R&D Notes for Homesteading

  • food
    • gardening, canning, drying, chickens, goats, bulk storage, seed stockpile, root cellar, algae production as food crop, mycology facility (cellar or cave-like structure), orchards, stocked fish tank/pond; beekeeping for honey; harvest & save seeds for future crop plantings; hydroponics, aeroponics, pigs?, cows?, sheep?, land with wild game?;
  • water
    • deep water well with submersible pump, rainwater collection (cistern?), water purification methods (engineered water runoff/disposal path that uses rocks, algae, etc to purify water passively), condensation collection methods, grey water recycling, Ecoloblue28 atmospheric water generator system, natural spring?;
  • home
    • wine cellar; big pantry; metal, tile, or green roof; underground tubing for radiant floor heating/cooling of house; solar hot water heating (in conjunction with other method(s); good insulation; septic tank; plant s for air filtration in house; make good use of natural light; safe room w/safe for docs/valuable/ self-defence;
  • security
    • planning, property fencing/lighting, self-defence items, debt-free
  • energy
    • solar (direct solar heating & photovoltaic), mechanical-electrical generated (hand-cranked, bicycle-powered), homemade bio-fuel for vehicle, wind to electric (windmill, aeroelastic flutter electric generator), waterwheel powered by roof rain runoff; reclaim oils for lamps; solar backup for water well; propane tank; Franklin stove; battery storage array/system for electricity generated from various sources; land w/ adequate renewable timber supply, backup generators; solar hot air collector;
  • other supplies/needs/ tools
    • Angora rabbits for wool, wool-spinning wheel, butter churn, hand-powered blender, hand-powered coffee bean grinder, solar over (both cob oven & solar concentrator/reflector oven), solar food drying rack, fresnel lens, Sterling engine with magnets attached to flywheel to move through coil fields to generate electricity (see greenpowerscience.com), rust removal via electric current in solutions, biochar for increased crop yields (facility/device for production of biochar), clotheslines for drying w/o power use, hand-powered clothes washing basin & ringer, homemade soap (including Yucca plant for soap from roots); homemade shampoo, homemade clothes detergent, homemade candles, homemade toothpaste, water electrolizer for degreaser/sanitizer production, grow medicinal herbs, internet connectivity; walkie-talkies for on site communication for free; telephone connectivity; ham radio; antennae to receive various signals; coffee bean roaster; propane, Coleman, Kerosene for heating/lighting needs as backup; fishing equipment; complete Complete Purchase/Gather List for Family ;
  • workshops / barns / other buildings
    • woodworking shop, metal working shop, crafting shop, garden prep/experiments/ extended season greenhouse, science/engineering experiment/R&D shop, chicken coop, goat house, root cellar, mycology cellar, seed storage cellar, canned/dried/ bulk food storage, cistern for water storage, rabbit coop, yard/house tools shed, spare parts/equipment shed (for ex. for extra solar panels, parts, non-perishable items such as plastic sheeting, etc.), art studio (pottery, painting, etc.), market stand (to sell excess produce)
  • education/entertainment
    • family, friends, books, church, workshops, gardening, animals, homemade toys/devices, art, music, writing supplies, community, festivals/fairs, travel
  • income/savings
    • woodworking, crafts, produce stand, sell extra eggs, wool from sheep and Angora rabbits, wife to teach dance, wife to do massage therapy, work on websites, write, consider opening up homestead to visitors for tours/classes, build rental property?; consider tax exemptions; purchase precious metals & valuable commodities for savings/financial security
  • money needed for?
    • taxes, insurance, supplemental food & household goods, savings for security, fuel, equipment/home /auto /farm repairs/replacements, kids’ future expenses/education, travel, entertainment, clothing, emergency fund, new construction on farm, medical/dental/ vision expenses, farm animals/seeds/ plant s, raw materials & tools for farm projects/woodworking / pottery/ sewing/ glass blowing, soil improvement, food storage (jars etc.), supplemental utility costs (electric/water), internet, telephone, vet bills for animals, extra feed for animals, vehicle registrations, school tuition for kids?, vitamins & other supplements,
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Friday’s Harvest

More green beans today. They just keep on producing! I just throw them all together. It makes for a nice mix of flavors. Somewhere in this pile there are Blue Lake Pole Beans, Contender Bush Beans, Purple Pod Pole Beans, along with some others.

green (& purple) beans

Homemade Decor

Sometimes making home decor oneself is preferable. It saves money. You get quality. And, it adds a richness to the space because you know you made it. The home becomes more personalized. Here are some samples of what we’ve done.

homedecorfruitcutout

homedecorwallleaf

homedecorwallleaf2

homedecorwallleaf3

homedecorkidsstepstool

homedecorcoasters

Homemade Toys

We didn’t have the heart to take away our kids mass-produced toys when we decided plastic is bad. However, I have given them some other ones to throw into the mix. I enjoy the hobby. We save some money on toys. My kids get to play with natural materials and more unique items. Whatever your talents are, I strongly suggest making some fun for your kids. It will make you warm inside. Here are some samples.

homemadecar

wooden dachshund puzzle

wooden grizzly puzzle

woodenanimals

woodencattoy

woodenpenguinpuzzle

woodenrhinopuzzle

woodensquirrelpuzzle

woodentriceratopspuzzle

Wednesday’s Harvest

gardenharvest11112009

At lunch today, my mom came out to the garden and helped me pick green beans. Here is today’s harvest-some for her, some for my aunt (her neighbor), and some for me, the wife, and our kids.

Here are some previous harvests.

gardenharvestw3squash

gardenharvestonpapertowel

Getting my feet soiled.

Here is the site we chose for our new larger garden. It gets good sun and is bordered on two sides by trees, providing a nice shaded area for sitting. The soil is fairly rich. There is a gentle slope, but not too much.

site for big garden plot

1biggarden08172009

So, here is the garden plot for which I paid a local to plow up for me. I have made the leap from my two backyard four feet by four feet raised beds that I started last Spring. They did fairly well, considering I had not gardened before, not counting a little help I gave my mom when I was a child. I am an ambitious gardener. I now have a garden plot of sixty feet by forty-five feet on the family acres. Since I got it going heading into this Fall, it is not fully up and running.

Another early photo…

earlyprogress

Water

Here is some of what will be covered in this category.

  • water wells
  • rainwater collection
  • water purification
  • condensation collection
  • gray water reclamation
  • atmospheric water generators and other tech
  • water conservation
  • irrigation
  • runoff

This is a temporary post. I have not yet  put up content in this category.

Energy

Sample of what is to be covered.

  • passive solar heating
  • photovoltaic solar
  • people-powered
  • bio-fuel
  • wind-power
  • water-power
  • oil lamps & candles
  • propane
  • Franklin stoves & such
  • generators & batteries
  • the grid

This is a temporary post. I have not yet  put up content in this category.

Good source for canning jars

A great source for canning jars (mason jars) are Classico pasta sauce jars. I really like their sauce. Granted, eventually I want to make more of my own sauce, but my garden has not fully grown up. I don’t have any tomatoes right now. So, I still buy my pasta sauce at the store, unless my wife is nice enough to make the sauce. She’s a better cook than I. I have a stock of empty jars tucked on a couple of shelves in a closet. I am stockpiling them for canning of my excess from the coming spring garden season. Once I start that, I’ll upload pictures. For the Fall, I am freezing my surplus harvest.

Animals

Some possible future residents…

  • Angora rabbits
  • goats
  • chickens
  • guinea fowl
  • varments
  • cows
  • cats & dogs

This is a temporary post. I have not yet  put up content in this category.

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