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Old 05-18-2019, 10:51 PM
Christian Christian is offline
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Default Did We Bite Off More Than We Can Chew?



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Just bought 50 acres in extremely rural West Virginia. 16 miles from any cell phone reception in any direction. 2 miles from a paved road. Had to give the power company GPS coordinates to turn on the grid power here. 10 acres grass, 40 acres of very mountainous woods, huge fast flowing creek, and a 100+ year old worn out tiny farmhouse. Working pump well on back porch. The stuff in the old barn is ancient, like from the 1800s. Scythes and 3 foot long manual wood saws. I want to raise a dozen sheep for meat. Lotsa oaks for acorns and black walnuts trees for survival protein. Want to plant a survival garden. Heaven? We moved here because we think bad times are soon coming. Closest local who lives 1.5 miles away says the road in (1 car width gravel/dirt) is NEVER snow plowed and power in winter sometimes goes out for days. I'm 66 years old, my wife is 70 and we are kinda scared. Have we bit off more than we can chew?
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:08 PM
Offrink Offrink is offline
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I would suggest solar and/or generator back up, a nice stockpile of kerosene and lanterns, a good wood cook stove and lots of good reading material! Also quads, motorcycles, and snow machines if you get lots of show there.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:25 AM
ajole ajole is offline
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That’s why old farmers always had a pile of kids. So when they were 70, they could sit in the house by the stove while the kids took care of things.

Not that they ever did. Old farmers never stopped farming until they dropped.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:01 AM
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Sounds like an amazing place. No idea if its more than you can deal with or not.

But you don't have to develop the whole thing. I have ten acres of mountain forest, only really use a couple acres of it. The rest is buffer to keep anyone else from building too close.

This is my road....I plow it myself in the winter.

If you don't have them already get 4wd vehicles....including a good truck. You can deal with any road with the right vehicle.



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Old 05-19-2019, 02:07 AM
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Depends

I live similar, slightly further south (ozarks) and when there's snow piling up on the ground: I stay home.

Can you, or do you "need to run to mcdonalds"?

Only issue I see might be the cost of the farmhouse.

Can you afford to have someone younger/healthier do "heavy lifting" like construction and fencing?

Eta:

I recommend raised beds. You can hire help to help you build them, and then garden from a stool with hand tools.
Bonus: you can have plants up while everyone else is waiting g for the ground to dry out to use the tiller.

Look into hair sheep
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:46 AM
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Are you generally fit and active? If so you will be fine
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:42 AM
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Congrats!
Sounds like your neighbor is someone you need to get to know better, especially for all the local information

A real land-line and/or ham radio so you can call for ambulance...
A place for medevac helicopter to land in case you/your wife needs it

Make sure the pump and well are set up for winter use and won't freeze
IDK if solar is sufficient for back-up... depends on sun exposure and what you'd run off it

Water
Food
Shelter
Heat
Communication
Transportation
First aid/trauma
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian View Post
Just bought 50 acres in extremely rural West Virginia. 16 miles from any cell phone reception in any direction. 2 miles from a paved road. Had to give the power company GPS coordinates to turn on the grid power here. 10 acres grass, 40 acres of very mountainous woods, huge fast flowing creek, and a 100+ year old worn out tiny farmhouse. Working pump well on back porch. The stuff in the old barn is ancient, like from the 1800s. Scythes and 3 foot long manual wood saws. I want to raise a dozen sheep for meat. Lotsa oaks for acorns and black walnuts trees for survival protein. Want to plant a survival garden. Heaven? We moved here because we think bad times are soon coming. Closest local who lives 1.5 miles away says the road in (1 car width gravel/dirt) is NEVER snow plowed and power in winter sometimes goes out for days. I'm 66 years old, my wife is 70 and we are kinda scared. Have we bit off more than we can chew?
Your new place sounds great! Sir, the advice given in those first seven posts is good. If you follow it, you shouldn’t go wrong.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:20 AM
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In your late 60s and 70s yes i think you bit off more than you can chew in more ways than one.

People on here will tell you what you "need". Those are priorities only you can decide. You should think long and hard about your physical co condition in 5years and what you really think can be done in those years.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:50 AM
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Insufficient information to provide a definitive answer. So I just have to assume that your post is more of a polite boast about your new place and a wish to engage in banter with similar folks engaged in rural living.

Since you are no longer forced to work you can set your own pace on how things get done. I will suggest you avoid taking on too much extra to do like having a ton of animals to feed and care for. So long as you and your wife are happy with the remote lifestyle I expect you will get by just fine.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:03 AM
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You didn't provide any information on your experience, knowledge, skill level at self sufficiency practices. If you're body is holding up to the rigors of physical work, you do might do OK for awhile if you have some know how.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian View Post
Just bought 50 acres in extremely rural West Virginia. 16 miles from any cell phone reception in any direction. 2 miles from a paved road. Had to give the power company GPS coordinates to turn on the grid power here. 10 acres grass, 40 acres of very mountainous woods, huge fast flowing creek, and a 100+ year old worn out tiny farmhouse. Working pump well on back porch. The stuff in the old barn is ancient, like from the 1800s. Scythes and 3 foot long manual wood saws. I want to raise a dozen sheep for meat. Lotsa oaks for acorns and black walnuts trees for survival protein. Want to plant a survival garden. Heaven? We moved here because we think bad times are soon coming. Closest local who lives 1.5 miles away says the road in (1 car width gravel/dirt) is NEVER snow plowed and power in winter sometimes goes out for days. I'm 66 years old, my wife is 70 and we are kinda scared. Have we bit off more than we can chew?

How much snow does West Virginia get? Does it snow then melt in a few days or does it start snowing in December and you don't see the ground again 'til March? Also if the road isn't plowed I would also be worried about it turning to mud for two months in the spring.

As far as getting in over you head. Maybe. Do you want to get to town every morning for coffee or are you fine staying home for months on end until the weather changes?
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:10 AM
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Maybe look into a satellite phone which could be essential for medical emergencies. You will need at least a compact tractor with 4 wd, shovel on the front and box blade on the rear if you want to repair and keep that road open. You can get some shipping containers that can be made into out buildings. You likely want to get someone in to clear at least a little of the land, perhaps get a logger in to clear an acre. There may be some criminals about: poachers, moonshiners, and drug makers-growers about. If you can reach an accord with them it would be much better. Basically they stay off your land and you keep your mouth shut about what they do.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:10 AM
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70 years old? As long as you can tend and butcher and preserve sheep and vegetables, know how to garden, and are able to turn the soil on a half acre, build fence, carry water, control vermin, cut wood, suture wounds, defend against vandals and criminals and and bathe in cold water you should be okay for the next 5-10 years. After that, get to a nursing home.

Frankly, I don't see how this is going to save you from "bad times."
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:40 PM
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There are many who homesteaded and farmed until planted. John Seymour, Ruth Stout, Gene Logsdon all 80 to 90's. Jackie Clay is in her 70's, iirc, it can be done. Anyone at any time can have something happen. If you can live a dream and accomplish a little every day, who is to say not to?
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:47 PM
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If not a Sat phone at least a High Frequency Ham radio with antenna rigged for NVIS. You MUST have emergency communications.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puttster View Post
70 years old? As long as you can tend and butcher and preserve sheep and vegetables, know how to garden, and are able to turn the soil on a half acre, build fence, carry water, control vermin, cut wood, suture wounds, defend against vandals and criminals and and bathe in cold water you should be okay for the next 5-10 years. After that, get to a nursing home.

Frankly, I don't see how this is going to save you from "bad times."
My great grandmother was doing all of that till she was 95 years old. She never went to a nursing home either.
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:16 PM
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Yeah, I'd be willing to say that, at your age, you've bitten too much. An illness or injury, especially in deep weather, could kill you with help so far away and questionable communication. That kind of place needs to be left to someone in their thirties at oldest. I'd be more enthusiastic with closer neighbors and with the estate in better condition. Sounds like a lot of work just to start living there. Plenty of older people live in primitive conditions, but all the necessaries are already set up and going and they have people near.

And by the way, did you know that acorns are inedible to humans without a LOT of processing?
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:05 PM
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Outhouse? My concern would be more about the locals especially if you have money


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Old 05-19-2019, 06:08 PM
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If you are asking that question now, I hate to say it, but I think you bit off more than you can chew. That doesn't mean either one of us is right. I have known people older than you are that handle properties like that.

The bottom line is that no one but you can answer your question because no one really knows you or the details of your situation. I know. I am fabulously unhelpful. It's a gift!

Good luck though!
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