Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Local Regulations

So I wanted to take a moment to step back from talk of how, and why to do things and check in on something that can be a sticking point. CAN you do what you want to where you are? The lady of the house and I are fortunate that were we purchased the legal restrictions on what we can do are virtually non existent regarding what we want to do. We'd have to have a permit to have more than one unregistered vehicle on the property, and can't dump toxic waste. Shucks darn. That said where we live is considered a rural residential area and allows all agricultural, floracultural, and horticultural activities so long as they do not pollute the water supply. Our town is also kind enough to have all of the relevant information available to us on the town website. Not everywhere is so open, or so easy to find information about.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Frustration of Waiting

This is less a post about what we are doing than what I personally am feeling at the moment. I'm very very frustrated with waiting, researching, and preparing. I want to be Doing. To an extent I am doing things, a lot of things. I am working on stacking wood, clearing land for winter, digging ditches, finishing the interior of the studio so it can be used. I'm focusing on what I eat, and from where. But what I'm not doing is getting actively started on raising my own meat, or even building their enclosures yet. Now there are good reasons for that which I'll go into below the cut.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tools You Have

A sad truth of anyone's life has I'm sure, at some point included needing to do something and not having the right tool. I'm sure everyone has wanted to drive a nail, and not had a hammer, or wanted to cut tape on a box and not had a knife. What do you do then? The two options are go find the right tool, or make do with what you have. On a homesteading scale there's, as we discussed yesterday, a lot more tools and many more jobs to do. Today I'm going to be talking about my experience and thoughts on making do with the tools you have, and when you shouldn't try to.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do I Need This Tool

If you are intending to do things yourself, you will need to have tools. Each trade has its own tools, and frequently each task has its own. Unless you are part of that trade, it gets prohibitively expensive to have every tool for a trade, especially for a home owner who is a do it yourselfer. As a homesteader especially, you need digging tools, construction tools, electricians tools, plumbers tools, animal care tools, gardening/landscaping tools, and so on depending on your environment. If you happen to be wealthy and have the space to store all of those tools and buy them, all well and good. Most of the time though, one has to compromise between what you have, and what you need to do.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Studio Windows

When we were looking at and deciding on whether we'd buy the house, one of the things that was a tipping point was the unfinished area above the garage. At 24' x 30' it's substantial allowing for a lot of options for what we could do with it. It also has amazing windows on the south side. Between these things we thought it would make a great studio, and it will when I'm done. These are the pictures we took of it before we even put in the purchase agreement.

This is the South Side with the gorgeous windows.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro: The Studio

Obviously, as we are attempting homesteading the lady of the house and I are comfortable, and indeed actively tend to do things ourselves rather than getting a professional to do so. That said, I'd like to examine some of the pros and cons of each. One of the big attractions to us about our house is the big garage with a second floor on it, but it did need finishing. Given our rather slim financial situation, one might assume that we did the whole thing ourselves, and you'd be wrong. The why I think is the important part.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Nature Calls

No, this isn't about bathrooms, this really is about when nature happens. Something that one often hears about farming is that you are at the mercy of the weather. The same is true of homesteading, and it really is true. It's not just that you're at the mercy of the weather in terms of if it rains you can't work. It means that when the time comes in the season that you need to do something, you have to do it Now. I've been told this a number of times, but it really hit home with the snow. Read about the progression below the cut.

Warning, this post is quite picture heavy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mother Nature Strikes

As you may or may not know, the Western Massachusetts area I live in got hit hard by an unseasonable snow storm. We unlike the rest of the area never lost power, but we did have other things to take care of. Like hand shoveling the 200 yard long driveway so we could get out for work, and so our friends could get to us for warm space to sleep, hot food, and a shower. Unfortunately this means my hands are not doing so well for typing at the moment. Posts will resume on Thursday with a discussion of the storm and what it did.