Friday, July 5, 2013

Why we are Moving to the Country

Our "nodding donkey" at sunset.
I've blogged about it over the past several years but now that I am posting YouTube videos of our family farm, I'm being asked all over again: "Can you tell why you are there and what you intend to do?"

It seems tough to put it into words right now for some reason. I guess because, over time, Wifey and I have seen so many things that have led us down this path that we simply can't remember them all. Every time we see a news article like Pro-Abortion Backers Tell Legislator 'I Hope Your Daughter's Raped'... and they Chant 'Hail Satan!' it screams at us that the world is going insane. 

Then we read yet ANOTHER case where the government is BEYOND out-of-control like: State Dept Spent $630K on Facebook 'LIKES" and Obamacare Penalties are Delayed for Big Firms while Individuals are still REQUIRED to Comply

 Hell in a handbasket is a reoccurring theme and I don't want to get caught like the 72% of Americans who are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Which is exactly what I was doing up until a few weeks ago. Now don't get me wrong, I don't typically run around saying the sky is falling. I do my due diligence when it comes to collecting my news. That last article, for example, was solely based on a sample of 1,000 people. However, I believe it to be a pretty good reflection of our current society based on what I've seen post-Katrina, Irene, and other disasters where people ran out of food in a matter of did the food stores.

Life isn't going to wait for you Pilgrim...
But there's something else to the equation. There's an inner excitement at the thought of living self reliantly. Providing for yourself instead of relying on others. And ultimately, I simply don't want to work for someone else for the rest of my life. It harkens back to a conversation I had with my wonderful Grandma about a year ago.

We were talking about things and I decided to ask for her analysis on The Great Depression. So many people were beginning to compare the current financial situation to the 1930s and trying to come up with a nickname for our current troubles like The Great Recession, etc. I asked her, "What do you remember about the Great Depression Grandma?" To my surprise, she answered rather quickly and said: "Well, it didn't affect us much...we grew our own food on the farm." Wow.

Leigh, over at 5 Acres and a Dream, sums it up nicely in a guest post she wrote today: "My husband and I chose the homesteading lifestyle because we love to live and work close to the land. We love living in partnership with the natural world around us and our primary goal is to create a self-sustaining homestead. This includes a number of areas: energy, water, animals, and food, which includes feeding ourselves as well as feeding our animals." There simply is no such thing as a Golden Parachute anymore. Working your entire life for someone else no longer has any perks. And as far as I know, nobody ever said on their death bed: "Gee, I wish I had worked MORE."

So those are some of the reasons why we decided to head out to the country. I'm 42 years old and Wifey is 37. God willing, we have a handful of decades left on this planet. It is now my goal to create a self-sustaining farm that can provide for not only my immediate family and extended family...but for generations to come. Like one of my mentors, Joel Salatin, who has three generations working on his family farm and is doing very well. He was even invited to give a prestigious TED Talk (watch it if you have time, it is highly worth watching.)

 For those of you who are reading this and thinking that you just aren't quite ready yet...I'd like to share something with you. When it comes to putting your mind to something and getting it done, there is one man in American history who's achievements speak through his amazing accomplishments: General George S. Patton. Here is what he said on the  matter:

"A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.  Nothing is ever going to be perfect, especially during that organized chaos called war. In war, a good solution applied now can save lives, materials, and time. You can spend all of your time rethinking and revising your plans and never get the battle started, let alone won. There comes a time when you must simply stop planning and put the plan into effect. If you continue to wait for a perfect plan or for perfect conditions, the enemy will take control of the situation, attack you, force you into a defensive position, and possibly destroy you. Too much analysis causes paralysis." - quoted from Patton's One Minute Messages.

If you substitute "solution" with "plan" and consider your fight to be self-sufficient and independent from the government as a personal "war" then you'll understand how I am tying this all together. 

I hope this will help motivate some of you to follow your dreams. I am in the very first stages of following mine and I can tell you...I've never felt more alive nor felt that I was holding so many endless possibilities in my hand. Life is good.



  1. Hey OJD,
    Just checking out your blog and good luck with your adventure. You mentioned the netipot and I understand, you should try a neilmed. It does not involve twisting your head and leaning forward and it really works. I get wicked sinus headaches and they are gone within minutes of using it.
    Happy trails!

  2. You made the right choice. Go for it now while you are still young enough. Your daughters may not want to move from the city but they will thank you later. Now, get that garden growing.

    1. I brought my seeds with me in the Jeep. I want to consult with the locals to see what grows best. I also need to construct a perimeter fence to keep the deer out. But my garden is high priority. Thanks for the nudge.

  3. Our central Utah desert soil certainly differs from yours quite a bit, but for whatever it's worth, our first attempt at a garden on our long-unused soil failed miserably. This year's bright spot started with a couple inches of smi-composted horse manure layered below a couple inches of wood chips, both available for free locally to those with a shovel and a pickup.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the garden issueu. I just may imitate Patrice Lewis' garden technique over at rural revolution dot com. She laid down some old plastic political banners to block out the weeds. Then use old tractor tires cut in half as garden beds. Filled with manure.

  4. If your planting then compost, ,compost,compost. Get well rotted manure and pile it in. In raised beds we use 50/50 of soil and manure. If your using heirloom seedsyou will find they often ripen over a longer period avoiding a sudden glut of one thing. Read seeds my supplier explain s a lot pn their website at www they really know their onions so to say. And yes you have followers in the UK too.

    1. Readers across the pond? Cool! I'll start shoveling some manure as soon as I get the protective deer fence built.

      We have a mole problem too. Any advice on how to take care of those critters?

    2. The only effective way is traps. I don't like killing them myself but sadly the damage they cause makes it a necessity.
      I found your blog off JWRs. He has quite a following here too.
      Many have done here what you are currently doing though they are often referred to as smallholders but a lot hold the same values. My family is slighlty different as we run a large farm and timber operation. However we generate all our own electricity with a pelton turbine and two water wheels. Is supplies all four of our houses and the sawmill.

  5. When we moved to our present home, we built a barn and our mare that needed to be dry lotted was given a 50' x 75' lot, as well. The local woodcutter brought me two dump loads of wood chips to put down in it and we lined it with pine straw as well. I diligently cleaned the barn and lot and hubby wondered how we would rid ourselves of the "pile". When fall came and we began burning our woodstove, I put the cooled ashes into the pile and worked them in. During the winter, I simply poured the ashes on top of the snow where the pile was and added the fresh manure as well. At the earliest day possible, we turned the pile. By the time our spring arrived (almost summer everywhere else!), I had beautiful compost. We didn't have enough, though, LOL. We needed more animals!

    If you plan to burn wood, cool and save the ashes to add to manure. It will greatly speed up the process of decomposition. My brother has a fancy compost tumbler and I got the idea from the book that came with it.

    Just my opinion, you can raise children in the country and they can later do well in the city, but it's a bigger challenge to raise them in the city and give them country values. I am not knocking anyone who chooses the city or is otherwise forced to live in the burbs or city. I grew up on military bases, but my best childhood memories are of the farm my mother grew up on: a barn with a sow and piglets, a couple steers for beef, a potato patch, a strawberry patch, the regular garden, the fruit and pecan trees. A pony to ride. Very little bought in town. We fished almost daily and ate what we caught. We built forts in the woods and learned to avoid the water moccasins. This was back in the stone age, as I am almost 53.

    Not one of my cousins that grew up on the farm wishes they had grown up in town or the city. Two uncles worked in the city and came home on Friday to spend the weekend farming. They did what they needed to do to pay off their farms quickly. My cousins were driving tractors, plowing and discing. Uncles vacations were timed to coincide with harvest. It was a good life and everyone had responsibilities. Our best friends who are from affluent city families had summers on their extended families' ranches and their feelings are similar to mine. Every chance they got, they headed for the ranch. Some of us just seem to have a gene that calls us back to the land.

    I have acquaintances who poll their young children about their decisions, and have forgone doing what they wanted in deference to the kids wanting to live close to their friends. So their kids are growing up with game controllers in their hands, sitting next to their friends. Having moved every few years as a kid and always making new friends, I believe that parents make decisions and must be trusted to do what is best. You are doing what is best for your family.

    You are having a big adventure as well. My best wishes and prayers for you and yours.

    long-winded sidetracksusie (who was very, very quiet as a child!)

    1. Please define "very, very quiet"... LoL.

  6. My praise to you and wifey!!! You sound like you have hit the ground running!!! And from my seat here in have nothing but positive and abundance ahead of you!!! I enjoy your blog and reading your journey to your dreams!!!

    1. Its a lot of Its a lot of fun right now but it'll be even better when I get wifey and the girls here with me.

  7. Every garden I've ever started began as an area that grew cover crops (or green manure crops) for at least a year.

    Till up the area, thickly broadcast some seed, then run the tiller shallow over the area again.

    In the summer, use some blackeyed peas or pinto beans bought from the grocery store, or even some bird seed.

    In the fall, use some wheat seed bought from the feed store (a 50 lb. bag will last a couple of years), or some whole oats (you'll get some winter kill unless you have a mild winter). Mix in some turnip seed with your wheat, or plant a separate block of turnips and you can feed both yourself and your soil.

    If you don't have a tiller, then disc or plow up the area and drag a harrow after broadcasting your seed.

    Don't worry about building a deer fence until you have actually established your garden and know how big of an area you need to fence. You might not even have enough deer damage to need a fence. Simple is always easier.

  8. Found you at JWR's blog a few days ago. I've been unable to access his site for the past two days. Do you know if he is having another DOS attack or is it just me?

    1. yesterday, I posted about the 4th of July. But if you look before that I wwwwwrote 2 posts about his website. It is up. Use the IP address I posted.

  9. Ahhh....Thanks. AS a homeschooling Dad of four children, all now adults, please allow me to encourage you in your endeavors. I pretty much drug my wife out to the country in '95 for privacy in homeschooling our children, added security (as a HOA president in a suburb of a million souls city, I saw the police preports for our neighborhood: not a pretty pic.

    We have now finished raising our minor children and they all express appreciation for their rural experience raising animals, gardening, cutting wood, splitting wood, hauling wood, starting fires in the furnace and then doing it all over again and again! One interesting comment they have all made is that they had the opportunity for quiet, alone time to learn to be their own best friend and establish a sound relationship with God via the leading of the Holy Spirit. While three of them are now in the city pursuing jobs and we visit often, you only get one chance to raise the next generation. I'm glad I did it "my way." God's best to you, wife, the children, extended family, and neighbors.

  10. Hey OJD,

    This is the second of your blog posts that I have read, and I already think I would love to be your neighbor. So far I can tell we think a lot alike.

    Thanks for the encouragement on following dreams. I would love to get away from the east coast and settle down to a rural, self-reliant lifestyle. Sadly it will be a few years before we can get out of debt, and that is a must from what I hear.

    As for the moles, I have had varied success with two techniques. First, if you are not doing raised beds, then mix some sort of sharp rock into your soil when you till. It hurts the moles noses and they seems to leave those areas alone a little better. Second, if you are planting in raised beds, then a 1/2" hardware cloth bottom on your garden beds will keep the moles from digging up into the garden. Neither of these these techniques help with voles which will also use the mole runs.

    Thanks for the encouragement and keep up the good work.

  11. My grandpa used to hook a hose into the exhaust pipe of his old truck and shove it into the mole runs, then crank the truck for awhile. I was really young so not sure how well it worked but think it did pretty good to gas em. Not sure if current low emmission vehicles and gas would work though.


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