Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: back to basics

Another Work Day at the Farm

Cutting pine tree stump

During the last trip to the homestead we focused on thinning trees. The largest and healthiest trees were flagged so they would not be cut, the smaller trees and underlying brush were thinned out.

On February 1st and 2nd we focused on cutting tree stumps down to ground level so the heavy equipment can get in there next weekend. This part of the land has been used was an makeshift family trash dump back in the early 1980s. Most of the stuff dumped in this location is scarp metal, tin, hot water heater, cans,,, stuff like that.

Now for the rest of the story.

February 1 2013

Started off like any other day. My wife and I got up around 6:30am, got our shower, got dressed and headed out the door. On this Friday I had the day off work. so instead of going to work, I headed to the homestead for another kind of work.

On the way out my wife, my daughter and I stopped by the Shell station at the corner of Hwy 63 and FM 777 in Jasper, Texas. We were thinking about going by the donut shop, but decided to stop by the shell station. The store sells breakfast sandwiches and breakfast biscuits that are freshly made. I got a breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg, cheese. To wash breakfast down I got a low-carb monster energy drink.

Planning A Cleanup Day At The Homestead

Pulling trees with a Toyota T-100

In the next few weeks my family and some of our friends are going to the homestead for a cleanup day. There is an area where some trees need to be cut, and that same area has been used as a semi-trash dump for close to 40 years.

Here is the plan, form three groups – the cutters, the pullers and the haulers.

The cutters – Hopefully we have 2 chainsaws running. The loggers left some small trees right in the way that need to be cut up and hauled to the burning pile.

Then there are some trees that need to be thinned out. A couple of oak trees are right next to each other, some are 3 – 4 feet apart. The largest trees will be saved and the smaller trees cut. The trees that I am referring to are only about 3 – 6 inches in diameter and maybe 8 – 10 feet tall.

Moving To The Homestead Part 1

The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.

With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.

At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.

This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do. The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage. These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

Farm diagram for Bug Out Location

On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.

Indefinite Sustainability

My wife and I are working towards being self-sufficient. The problem is, the word “self-sufficient” has been used over and over so many times that it starts to lose its effect. I think another good term would be “indefinite sustainability”. Meaning a lifestyle that can be maintained for a long time.

Within the next year my wife and I are looking at moving to a rural area. We already live about 4 miles outside of Jasper Texas. But we want to move a little further from town.

When I was a child, my great-grand parents on my mom and dads side of the family lived in rural areas.

On my moms side of the family, my great-grand parents lived in a small house on the banks of the Neches river just south of Dam B. My great-grand father ran trotlines all the time and caught some huge catfish. They made their weekly or monthly trips to town for beans, bacon, medicine, and other basic supplies. The house they lived in was a very basic 4 room house – bed room, kitchen with a tv, fridge, stove and oven, bathroom, and enclosed wrap around porch.

On my dads side of the family, my great-grand parents lived on a homestead with around 30 acres in a rural area. They had cows, a horse, garden, barn, chickens. And one thing they seemed to have a lot of was peace and quiet.

Both places had several things in common. They caught or raised some of their own food, and they lived off the beaten path. I want to achieve both in the near future.

Over the past year or so I have been putting a lot of thought in my homesteading project. The goal is to have a garden and livestock that complement each other.

Garden and chicken yard one in the same

Chicken yard and garden

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018