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Friday, November 23, 2018

Join Me in 2019 and Watch Me Transform 2 Acres into My Partially Off-Grid, 1/2+ Homestead, 90% Organic Farmette: Wait What?

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Join Me in 2019 and Watch Me Transform 2 Acres Into
My Partially Off-Grid, 1/2+ Homestead, 90% Organic Farmette: Wait What?


My wife and I will be moving to a couple of acres and I will be transforming it from open space into... Wait, let's take a minute to define a few terms that are getting tossed around like hot potatoes.  What exactly does 'Off-Grid' mean. Well technically, no power, no water, no internet, no dependence on services coming into your house. You would not be connected to private or public utilities (gas, water, electricity, again the internet).  You rely on yourself, family and the community and nothing is coming into your home but that which you haul in from the wilderness or build. I'm just saying that is the traditional definition.





Well, I am not doing that as that sounds awful as defined. However, I am going to reduce my dependence as much as I can from the grid. So I am going somewhat partially 'Off-Grid'.  I am aiming for a reduction of reliance on the grid. After all, I have a YT Channel. 'Off-Grid' means good bye, in theory, unless you are my neighbor, who would probably be like 2 miles away.  I just enjoy interacting with gardeners from around the globe.  The internet stays.

I am going to be working a farmette as I can't swing managing a farm and I want to practice 'homesteading' on my 'homestead'.  Can I do that without feeling badly about myself? Of course, I can and I want to encourage all of you to take bits and pieces of all these amazing ideas you find on homesteading & farming YT Channels and apply them in a way that improves the quality of your lives.  


Old Wood for a New Chicken Coop: The Rusted Garden

My kids are in their twenties. I am looking for a place where I can grow my own food, raise some chickens, build and shape the land as I wish and create a homestead for my adult kids, their grand children (down the line), family and friends.  A place to simply enjoy life and what the earth gives to us. 'Homesteading' is used today and defined as living a life of self-sufficiency. Doing things like growing your own fruits and vegetables, raising some animals, preserving food,  maybe making your own clothing & crafts and generally being reliant on yourself and your family.  I like that perspective but just not all of it. 

Well, I am interested in about 1/2 of the above. I want to be more self sufficient and know the source of my food. I want to build and create on my land and rely on my  hard work.  Can I still be a 'homesteader'?  Of course I can, at 52 I don't define myself, I just be myself. I invite you to join me, and follow along as I build my homestead.  My YT channel is The Rusted Garden. I have 800 gardening video there but come 2019, I will be building my partially off-grid 1/2+ homestead with the first dig of the ground to build my first new garden bed. I will be creating videos for every step of my adventure and land transformation.


2nd Year Blueberries Ready to Produce in 2019: The Rusted Garden

Are my gardens going to be 100% organic all the time, forever? Nah, but pretty close. Or do you mean will I be buying supplies that are stamped, marked, certified and proven to be 100% organic before I use them in my soil? Nope. 'Organic' has truly gotten out of control. Mostly around fertilizers. Is organic good in principle? Yes it is 100% but the commercialization of the word 'Organic', is bad.  Just be wise when shopping for organic products. A lot of things are not as organic as you think and you pay a lot more than is fair. But that is the theme of another future blog article. 

I am on my soapbox a bit. So here we go... all things on the planet are chemicals which includes organic fertilizers.  Some fertilizers occur naturally (but are still chemical compounds), get changed by Nature and microbes and your plants use the finished products made by the microbes. Some fertilizers are made by people and those products get a bad wrap as toxic and deadly and they are called chemical fertilizers. They are not all made the same and they don't all come from petroleum. 

They aren't toxic or deadly. Obviously don't mix them with your lemonade. But they won't hurt your plants or poison you when you eat the plants. If microbes can transform chemical compounds into fertilizers, why can't we? They are just different and being different is okay. However... compost is king.  Why are we even discussing this?


Compost is Free to Make: The Rusted Garden

You don't need any of the above if you just compost leaves, grass, chicken poop and such. See, we have been tricked into to  predominately buying, yes buying, organic fertilizers. That's not self sufficient but I know that might be your only option for now.  We have been told by some that human made fertilizers are pretty much deadly which is wrong. And why we argue, we forget that compost is free to make and it is how Nature has been feeding the earth from the beginning. 

On my new farmette, I plan to make tons of compost. Hot compost, cold compost and just right compost. While that is happening or when needed, I'll buy mostly organic fertilizers and use water soluble human made fertilizers as needed. As far as pesticides go... don't put anything on your plants that you don't fully understand both what it is and what it does.  Just because it is stamped organic, it does not mean it is not toxic or harmful to people or animals in some way. That is really important to remember.  Okay, so 90% organic. 

At 52, if I learned anything, I learned you don't have to be 100% anything to enjoy your life.  I invite you to come along on my adventure as I build my partially off-grid 1/2+ homestead 90% organic farmette on about 2 acres of land.  I will take you from building your first garden bed all the way through cooking what you produced on your land, around your home. And every step in between!

Good Luck in Your Gardens

Gary (The Rusted Garden)



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