks, hay bales, whatever you have. Call on neighbors, friends, church members, scout troops, civic organizations, garden clubs, your county Master Gardeners or family to help you set them up. Many organizations do service projects. Then adapt what you grow to what you can do. Plants will adjust. If you can’t tie your tomatoes up on stakes or cages, just let them lay down and crawl along the ground – with some kind of mulch under them. Or grow determinate tomatoes. Potatoes, both white and sweet, can be grown in containers and white potatoes in piles of hay – no trenching, digging, hilling necessary. Peppers, eggplant, green beans, melons, squash all come in dwarf or container varieties now. Onions and garlic are low maintenance crops. Lettuces and greens Use a thick layer of mulch to cut down on the work of watering and weeding. Tape long handles to short handled tools you have so you can reach across the beds. Plant lots of berries and fruits, which will produce food for you for years – they can all be grown in raised beds. Chickens or ducks are fun to watch as Jackie said, but take some attention and tending when young and of course need a shelter and protection from predators. They may need bug control and their house has to be cleaned.

  4. I wanted to encourage Deborah that 60 is not too late to start ! I began this wonderful journey to self-sufficiency at age 58, and while there are a lot more aches and pains two years later, the results have been so positive and fulfilling that I wish I had started 20 years ago!

    I am not married, and have a seriously limited income, so I have had only sporadic help from some kind folks. If you have a good support system, with willing hearts and hands, that will go a long way! But, if not, you will certainly discover that you can do a whole lot more than you ever thought possible!

    If it is allowed, please refer Deborah to my recent blog post, written in support of urban homesteading (I live on a busy street corner!). She may find it encouraging.

    http://krissimplyliving.blogspot.com/2011/02/photos-of-legal-homestead-in-no.html