Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Small acerage And A Plan

OK, so you have some land.  What are you going to do with it?  You are concerned about the political climate in this country and you feel like you need to use the land to provide for your family.  A very legitimate concern given the uncertainties of the national food supply, nutrition of it and where it comes from, among other things.

Or, you just want to eat healthy, keep your children healthy, naturally.  Provide, in general, for the overall well being of your family.  You have some land and want to use it to provide good, real food-all natural.

You might, like I do, love meat.  Can you provide your family meat on small acreage?  If so, what is the best way to go about it?  I don't think I know the best way in anything, but I think I can point you in the right direction.

For the duration of these discussions, we will approach this subject with the assumption that you already have the land and that it is five to ten acres.  I really want to focus on very small, because there are a lot of us out there.

To start with you have made the determination that you will work toward self sustainability.  The first thing to do is have a good understanding of what that means.  Biblically, a big part of that is taking care of what God has entrusted you with.  That means a conscious decision to treat you land and animals as belonging to Him.

For this, the first, post on this subject we are going to assume you are going to build your home, either hired out or by yourself.  In a sustainable environment, it should be considered how you are going to heat, cool and electrify your home.  Remember, we are focusing on "sustainable" and small acreage.

Heating with wood is a great way to start.  The initial expense can be stout, depending on what you decide to use.  An outdoor wood stove can will save you time and money, in the long run, but are quite costly.  You will need to know the square footage of your home to determine how big a unit you will need.  The nice thing about these is that you can load it up in the morning and go all day and into the night without re-filling it.  A down side is that you will not only have the expense of the furnace, itself, but you will have to wire for thermostats, blower and pipe in duct work, all adding to the expense.  Don't get me wrong, we have friends and family that have outdoor units and they love them.  I just want you to be prepared for the cost.  If you are like us, and I think most of you are, money is an obstacle.

We went with an indoor unit with a glass door, for the romantic side of us.  Ours is made by a very reputable company with a great history called Hearthstone.  It is your typical cast iron frame but has the top, sides and bottom made of soapstone.  I am not afraid to tell you that all the claims Heatrthstone makes are accurate.  We love our stove and the heat it gives is wonderful.  But, don't limit yourself to my suggestions.  Do the research and find the right stove for you and your home.  If you can, in planning your home, do plan for wood heat, you will not regret it.

I will stop for now.  I can't cover everything in one post, so you will have to come back for more on wood heat on your homestead.  Thanks for stopping by and leave some feed back, I love to hear from you.

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