Posts tagged ‘Agriculture’

Why You Shouldn’t Homestead

Making Money With Your Homestead: How to Make Your Land Work For You

So it finally happened! You’ve got your land and you want to create a self-sustaining homestead. Perhaps the most important thing you can do with your land is to make it work for you. You can produce enough food and energy to take care of your family and your animals on even a small parcel of land, but you might be interested in ways you can use your land to make money for you as well.

Here are a few ideas you could utilize to make some extra cash with your land.

Hunting

  • Offer a hunting or fishing lease. Depending on the laws and how much land you have, offering hunting leases is a great way to make some extra cash from your property. There are lease listing services that will take care of the headache and promotion for you, so all you have to do is collect the money. Of course, you want to make sure your ponds are stocked well and there is an abundance of game on your property before offering it for lease.

camping

  • Offer camping. If your property is near a state or national park, a waterfall or any other recreational activity or landmark, you’re already way ahead of the game. We stayed at a rustic campground during a vacation to Delaware Beach and it was loads of fun – as well as being much cheaper than a hotel. Your campground can be as primitive or as luxurious as you’d like, and can operate seasonally or year-round. Hunters love camp sites! You could have a small petting zoo using your livestock, offer hiking in a nearby national park, horseback riding, swimming if you’ve got a lake or pond, fishing, boating, you could put up small cabins and rent them out, offer meals for more income… whatever you can afford and would like to offer. The possibilities are endless and are truly up to you. (Just about any one of these things could be offered alone as well, if camping on private land is not permitted in your area.) Check with your local government to make sure camping is permitted. An alternative to this idea if you have money to invest in it is to open a bed and breakfast or resort of some kind.

goats

  • Breed and sell animals. This is perhaps one of the best ways to make some cash with your land. Depending on how much land you own, the investment you can put in to a breeding pair and what the laws are where your land is, you could bring quite a bit of money in by breeding quality animals, either for show, companions or for food. This includes goats, chickens and rabbits, as well as dogs and cats. (Some people breed mink and foxes for fur, but we do not believe in raising or wearing fur and besides that, if any of these animals ever escape, they can devastate your ecosystem in a very short period of time. Especially minks; weasels and their relatives are pound for pound the most ferocious predator in any ecosystem.)

farmers

  • Sell fruits and veggies. If you find yourself with far more than you can possibly eat, open a roadside stand or become part of the local farmer’s market. People love to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Some farmers also offer baked goods as well.

spiritual

  • Create a spiritual retreat. It’s like a campground, but with spirituality-related activities. Some are more spa-like and others are rustic. Some are traditional, offering prayer groups and other Christian activities, while others are less traditional and have more esoteric or nature-based themes. It’s totally up to you. Spiritual retreats might offer things such as drum-circles, yoga, group meditations, art workshops, sweat lodges, instruction on meditation, herbal remedies or aromatherapy, aromatherapy treatments, massages, acupuncture, soul clinics, past-life regressions and much more. A variation on this is to create an artist’s retreat, where creative folks can come to create or be inspired in peace.

These are just a few of the ways you can make extra income with your land. Land is one of our most precious resources and one of the most valuable things we can have as human beings. Tell us your ideas in the comments!

To Tiny House or NOT to Tiny House?

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yurt

barefoot

Build a Zen Garden in Your Backyard

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One of the most useful and beautiful things you can add to your backyard or property is a Zen garden. In fact, I’m writing this article from mine right now. As you can see, you don’t need a huge budget or a lot of property to make a serene respite from the world. You can even build a Zen garden indoors.

Now, I would love to add a fountain, a nice statue, some tile accents and lots of other things but as you can see my Zen garden looks pretty good even without them. The only things I’ve added that are not visible in the picture above are an aromatherapy burner and a tabletop tiki torch to keep away bugs and enhance the ambience. I will be adding a vintage bathtub in the future. That I refuse to compromise on.

I created mine in a shady spot so that I didn’t have to worry about the sun beating down on me while I’m out here. I felt it was very important for all of the elements to be represented in mine as well, but yours can contain absolutely anything you want. Mine also contains a cot which aids in meditation and doubles as a massage table when my husband or myself are feeling a little indulgent. This can be folded up easily and put away so that the mats can be utilized for sitting meditation.

There are lots of different things you can add to your Zen garden and lots of different ways you can make it appealing and attractive, but the most important thing is that it fill you with relaxation when you use it. Whether you use it for meditation, spiritual journeying or even just for a 10 minute time out during the day, relaxation and serenity is the most important part of any Zen garden.

If you have a Zen garden, I would love to hear your ideas or see pictures of what’s in it!

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Want to Live Off-Grid But Can’t Afford To Build a House? Try This.

The Leatherwood, by Wildcat Barns

The Leatherwood, by Wildcat Barns in Kentucky

A lot of us are yearning to live off-grid and with land prices so low, it’s a very realistic dream right now. However, some of us just don’t have the money to pay to build a house or the time and know-how to build it ourselves. In researching a solution to this, I found something that could be very workable: rent-to-own cabins. Most of these work on the same premise as places like Rent-a-Center: No credit checks and in many cases, no deposit. You pay a payment and sign the agreement, they give you the cabin and you either pay it off until you own it or you give it back when you are done with it (say if you just wanted it for one season at a hunting lease or for a few months at a vacation spot). You can also simply buy one outright if you have the money and with most companies I’ve researched, there are no penalties for early payment in full. Very easy. Basic models start at about $5,000, with the payment being about $200 a month. They are about the size of a single wide trailer (the biggest are around 18×40) and have loft sleeping areas. You can create other rooms in them if you’d like, of course.

They are cute, decently-priced and the company will deliver, set up and level them on your land for you. Some also build them on site. The basic cabins are not finished, wired or insulated, but you can choose one that is finished for more money. You could also finish it yourself. It’s all about what your needs are and what you can do. One thing I noticed, though, is that these do not seem to have a gutter system and if you want a rain catchment system like we do – and to keep the water from eroding the earth away underneath of your structure – you are going to have to put them on yourself.

cape cod cabin

Cape Cod, by Sunrise Buildings in Missouri

Other companies do not allow residential structures on their rent-to-own programs but they do allow structures that could be easily converted into living spaces, such as lofted sheds and horse barns. These guys will often do modifications for you to that end, such as insulated windows and doors. A converted horse barn could make a wonderful home and to be honest, it was my first choice and still is. These cabins are very cute though and affordable.

Living off-grid has never been more feasible than it is now. What are you waiting for?

Search “rent to own cabin” or “portable cabin” and your state. You should be able to find something. Most companies charge for delivery outside of a certain area, so check in your state first. Many offer statewide delivery for free, regardless of where in the state you are.

Ridiculously Simple Relaxing Chamomile Tea Recipe

Chamomile has a lot of really great benefits: it’s good for skin, hair, digestion, coughs colds… but perhaps the thing it is known for the most is it’s relaxation properties. One of the best ways to enjoy chamomile is as a tea. I know, I know… technically it’s not tea. But by steeping the fresh or dried flowers in boiling water, you can make a delicious, relaxing tea to drink before bed or as you sit in a nice hot bath. This particular recipe is almost absurdly easy.

You will need: tea

2 tbsp dried or fresh chamomile flowers

2 apple slices 

2 cups water

You simply heat the water to boiling and put it aside in another container.  Add the apple slices to the pot and mash them up as good as you can with a spoon, then add the chamomile flowers. Pour the 2 cups boiling water back in to the pot, cover and let it steep (sit) for about 5 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey or sugar and enjoy. That’s it!

This recipe is very easy to double, triple or half. It’s just 1 tbsp flowers and 1 apple slice per 1 cup of water. Easy! You can also add a teaspoon of dried or fresh lavender flowers to make it even more relaxing, or a teaspoon of coconut oil to get your daily coconut oil in a tasty new way. A little dash of fresh mint gives it a little zip. Experiment and see what you come up with.

Plants That Reduce Air Contaminants

Making Herbal Medicines — A Guide

Anyone interested in learning more about making herbal medicines would do well to download this .pdf file. 35 pages of recipes, how-to and more. Recommended. Download here. You might also be interested in this guide as well.

*NOTE: As with all medicines, you should not take anything until you have checked with your doctor or Master Herbalist. Nothing on this website should be construed as medical advice or a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

herb

Herb Gardening For Beginners

Posted by Self Sufficient and Sustainable on Facebook. Very interesting read. Lots of good information.

A highlight from the article, which appears on IntoxicatedOnLife.com:

You can use your medicinal herbs to create salves, tinctures, syrups, and teas. It is best to have a good book to refer back to, especially until you are more comfortable with them. Some good herbs to start with:

  • Chamomile – Chamomile tea is great for helping you relax at the end of the day. Plus, the flowers are pretty.
  • Lavender – Lavender is an all-around great herb that you can use to make sachets for freshening drawers or even make a spray to fresh up bed linens or a room. Lavender is a beautiful plant that attracts bees and butterflies, which is highly beneficial for your garden.
  • Mullein – Mullein is one of my go-to herbs for respiratory issues. The plant is unique with soft, fuzzy leaves and a single flower stalk that has many little yellow blossoms. I’ve seen mullein plants as tall as me—just over 5 feet.
  • Plaintain – You’ve probably weeded one of these things from your flower beds or yard. It is a common plant that is very useful for creating poultices to draw out infections or slivers.
  • Dandelion — Another one that you have probably long-considered a weed. However, the root is a classic herb for detoxifying the liver; the leaves are a good source of iron, calcium, and trace minerals; and the flowers can be made into dandelion wine or gently sauteed in butter for a side dish.

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