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Equipment

A real homestead needs equipment, implements, and tools—and it takes years to acquire all of the things you are going to need if you are starting out from scratch. It takes a few more years to understand how to use them all in the climate and environment where your individual homestead is located. Northern Wisconsin is not Southern Middle Tennessee.

Every real and truly productive homestead I have ever visited had a tractor or a team of workhorses (and workhorses need tack and a forecart) and the implements necessary to make hay, plow, disc, and cultivate a garden, move stuff like fencing, hay bales, and firewood, etc... and a workshop to repair and maintain everything. If you don't know the difference between a disc harrow, a chain harrow, and a spike-toothed harrow, you probably should spend a season working on a real homestead before setting off on your own. It is not difficult to learn, but you do have to know how, when, and why. And you have to have the capital to acquire the equipment without going into debt. I repeat this over and over not to burst your bubble, but to help assure success. I have been to many auctions where failed homesteaders and farmers got sold out because they couldn't make it and were now heading back to the burbs with their tail between their legs—and for the most part, that did not have to happen. They failed because they did not do their homework, did not understand what they were getting into, or took advice from pretend-homesteaders on social media.

There is a spring rush on a homestead. From early Spring until early summer there is a lot to do. But there isn't much to do, homesteading or agricultural, for the other nine months (so have a plan for having something else productive to do for most of the year). A productive homestead needs the equipment and implements that the spring rush requires—unless you want to be a subsistence farmer, bent and gnarled with arthritis. (You didn't do this so you could look like that, did you?) Equipment and implements cost money. Ergo, you must of the capital necessary to buy the equipment.

Most of the young married couples in our community (mostly Amish and Mennonite) are in their late teens to early 20's and they work and save like crazy to come up with a grubstake. I can't imagine how someone in their 30's with student loans can do this. You can start homesteading later in life as a second career, but you have to have the cash on hand it takes to get started. This is an ownership lifestyle. Taking on more debt to escape the debt/wage slave system is not a winning strategy.  But once you have the land, equipment, and implements you need, and you have a way to generate an income from a business or marketable skill, it is all downhill (sort of—you have to make it happen).

Here is a short video for people from "out there" interested in this manner of living: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxFqOGgMsgk




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