"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Poaching off a New Blog

Found a cool blog today, through one of my followers here (Hey, Martian Chick!). It's called a One Acre Homestead in Ohio, and while I haven't perused it too thoroughly yet, it looks very cool. Go check it out! The man who writes it put up this list of questions for homesteader types to answer, and it looks like fun, so here goes:

Basic Questions About You
1-What is the biggest goal of your lifestyle? 
To live a rich life without doing too much damage, and get our kids closer to nature.

2-When did you start this lifestyle?

A year and a half ago

3-What was your main motivation?

To raise my kids in the country. It's since expanded to include reducing our impact on the planet and becoming less dependent on what we suspect is a failing system.

4-Did you have any previous experience in anything you're doing now?

Barely. I grew up, until age 12, on a three and half acre hobby farm, where we had most of the same animals I do now. But I was just a kid.

5-Does your spouse/signifiacant other (if you have one) share the same ideas?

Oh yes. He's not a big animal/farm guy, but he very much is part of the move to independence, and if we ever get off the grid it will be because he finally built the windmill.

6-Do your friends and family understand and support these choices? What about your kids?

Oh yes. My family members either are engaged in similar efforts or at least understand and support what we are trying to do. I just have one recalcitrant brother who thinks I'm crazy (Hi bro!)

7-How happy are you with your achievements so far?

7 on a scale of 10? I've accomplished most of what I dreamed about before we moved up here. I've got my goats, I've got my chickens, I love watching my kids run around like wild animals. Got my orchard planted. Made my cheese. But my goals keep expanding. 

8-Are you more of a gardener, homesteader, prepper, health concience, "green"' or a combination of several?

Combo, mostly homesteader, I guess. Green is a main motivation. What's a prepper?

9-Has this change of lifestyle affected your personality?

I haven't a clue, you'd have to ask someone who knew me before and after.

10-Has it changed your view of your life before?

I sure used to be lazier. 

11-What about how you view others that don't understand it or naysay?

There aren't a lot of naysayers around me. Even the recalcitrant brother sees value in what I am doing, even just in the sense of having created a life that I see as having meaning and working to accomplish it.

12-If you could convince someone to live the way you do in ONE sentance, what would you say?

Don't you want your grandchildren to know the beauty of a whole, healthy Earth and a flourishing natural habitat?

Other Questions-

1-How large is your vegetable garden? 

Right now, it's two trays of peat pots and four packs of seeds on my kitchen table. I'm not there yet. The plan is 25 x 40

2-Do you grow any fruits, and what and how many?

Apples 2 trees; pears 3 trees; plums 2 trees, cherries, 2 trees, hazelnuts, one tree, raspberries, 15 canes

3-Do you have any animals and what are they? (other than pets)

flock of 20 chickens (2 roosters), six dairy goats, a pig (going in the freezer tomorrow) 

4-Do you can/dehydrate/freeze/store your own produce?


5-Do you work with mainly power tools or hand tools in your gardens and others? (wood cutting, splitting, tiller vs. broadfork etc...)

I'm scared of power tools but my husband uses them. 

6-Do you compost?

Not in a serious way, just pile up the poop and let nature take it's course.

7-Do you recycle?

Yes but I'm not a total fanatic about it. I don't wash tinfoil. I don't tear the paper labels off of the tin cans although I'm supposed to.

8-Do you consider yourself energy consience? (conserving to save $)

Not yet, really. Just to the point of buying energy star appliances. I did buy a clothesline, but haven't used it yet. Long term, we intend to use wind and solar to be partially/mostly off grid.

9-Do you make any of your own household cleaners?

No, but I use white vinegar for a lot of stuff. Doesn't everybody?

10-Do you make your own bread?

Yes, but not all of it.

11- If in an emergency situation, are you able to not leave home for a week? How about a month? A year??

Assuming we have water and power, we're good for a pretty long time. Maybe six weeks. With water but no power, we'd have trouble with the quarter steer and the whole hog (tomorrow) in the chest freezer. No generator yet. Need one before fall. Serious wind up here.  

12-Are you tired of answering questions yet?

My fingers hurt. 

13-If you prep, what do you consider to be your most useful tool/items

I don't know what means.

14-Are you able to heat your home without gas or fuel oil?

Nope. Need to deal with that situation.

15-Are you able to cook without gas or electricity?

If we have briquets! Well, we have a functional fireplace too, but no wood.

16-Again, if in an emercency situation, could you live in the wild or out of a tent? ( camping,hunt/fish, cook,etc.)

Not even for a weekend. I have three children. And a credit card. I'm going to a hotel. 

17-Have you ever practiced your prep skills? (turning off main power for a day or 2) How did you do? (this can include a power outage due to weather as a test)

Oh okay I get it. Nope.

18-Do you have the knowledge & skills (plus tools) to hunt and fish for food?

No, but I could kill a chicken and prepare it. And if I got hungry enough I could kill a goat. I can milk a goat and make cheese! I'm a pretty decent forager, in high summer I could forage us up a not-inedible meal. We got lots of blackberries.

19-If you don't prep, why not?

Cause I'm ignorant and lazy? Cause it's my husband's job? Cause I still have faith that there will be light when I hit the switch? Cause I am a working mother of three kids and it's a good day for me when I have time to wipe my nose after I sneeze (toned down version of the first thing I thought of to say)? I must be tired of answering questions. 

20-Do you or can you sew your own clothes and make your own bedding?

No. But I am ripping up my old sheets to make braided rugs.

21-Can you field dress a deer, drink a coffee, smoke a cigarette, make a cell phone call, light a fire, AND answer all of my annoying questions at the same time? lol thanks for playing!

Okay, just one for you, Mr: Can you nurse a baby, wash the dishes, and talk to the school principal on the phone at the same time, while balancing the checkbook and looking hot for your mate?


AnyEdge said...

For the record:

I admire and respect what you're doing, and I think the world would be a better place if more people practiced at least some of the principles you exhibit. I don't think you're crazy.

I do think you've bought a lot of alarmist hype about the environment. That's not a sin. If you're going to be passionate about an issue, you picked an inoffensive one, and one about which no one can say you aren't doing right by your family and the earth. Much better than being passionate about say, denying the holocaust or establishing 'eldercution' camps.

ChristyACB said...

Great answers! And it seems you are really cooking with gas, so to speak, on the gaining of independence.

I'm gonna go check out that blog. Thanks for the pointer. :)

Aimee said...

Thanks for the props, bro. I certainly hope you are right that I've bought a lot of alarmist hype. I want to be wrong, very very wrong about the future of the planet. But, as you say, the things I'm doing about it are, at worst, inoffensive. And hey, it's an interesting life. I'm learning a lot of new things.

FarmerGeek said...


Good answers! For a year and a half, you are making progress and as long as you are enjoying yourself to a point and doing what you can! I know Chris over at 1acreohiohomestead.blogspot.com. He's got a good blog, and he is a really great guy. I'm liking reading your blog too.

Good job, keep up the good work!


TheMartianChick said...

Hi, Aimee! I have really been enjoying your blog and I don't think that you are an alarmist at all. If you are wrong about the environment, then at least you will have done your part to save your piece of the earth and provide the very best for you and your family. It seems like you are doing a great job to me!