I make lists. List-making makes me happy.
When it comes to establishing a Homestead, there are endless, layered, intersecting, parallel and color-coded lists to be made. I am in absolute HEAVEN.
The thing is, this Homestead of ours has so many raisons d’etre.
1. A Home – for us and our two cats and whatever livestock we decide to incorporate into the household.
2. A Retirement – for when we both retire from the office-job world – creating some income and a place in which to grow old healthfully.
3. A Family Compound – for years of family and friend gatherings.
4. An Educational Center/Sustainability Summer Camp – to share what we have learned with folks who want to experience all aspects of homesteading.
With all of these goals – it is sometimes hard to focus on what should happen first.
Right now, we are going back and forth between making the existing cabin cozy, functional and fully-stocked with all the comforts of our hideaway home, AND the big picture, big dollar tasks of clearing land, building soil and starting to build the large gathering hall (aka “The Lodge”) that will house the community kitchen, bath house and Pistol Pete’s Bar. (Named in honor of His recently departed Dad.)
I have lists of things to learn (hunting, butchering, food preservation, rain water catchment, farmers’ market vending)
I have lists of things we need to acquire (200 Sq Ft of brick pavers, a mini back hoe, solar panel systems, tiny house kits, a 4-person UTV)
I have lists of things we need to do (clear the land for the main produce gardens, chip the small trees and branches already downed to build soil fertility, chop a ton of firewood for next winter, install our first solar array, terrace our fruit and grape orchards, stock up on all our supplies for the cabin in case of emergencies, inoculate a ton of mushroom logs).
It’s a little overwhelming, and it’s now my full-time job.
As I have said: we are currently Weekend Homesteaders. During the week, we live in a third story condo not too far from Washington, DC. There are definite benefits to living so close to such an affluent area. My daily perusals of CraigsList’s Free section is jam packed full of people willing to give away perfectly wonderful things: furniture, building supplies, propane tanks.
Out near our West Virginia property, the listings for free things are considerably more sparse. The idea of throwing or giving away perfectly usable items probably just doesn’t occur. I admire that.
So: in the meantime, every week we fill up our SUV with Craig’slist and thrift store treasures and bring them to our new mountain home. So far, we have been exceedingly successful in finding what we want through these venues. The only things we have purchased new is a 9 quart cast-iron dutch oven and our new chainsaw, both through Amazon. Kinda sweet.
I think I will create a page of my ongoing wish-list of things we need. If you have a line on any of these things, and are local enough to make the trip make sense, please please please let me know.
Y’all are awesome.