7 Things You Must Do On Your New Homestead

by | Sep 6, 2020 | Podcast

You’ve bought your new homesteading property and you’re ready to move in. But don’t go buy the cow just yet! There are some key things you need to check off your list so you can be better prepared as you start to settle in.  

Josh and Carolyn talk about the mistakes they made when they first moved in and how setting a strategy, learning your environment and taking it slow can set you up for success on your new property. 

In this episode: 

  • How creating the right plan, thinking ahead and following these key steps will save you time, money and reduce stress. 
  • Why it’s important to spend time observing your property and learn as much as you can to be able to adjust over time. 
  • Why being a “prepper” is just as important as being a “homesteader.” 
  • What you need to do before you start your garden and bring on animals.
  • What is permaculture and why is it important? 
  • Question of the week: Is butter made from clabbered milk considered a “fermented butter?” You can check out a butter making video Josh and Carolyn made on their YouTube channel. 
  • Harvesting season is in full swing and Carolyn is trying a new canning method called, “low-temperature pasteurization.” 

Resources:

Josh: Hey you guys. This is Josh-

Carolyn: And Carolyn-

Josh: With Homesteading Family and welcome to this week's episode of The Pantry Chat: Food For Thought.

Carolyn: This week we are going to be talking about starting out on a new piece of property, right?

Josh: That's right. So you have got your property, you're getting ready to move in, and what are the things you need to do to get going?

Carolyn: This episode of the Pantry Chat podcast is sponsored by MadeOn Skin Care. MadeOn specializes in skin care specifically for dry skin and they use as few ingredients as possible to get the job done.

You guys, this is the type of skin care I would make myself if I had time to make it in my own home. And the great thing is, Renee even shares her exact recipes with you. The Beesilk lotion bar is my go to lotion when my hands get dry and cracked, and it's only made with three ingredients. Renee created it when she needed something to fix the splits in her fingers, cracks in her feet, and then she found out that it also worked great on our son's seasonal eczema. Go to hardlotion.com/homesteadingfamily to find out what Josh's favorite MadeOn products are, and also use the code homesteading family for 15% off today's purchase.

Josh: All right. So you've got your new homestead, your new place in the country. You've done all your research, you bought that, hopefully, great piece of property. Now you're getting ready to move in and you've probably got a whole lot of things you're excited about and interested to do, and just ready to go on a new journey.

Carolyn: Yeah. You're going to put orchards in and get a milk cow and get your garden in.

Josh: Get the garden in, get some cows out on pasture.

Carolyn: Bees, you're going to do all that next month, right?

Josh: Right. You're going to do it all at once. Please don't do that. So-

Carolyn: Sorry, today we will be talking about what we should be doing right when you get onto a piece of property.

Josh: Right. We're going to give you some steps to help you make sure that you're going to be successful as you get landed in the country and you start to take off on this journey.

Carolyn: Right.

Josh: But hey, before we get into that, we would like to do a little chit chat, we call it, and catch up with what's going on with Carolyn and I. So Carolyn, what is up with you? What's happening right now?

Carolyn: Well, we really are still right in the heart of harvesting season and preserving season, which gets kind of crazy in the kitchen sometimes.

Josh: Yeah?

Carolyn: The kitchen floor is just always muddy this time of year because we're bringing produce in and we're canning it or we're fermenting it. We're putting up in all these different ways. So it's really a fun time of year, but it's a very busy and tiring time of year, too.

Right now my big things that I'm bringing in this week are cucumbers and green beans still. I think that's what I said last week too, but that's still what's happening.

Josh: Well, that's on the preserving side of things.

Carolyn: Yes.

Josh: I mean, there's a lot of other stuff coming in that we're eating, right?

Carolyn: Right. Yeah, absolutely. We have a lot of fresh eating happening, too.

Josh: Potatoes, onions, carrots.

Carolyn: Yeah, those carrots are so beautiful this year.

Josh: Chard, spinach.

Carolyn: We did a great job on the carrots. But on the preserving side, we're doing a lot of the green beans and the cucumbers.

I think I might've talked about this in one of the last episodes, but I'm on a mission this year to trial all sorts of different methods of pickling to really find a canned pickle, not a fermented pickle, but a canned pickle that will stay really, really crispy on the shelf, hopefully for 12 months. Now that's a trip because pickles kind of start getting soft as they sit longer and longer. So I'm trying all different methods.

One of the methods I'm trying is something called low temperature pasteurization. It's an approved canning method but instead of bringing that canning, that water bath canner, all the way up to a rolling boil like you do with every other canning, you hold it at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. That's hard to do. You have to make sure it stays it between 180 and 185 for 30 minutes.

Josh: Wow. That's tight.

Carolyn: So one of the tricks that I learned about was using an electric water bath canner. I have never used one of those. I've never had one for all the canning I've done.

Josh: No, we never have.

Carolyn: So I'm kind of excited because I have one coming right now. They're a little hard to find at the moment. Everything's out of stock. But I did find one and it's on its way and I'm going to be making good use of it.

Josh: All right.

Carolyn: So yeah, that's what I'm up to.

Josh: Hopefully it gets here and it doesn't do what our milk refrigerator has done that we ordered three months ago. Are you guys experiencing this? It's just the way things are right now and it's a good reminder to really... You got to think way out ahead right now because it's going to stay this way for awhile. It is just hard to get things.

We've been waiting for a particular type of fridge that we ordered just for our milk, no freezer attached, upright. Normally you get that in a few weeks and it's been, I think we're going on four months.

Carolyn: Yeah, it's been a long time.

Josh: Yeah. So I hope that gets here because I'm excited about the crunchy pickles in winter.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Josh: Very cool.

Carolyn: Oh, good. Good. What have you been up to?

Josh: Well, mostly the addition. We've got that addition going and we've got a friend here from out of state and his son helping out and all the kids are out there. All the girls were out screwing down the plywood for their bedroom yesterday and they're having a good time. But we're getting late in the season and we've got to get this thing framed up and at least dried in which means a house wrap on it and a roof on it before we start to get into rainy cold weather. We've got a bit of work to do. So that's a really kind of dominating.

Keeping an eye on the garden and everything else is just kind of in flow. You're handling all the in flow out of the garden. So yeah, that's the main thing. Piling up logs for firewood, which we've got to get to splitting soon.

Carolyn: Right. Exactly. Well, that's a great skill. The building is such an amazing skill for everybody to know on the homestead because you find that you're often building things.

Josh: Well, and the kids, it really invests them in what we're doing. A big part of the addition is the bedrooms because we've got a large family and we've got a large house, but the kids' bedrooms were really small for how many kids are there. So while we're doing a few other things along with that, it's their bedrooms that really got this whole thing going. So for them to participate in that is just really exciting for them and to be dreaming about their space and what they're going to do.

But part of the whole environment of the way we're living. For them to do that, besides building the skills, just really helps them buy in and feel excited and feel like they're contributing and they all seem to really love it.

Carolyn: Yeah, yeah. They love getting their hands into whatever we're doing.

Josh: Try to include them in everything that we can.

Carolyn: Good.

Josh: Yeah, all right. Well, I'll keep moving along. Let's get to our one question of the day. This one looks like it's for you today. This is from [Tracy Brewering 00:06:59], hope I said that right? Tracy from an apartment to 40 acres. And her question is, "My granny's made butter from clabbered milk. Is that a fermented butter?"

Carolyn: Yes. That would be a fermented butter or a cultured butter. It would just be a natural ferment technically because you're clabbered milk is where you're using the wild bacteria to culture your milk and then pulling that cream off means you have a cultured cream, which means that you end up with a cultured butter. A little bit of culturing in that cream really makes your butter, one, lasts a lot longer because it's that fermented product so it has natural protection against going bad. But then two, it also helps it turn to butter much more quickly and a lot of times it helps you get a better percentage of butter from your cream. So it's a really good thing to do.

We just did a butter making video not too long ago. So you can check that out on YouTube and find some different ways to make butter and definitely culturing them is one of them.

Josh: Very cool. Great question, Tracy. All right, well, let's dive in.

So you've bought this new place and you're excited to get going on your homesteading or country adventure, whatever your plans are. You're getting ready to move in or you're moving in. There are really some steps that you want to take and an order of things to help you be successful, minimize failures and expense.

So diving right in, the first one, which is going to be kind of like a no duh, but moving in, just getting moved in. Here's what a lot of people do and what we've done.

Carolyn: Multiple times.

Josh: You move in, you start unpacking, but you're not just moving into the house. You're going to go buy the milk cow. You're going to go start turning up the ground for a garden all at one time.

Carolyn: This is so important of a step because so many of us, when we move out to the country, we're moving out because we're like, "Wow, we need to get somewhere maybe a little more stable. We want to be growing some food." We're feeling that urgency that culture's getting a little messy around us.

Josh: There's a lot of strong motivation.

Carolyn: There really is. Your goal is to be growing food so you want to get there and start growing food right away, or start doing what you're planning on doing right away. And that is just a recipe for disaster.

Josh: Right. So we really want to encourage you to put on the brakes right here and focus on just getting moved in.

A quick anecdote, a story that we went through moving into when we first moved on to 40 acres. Not this property, but the last one.

Carolyn: I am not a patient person. Let me just say it has taken me a lot of years to start to develop some amount of patience. So when we moved up to Idaho for the first time, finally moving to the homestead with the water and the land that we were looking for, I don't think we were here two weeks and I just insisted on getting that milk cow.

Josh: I don't even think it was two weeks.

Carolyn: I don't think it was two weeks.

Josh: I think it was a few days, honestly.

Carolyn: I don't even know if we had our furniture unpacked because there was a delay in getting the moving truck here, and we had a milk cow out in the field, which did not have a stanchion, it didn't have anything. It was not at all set up for it. That ended up causing a lot of stress in the long run.

Josh: It's tough because you're researching, we're moving in, we know we want a dairy cow, so you're looking to see what's out there and there's a great cow out there for a great cost.

Carolyn: Yeah. Grab it now.

Josh: And that's hard to refuse. But yeah, we hadn't dealt with fences yet. We didn't have anything.

Carolyn: No. I don't even think we had a good hay supplier for when we ran out of pasture.

Josh: No, we didn't. We hadn't learned our area yet. We did have a bunch of grass and we had a tree to tie her to and we milked under the tree. It wasn't our first dairy cow, thankfully. So really don't do that if it's your first dairy cow. But at least we knew how to hand milk already. And the cow was, she was pretty good. But that's not always the case.

That's just piling too much on. To get back to the core of it, get moved in. Get unpacked and get settled into your home and start to find your rhythm of just how you're living in the house and observe the property and dream for a few minutes, but get settled in. And I think you had a few thoughts about inside the house, things you want to take care of as you're moving in, besides basic unpacking

Carolyn: Absolutely. Planning how you're going to use your space is very essential, and we're going to be talking about a lot of planning in this particular episode. But planning out how you're going to use your space is going to save you a lot of time and frustration and energy in the long run. And so you need to think ahead as you're starting to unpack, getting your spaces kind of settled, what am I going to be doing in the kitchen? And set up your kitchen stations.

But one that I think is really, really important and people overlook really easily is food storage areas. If you're moving out onto a piece of property because your goal is to grow food, you're going to be preserving food most likely, or bulk buying and storing food. You need to think through where you can store your food and make that one of the priority spaces to get figured out.

Josh: It is because down below here we're going to talk about getting stocked up a little bit. Even though you're planning to grow a lot of your own food, you want to get some reserves up first and so we'll get to that in a second. But that all ties right into having a place to do that and a system.

Carolyn: Maybe some of your move in budget needs to be for shelving or something like that to make sure that you've got your food storage spaces ready to actually receive food.

Josh: That's a good thought. From the moves we've made, that I think a lot of people don't realize is you need to have an expense in there for your moving costs for exactly that. We've looked at over multitude of times. There's going to be shelving, especially when you're moving toward a country life and a homesteading life and the different aspects of a mud room, places to put boots and clothes, hang things, food storage, a lot of stuff like that. So you're going to be spending some money trying to customize some areas to make them work for this lifestyle. We always have found ourselves doing that.

Carolyn: It'll save you a lot of headache.

Josh: So get moved in and enjoy just walking around the property and making plans to doing some of the things we're about to talk about. But focus on getting in, getting settled, getting a routine before you start reaching out and doing all these other projects that you're excited about.

Carolyn: Let me just give a really practical, from the woman's side angle here, get your decorations up right now. Pick out your curtains, hang your curtains, get the plates and pictures on the wall because once you get into gardening and animals and all of that, you might not have the time to do those sorts of things. So this is a moment to really settle in and get your spaces all designed, decorated, and dealt with.

Josh: Yeah, you're going to be much more comfortable and you're going to go through a lot of things and so having your home is that place to just stop and be happy with it and the things you enjoy around you when you're dealing with whatever struggles or failures or busy-ness or whatever it is. Yeah, that's really important.

Carolyn: I think the next one, as we start to move on here, is really important, too, and you can do this one right away. In fact, you should be doing this one before you even move in probably.

Josh: Right, and this is meeting your neighbors. Hopefully in the process of buying the property, you've gone and met a few of your neighbors that border your property or that you might share a road with. But if you haven't done that yet, go do that right away.

Carolyn: Yeah. Your neighbors, in a country setting, are so incredibly crucial to your success and your ability to handle things. If you're out in the country, you're probably a ways away from resources.

Josh: Right.

Carolyn: From services.

Josh: You're going to be further out of town. Yeah.

Carolyn: You might not have the grocery store right there real quick. You might not have ambulance real close. I know for us, it's quite a ways away, or police response or all these different things. And that's where country neighbors become your lifeline for living out in the country.

Josh: Yeah, you really need to know them. You may not become best friends with all of them, but there's a community there that's different. Even though we're spread out further, there's a different community sense than there is in, say, the suburbs or in the city. You really want to be checking with people. You're sharing fence lines with them, maybe maintaining roads with them and, of course, you're going to want fellowship and you're going to need to help each other out in a bind. Maybe you guys are going to find things that you're going to love working together on. But really take the time right now to get your neighbors and show yourself friendly.

A lot of times in the country, when new people are moving in and the people that already live there don't really know who that is, they're wondering, "Who is this person? Is this person going to be somebody that I can rely on? That I can be a friend with? Or are they going to be somebody that's going to be a pain and that's going to be a burden and cause problems." And they're wondering when they're seeing new comings and goings. So get to know people and build that community around you right away.

Carolyn: Don't wait for them to show up to introduce themselves, kind of like in the old movies, that somebody come over with a picnic basket.

Josh: Hopefully somebody brings a plate of cookies or something.

Carolyn: That would be great. Take them a plate of cookies or a freshly made pie to give them some reassurance that you're going to be good neighbors and you're the country sort of person.

Josh: Yeah, that you want to fit in and you want to get along and just be a contributor to the neighborhood, even if it's spread out.

Okay, so here's another important one.

Carolyn: Yeah, and this is one that, I think, especially if you've lived in the city and again, you're used to having resources really close to you and you just moved out into the country, this one might take a little bit of getting used to because there are things that happen out in the country that delay your access to getting things. Whether that's a power outage. That happens if you have long stretches of power lines and trees around them, they fall and you go without power.

Josh: Snow and ice.

Carolyn: Snow and ice.

Josh: It doesn't get cleared right away.

Carolyn: Yeah. Maybe you just can't run down the road and grab that ingredient that you wanted for that special meal. So to counter act that you need to-

Josh: Make sure your access is taken care of. That you understand your access issues. When you move into the country, a lot of times you're on country roads. Well, you're going to be on country roads. Some of them may be long gravel roads that are county maintained. A lot of times you're going to be on private dirt road or gravel road that is community maintained. There's different issues that you can be dealing with from seasonal flooding, to snow in ice, to trees falling in the road and wind storms or because of snow. And so you need to understand your access, you need to jump into the flow with your neighbors. Who's responsible for what? How can you help? And what are the issues so you're prepared for them ahead of time? How long does it take?

Where we live, we're a little further out. We do live on a county road and generally they plow it, but it can take up to 24 hours or longer if the snow is really, really heavy. You need to build a plan for that. Are you going to need to be able to plow it because you've got particular reasons why you have to be able to get out. Do you need chains? There's a whole lot of things to think about in that access before you run into those problems.

And of course, again, maintaining it with neighbors. And your neighbors are going to be your best resource for that and a great just topic of conversation as you're getting to know them.

Carolyn: Absolutely. Good, good.

Josh: Cool. Okay. So we're moving through them and next we call this take care of your preps.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Josh: We've talked about this in a lot of different formats, but you want to get your preps in right away.

Carolyn: We oftentimes, Josh and I, differentiate between being a prepper and being a homesteader where sometimes people come out of a prepping mindset with, "I'm just going to get everything. It's going to be stashed in my basement and it's going to be there when there's a problem."

Homesteaders are often out actually participating in the skills in living that way day to day. But there is a place where, as a homesteader, you need to be prepared and have your preps, right? You need to be ready for what's going to come your way. That's a really important part of living the lifestyle is being prepared for those power outages or for the lack of access to places.

Josh: Just unforeseen circumstances. First is water. That's just a basic prepping that you understand your water system and that you have backup water, however that is, whether it's storage containers, whether it's a cistern. We've got an in ground cistern that a spring feeds into the can gravity feed the house. So we're always going to have low flow water.

It depends on your property, but make sure you have a plan and you know what you're going to do if the power goes out and you don't have a well. Your well's not working for awhile or whatever it might be. Have your water.

Carolyn: Right. And go ahead.

Josh: Okay, yeah. Well that leads right into power. Making sure that you've got electrical backup. You're further away from things and really everybody should have this everywhere, but you need a backup generator of some sort and you need to have backup batteries for your flashlights, all the different things. We're really not here to go through all the details, but be thinking about your power systems and that you have backups in place because when things fail, they fail at the worst time. So you really want these systems set up before you're diving into other projects and dealing with animal issues or garden issues or whatever it is, you want to get this stuff done ahead of time.

Carolyn: Absolutely. Right along with that is your food. Making sure that you have food backups in place. We really recommend just buying the food that you are going to use anyways in bulk and just living off of your bulk food storage in a rotation system so things aren't getting old. So I don't particularly mean just buying a whole bunch of freeze dried food. I mean, buying in bulk what you're going to use anyways, getting it stored on those shelving systems that you got right when he moved in, right?

Josh: Right, and one that you've been really good at to add to that is some convenience foods. However those are. I mean, most of us out here wanting to grow healthy, organic, high quality food, and that's great. We're working towards that. But there are times when we need convenience foods to get through a jam, or an injury, a medical emergency, whatever it is. So include in that those emergency convenience foods that's easy to get a meal together for several days if you need to.

Carolyn: Yeah, absolutely for an emergency state, but also even just for those busy days, right?

Josh: Right.

Carolyn: I have a joke with some other good homestead friends of mine about how, here we just spent a whole day canning all of this great food and now we really wish we could get delivery pizza. It's kind of a joke, we've been doing all this great food, now we want this junk. Somebody just to hand it to us. You need to have your own version of delivery pizza, whatever that is.

I love the canned foods, home canned convenience foods are such a great way to go. You can make up a big batch of them and just have them sitting in your jars on your shelf and they're just heat and eat. That's closer. You're going to get that a lot faster than delivery pizza if you live out in the country. You probably can't get it anyways.

Josh: Have it on your shelf, right?

Carolyn: Absolutely.

Josh: And then your medical backup, medical supplies, basic emergency medical supplies. Obviously you're going to be a little further out and so hopefully you've got some knowledge and you've got some supplies to just help you deal with issues because there's going to be injuries. There's going to be things that are going to happen.

Carolyn: I want to add one more to this, and that is fuel. When you live in the country and you live out a ways, you really need to develop a habit of not running your vehicles to empty before you fill up because, honestly, even just for a medical emergency, if you have to drive from your house to an emergency room, and a lot of times if you live out in the middle of nowhere, your best bet is not to wait for the ambulance, it's to start driving. And they will tell you that in country hospitals, get in the car and start driving. You don't want to have to stop and fill up on gas on the way in an emergency situation.

Josh: You're right. Find out you got an eighth of a tank or something.

Carolyn: Right. So make sure you're always keeping at least a quarter of a tank. Usually the best-

Josh: Half or more.

Carolyn: Best option is to fill up when you get to half.

Josh: Right. And with that, all your fuel cans for your other vehicles, for your generators, your power backup, you want to try to keep things topped off all the time. So that was a great, great suggestion.

Carolyn: Yeah. And again, we're not talking about end of the world scenario prepping here. We're talking about basic living out in the country. You need to just live prepared in a basic way so that you're ready for the things that country living throws at you.

Josh: Your resources are farther away, they're just not right there close. And so these are a lot of things you can take and are part of really the moving in process of getting settled in really before you even start to think about property. And that's what we're going to start to step into here now, but you really want to get these things down. You're going to be a lot more settled, a lot more comfortable, and you're going to be ready to start reaching out, doing larger projects, doing new things. You've got a good backup, you've got a good base to work from because like I tell the boys especially, out there with chores, it never goes wrong at a good time. Never.

Carolyn: That's absolutely right. So now we've moved in. We get to go get the milk cow, right?

Josh: Not yet.

Carolyn: Okay.

Josh: Alrighty. So in an ideal world, and if you guys have followed us for a while, you know that we study permaculture and it's a system of design and planning and maintaining property. In an ideal world, you want to spend a lot of time observing your land and thinking about how you're going to do things in planning. So really, in ideals, that's a year. But that's not reality, right? So we've got to blend that because we've got to get in, we're going to do things, we're working with existing infrastructure, but I really want to encourage you to be observing the whole time you're moving in while you're walking around in your daydream and you're thinking about where things are going to go, be observing. Observing what weather patterns and what's growing, what's not, the land, the soil, how the sun moves. Just how your property works and take time to observe. Even as you start to take action and plan, always be observing.

And then, as you're taking action, observe the effects of that and what you need to adjust. And so that's really important to have that mindset right from the get go, not to just get in there and do and buy the milk cow or buy the chickens and just throw it up right here because it looks like a good place. You need to start working on a whole plan.

Carolyn: Well, I think that's so important because you may have viewed your property before you bought it and you may be already living in it for a little bit of time, but you're probably... That window of time is narrow that that can all happen in. So you may not know that you've got a low spot right over there that's going to get really muddy and turn into a seasonal pond part of the year, right? And then you go put your chicken coop right there, you've got problems right off. And so you want to spend as much time as you can watching your property. See what happens in different areas and be aware while that's happening.

Josh: You really do. it seems easy to just go look and lay things out. But as a guy that's built homes all my life, been on land, worked on large areas of land and planning and then studied permaculture, even coming on to this property here, my mind is turning. Within a month of buying our property, I feel like I've got things figured out in my head and where everything would work. But we're two years in and I'm still going, "Okay., I didn't know that. All right, I got to adjust there," and you're always learning.

So it's an ongoing process and the more you can be aware of that and the more of a plan you have, but yet knowing you're going to adjust over time, the more successful you're going to be, the less money you're going to waste, the less time you're going to waste and less troubles you're going to have.

One more on that we didn't cover, studying permaculture. Permaculture is a great resource and just a great method to help you do all this planning and organizing of how you're going to operate on the property.

Carolyn: Right. So a major part of this, learning about permaculture as it applies to a property design, is zoning. I think this is really, really important. It's kind of what we talked about back in the moving in area that you can move into your house in a way that makes you always having to scramble and do more work, or you can move in and set up your areas in a way that makes your everyday movement much more efficient so you can get a lot more done with the same time. Your property is the exact same and permaculture really addresses this from a design perspective of making sure that you have the things that you access multiple times a day really close around your house. That would be considered zone one.

Josh: Right. Your high-intensity use areas.

Carolyn: Yeah. It's where you're coming and going. That's what you want your kitchen garden, your herb garden, right outside your door if you can.

Josh: Some of your vegetable garden, could be all of it.

Carolyn: Some of your veggies that you're going to get to every day like your salad veggies, things like that. Those things that you're going to access daily, maybe multiple times a day, needs to be right near you.

And then you go out to zone two, which is a little bit further away. And those are daily access or almost daily access.

Josh: It's still once daily access. It can be right on the edge and it may be more than once, but it's once to daily access. And so your barn might be right there. You might not want it that close in zone one, but it's right on the edge. A lot of your orchards are zone one, or I'm sorry, zone two, maybe going into zone three, excuse me.

So that we don't go all the way through it, there's about five zones and this is just really something to study and be aware of. All you're trying to do is create efficiencies of movement, economy of movement, so that where you spend the most time, it's closer to you. Where you spend the least time or very little time at all, like say your woods or areas maybe that you're going to leave wild, those are generally going to be the furthest out. Not always. That's a whole design discussion. There's a lot to talk about. But take some time to get familiar with that type of planning and it's really, really going to help you out.

Carolyn: It is going to save you a lot of time, a lot of energy in the long run if you can take some time on that. So that just goes back to that take your time and plan out your property. Don't just jump in and start doing. And I think it's really valuable to plan out the ideal longterm property, right?

Josh: Absolutely. Yeah. Be flexible. a property plans kind of like a budget. You've got your ideal, you're going to set your goals. And then as you move through it, you're going to observe, and then you're going to flex and adjust. But you want that plan to work from. I wish, just from being somebody that's consulted and worked with new homes, that people had a whole property plan from the get go. Even if it has to change over time it saves you a lot of headache later.

Carolyn: Absolutely. Let me just say that if you're working this with a spouse or other family members, sitting down and working this out on paper before you're actually going is going to save you a lot of headache, maybe a lot of argument, maybe a lot of frustration in the longterm. We don't ever argue, just so you know.

Josh: Not at all.

Carolyn: No. But that way you're all on the same page and so you kind of have your moment to work out those frustrations or those difference of opinions before you're actually in the process doing something and the other person has a different opinion. So it's a great way to just create other efficiencies as well, right?

Josh: Absolutely.

Carolyn: Okay.

Josh: Okay, so getting into a little bit of the fun part, right? What everybody's ready to dive into right away. Gardens and animals, two of the core elements of a homestead as we move outside of the house.

Let's talk gardens a little bit. Same thing, you want to plan. Don't just go throw it down. You want to come up with a plan and think about what you're growing and why and where it's going to go and what you're going to do with it when you harvest it. And we've got plenty of other videos on those topics, but start with a plan.

Carolyn: Start with a with the plan. I was going to add to that, think about pests and problems that you're going to have protecting your garden because in a lot of places, you just throw it out on the lawn or the front yard and then the deer will come in and completely eat it if you don't have it protected. So just think through it all the way.

Josh: And the other one is soil. Almost anywhere that you're going to be going, your soil is going to be degraded, so you need to have a plan to improve that soil. If you're on low budget, it can be as simple as just realizing you're going to bring in the best quality compost you can and organic material and hopefully some mulching material. Check out some videos that I do on no tilling, which is just the way I would really encourage you to go.

If you want to dive a little deeper, do some tests. It's always a good idea to do some tests. Some basic pH tests and understanding organic material. If you want to go further, you can get into mineralization. Do what you can to create a plan, but really understand your soil and plan to be improving it.

It takes three to four years to get a garden really humming, to really get the soil built up and the soil biology working to where it's highly productive. So just knowing that helps and have a plan to work on that.

Carolyn: Yeah, absolutely.

Josh: And last, but certainly not least, animals. We can't cover every single animal, but there's some general things, again, to be thinking about depending on what kind of animal it is it's your going to be working on.

Carolyn: Right. I'm again, number one guilty probably here of finding that great deal on that animal that I really wanted to anyways and not-

Josh: Talking me into going and getting it when I'm going, "But, but, but, but, but the fence."

Carolyn: Hey, honey, honey. We'll take care of the fence later. Let's just get the animals here first.

Josh: Okay, sweetie. I just want you to have what you want.

Carolyn: Don't do that. It causes a lot of headaches. Make you think through what you're going to do. And again, the number one step for any of these projects is plan. Take some time, know what you need, know the requirements of the animal that you're thinking about bringing onto the property, know their housing needs and get those things in place.

Josh: Right. So a few of those, I was going to go through them, housing. How are you going to house the animal? And that all is determined on the animal and your environment. What's their yard, their pen, their pasture? And the fencing that goes with that, gates, make sure that stuff is all in order.

Obviously water, make sure you have a plan for water. If you're going to go through winter, how are you going to get them water in the winter? Be you thinking about those things and planning it out. And then feed. What feed do they need? How are you going to store it? If you're in a winter environment, and really even if you're not, it's always best to bulk buy, even with animal feed and not be running back and forth every week. That is a stressor. So have a plan to store all of that and get it to the animals. Hopefully that's close. Sometimes that doesn't always work. So you need to have a plan there. And then lastly-

Carolyn: Sorry, what? I'm sorry.

Josh: Okay. Sorry. Thought you [crosstalk 00:33:46]. Yeah. Well, and you know why. Because this is one that even we don't think about it a lot, your vet. Get to know about when you move into an area. Just find out where they're at, have their number written down. You're going to have animals, you're going to have issues, you're going to need a vet at some point.

Carolyn: If you have local, either neighbors or friends who have animals, or even if you're buying an animal locally, ask them what vet they use and if they have liked them. Get opinions, getting that referral, right?

Josh: It's easy to totally overlook that and then you've got a problem at 9:00 on Friday night and you don't have a vet's number, you don't know who to call. You can't get ahold of your neighbors and you're scrambling. You've got an issue. You want that number on the wall, you know the guy or gal to call and get there and help you out.

Carolyn: And let me guarantee your animal problems, just like your child problems, will come someplace just past 5:00 or 6:00 PM on Friday evenings.

Josh: Yeah. Absolutely. When the water line is broke.

Carolyn: Right, yeah. And you don't have anything in the fridge for dinner.

Josh: Right.

Carolyn: So be prepared and you'll save yourself a lot of headache and a lot of time in the long run and you'll be able to enjoy the projects that you do take on a lot more and get a lot more production out of them, return on your investment of energy, time and money. And it'll be a lot better experience if you take a little bit of time and do some planning to begin with.

Josh: Absolutely. So enjoy the journey. Thanks for hanging with us here and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Pantry Chat: Food For Thought. If you've enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review,

Carolyn: To view the show notes and any other resources mentioned on this episode, you can learn more homesteadingfamily.com/podcast.

Josh: We'll see you soon.

Carolyn: Goodbye.

Great to meet you!

It is our goal to encourage you in the path to a more healthy, more secure and free lifestyle by sharing and teaching the skills that lead to greater sustainability and self-sufficiency for you, your loved ones and your community.

– Carolyn and Josh 

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