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Summer Rural Living Celebration!

by Victoria Gazeley

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I thought it was about time for another giveaway for new or aspiring modern homesteaders!  This time we’ve got a bundle of books and resources that I’ve been sent the last couple of years.  Here’s what’s included in the bundle:

  • Permaculture Fast Track – Learn to Live More Sustainably and Healthier (DVD) – Open Permaculture School
  • Chicken Poop for the Soul – Kristeva Dowling
  • One Woman Farm – Jenna Woginrich
  • The Emergent Agriculture – Farming, Sustainability and the Return of the Local Economy – Gary Kleppel
  • Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions – Oscar H. Will III & Karen K. Will
  • Down & Dirty – Fun & Funky First-Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening – Ellen Zachos
  • The Resilient Gardener – Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times – Carol Deppe
  • Strategic Relocation – North American Guide to Safe Places (3rd Edition) – Joel Skausen
  • and maybe even a few more… ;)

All are in excellent or new condition.  All you need to do to enter is share (in the comment section below) the best advice you’ve received so far on your rural living/self-reliance journey and make sure you leave your email address/process the entry in the Rafflecopter app right below this paragraph.  That’s it!  Prize includes ground shipping of the resource bundle (North America only).  Note – you don’t need a Facebook account to use the app, but we do need a real email address or we won’t be able to let you know if you win.

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Revised on July 7, 2014

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kylie M July 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is to only take on what we can currently handle, to go slow. (I dream of pigs, horses and growing grains, but in addition to our garden and 8 chickens we’re in the thick of raising 2 little boys, it’s all we can handle right now!)

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Woody Reed July 2, 2014 at 6:45 am

You are so right. Don’t bite off more than you can chew is an old saying but it is so right on! The quickest way to failure is to get too many things going at once. Like you said, start off slowly and realistically plan ahead when you can add more animals or gardening areas. Make sure you have adequate fencing, protection and space to accomodate your wants. Do research on line to get as much knowledge about each subject before jumping in. Don’t over do it! It’s no fun when your stressed out. It will be a lot of work but it can be fun and very rewarding. Good Luck!

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Monique July 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm

So glad you’re back. I learned a lot from your site and am looking forward to your newsletters to keep building on the knowledge. We’ve learned to make so many household products rather than buy them from the store, such as laundry detergent, candles, soap, etc. We also grow much more food than we used to and love it (even though it’s hard work, it is so rewarding).

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Victoria Gazeley July 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm

:) Glad to be back! Thank you!

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Maria M July 1, 2014 at 3:13 pm

The best advice that I have received is “Just do your part and let nature work at her pace.. do not try to made it work overtime”

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Terri Leaf July 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Love your FB page. I dream of having my own homestead. Do my own “square peg in a round hole thing and march to the beat of my own drummer”.

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Bob W July 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Take time looking for your property that you want, it will probably be the one you have the rest of your life. Make sure you have your finances in order.

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Lori Ann A July 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

A great piece of advice is to enlist your animals to help clear land and prepare it for planting, especially pigs.

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Ann-Marie July 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

So much advice has been helpful. Your advice to check internet access availability when we were looking for our country property was golden! Most helpful is the encouragement to keep asking questions and keep soaking up knowledge from anyone and everyone who is already on the self-reliance path!

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Diana July 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Living in a small community right now instead of the country where I grew up… I’d day the best advice I could receive is ‘do what you can, where you are… until you can do more’.

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Charlotte Boord July 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Welcome back!
The best advise I’ve received is to take it slow. Start learning new skills before I retire, then don’t go overboard once at do retire. I’ve had a small raised bed garden in my back yard this past year, I’ve learned canning, both water bath and pressure canning, and I’ve just signed up for a class on cheese-making. I feel more and more empowered with each new skill I learn!

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Jaclyn July 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Even with a postage-stamp lot, you can make changes that will help you reach your goal of homesteading, no matter how close or far into the future that goal may be set.

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Janette July 1, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Do your research. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Just get out there and go for it. If you fail the first time, regroup and try a different method. What works for some folks might not work for you. Take into consideration your area, climate, budget. I have a difficult time growing tomatoes so I stick to what I can grow. This type of life can be so rewarding!

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Melissa Burford July 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm

The best advice I’ve received is to accept help. I’m a natural DIYer, but learning to barter and trade for goods and services I don’t have/can’t do myself has been liberating. Thanks for the opportunity to win and I’m glad you’re back to help educate all of us.

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Felicia July 2, 2014 at 6:58 am

Glad to have you in my inbox! Best advise so far is to start small, and add as you go. We just started a garden in our new back yard this spring, and realize what a mistake it would have been to add more squares in the same place given what I have now learned from watching things grow for a few months. Soaking up as much as I can now, for a proper homestead later. Thank you for all you share!

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Sherr July 2, 2014 at 7:08 am

The best advice I got was from my grandad who told me not to weed the garden during the hottest part of the day. Number 1, so that I wouldn’t put it off telling myself “it’s too darn hot”; number 2, so I didn’t get heat stroke; and number 3, so you can stroll over to the neighbor who IS weeding, offer some refreshment and innocently remark “naw, I don’t weed”. :) I have always weeded as soon as the dew burned off. The earlier you weed and get the goodies out of the garden the better.

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Charlotte July 3, 2014 at 4:17 am

The best advice I’ve gotten: simplify. Don’t make it all more complicated than it is. Don’t worry about doing everything. Just take it one small step at a time.

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Amanda Bunney July 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

This would be so great. We are in the process of clearing our homesite now! I am so excited but so nervous. I was raised in the city but have always longed for the country life.

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colleen July 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

nice to hear from you again, best advice we’ve been given, before making any changes to a new property, spend the first full year observing your surroundings and recording what you see. Sun and wind patterns, water movement on the land, micro climates etc. Then make your plans working with the natural patterns that already exist. So much easier to work with Mother nature!

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TwyliteFlyer July 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Probably the best advice would be to be patient. It’s hard. I WANT IT ALL NOW!!! But, I’m sure we’ll get there. :)

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Meg July 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Huh…that’s an interesting question. We’re on a journey toward more self-sufficiency in the middle of the city…we don’t receive much advice, to be honest. Wish we did! So I’ll offer mine – yes, there will be many trials and errors but keep reading, keep experimenting and keep trying! It’s all so worth the effort. Sent with love from Victoria, BC, Canada!

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Maggie K. July 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

One of the best pieces of advice I have received is that you can always change things. If chicken-raising doesn’t work out there are always other things to try that you can excel at.

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Chelsea July 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Best advice I have received would have been to start with things you like/know. Grow food you know your family will eat. Raise animals you know the uses for.

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Jennifer July 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Since I’m still gathering info and working up to the great self-reliance leap, it’s ALL great advice! But given my tendency to get over-excited and impatient, taking small steps and not biting off more than I can chew is a good one. :)

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Ken Kelly July 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Throw away 9-5, weekends, and be ready to work

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Natalie Pepin July 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

The best advice I’ve received (and think it applies to everything from selecting a breed to starting out on your homesteading journey) is “know your motivations”. The right answer to most questions about homesteading basics is “it depends on what you are looking to get out of it”. Knowing my motivation to raise sheep was to get meat and milk (with wool being lowest on my list) helped me pick my breed. Knowing that I wanted to feed my family primarily and to sell produce was less important helped me choose my plants. Knowing your motives is the basic knowledge necessary to embark on your journey.

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Natalie Pepin July 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

The best advice I’ve received (and think it applies to everything from selecting a breed to starting out on your homesteading journey) is “know your motivations”. The right answer to most questions about homesteading basics is “it depends on what you are looking to get out of it”. Knowing my motivation to raise sheep was to get meat and milk (with wool being lowest on my list) helped me pick my breed. Knowing that I wanted to feed my family primarily and to sell produce was less important helped me choose my plants. Knowing your motives is the basic knowledge necessary to embark on your journey.

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Scot Warner July 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm

just beginning with chickens. A lot to learn

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Rachael H July 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm

With the best intentions, people will always tell you their way is right and if you do it any other way, you are doing it wrong, however no two farmers (or farms for that matter) are the same, and what matters is that you keep trying until you find the way that works for you.

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Wes Campbell July 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Sure it can seem overwhelming taking those first steps, just start. Do what you can when you can. Each day, try to think of new ways to save/trim the fat. Whether that be a small garden, DIY projects, or whatever. There’s always ways to get it done.

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lola July 11, 2014 at 7:43 am

just do small, and things will fall into place

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MrsKAlvarez July 11, 2014 at 10:05 am

I do not have any advice since we aren’t yet homesteading. However we are growing as much produce as our garden can possibly handle this year and my advice for growing is to not overcrowd or over plant / sow. I have found it better to plant less so that your plants can have more space rather than overworking the soil.

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Cheryl Kashuba July 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

The best advice? Use what you have. Re-purpose everything you can. If you can, make it yourself. And last but certainly not least, there are so many people with knowledge and skills and the willingness to help you learn what you don’t already know, whether it’s in person, online, or from a book!

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Debbie July 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

The best advise for me was to not try to do it all at once. Start with one goal at a time and then add to it. This way I will not get overwhelmed ????

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Kyle Lantzy July 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm

When preparing to start a homestead, friends and family may try to dissuade you, and might even call you crazy for trying. Always remember that it’s your dream not theirs, and you need to do what is right for you.

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