I'm new, lost and don't know where to begin

~gd

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nmred said:
Oh, I am sooo envious of you!

BeeKissed has the right idea for checking priorities, but, if your uncle was living in it up to three years ago, it might be all right. It's great you're going to go check it out.

Some things to look for in all the outbuildings are the tools. Chances are, if it was a working homestead all these years and in the same family, that you will have a great stock of tools, especially hand tools, there already. Even in they are rusty and have broken handles they are likely better than what you could buy now a days. Clean them up, repair the handles, and go to town! You might even find the grain and meat grinders there already. In the old days everyone had their own grinders to handle their animal feeds (you probably will need to get one for human use as the animal ones don't go fine enough) and their own butchering equipment.

Is any of the family still in the area? They could be a big help in showing you around. JD's suggestion about finding a church is a great idea, too. Try to meet the neighbors, especially the older ones. They might remember things about the property that could really be helpful as well.

I'm so glad you decided to go for it! It will be hard, I'm sure, but, oh, so worth it! Good luck and God bless!
It is ~gd not JD's [how would you like to be callled nmrad instead of nmred?] Goats are great for clearing out over growth They are 4 legged weed eaters and will even eat brambles but are hard to confine we used to stake them out on chains to get them to work where we wanted them and move the chains when needed ~gd
 

SomeWhere

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So much to say but not as bad as we had thought. Remember the lack of running water, electricity and indoor plumbing? We may be 'crazy brave' but that really had me worried. Well, come to find out, there was some miscommunication and misinformation and I'm so very thankful to report that the place does have those amenities. They had all been shut off when great uncle had had to leave. The house, fences and outbuildings are in decent usable condition with no major problems but will need only a few minor touch ups.
While we were there we had the opportunity to go to church services and met most of the towns people and neighbors who are all very encouraging and they had offered to help us along on our quest and were even invited to visit one of the neighbors farm to get a little hands on. After a few false starts & minor 'oops', we did manage to feed their cows, pigs and chickens; collect the eggs without too much damage and take turns hand milking their two goats. I think their barn cats got more milk than the buckets, but it was fun for all.
On our own property, we did manage to prune the fruit trees and cut out some of the dead fall trees in the wooded areas with help of course.
Since we won't have the major repairs to worry about and the touch ups shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks at most, we'll be able to move up our schedules and start with a few animals by next summer, probably chickens and a couple of goats. After we get moved, we'll be clearing (mowing) the overgrown pastures and using that as next winters litter in the barn for them. As the new growth comes in, we will mow it again for hay food and that will give us a good head start before even having the animals. I'm sure we'll have to buy most of their feed for atleast that first year or three, but it will be great to be able to have grown some of our own.
There are even canning jars and other such equipment stored in the basement so that is another expense we won't have. Also, I found great Auntee's hand written recipe books. She must have been quite the chef not to mention well organized, since there were several volumes. I brought these back to LA so I could read up, they are quite the treasure find and I can't wait to dig into them.
So much is happening so fast it's truly making our head spin and when I get to feeling overwhelmed (already yet), I remember when we first pulled into the driveway. I can't begin to explain the feeling as we first drove up and seen the place, then walking it over. It was a 'peace-filled, home at last' kind of feeling and we can't wait to move there permanently. :celebrate
 

chickenjoe

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You might want to look for jobs before moving out there, that way you'll have a source of income while trying to fix the place up. You said that it had an orchard. You might be able the get some fruit from the tree.
 

SomeWhere

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baymule said:
How awesome. So........when ya' moving?? :lol:
Not soon enough :lol: There is so much to do once we get there and we have no illusions about facing many learning experiences AKA failures. I have faith that we will figure it out as we go. :fl
 

tortoise

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Wow, what a story! I'm hoping for photos and updates as you take steps on this journey!
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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Glad to hear that is isn't as "rustic" as you first thought. As with any old house, I'm sure you'll find things once you move in that you didn't realize would be issues.

Just out of curiosity, how is the place heated?

Just wanted to give a nice hearty welcome to the north-east woods, from your "neighbor" in the Adirondacks. :)

Do you know what kind of fruit trees you have?

Suggested read: "The Dirty Life" by Kristen Kimball. It's not a how-to about homestead or farming, it is a woman's tale about moving from NYC to a farm in the adirondacks.

Good luck!
 

featherjack

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I'm so glad for you that the place is in such better condition than you had first thought! I'm over here in Poland Maine, so may be able to offer some zone-relevant gardening suggestions. We've kept chickens for all the 12 years we've been here -- they're easy, go for it! I have Golden Comets now and they lay almost an egg per bird, every day, even in the sub-zero snap we had recently. They're very personable too.

I recommend permies.com -- I think it's enormously helpful.
 
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