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Topic: Living in a Farm... (Read 8835 times)

  • Belfrager
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Living in a Farm...
Suggested readings:
So You Want To Be a Farmer...
Can You Make a Living on a Small Farm?
6 Things No One Tells You About Living on a Farm


So, since my nomadic plans are still waiting I decided maybe I'll try the contrary, to be a slave of the Land. :)
There's a growing number of people that are tired of city life, city jobs (or lack of it...), city repression and all that anti-natural way of living.
We aren't ants for living like ants.

Most of my Country's interior is almost abandoned. A paradise for "alternative" ways of life.
But there's a problem, a small problem. I know nothing about agricultural things.
The good part is that only a few elder people still lives there, that's good. Elder people from the country side knows how to do things. They can teach me. :)

In return, (that's what I like, a way of life based at direct exchange between people) I can help them doing those things they can't do it anymore. Or teaching them a bit about computers so they can use Skype for example and speak with their families abroad.

From my readings and talking with some people I don't believe one can "make a living" from a small farm. But one can diminish very much the dependency on money by way of an almost self independence regarding food. It also goes for energy with the modern technologies.

And then, there's everything one can get.... more time for the real important things, living and eating at the natural pace of seasons, independence, do your own wine... :)

What do you think about it? already doing it? thinking about doing it? previous experiences? what advantages do you see? difficulties?
Why not, mother land awaits for you... :)
A matter of attitude.

Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #1
And then, there's everything one can get.... more time for the real important things, living and eating at the natural pace of seasons, independence, do your own wine...

...and starve quietly out of the sight of city folk.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #2
Too bad he lives across an ocean. I could of sent him a starter kit.

  • ersi
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #3

So, since my nomadic plans are still waiting I decided maybe I'll try the contrary, to be a slave of the Land. :)

Nomadic plans would have entailed chasing a herd of cattle?


The good part is that only a few elder people still lives there, that's good. Elder people from the country side knows how to do things. They can teach me. :)

If the culture is similar to what it is here, nobody will teach you. You'll have to learn by watching and helping. Preferably since childhood, so you learn properly.

You can learn it from books if you are talented and very well predisposed for it. Very few people are.

(A British drama series on TV right now showing a man cutting grass with a scythe. Horrible. Scythe is one of my expert tools.)

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #4
Nomadic plans would have entailed chasing a herd of cattle?

Do you know that we still maintain the "road of transhumance" tradition once a year at some locations? :)
Well, it's very much these days just a tradition and folkloric thing. In Spain it has more meaning and until a few years ago, the herds were still crossing Madrid twice a year for the big desperation of automobile drivers. :)

Reminiscences from when men were free.
If the culture is similar to what it is here, nobody will teach you. You'll have to learn by watching and helping. Preferably since childhood, so you learn properly.

No... I can't say that. Our culture is very much open minded to foreigners, (too much in my opinion) and besides I have a natural gift for speaking with locals. :)
When people trust you, they are very open and willing to help. It's all a matter of knowing how to speak and act with them and remember I'm not exactly a foreigner in my own Country... :)

There's many foreigners, ranging from hippie communities until biologic and/or tourism farms that are generally welcomed by the populations.
I know a guy like that, at a very nice place, an English, but he's too much hippie for my likings.

My plan is to spend some months at one of those farms that receives people. They give you accommodation and food in exchange for you to help in the daily works. No salary. That's a good way of learning many things or, at least, the basics.

Too bad he lives across an ocean. I could of sent him a starter kit.

I know how to produce manure, thanks anyway. :)
A matter of attitude.

  • Sparta
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #5
i salute those people that make a living as a farmer,  because of reasons  .

Farming is not an easy task .

and the only easy tasks are  , insulting , belittling  nor  demoralizing   .

  • ersi
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #6

and the only easy tasks are  , insulting , belittling  nor  demoralizing   .

How about moralizing? Is it an intermediate task?

Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #7
My gift for your new farm...

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #8
Ah chickens... thank you. :)
I've already studied the plans for building a chicken house. Not an easy task as some could think...
Also important it's how to feed them without buying ration. Seems easy in spring and summer but don't know about winter.

Chickens are in my list. Also a couple turkeys for eating at Christmas, it's tradition.
I don't like ducks too much. Gooses are good, they attack, kind of watch dogs.

I suppose I could create some pheasants. They should sell expensive for classy restaurants.
And that's all I'm thinking for things with wings.
A matter of attitude.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #9
Ah ah!
I found a way of feeding your chickens Jimbro, without buying any ration. :)
Permaculture, Compost.



This is what I really like about living out of cities, we can actually experiment, do, build, whatever goes on our minds.
Next, will be a machine that produces electricity by the difference of temperatures, nothing else. I need it for posting in DnD. :)
A matter of attitude.

  • Sparta
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #10


and the only easy tasks are  , insulting , belittling  nor  demoralizing   .

How about moralizing? Is it an intermediate task?


BS = 2BR2

the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it
.

you , sir ...

can use that  asimmetry equation of BS ,  to calculate , about why is  Moralize is harder than insulting .

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #11
Electricity by the difference of temperatures = low temperature Stirling machine.
There's a small model working for you to get amazed. :)


I think to be perfectly possible to heat by sun water (or possibly vegetable oil, better temperature retention) and use it as hotting source for day and night.

Electricity enough for machines and illumination 24/24h being off grid. :)

These guys are using it for a large scale usage and with a smart idea, using a green house for plants and heating the liquid. I would need a smaller system.
A matter of attitude.

Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #12
You can trap rabbits! I haven't had rabbit meat for decades, but memory says that it's quite good.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #13
I haven't had rabbit meat for decades, but memory says that it's quite good.

We've many recipes for rabbit. Fabulous. :)
We don't look to rabbits as pets but as food.

Course I need to raise rabbits. And a pig, a pig gives you meat for an entire year.

Chicken (plus eggs), rabbit and pork. A couple sheep also. I need a freezer.
There's propane gas freezers but a bit expensive. Maybe at second hand,  it's fundamental to have ice for the whisky.

Well, this seems like a life of abundance... without bills or tax fiscals. :)

You can trap rabbits!

I can shoot them. Hare are very tasty.
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #14
Too bad he lives across an ocean. I could of sent him a starter kit.
You've seen his reply... I'd simply suggest he take a two week camping trip, with only what he could carry. If he goes to anything like a wilderness the problem would be solved!
He wouldn't come back... He would have died from sheer ignorance long ago, were it not for "productive" citizens. :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #15
I'd simply suggest he take a two week camping trip, with only what he could carry. If he goes to anything like a wilderness the problem would be solved!
He wouldn't come back... He would have died from sheer ignorance long ago, were it not for "productive" citizens.  :)

Don't make me laugh.
I'm aware how do you go to the "wilderness"... with a V8 van full of cargo, gps, cellphones, weapons and whatever more.
I've done two weeks adventures only carrying a backpack.

Now, for serious things. The permaculture's 12 principles. Enjoy and think about it.
A matter of attitude.

Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #16
The permaculture's 12 principles.

I like 'em!
=======
1. Observe & interact
2. Catch & store energy
3. Obtain a yield
4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
5. Use & value renewable resources & services
6. Produce no waste
7. Design from patterns to details
8. Integrate rather than segregate
9. Use small & slow solutions
10. Use & value diversity
11. Use edges & value the marginal
12. Creatively use & respond to change

  • ensbb3
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #17
Now, for serious things.


We just spent four days trying to save this donkey. Antibiotics and pain meds twice a day and kept trying to get him up and moving as much as possible.

I had him in this harness working with him until 2am and he was doing so well, I thought. He was in good spirits even teasing us a bit... He passed a few hours ago. :'( 



Mandi doesn't know I snapped this picture of her and Moe. She hasn't been on here much lately so maybe I can slip it by.

I never liked donkeys. I thought they were goofy dumb animals. I was wrong. Moe was great. So much personality and so loving. I'll miss him.

But no. It isn't all fun.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #18
I never liked donkeys. I thought they were goofy dumb animals. I was wrong. Moe was great. So much personality and so loving. I'll miss him.

But no. It isn't all fun.

Course not. I expect it to be full of difficulties and hardworking but also gives you joy and, sometimes, sadness. The cycle of Life certainly includes death.

Donkeys are fabulous. They can perfectly substitute a small tractor, they pull heavy loads, can be used for running water extracting devices from wells, feeds almost like goats and produces a lot of manure for planting. You can even ride them.
They have strong, strong personality.

Besides, we get paid just for having them. The Miranda donkey, a native Portuguese race, was facing extinction so the government actually pays you for just owning them. Have a look.
They are extremely robust, good for cold climates and you can let the animal's coat to fully grow, it gives them a really funny looking.

A matter of attitude.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #19
They can perfectly substitute a small tractor

Well, not exactly. You are right in that they're great pack animals for weight to load ratio. And running a well pump or the likes is pretty much the simplest thing you can teach anything to do. One of the first steps in breaking one is getting them to walk a circle tethered. As far as plowing the fields? Not so much. You'll wear them out too quick, so not "perfectly" anyway. Best to get yourself a mule for those tasks, or a draft horse if you want a perfect animal tractor.

There is pretty good money in running after yankee draft horses and bring them down south to sell to the Mennonites, for anyone wanting to go after it. A lot of traders do it. But can't compare to government incentives I'm sure. (Wonder if they'll pay me to raise them and ship them home? I'm good at producing manure factories, lolz.) Farmers don't pay any sales tax here but I can't recall ever hearing of someone paid to raise livestock like that. 

Grandma always said cow shit was the best manure. I've never picked a favorite poop so you're on your own there. I know making a compost pile is a good way to recycle nutrients and field rotation is essential for keeping nutrients in the ground. And also manure derived from poor nutrition doesn't magically produce more nutrients. But I'm sure the hippies can give ya the rundown tho.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #20
As far as plowing the fields? Not so much. You'll wear them out too quick, so not "perfectly" anyway. Best to get yourself a mule for those tasks, or a draft horse if you want a perfect animal tractor.

Yes, sure. A mule would be better at that aspect.
There is pretty good money in running after yankee draft horses and bring them down south to sell to the Mennonites, for anyone wanting to go after it. A lot of traders do it. But can't compare to government incentives I'm sure. (Wonder if they'll pay me to raise them and ship them home? I'm good at producing manure factories, lolz.) Farmers don't pay any sales tax here but I can't recall ever hearing of someone paid to raise livestock like that.

I don't know if the government keeps on paying the incentive for the donkeys thanks to the almighty crisis.
That incentive was from a different nature than all other incentives and subsidies to agriculture. It was for biodiversity and species conservation.

Usually here incentives are paid so you stop producing... Agriculture it's supposed to be just for the French the same way industry has to be for Germans, those are the basis of European "Union".
Grandma always said cow shit was the best manure. I've never picked a favorite poop so you're on your own there. I know making a compost pile is a good way to recycle nutrients and field rotation is essential for keeping nutrients in the ground. And also manure derived from poor nutrition doesn't magically produce more nutrients. But I'm sure the hippies can give ya the rundown tho.

Compost is certainly the way to go. I've been reading about it and it's benefits are huge. Besides, it fits perfectly into the main principles that must orient people regarding nature's usage.

Can't say the same for hippies. They irritate me deeply. They're not bad people, just insupportable and dumb. And vegetarians.
A matter of attitude.

  • krake
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #21
Donkeys are fabulous.

You should better take care of your donkeys so they won't have a negative impact on Portugal's tourist industry.  :devil:


Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #22
Some women like 'em, some don't.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #23
Usually here incentives are paid so you stop producing... Agriculture it's supposed to be just for the French the same way industry has to be for Germans, those are the basis of European "Union".

Interesting. I need to read up on this. I didn't realize The Union manipulated domestic production that way.

There are subsidies offered for certain crops here. Like when ethanol was in big there was ridiculous amounts of field corn about. Soy has been that way in years past and this year food corn seems big. There are also tax incentives for putting your land into "green belt", meaning for agricultural use. It limits what you can do with it but drastically reduces the taxes on it. Other crops like tobacco are licensed out. People used to grow it as a cash reserve. You'd get tags to grow a few acres and net $15k-$20k at harvest, but the government has consolidated that into to big growers now. You can grow tobacco, you just cant sell it. Livestock, though, has always been based on market price, as far as I know.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Living in a Farm...
Reply #24
My idea is not to try to get some money playing with subsides and a lot of bureaucratic work. It's a nightmare the amount of bureaucracy in this country.
I see a small farm solely for self independence regarding food and to practice a lifestyle that interests me. For getting some money I believe that acting as a small local trader would be better. I'll see what I can manage on that when the opportunity arrives.

Intermediaries are those that wins the money, not the producers.
Maybe a few "niche" products could be worthwhile.

A matter of attitude.