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Britesea - Living the good life in rural Oregon

Discussion in 'Member's "Self Sufficient Living" Journals' started by Britesea, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Aug 5, 2011
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like? Dry side of Oregon, in Klamath County snow has been recorded in every month of the year. Gardening is a challenge here

    2. How many people are in your family? Marital status? Married, 3 children all moved out.

    3. How would you define self sufficiency? being able to produce most if not all of your needs, even if you choose not to at this time

    4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed? any and all resources? wow. buy more land, expand my garden and orchard, get a goat...

    5. Have you ever built a house , or other types of building? Do you want to? does the "house" I made from appliance cardboard boxes as a child count?

    6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-Acet? nope, but my husband can braize. I'm a whiz with wire though

    7. Who or what inspired you to become more self sufficient? I've always been fascinated with cultural anthropology - how people lived- and reading tons of post-apocalyptic sci fi tends to screw with your brain, lol

    8 Cloth or paper? Cloth!

    9. In what ways are you self sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more? We have a garden, a few fruit trees, and a wide variety of diy skills. I am hoping to get some ducks, nut trees, more fruit trees and vines and expand the garden further including cold frames and greenhouse. We don't really have that much room on 1/2 acre with a well on one side of the driveway and the leach field on the other... lol I would like to set some photovoltaics set up-- enough to at least run the well pump, the leach field pump, the freezer, and the water heater

    10. In what way(s) will you never choose to become self sufficient? can't see myself growing all our grain needs, especially rice. And I think I will continue to rely on a doctor for serious conditions...

    11. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs? I've been doing that most of my adult life on a small scale (having enough for a month or so) Now I'm trying to expand that to a year.

    12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world? my own little world, but it's ok because everyone knows me there

    13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi? No, but my husband can, and he's a diesel mechanic too

    14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these? I knit, crochet, sew, make wire art jewelry and other wire items

    15. Can you have legally livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds? we are in a rural area so pretty much anything goes. currently we have no livestock, but I got my husband to agree on acquiring some ducks next spring

    16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood? nope. carpentry is one skill I wish one of us had

    17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing? I have loved gardening for years. For the last 10 years I had to put it on hold because all of my spare time was taken up by my mother, who had Alzheimers and finally passed away last November.

    18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives? Neither of us are much as fishers, although my husband wants to buy a crawdad trap to use in the river that flows past our property

    19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country? We have 1/2 an acre in the country

    20. Are you a Novice, Technician, General, Advanced? ARRL? erm...?

    21. What is your self sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn? I am learning how to store food by other means than freezing. My husband had a small goat dairy for several years, and spent his teen years working on the family farm. I grew up in the city, mostly I have book-larnin'

    22. If you could create a degree and curriculum, what would you major in and what classes would you take? History is more about ordinary people trying to eat, sleep, have sex, and keep amused than it is about kings and wars. Looking at a set of measuring spoons that some housewife in ancient Egypt used to cook dinner is more fascinating to me than D-Day (although that is important too)

    23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet? I managed to create a decent bookcase once.

    24. Are you interested in herbal medicine? very much so.

    25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be? We are living in paradise on earth right now, as far as we are concerned.

    26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking? There used to be a wood stove in our house, you can see where the vent has been capped off. But someone removed it before we bought the house. I would like to get one again at some future date.

    27. What would your ideal super hero/villain be? I have no idea

    28. Are your family or friends also interested in self sufficiency? Not as much as we are, but my oldest son has started a garden :)

    29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs? love to cook (why do you think we look the way we do?) We've been cooking with whole and natural foods whenever we could get them for most of our adult lives.

    30. What was your MOS? Navy, Aerographer's Mate

    31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs? we gather elderberries and chokecherries and sunchokes. Hubby wants to buy a crawdad trap

    32. What skills do you have that help you be more self sufficient? Hubby is good at making repairs on lots of things, I am crafty by nature and learn well from books, so I can learn lots of skills that way

    33. In which fictional universe would you most like to live? most of those fictional universes involve uncomfortable things happening to other people. I'm very unadventurous.

    34. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy? no panels, but we bought plans to make a simple window-mounted heat grabber. I want photovoltaics

    35 What is the mass/weight ratio of a European swallow carrying a coconut from the tropics to England? lol. why would an insect-eating bird be interested in a coconut? (love the movie though)

    36. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to? never have, but would like to.

    37. In what do you trust? you can trust the government to NOT have your best interests to heart

    38. Do you make things yourself to save money? as much as possible.

    39. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending? I've been planning our expenditures a little more carefully than I used to.
     
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    framing fowl

    framing fowl On a mission

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    Glad you started a journal! DH has family on the other side in the Grants Pass area.

    So what food preservation have you tackled besides freezing?
     
  3. Aug 5, 2011
    rathbone

    rathbone Lovin' The Homestead

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    Britesea - Nice to meet you! I enjoyed reading your "stats". My favorite line? "I've always been fascinated with cultural anthropology - how people lived". I will be following your journal.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2011
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    I made $50 selling parsley and parsley plants last month, so now I'm trying to figure out what to spend it on... I could buy 1/2 dozen food grade 5gallon buckets, or 100 lbs of hard winter wheat, or 1/2 dozen cases of canning jars.... or maybe I should save it until there is a good sale on something like green beans or peaches. We don't have a lot of income, so our efforts at preparedness and self-sufficiency go very slowly. Everything got put on hold about 10 years ago, when my mother's Alzheimers started getting bad enough that I needed to help her. She passed away peacefully last November, so we've been trying to get back into the swing of things.

    Currently we have 5 raised beds (3'x9')- one has asparagus, rhubarb, and some herbs like sage and thyme, the others are planted in annual veggies and herbs. We stapled 1/2" hardware mesh in the bottom of the raised beds to keep gophers out, and we put up a 6' deer fence around the perimeter to keep the deer out (so far that's working because there is plenty of other stuff for them to eat without jumping the fence). We have 2 apple trees that were here when we bought the property; one looks like a delicious, but we have no idea what the other one is-- it makes great sauce though.
    We have 2 plums, also here when we moved in-- they are some kind of small yellow plum, maybe mirabelle. So far the deer have always managed to get most of the crop before us.
    We also have a nice long hedge of wild roses that produce lots of tiny bright red hips. I need to put a gate in the fence so I can go on the other side and harvest them from both sides. We have a raspberry and a blueberry that I planted this year, and I just scored another free raspberry plant. We also have a chokecherry at one corner of the yard; I just found out this year that the fruit is edible, so I'll be making some jam or jelly this year. We also plan to get a crawdad trap and see about catching some of the crayfish in the river; might try some fishing too.

    My husband makes beautiful artisan-type breads and we have a barter going with a neighbor- 1 loaf of bread a week for a dozen free range eggs. We are planning to get some ducks next spring for eggs and some meat. I try to make as many things from scratch as possible, to save money, but I'm still learning.

    Other than that, we have two parakeets that hate each other and have to be kept in separate cages, and two dogs: a lab/aussie mix (hyper AND dumb) and a basset hound (smart AND stubborn).
     
  5. Aug 6, 2011
    The Old Ram-Australia

    The Old Ram-Australia Lovin' The Homestead

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    G'day and welcome ,you said that OH used to have a Goat dairy.How long ago was that ?Was he producing raw milk or cheese?How big was the herd and what breeds were you "running"?....We were also running Dairy Goats on a previous farm ,but we were breeding them for an improved Meat Line.............Hope you enjoy your time with us......................T.O.R.........................
     
  6. Aug 6, 2011
    savingdogs

    savingdogs Queen Filksinger

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    welcome to journaling! I love your answers. #37 was very interesting!

    I'm quite interested in how other and ancient cultures cooked as well. Are you familiar with the Clan of the Cave Bear series? I love that aspect of the Auel books especially.

    Sorry about your mom. :hugs
     
  7. Aug 6, 2011
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    Framing Fowl, I did some canning -- green beans and pickled beets and watermelon pickles a few years ago but nothing in the last 4 years when Mom got really bad. This year I've so far dehydrated some potatoes and onions and herbs. All I have is one of those old round dryers with the stackable trays, and it doesn't have a fan. I'd like to try building one like the beer can dehydrator, but maybe with a small fan in it too (maybe I can rig something up with solar power for that). And LOTS more trays

    Old Ram, Boartooth (that's the name he likes to use on the computer) raised Toggenburgs mainly, that would have been mostly the 70's to early 80's (he started out with 4H and FFA, and kept going). He was primarily concerned with milk production and taste, but they did eat the culls. He said that was the hardest part of farming. He didn't have any trouble butchering the other animals, but the goats were trusting friends. They used the milk for themselves, the pigs and other milk drinking animals, and sold a little as well. All those years of milking his string made his hands so strong that when his high school got some brand new equipment for the gym, he stripped the hand exerciser trying to get a setting that would give him a challenge, lol
    His mother made farmers cheese, and tried her hand at hard cheese, but she didn't have a mentor - tried to do it from a book, which neglected to explain that unaged hard cheese "squeaks". She thought she had done something wrong and ended up giving it all to the pigs :rolleyes:
    The only reason he stopped was he was tired of butting heads with his dad on the proper way to run the farm, so he moved out.

    Savingdogs, I have read ALL of Jean Auel's books in that series. I was very impressed also when I read that she is well-regarded by many scientists for her research into primitive life styles. She has apparently prepared and eaten ALL of the meals and teas she mentions in her books, as well as many of the crafts.

    I vividly remember looking at a set of measuring spoons on display at the Rosicrucian museum in California many years ago, and feeling a bond with that ancient Egyptian woman cooking meals for her family using those spoons.

    Thank you for your condolences on my mother. I had a very tough time of it, because we were never close. To tell the hard truth, she was an abusive, manipulative woman; and the only reason I took care of her was because no one else would, and I couldn't turn my back on her any more than I could turn my back on ANYONE that needed me. I was able to forgive her, because I know that she was also mistreated as a child, but I felt guilty because I could never LIKE her. Her finally passing was a relief for me, but I also know it was a blessing for her-- she wasn't happy in life, and I hope that now she is.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2011
    abifae

    abifae Abinormal Butterfly

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    Great to learn more about you!! :)

    I would love to have actual LAND. lol. But until I win the lotto and can buy it outright, not comfy in making purchases that require debt.

    :p

    Bartering is wonderful!!
     
  9. Aug 7, 2011
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    SCORE! I found 99 canning jars at a yard sale today, got them for $9. She also threw in a huge box of rings and lids and odd and ends- most of which is garbage but some of the rings are still good and rust free. Mostly quarts, but there were some pints and 5 of the half-gallon sized ones, and one 1-gallon Sun Tea jar (no spout thank goodness):celebrate
     
  10. Aug 7, 2011
    snapshot

    snapshot Farmwife

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    What a great find!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!
     

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