The Homesteading Dream
It’s a strange thing, marriage. It causes you to look at the world in a whole new light. Furthermore, having children will really make you question your life decisions, especially if you tend to make poor ones (and I'm willing to bet they also do if you make great ones).
I'm not saying having children is bad. I'm saying what you value before having children and what you value after changes; in my case, drastically. Since Elliora was born, I have wanted to have something to leave her (something more than just the life lessons and good/poor memories of me). I want to have tangible things to leave my children. Things that are mine and can be theirs when I'm gone.
I am not a man of means. My family isn't especially well off. I have zero credit; which in this day and age, is as good as having bad credit. I also don't make enough to save. In fact, we only make it by through the grace of God. Since Elliora has been born, I have been trying to figure out how to own a home. Money being the major issue here; I have spent the past few years developing a plan. It seems to me the only way someone in our situation can own a home is through rent to own.
Another desire that has arisen for our family is to be self-sustaining and self-sufficient. We already raise chickens and wish to expand our flock. However, living in the city, we are limited to 6 chickens and are not allowed to raise any goats or sheep for milk. So this adds another level of complexity to the situation.
Basically, in order to move forward with the life style we wish, we need to find a place out in the country. Our plan is to find land, build a yurt on it and live in the yurt until the land is paid off. The issue with this is that we do not want to live in a yurt forever. We do plan on eventually building a house. But, being on a rent to own contract, anything we build on this land can be yanked out from under us. So building a house in the beginning is not only economically unfeasible, but unwise.
Once on the land, however, we do plan on starting and growing a CSA. For those who don't know what a CSA is, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It's a way for small a farm to sell their goods though a community of people choosing to support a local farm with both the consumer and the grower sharing the risks and benefits of food production. It is our hope that I can work a regular job, making the payment of the land move much quicker. We also hope to build a community of people who may want to learn how to live this kind of lifestyle. Inviting them to join us on the land and teach them to raise animals, garden, Build Yurt, start CSA's, and just all around figure out if self-sustaining/sufficient living is for them. In the beginning, we will need to put a little money into building a deck for the yurt to sit on with a root cellar of some sort under it just in case of a weather emergency. But after this we will be putting every dime we make towards paying off this land. Once the land is paid off we will start the process of building our home. And who knows, by the time that roles around, we may love living in the yurt so much, we'd just build and connect a couple more.