Category Archives: Homesteading

Buy and Sell Organic Produce … FREE?

What do you do when time, the economy, and practicality way-lays your “Organic Farming Dream?” Improvise, and plan. I didn’t know it earlier, but there’s a saying that goes:

“If you don’t plan, then plan to fail.”

I always thought that if I got the next degree, license, or certificate, then all would be fine. But I’ve lived most of my life in the up-and-down economy of California. So, like Buddhism, I working on a “Middle Path.”

11 or 25 acres out in the hot, mosquito infested country may not be feasible for me at this time in my life, but a cheap little foreclosed home financed by the Veteran’s Administration is. Hell, growing a garden in the back and flowers in the front may well be just as rewarding. Now, to the newest idea I’ve come across:

My Organic Acres appears to be one answer to Monsanto and Agri-Business’ move to own all farming and feed us crap that makes us fat and unhealthy. (For instance, the Russet potatoes being sold in Safeway, Lucky’s or Kroger’s TODAY are so genetically loaded with sugar that you can’t even make the same lower calorie recipes you could make 13 years ago. You have to buy the smaller ones.) No wonder Diabetes and Cancer rates are off the charts.)

My Organic Acres promises to deliver you with fresh, organic produce that YOU CHOOSE. Plus, you can get more from other farmers and either sell at the Farmer’s Market of your choice or their, online Farmer’s Market. You can even donate the produce to the poor as a tax write off.

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Canadian Woman’s Homestead Blog

Blogging is interesting. Sometimes people you’d never meet in lifeKristeva Dowling stop by and say, “hi”. That’s one of the biggest things that attracts me to a rural or semi-rural life … the possibility of unpretentious neighbors.

Sure, people are people no matter where you go … and there’s crime and drugs everywhere, but if you do your homework, you can GREATLY decrease the likely-hood you’ll run into the same kinds of problems you will in most major cities.

A woman named Kristeva Dowling is just the type of person I’m talking about. She and her husband … well … let her tell it:

“… I live on a small mixed farm on the west coast of British Columbia in a remote First Nations village town. In 2008, I quit my job, returned to the farm and committed to a project that I have dreamed  of attempting for several years. That is, to provide all the food we will eat for a year. This will entail growing vegetables, raising meat animals, fishing, and learning to hunt. I do not have an agricultural background, but know that farming is in my blood. It is almost all I can think about. If I won the lottery, I would buy a large farm or ranch and spend the rest of my life spending the money farming!”

Here’s her blog. Lots of real life stories of new farmers making a new kind of life for themselves. Extremely interesting. Have fun … and send her some comments if any come to mind.

UC Santa Cruz Small Farm Course

Grow A Farmer

Cultivating The Next Generation

“There’s a revolution underway–from inner city farmer’s markets to community to community supported agriculture (CAS), to school cafeterias grow a farmerthat serve locally grown locally grown food, people across the country AND THE WORLD are rejecting industrial food and farming in favor of local, organic, community-scale systems. Now the most critical challenge is ironically, the lack of with the training and knowledge to produce and market fresh, delicious organic food while caring for the land AND THE COMMUNITY they work and sell to.” (from the Grow A Farmer website)

Look at the signs of the time … With President Obama signed onto the Green Economy, the entire grid of the United States is going to have to be re-built.  The day of 18-wheelers transporting crops from one cost to another also has a “time-date” stamp marked on it. The only constant in the universe is change, and the way we grow food is no different.

AgicultureCareers.com states that the Department of Labor Employmment and Training Administration for direct farm workers are:

Today’s agriculture offers over 200 rewarding and challenging careers. 32% of these openings will be in science, engineering, and related specialties like Marketing, merchandising and sales. Many of the position are located in urban areas. See: AgricultureCareers.com

Opportunities are abundant for minority candidates. According to the 1990 census:

  • African Americans accounted for only 3.1% of employed foresters
  • and 6.9% of employed forestry technicians
  • Industry sources would like to increase those numbers by three to four times in the near future.

The University of Santa Cruz has an internationally respected, SIX-MONTH small, organic farming program. Click here to read more.

YouTube Grow A Farmer and check it out for yourself.

Small Farming for Profit and Stewardship

Alan Nancy HicksHere are two people who decided to do whatever they needed to do so they could do what they WANT to do. That means stepping out of the box, defining what their dream life really looks like, what is essential for them, and then partnering to get it done.

North Carolina farmer Alex Hitt and his wife Betsy have worked their 26 acre farm in Graham, N.C. into an environmental gem and profit center. “Over the years, Hitt has reduced acreage and labor by improving their soil with cover crops, concentrating on high-value crops that grow well in the area. What he has not reduced is profit, thanks to direct marketing through the Caroboro Farmers Market and Weaver Street Market, a cooperative grocery store in the area.

“Each acre returns a minimum of $20,000 annually, while four high-tunnel greenhouses (that shelter young or delicate crops) bring in $1,000 per crop. The Hitts embrace their small scale, growing 80 varieties of 23 vegetables along with 164 varieties of cut flowers on just three acres. Alex and Betsy were winners of the 2006 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.” (~Reprinted from “Small American Farm” magazine”, January 2007 issue.)

Alex and Betsy Hitt delivered the keynote address at the January 12-13, 2007 “Future Harvest Alliance Conference” in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Learn more about this and other Future Harvest-CASA information on their website at: http:/www.futureharvestcasa.org/, or email: fhacasa@verizon.net.

In rural areas where the average income is between $13,000 and $18,000 annually, the Hitts are making $64,000 (!!) by doing their market research and making money in ways that people raised in urban areas might seem unorthodox. Yet, who wouldn’t relish spending a day selling products they’ve grown and produced on their own land? It isn’t hard to make organic Cheese … and you can use milk from the little, gentle cow mentioned on: “Small Cow Farm.com

Urban Farming

Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins

Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins

Food prices soar … and will continue. Even if you have a tiny backyard, you now have a defense against supermarket bankruptcy.  As a truck driver, I travel from New York City to Crystal Springs, Mississippi and on out to Portland, Oregon.  The signs are everywhere … GET  SOME LAND AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

I don’t care if it’s that vacant lot next door, or 100 acres in the country, the current “economic crisis points to a new conventional wisdom that those who grow their own food will be healthier and economically more secure than those who will continue to depend on big agri-business to supply what they put into their bodies.

“Every problem is an opportunity in work clothes.”
-Henry J. Kaiser

Six months ago, the Real Estate forecasters were saying that housing prices will continue to deflate as foreclosures increased. Then, about two years from now, prices will rise again. Some also warned that Real Estate Speculators are doing with farm and rural land what they did to home prices in urban and suburban areas all over the country. Buying up as much as they can and speculating. Hence, when the economy does resurrect, they will be in position to capitalize on everything Green.

A friend of mine just sent me a link to a site called, “Little Homestead In The City.” Have a look. (Click on active link.) It’s chocked full of ideas about how to live self-sufficiently while living in the city.