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Hello ladies, my name is Sophia and I am on the autistic spectrum. I am high functioning, But don’t really do that well with “normal” everyday life. I have also wanted to live as off grid as possible since I was a kid.

my more recent thoughts have been to make my own community/compound made up of high functioning autistic and Down syndrome people and their families. I want that community to be as self sufficient as possible so that little outside stressors would have an impact on the community’s overall mental and emotional health.

i think that autistic people are the best craftsman because of the meticulous work that they do with their job/craft. I think that people with Down syndrome would work best with the land and the animals/livestock because of their huge hearts and caring minds.

currently I am looking for people/families that have the skill sets to make up a medieval village like community. A place that would be self-sufficient with the ability to survive without tech and would be able to earn money from selling their craft and the fruits of their labor online or at trade fairs. And we could also trade the excess items for things needed from other communities.

One of my thoughts for this community is that we would not use tractors but livestock to work the land. And a pasture rotation to get the most out of the land around the community. A lot of sustainable hunting and gathering with full use of the entire animals and plants bits and pieces

I have a property in mind to do this but I currently cannot afford it my self. I am working towards it though.

I would like to invite anyone to discuss ideas for this community and give advice about how to make it happen.

Thank you for reading my post to the end!
Sophia
 

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Hello ladies, my name is Sophia and I am on the autistic spectrum. I am high functioning, But don’t really do that well with “normal” everyday life. I have also wanted to live as off grid as possible since I was a kid.

my more recent thoughts have been to make my own community/compound made up of high functioning autistic and Down syndrome people and their families. I want that community to be as self sufficient as possible so that little outside stressors would have an impact on the community’s overall mental and emotional health.

i think that autistic people are the best craftsman because of the meticulous work that they do with their job/craft. I think that people with Down syndrome would work best with the land and the animals/livestock because of their huge hearts and caring minds.

currently I am looking for people/families that have the skill sets to make up a medieval village like community. A place that would be self-sufficient with the ability to survive without tech and would be able to earn money from selling their craft and the fruits of their labor online or at trade fairs. And we could also trade the excess items for things needed from other communities.

One of my thoughts for this community is that we would not use tractors but livestock to work the land. And a pasture rotation to get the most out of the land around the community. A lot of sustainable hunting and gathering with full use of the entire animals and plants bits and pieces

I have a property in mind to do this but I currently cannot afford it my self. I am working towards it though.

I would like to invite anyone to discuss ideas for this community and give advice about how to make it happen.

Thank you for reading my post to the end!
Sophia
Hi Sophia! I think your plan sounds lovely. I’m neurotypical but have longed for something similar.

I wonder if you would do well if you settled near an Amish community simply because of the overlap and support possible.

I look forward to seeing what other folks have to say.
 

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White Hat
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I'm on the spectrum, too -- female with Aspergers and ADHD.

So please take this as intended, as kind advice and not criticism.

I love the idea of a farming commune specifically for people with Downs or autism. However, in order for such a community to have any hope of self-sufficiency in today's economy, you will need to incorporate as many modern farming practices as possible, including the use of tractors for plowing.

Also you will need a strong background in animal husbandry. Taking care of animals involves far more than simply providing them with food and water and love. Be ready to deal with the harsh realities of animal diseases, parasites, and breeding. As a prepper, learn which medicines you should always have on hand, because organic methods of dealing with diseases and parasites are generally ineffective.

(I say that as a strong proponent of organic food and farming... who takes prescription medicine when I need it. And I love my chickens too much to let them suffer lice infestation through ineffective organic treatments when effective modern cures exist.)

One of the most emotionally difficult aspects of animal husbandry is culling. Culling = killing, and it must be done for many reasons.

In nature, wild animals are culled by predators who pick off the sick and the lame. On a farm, you must become the predator, for the continued health and safety of your herds and flocks. Sick animals need to be culled or quarantined immediately. Lame or genetically inferior animals must also be culled, which can be extremely difficult if the animal is otherwise healthy.

Yesterday I had to cull a darling young pullet who was only six weeks old. Her legs were splayed too far to the sides -- a genetic defect I hadn't noticed because as a chick, she was able to walk. But as she got bigger, fatter, and heavier, her legs could no longer carry her easily. And there is no place in the world for a crippled chicken.

It's also necessary to cull the males of all livestock. A farm only needs one bull (or less), one hog, and one rooster (or less) for every six hens (or more). But 50% of every generation is male... so the "extras" need to be culled, leaving only the largest and strongest to breed.

Speaking of predators -- if you are raising delicious animals, wild predators WILL be attracted to your farm, and they WILL start to pick off your animals unless you are prepared to kill the predators first.

I recommend learning about dog training and choosing the right breed of dog to train as a guardian for your herds and flocks. Start with one, train him or her well, then have that dog help train more.

Guardian dogs help protect your livestock, but you will still need to learn how to trap and shoot predators that are too fast or too large for your dogs to fight.

That's enough food for thought for now.
 

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White Hat
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Another not-romantic farm chore is butchering. While you might be able to sell large live animals like cattle to a stockyard, you will need to butcher most of your own meat.

First you will need to kill it with minimal damage to the meat. Some farmers kill animals with a bullet to the brain, but "sweetbreads" (cooked brains) are nutritious and delicious if cooked properly. So why spoil them by putting a bullet through them?

Livestock is often slaughtered by first, tying the back legs together and lifting the animal with a winch so it hangs head down. At first the animal will struggle, but when it gets tired it will hold still so you can pull a sharp knife across its throat. Keep a clean bucket underneath to catch the blood as it drains out. (Blood is nutritious, too, and can be made into blood sausage and black pudding.)

After the blood has drained out, you will need to slice the stomach and remove the entrails. These are not garbage, either -- the heart, liver, and gizzards are nutritious meat, and the intestines are traditionally cleaned and used for sausage casing.

The animal will need to be skinned. If you plan to be truly self-sufficient, you will learn how to tan the skin and make it into leather that can be used for gloves, chaps, and blacksmith sleeves and aprons.

The entire process of butchering an animal whom you have probably raised from a baby can be extremely upsetting, in addition to being far more disgusting than modern city folk can imagine.

"Pastoral life", as it's called in romantic novels about bygone times, is anything but stress free. City life -- now THAT's low-stress, as long as you stay away from TV.

But farm life, when your very existence is dependent on the vagaries of the weather and mother nature, is all work and very little play. For an inside view -- more like a quick overview -- read "The Egg and I". It's a funny and lighthearted book, but it will definitely give you an idea of daily life on a farm.

If you still think farming is the life for you, then you need to start studying. Watch YouTube videos that show you how to care for and butcher animals. Join chat boards that discuss the animals you want to raise. (I recommend The Goat Spot and Backyard Chickens.) Pay special attention to the sections where members discuss pests and diseases, predators, and illness. Learn how to help animals give birth.

Also, be prepared for future discussions with commune members about culling. How will you explain to someone with Downs syndrome that animals with birth defects must be culled?

Be prepared for debates about butchering. How will you explain the necessity for butchering an animal to a commune member who has become very attached to the animal under discussion?

As I said in my first post, I love the idea... but pulling it off will require an enormous amount of research, learning, and deep thinking. You will need to be very sure of yourself and your own ethics, and fully understand the need for the many awful things you will have to do on a regular basis.
 

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Technically, you could go all plant-based with the food sources grown there, and trade for things like eggs and milk, and only allow animals as pets or for services (example: guard dogs, cats to catch mice, and so forth). But that would be a decision the community should vote on ahead of time, and everyone would need to agree on the rules.
 

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First you will need to kill it with minimal damage to the meat. Some farmers kill animals with a bullet to the brain, but "sweetbreads" (cooked brains) are nutritious and delicious if cooked properly. So why spoil them by putting a bullet through them?

Livestock is often slaughtered by first, tying the back legs together and lifting the animal with a winch so it hangs head down. At first the animal will struggle, but when it gets tired it will hold still so you can pull a sharp knife across its throat. Keep a clean bucket underneath to catch the blood as it drains out. (Blood is nutritious, too, and can be made into blood sausage and black pudding.)
Sweetbreads are thymus or pancreas, not brains. Have you ever hung an animal as you describe to kill it? Stress is bad for the meat and your idea is very stressful and inhumane to an animal. Maybe a chicken or a small game type bird but good luck with a cow or goat. And back a couple of posts....what is your experience with flock guards? And what breeds and what use? I had and have working flocks guards since 1990 and they are not a " toss 'em out with the flock and push a button" type dog.

liebrecht
 

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White Hat
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Sweetbreads are thymus or pancreas, not brains.
Thank you for correcting me. I didn't know this. I've only ever eaten them, not made them.

As for slaughter methods, the method I described is one that is frequently used to slaughter pigs. I've never slaughtered a pig myself, but I've read about it in several different books.

Frankly it wouldn't occur to me that farmers would worry about stressing an animal who was raised for meat and is about to be butchered.

How does your family slaughter animals you are going to butcher?

And back a couple of posts....what is your experience with flock guards? And what breeds and what use? I had and have working flocks guards since 1990 and they are not a " toss 'em out with the flock and push a button" type dog.

liebrecht


What part of "start with one, train him or her well, then have that dog help train the others" sounds to you like I would just send a new dog out to eat my chickens and chase or kill my livestock? Is that what you think one should do to train a guardian dog well?

What the hell, Liebrecht. Are you just having a hard day and decided to make me the target du jour? What exactly did I do or say to get your back up?
 

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I am not having a bad day and you did not answer the question. How many flock guards have you trained or used? First, flock guards are not good with a large group of people messing with flocks as in the situation the OP was asking about. In spite of this a certain group around here got a flock guard ( wrong type dog for their use) and have had a high old time trying to keep people from being bitten by the dog ever since. A person's ranch burned in CO a few years back and their dogs were facing being put down as they had no place to put them as they could not be boarded. So 3 flock guards that did not know me came here for 5 months. Not leash trained, crate trained nor housebroken, just had been left alone on 70 acres. That was fun as my flock guards were NOT thrilled with the idea. I also did rescue with flock guards that people got from " reading about them" and then found out they were not what they needed. Add to that that flock guards need to be populated by predator load. One dog would be coyote food without good fencing.

A bullet to the head...then hang to bleed.

You are not my 'target"...bad information is. Dangerous information is worse. Reading about something is way different than having lived it. Milking a cow is way different when she has never been milked before and she is defending her calf than reading about it. Facing down a truculent stallion is way different then what a book says. Breaking up a paca fight is not as easy and safe as the books say. A cow with a prolapsed uterus does not nicely stand still while you clean it, push it back in and stitch her up. I live this not get info just from a book.
liebrecht
 

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I am not having a bad day and you did not answer the question. How many flock guards have you trained or used? First, flock guards are not good with a large group of people messing with flocks as in the situation the OP was asking about. In spite of this a certain group around here got a flock guard ( wrong type dog for their use) and have had a high old time trying to keep people from being bitten by the dog ever since. A person's ranch burned in CO a few years back and their dogs were facing being put down as they had no place to put them as they could not be boarded. So 3 flock guards that did not know me came here for 5 months. Not leash trained, crate trained nor housebroken, just had been left alone on 70 acres. That was fun as my flock guards were NOT thrilled with the idea. I also did rescue with flock guards that people got from " reading about them" and then found out they were not what they needed. Add to that that flock guards need to be populated by predator load. One dog would be coyote food without good fencing.

A bullet to the head...then hang to bleed.

You are not my 'target"...bad information is. Dangerous information is worse. Reading about something is way different than having lived it. Milking a cow is way different when she has never been milked before and she is defending her calf than reading about it. Facing down a truculent stallion is way different then what a book says. Breaking up a paca fight is not as easy and safe as the books say. A cow with a prolapsed uterus does not nicely stand still while you clean it, push it back in and stitch her up. I live this not get info just from a book.
liebrecht
Right.

Okay then, pardon me for answering the original post according to the best of my knowledge.

Granted, most of my knowledge about farming comes from reading posts written by people who actually DO have working farms -- but next time I'll just leave the post unanswered until either you, a real farmer, have time to contribute a comprehensive answer to the OP. (Have you done that yet, by the way? Did I miss it?)

...Or else I'll be sure to get your permission before I answer any post on topics in which you are the resident expert. God knows, I wouldn't want to post anything with which you disagree.

By the way, would you mind giving a comprehensive list of topics on which you are the resident expert? Just so I don't offend you by posting information you might consider to be wrong or incomplete?

Thanks so much for the corrections. It's such a relief to know that you're willing to take time out of your busy life to make sure that none of us in the Ladies Section will post any information that might be wrong or incomplete. We surely do appreciate your openhearted willingness to proofread and correct all our posts.

It's love and devotion like yours that keep this Section the warm and welcoming place it is. Thank you so much for that.
 

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Sophia1776 the biggest problem is getting enough money for start up costs and THEN having enough of an income for your community to support all of those people.

I never accomplished that but my husband and I were able to buy a house on an acre of land. So I turned my acre into a little homestead
 
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