Homestead Permaculture Project – Site Overview

The Common Sense Homestead Permaculture Project - Part 1 - Site Overview, Our Homestead Permaculture Goals, Determining Permaculture Zones.Our homestead permaculture project officially began this spring. I’ve been nibbling at the edges of the idea for some some now, primarily since reading  Restoration Agriculture:  Real World Permaculture for Farmers

I’ve always liked the idea of working with nature instead of battling against it, and Mark Shephard’s comment (in Restoration Agriculture) that we really need to “stop trying to grow things that don’t want to grow and killing things that do want to grow” really struck a cord with me.  When we were stuck in limbo not knowing if we were going to have to sell this place or not because August couldn’t get a job closer to home (more on that on the About page), it didn’t make sense to invest in long term plantings.  [Read more…]

How to Make Money Homesteading

How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life

How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life

How to Make Money Homesteading So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life” is a new book by Tim Young, author of The Accidental Farmers: An urban couple, a rural calling and a dream of farming in harmony with nature.  Tim and his wife, Liz, farm at Nature’s Harmony Farm in Elberton, Georgia, where they currently focus on artisan cheesemaking.

One of the most memorable passages in the book (to me) is where Tim discusses the role of money in our lives:

I suspect what we really want is not money.  Rather, we simply desire increased freedom…the ability to do more of what we want, when we want, without our time (labor) being controlled by someone else.  And since most of use were born into a world centered on money, we seem to believe the path to this increased freedom is having more of it.

He goes on to discuss ways to reduce our expenses, which to my mind is a common sense choice for most of us who wish to have greater financial freedom.

Pros About How to Make Money Homesteading

  • Suggestions for Reducing Expenses and Eliminating Debt
  • Many, many ideas for income streams – from those that require larger acreage to those that can be done in a small home or apartment
  • Interviews with real homesteaders are various stages in their homesteading journeys
  • Personalized Homestead Entrepreneurial Life Plan Template to help your organize your homestead income making ideas

Each of the 18 interviews includes the following questions/information:

  • Name
  • Location
  • If you left a “real job” prior to breaking away to become more self-sufficient, what was it?
  • Homestead/Farm Highlights
  • What inspired (or scared) you into pursuing a more self-sufficient lifestyle?
  • What were your criteria when looking for land?  how did you make your choice?
  • What are your income streams now?
  • Why did you choose these income streams?
  • How did you acquire the knowledge/skill to generate income this way?
  • If starting over again on the path to self-sufficiency, what would you do differently?
  • If relevant, what do you miss about city/urban life…you know, the “real” world?
  • Finally, what advice do you have for someone considering leaving a “real job” to become more self-sufficient?

This information can help readers to see if a similar option may work for them in their area/circumstances.

Cons About How to Make Money Homesteading

I’m always a fan of photos, so I would love to see the small black and white images replaced by color, but that doesn’t significantly impact the utility of the book.  I was also hoping to see more interviewees who were making a full time income off their homesteads.  Instead, most are still working full time away from home.  Hard numbers would be great, too, although I realize most people would be uncomfortable sharing that information.  There’s a better breakdown of potential hourly wages from various homesteading income sources in The Weekend Homesteader.

To Summarize:  If you’re stumped for ideas for possible revenue streams to fund your homesteading dreams, this book is chock full of possibilities.

Win a Copy of How to Make Money Homesteading

Tim in sponsoring this review and giveaway.  One Common Sense Homesteading reader will win their very own copy of “How to Make Money Homesteading”.  Just use the rafflecopter widget below.  Leave a blog post comment, sharing your ideas for making money homesteading or the challenges you face working to create an income.  Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All entrants must be over 18 years of age.  Contest sponsored by Tim Young.  Open to residents of the United States only.  Winners will be chosen within 48 hours of contest completion.  If winner does not claim prize within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.  Retail value of prize is $9.86.  Contest ends 11/24/2014 at 12:00 CST.

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The Ultimate Survival Bundle – A Great Resource for Homesteading and Preparedness

The Ultimate Survival Bundle - A Great Resource for Homesteading and Preparedness

So many of you have asked me over the years, “Where do I get started?”  The Ultimate Survival Bundle covers an amazing amount of information – 46 resources from 35 authors who really do “this stuff” we call homesteading and preparedness.  (By this time next year, I hope to have my book ready, too!)

The Ultimate Survival Bundle has gardening advice from pest control and greenhouses to apartment gardening and companion planting.  There are references to help with solar cooking and other outdoor cooking and “kitchening”.  We’ve got great info on goats and chickens, the most popular homestead animals. [Read more…]

Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) – A Homestead Doesn’t Have to Be Huge!

Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) - A Homestead Doesn't have to be Huge!

Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) by Angela England is a homesteading guide written with the enthusiasm of a beginner and the experience of several years of homesteading with limited space.  It’s a great pep talk for those new to the idea of self-sufficiency who are wondering if they can raise more of their own food without moving to the country.

How Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is Organized

Backyard Farming on an Acre is divided into five parts:

  1. Living Large on a Small Scale
  2. Gardening on a Backyard Farm
  3. Animals for a Backyard Farm
  4. Enjoying the Bounty
  5. Crafting from the Backyard Farm [Read more…]

The Weekend Homesteader Review

The Weekend Homesteader Review @ Common Sense Homesteading

The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency by Anna Hess is an inexpensive guide to get you started with homesteading.  Loaded with color photos, this book would make a good “coffee table” book, conversation starter or idea brewer.

How the Weekend Homesteader is Organized

The Weekend Homesteader is organized by month, starting with April and wrapping back around to March.  (Alternate months are suggested for those living in Australia.)  Each month includes four “projects’ – one for each weekend – presenting you with activities that would be appropriate for that time of year.  For instance, April projects include: [Read more…]