Other VanOrden Posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Progess on the Farmstead in Idaho

I have to say that Alaskans are dang tough.  I have tried not to make a big deal out of how nice the weather has been here in Idaho since we arrived 4 months ago.  Today it's 46 degrees and partly sunny so we are going to get out of the house and go golfing for a few hours.  

People here in Idaho act like this is cold wintery weather but we think of it as like early summer or fall weather since we are still Alaskans from 19 years in the great frontier north.  Here in Idaho I still have green grass growing in the yard  and will need to mow it again soon.  I can't tell you how pleasant it is to get out in the yard, feeling sun warm my face.  Hang in there my good Alaskan friends, summer will come for you again as it always does.  

Here is more about our effort in Idaho to secure a decent living situation that is maintainable as a "retired" couple on a "fixed" income.  We are only 60 years old and may still have 20-30 years of life.  Basically we have another whole career to enjoy while inflation chips away at our resources. 

We have a multi-pronged plan to bring security and protect our resources while we press forward through the next several decades.  1)continue to increase our nest-egg savings, 2)develop a production lifestyle that provides nutritious inexpensive food, and 3)diversify our income streams.   

I have been plotting our garden space on our acreage.  I moved the stakes and string around several times but think I have the right space identified and will start building the raised garden-beds soon.  We decided to go with 4x8 boxes because the soil on this mountainside is rocky and not suitable for a healthy productive garden.  By so doing we can build our own "soil" with delivered dirt and1-year old manure carefully churned to perfection.  

We researched how to build a seven foot fence around the garden plot to keep the dear and other critters away from our succulent plants. We could make it pretty and spend $1000 or pratical with posts and dear fabric.  The jury is still out on that one.  

The challenges of getting our little farmstead started are coming into focus and being overcome one at a time.  We already have our green house simply by putting tables with plants by the picture-windows in the southwest facing walkout basement.  By Spring (early March) 2013 we should be ready to plant for the first time.      

We will also plant fruit trees, grape vines, strawberries and raspberries.  Since our neighborhood covenants say we can't have chickens (bummer), we found a local farmer who will sell us farm fresh eggs for $1.50 a dozen.  Local goat milk may be in our future too.  We may start a small beehive operation to provide honey.  I bought the beekeeping for dummies book to help with research.  We will video each of these projects to provide some hands-on how-to visuals and I suspect some how-not-to's so our friends can avoid our mistakes.

Much of the material will be copyrighted to protect our privacy and "creative" property.  For links to my UStream TV channel, as well as the videos and podcast I invite you to become part of my secure email group by signing up in the box next to this post. I hope our experience might be useful to you.