Homesteading/gardening

justjess

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So I’m looking into buying some land with a couple relatives - for us to live on and for them as an escape plan from NYC and possibly retirement/vacations if not needed before then.

My question is how much land do you need to sustain yourself - minimum sustenance, I’m not talking luxury here... It’s a group of between 13-20 people realistically, we would need four seperate houses to start because we love each other but can’t be on top of each other like that. And then I’m thinking fruit and nut trees, vegetables, some sort of grain, chickens, and maybe pigs and/or goats. I’ve Already decided horses and cows are a no go because they require to much land and upkeep. I’ve seen ranges of an acre for four people to an acre per person to ten acres per person.. the lower end involving permaculture of some sort usually. We are hoping to purchase this and start moving over there by November and while a couple months ago there was a ton of land available options are limited right now.. seems lots of people had similar ideas. There’s either way to small or really large lots available but I found one that’s 22 acres and already has a home on it (which helps with financing - different programs apparantly) I’m just not sure 22 acres is enough if I’m being honest but telling a bunch of New Yorkers that is going over like a ton of bricks because it sounds like it’s own country to them lol.

any input welcome. Also any prepping/homesteading related stuff is welcome too. I love that kinda thing and I definately think it’s a good use of time at the moment because we may need it sooner rather than later:)
 






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cjkkw

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So I’m looking into buying some land with a couple relatives - for us to live on and for them as an escape plan from NYC and possibly retirement/vacations if not needed before then. We’ve already decided on the northeast mountains in pa, the area where I already live due to needing to be able to get there from NYC but also needing to be far away from nyc that any sort of attack on it won’t impact us much. I’ve been running these figures and scenarios for years and it’s far enough away and isolated enough for any possibility I think is likely. I already know that I need to either have a fresh water source on the property or be close enough to one that won’t be compromised.

My question is how much land do you need to sustain yourself - minimum sustenance, I’m not talking luxury here... It’s a group of between 13-20 people realistically, we would need four seperate houses to start because we love each other but can’t be on top of each other like that. And then I’m thinking fruit and nut trees, vegetables, some sort of grain, chickens, and maybe pigs and/or goats. I’ve Already decided horses and cows are a no go because they require to much land and upkeep. I’ve seen ranges of an acre for four people to an acre per person to ten acres per person.. the lower end involving permaculture of some sort usually. We are hoping to purchase this and start moving over there by November and while a couple months ago there was a ton of land available options are limited right now.. seems lots of people had similar ideas. There’s either way to small or really large lots available but I found one that’s 22 acres and already has a home on it (which helps with financing - different programs apparantly) I’m just not sure 22 acres is enough if I’m being honest but telling a bunch of New Yorkers that is going over like a ton of bricks because it sounds like it’s own country to them lol.

any input welcome. Also any prepping/homesteading related stuff is welcome too. I love that kinda thing and I definately think it’s a good use of time at the moment because we may need it sooner rather than later:)
Illuminati bouta do a sweep on this website so Ix nay on the talk rub aye.
 






justjess

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I'd say get what you can now, worry about more later. If it's near a lake/river for fishing, even better. I wish you the best on this endeavor as I may need to hit you up as along lost brother one day. ;)
Glacial mountain lakes :cool:

they are all over the place up here. Unfortunately this one doesn’t have a water source directly on it but is within walking distance from a major freshwater source so shouldn’t be that much of an issue. I’m so pissed they have all ignored/mocked me for so many years... because even if they got on board like 6 months ago there was a whole lot more at way better prices to choose from. I think I’m going to wait a bit and see if the end of summer spike in realestate dies down as it usually does when school starts (and the foreclosure/eviction nightmare begins:()

Honestly, I’d prefer whatever is enough acres to not have to see anyone I don’t want to (including our partners) lol. Aside from the how much land do I need to be sustainable question.

also.. of course your welcome but if you show up empty handed I can’t promise it will be a friendly welcome ;)
 






polymoog

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Jun 17, 2017
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So I’m looking into buying some land with a couple relatives - for us to live on and for them as an escape plan from NYC and possibly retirement/vacations if not needed before then.

My question is how much land do you need to sustain yourself - minimum sustenance, I’m not talking luxury here... It’s a group of between 13-20 people realistically, we would need four seperate houses to start because we love each other but can’t be on top of each other like that. And then I’m thinking fruit and nut trees, vegetables, some sort of grain, chickens, and maybe pigs and/or goats. I’ve Already decided horses and cows are a no go because they require to much land and upkeep. I’ve seen ranges of an acre for four people to an acre per person to ten acres per person.. the lower end involving permaculture of some sort usually. We are hoping to purchase this and start moving over there by November and while a couple months ago there was a ton of land available options are limited right now.. seems lots of people had similar ideas. There’s either way to small or really large lots available but I found one that’s 22 acres and already has a home on it (which helps with financing - different programs apparantly) I’m just not sure 22 acres is enough if I’m being honest but telling a bunch of New Yorkers that is going over like a ton of bricks because it sounds like it’s own country to them lol.

any input welcome. Also any prepping/homesteading related stuff is welcome too. I love that kinda thing and I definately think it’s a good use of time at the moment because we may need it sooner rather than later
first thing to do: get a piece of land with its own water source. youll also want a piece of land where your land wont have anything being sprayed on it by neighbors- your land should go from the top of a hill to another. this will also ensure that all of the runoff water is not contaminated, and youll want to do things with that water supply later on (hydraulic ram, etc.)
if you have road access, you can bring in machinery to drill a few wells. i suggest (and its not BS, theres a LOT of validity to it) you get a dowser to locate the best spots. a good dowser does not even need to be physically there-- he can be sent a map of the land and find it. a good dowser can tell how deep the water source is and how strong it is with dowsing rods. anyway, when you find out the depth/strength of the supply, you can either have it drilled or you can dig your own (theres a few videos on YT for this).
having a stream would be great if you can find it. make sure the water source runs year round, so try to visit that location at the hottest/driest time of the year.

escape plan from NYC... youll be headed west or to upstate NY. find a property that has the highest zone number, which will give you a longer growing season and more of a variety of plants. https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

get the biggest plot you can get, then we can work on what we can grow/raise there.
 






justjess

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first thing to do: get a piece of land with its own water source. youll also want a piece of land where your land wont have anything being sprayed on it by neighbors- your land should go from the top of a hill to another. this will also ensure that all of the runoff water is not contaminated, and youll want to do things with that water supply later on (hydraulic ram, etc.)
if you have road access, you can bring in machinery to drill a few wells. i suggest (and its not BS, theres a LOT of validity to it) you get a dowser to locate the best spots. a good dowser does not even need to be physically there-- he can be sent a map of the land and find it. a good dowser can tell how deep the water source is and how strong it is with dowsing rods. anyway, when you find out the depth/strength of the supply, you can either have it drilled or you can dig your own (theres a few videos on YT for this).
having a stream would be great if you can find it. make sure the water source runs year round, so try to visit that location at the hottest/driest time of the year.

escape plan from NYC... youll be headed west or to upstate NY. find a property that has the highest zone number, which will give you a longer growing season and more of a variety of plants. https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

get the biggest plot you can get, then we can work on what we can grow/raise there.
So as long as I can drill a well I’m good with the on site water source? Wells are common out here. Many homes don’t even have an option for “city water” - I just want to make sure I’m covering my bases cuz a well with a back up hand pump and a septic system were already on my list. I have never heard of a dowser before.. I will google and look into it. Thank you for the tip.

I’m already settled on the northeast mountains of pa. It’s a two-three hour trip for them but there’s no land restrictions or zoning bullshit we have to deal with as compared to most of upstate ny. Lower taxes. Plus I signed a couple years of my life away to the company I work at so I’m locked in here for the foreseeable future. It’s either zone 5a,5b or 6 out here but there’s a bunch of large farming communities so I don’t think it’s too bad. Idk.

do you know how much land id need for that many people? The biggest I can get is quite clear but I’m looking for a minimum amount because if I tell them 100 acres I’m going to need to be able to explain why. They’re coming from somewhere that they don’t even have 1/4 and have no experience with any of that.
 






justjess

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Not a bad idea.
Also, don't write off the cow(s) just yet. You'd have enough land for 1 or 2.

If nothing else, I'd bring a strong work ethic, seeds and implements of destruction. :cool:
Cows seem like soo much work and expense man.. plus then I’d have to milk or kill it and I’m not sure I have the ability Or heart to do either.
 






polymoog

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Does zone 5 to zone 6 matter that much? They're both cold with a short season.
true-- theyre both colder zones, but it could be the difference between being able to grow or not to grow one species which could be an important food source. you can always make microclimate pockets where one could plant something from a more sensitive zone which normally wouldnt survive, but shes growing food on a larger scale.
 






polymoog

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So as long as I can drill a well I’m good with the on site water source? Wells are common out here. Many homes don’t even have an option for “city water” - I just want to make sure I’m covering my bases cuz a well with a back up hand pump and a septic system were already on my list. I have never heard of a dowser before.. I will google and look into it. Thank you for the tip.
count on electricity NOT being available. that means youll want a hand pump for at least one of the wells.

some people are naturals at dowsing. one of the books i have says that ANYONE can learn how to do it, and one isnt limited to water-- with a witness, you can find/locate anything. (another topic). for now, find a professional dowser. im sure it couldnt cost much. and MAKE SURE you tell the dowser to look for clean, potable water. if youre in north PA, id bet there must be an old timer who still does it near the amish country area.

get the septic system out of your mind. thats 'grid' thinking. youre going to start capturing and saving that as fertilizer. get a book on the topic like this: https://www.amazon.com/Humanure-Handbook-Guide-Composting-Manure-ebook/dp/B01MS1L3XB/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=humanure+handbook&qid=1597457984&sr=8-3

youll also find sepp holzers book very valuable: https://www.amazon.com/Sepp-Holzers-Permaculture-Small-Scale-Integrative/dp/160358370X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=sepp+holzer&qid=1597458168&sr=8-1
he does permaculture at high altitudes in austria very successfully.

youll be either composting it or growing black soldier flies with your waste as a protein rich chicken (or fish or duck) food. the compost tea can be added directly to the plants.

youll have to be around like minded folk and you will end up trading with your neighbors for things/food. whatever structure you build, youll absolutely need a root celler to store all of your surplus for the winter months. you ought to start looking at mother earth news magazines and read up on canning and preserving which will be very important (and drying of herbs, smoking for preservation (if youre ok with the nitrite content), etc.).

temperate zone? i would agree with 1 acre/person is reasonable for food. youll need more for firewood cutting (timber wood), a pond (good idea to have one), chicken ranging, and some grazing land for a cow or sheep if you go that direction. if you become tight with the neighbors, then maybe you will be able to trade for their raw milk. 20 people... 30 acres would be a comfortable estimate.

structure: you ought to look into these:
if i was you, id modify it by adding a plastic/rubber membrane layer between the dome and the finished surface for maximim waterproofing.
underground homes are also a good option which are highly insulated. with a south facing window, youll cut a lot of heating costs.

are you doing solar or going electricity-free?
 






polymoog

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Yeah, but people have lived and farmed there for a very long time. I don't think one crop makes the difference. But yes, know your zone and how it applies in reality.
eskimos make due with eating raw seal fat. if they just moved south just a little bit, they could have some evergreen trees near the taiga region and have pine needle tea for vitamin C.
 






polymoog

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I still don't think I'd use human waste as fert in the garden.
you can bury it next to the plant or you can compost it over a few months with sawdust (as described in the book).
in the garden-- no, not a great idea, but for fruit trees, its great. of course, you do not want to contaminate your water supply, but thats obvious.
 






polymoog

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Cows seem like soo much work and expense man.. plus then I’d have to milk or kill it and I’m not sure I have the ability Or heart to do either.
slaughtering is the mans job.

(this permaculture thing will turn you conservative whether you like it or not!)
 






rainerann

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I’m not very good with gardening, but it seems like if you run out of space horizontally, you could always try to go vertical. A vertical garden is something I’m working on. I don’t know how practical it is for something that you’re doing because I’m a city person that doesn’t know things like this. I like the aesthetic value too.



 






Maes17

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An acre for 4 is doable. Especially if luxury isn’t your thing.

As for growing. We did tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and jalapeños before. It was rewarding to have meals cultivated by you, but it is a lot of work.
 






Tidal

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Incidentally I started this 'Doomsday Hall' thread to discuss post-apocalyptic survival if anybody's interested, and it's currently run to 12 pages-

 






justjess

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@Lurker couldn’t a goat serve that same purpose? Plus the poultry and pigs?

@polymoog yeah I already told my husband we need a hand pump as backup no matter what we do

I don’t think I’d have the stomach to use human shit for fertilizer lol but I will read about it and maybe they can convince me

I love Mother Earth news. I have a ton of their articles saved and have been playing with this idea for like ten years now. That’s an excellent source, I agree.

When I ran the original numbers I came up with something like 50-60 acres and that was with keeping a good portion forest land for both firewood and to qualify for forest land as far as tax purposes (there’s like no property tax if you qualify as a farm or forest out here) I’m just having a difficult time finding parcels in the 30-50 range with a home already on them and apparantly land only mortgages are way harder to acquire which means I’d have to wait longer to get the money up for the deposit and idk if the trade off of waiting longer is worth it in the current societal conditions

I was looking into going passive solar with super insulation and active solar to run the things I absolutely would still need for as long as I could use them. I’m lucky in the respect that my husband can build/fix just about anything. Plumbing, electric, carpentry.. he’s got that covered. I was also considering one of those Nordic type masonry fireplaces.

And yes, I guess he could slaughter stuff if we went that route but i think we would both rather find an ally to do that for us in exchange for something else. Goats have milk and from what I read about blue zones goat milk products are healthier for you then cows milk products, not sure how true that is. Generally though I’m not sure I love the idea of depending on any sort of community, the people out here are insular and if you weren’t born here your automatically looked at suspiciously.. I’ve been here on and off for fifteen years and it’s still like that for me cuz I can’t shake the accent I guess. Even though I will say even if your born two towns over it still applies to some extent

@rainerann those vertical options are awesome and I agree they are aesthetically pleasing. I’ve seen stuff like strawberry trellises which are just really pretty and awesome that I’d love to have just to make me smile (I love strawberries)
 






justjess

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Incidentally I started this 'Doomsday Hall' thread to discuss post-apocalyptic survival if anybody's interested, and it's currently run to 12 pages-

I had never seen that thread before. It was a good premise. Unfortunately the forum troll extraordinaire made quite a bit of a mess of it so I won’t be participating there. And I will ask that if she decides to grace us with her presence here that she just be ignored, entirely. This kind of thing is rapidly becoming too important to be derailed with her nonsense.
 






polymoog

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Incidentally I started this 'Doomsday Hall' thread to discuss post-apocalyptic survival if anybody's interested, and it's currently run to 12 pages-

thanks-- ill be posting in there shortly.
 






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